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School of Public Health

Clarence Spigner

Our earth is but a small star in the great universe. Yet of it we can make, if we choose, a planet unvexed by war, untroubled by hunger or fear, undivided by senseless distinctions of race, color, or theory

(Prayer read by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the United Nations, June 14, 1942).
Professor, Health Services
Adjunct Professor, American Ethnic Studies
Adjunct Professor, Global Health


DrPH   University of California (Berkeley), 1987   (Behavioral Science)
MPH   University of California (Berkeley), 1982   (Behavioral Science)
AB   University of California (Berkeley), 1979   (Sociology)

Contact Info


office:   H-690D, Health Sciences Building

University of Washington
1959 NE Pacific Street
Seattle, WA 98195-7660

campus box:   357660
voice:   206-616-2948


Clarence Spigner serves as Director of the MPH and MS Programs in Health Services. Spigner's teaching and research interests are in the health of disadvantage populations, race & ethnic relations, and the intersections of popular culture's influence. His primary and critical focus is in community based research and the inherent contradictions of race, gender, and structural inequalities within institutions of health and medicine. His research/publications include, but are not limited to; tobacco-related behavior, organ donation & transplantation, stress and coping strategies, and intra-ethnic tensions. He and wife Jennifer, daughter Surita, and son Ravi live in Seattle.

Tobacco-related behavior; racism as a stressor; social construction of 'race' vis-a-vis biological reductionism in health research and behavior; knowledge and opinions about organ donation among ethnic groups; program evaluation; popular culture

  • HIHIM 450
    Organizational Theory in Health Facilities and Healthcare Delivery
  • HSERV 479
    Racism and Public Health
  • HSERV 511
    Introduction to Health Services and Public Health
  • HSERV 517   (eMPH)
    Qualitative Research Methods: An Introduction
  • HSERV 520   (eMPH)
    Methods in Applied Community Research
  • HSERV 561   (eMPH)
    Introduction to Health Promotion Planning and Evaluation
  • HSERV 590
    Qualitative Research Methods: An Introduction
  • HSERV 592
    MPH Program Seminar

Sanon MA, Spigner C, McCullagh MC. Transnationalism and Hypertension Self-Management Among Haitian Immigrants. J Transcult Nurs. 2016 Mar;27(2):147-56. doi: 10.1177/1043659614543476.  PMID: 25062700

Kimura A, Sin MK, Spigner C, Tran A, Tu SP. Barriers and facilitators to colorectal cancer screening in Vietnamese Americans: a qualitative analysis. J Cancer Educ. 2014 Dec;29(4):728-34. doi: 10.1007/s13187-014-0646-6.  PMID: 24756545    PMCID: PMC4334440

Cerimele JM, Halperin AC, Spigner C, Ratzliff A, Katon WJ. Collaborative care psychiatrists' views on treating bipolar disorder in primary care: a qualitative study. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2014 Nov-Dec;36(6):575-80. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2014.07.013.  PMID: 25174762    PMCID: PMC4253651

Lyles CR, Karter AJ, Young BA, Spigner C, Grembowski D, Schillinger D, Adler N. Provider factors and patient-reported healthcare discrimination in the Diabetes Study of California (DISTANCE). Patient Educ Couns. 2011 Dec;85(3):e216-24. Epub 2011 May 24.  PMID: 21605956    PMCID: PMC3178668

Lyles CR, Karter AJ, Young BA, Spigner C, Grembowski D, Schillinger D, Adler N. Patient-reported racial/ethnic healthcare provider discrimination and medication intensification in the Diabetes Study of Northern California (DISTANCE). J Gen Intern Med. 2011 Oct;26(10):1138-44. Epub 2011 May 6.  PMID: 21547610    PMCID: PMC3181298

Chair, thesis committee for Jooree Ahn
Engaging parents in child welfare: Meeting basic needs in supervised visitation

Chair, thesis committee for Daniel Gagnon
Partnering with Seattle parents to promote high school graduation: An evidence-based program evaluation

Chair, thesis committee for Hemalatha Murugan
Primary care provider approaches and perceptions to preventive health delivery: A qualitative study

Chair, capstone for Stephen Chang
Success and efficiency of the Medicaid electronic health care record (EHR) incentive program".

Chair, thesis committee for Kathryn Defilippo
Parental needs in Skagit County

Chair, thesis committee for Christian Dimaano
Effect of teaching "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" on student beliefs of health care, medical ethics, and health disparities

Chair, thesis committee for Khalid Jaboori
Assessing barriers in surveillance colonoscopy in individuals with pathological findings

Chair, capstone for Kelly Lenart
Best practices and attributes of a short-term, medical-training volunteer program for preventing host countries from receiving negative consequences as a result of poorly equipped volunteers: a qualitative study

Chair, thesis committee for Crystal Snare
Body mass index and neighborhood socioeconomic status in Washington State

Chair, capstone for Fatimit Janmohamed
Project implementation manual for the Hutchinson Centre Research Institute-Uganda (HCRI-UG)

Chair, thesis committee for Michelle Karuna
Quality of life of new parents participating in a community-based, professionally-facilitated new parent support group

Chair, thesis committee for Anna McConnell
Mental health and substance use disorder outcomes across socio-demographic subgroups among a King County Jail alternative program

Member, capstone for Amber Pouley
Interventions for child witnesses of domestic violence

Chair, thesis committee for Zandrea Harlin
Employer perspectives of employee wellness programs

Member, thesis committee for Mariko Toyoji
The effect of minority academic leadership on the culture centeredness of community based participatory research partnerships

Community-Based Evaluation of APOL1 Genetic Testing in African Americans
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
PI:   Mielcarek           Dates:    9/1/2017 - 8/31/2018

Community-Based Evaluation of APOL1 Genetic Testing in African Americans
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
PI:   Mielcarek           Dates:    9/1/2016 - 8/31/2017

Community-Based Evaluation of APOL1 Genetic Testing in African Americans
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
PI:   Mielcarek           Dates:    7/1/2015 - 6/30/2018

Impact of race-related Stress and Coping Patterns on Heart Disease

This project employs basically qualitative approaches to assess how African Americans who are already diagnosed with hypertension cope with the disease. In part, a bibliographic analysis of hypertension studies is underway under the informal hypothesis that how health providers/research view hypertension or high blood pressure can reflect how people with the disease are treated.

Process Evaluation of Community-based Approaches to Washington's Statewide Tobacco Prevention and Control Program

This comprehensive research and service program employs a community-based participatory approach in developing tobacco-related control and prevention strategies statewide. Priority groups, or communities, such as African Americans, Asian American, Pacific Islanders, Latino/Hispanic, Native Americans, LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered), and low income whites. These groups operate in collaborative partnership with the State Department of Health and the Cross Cultural Health Care Program in formulating capacity building programs with built-in evaluative components to prevent and control tobacco-related behaviors.

Perceptions and Knowledge about Organ Donation Among African Americans and Asian Americans in Seattle, Washington

This community based research project is in collaboration with the Hope Heart Institute and employs qualitative and quantitative approaches to discerning opinions about the organ donation and tissue transplantation process among racial minority groups in Seattle.

Tobacco Cessation Among Asian American Men

In partnership with the International Community Health Services Clinic, this community-based research and evaluation project is designed to measure the efficacy of a clinic-based and culturally-specific tobacco cessation program that employs the Stages of Change Model (the Transtheoretical Model) of behavioral readiness.

Course Development: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgendered Issues in Public Health

In collaboration with selected students and faculty within and external to the School of Public Health, developing a comprehensive course (or courses) that will address the historical, social, political, and epidemiological dimensions of LGBT issues in health.

Course Development: Race, Popular Film Imagery, and the Public's Health

In the process of developing freshman seminar courses which use images from popular film to help explain constructs and concepts of socio-political behavior and the relationship to public expectations health behavior.