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Abigail Halperin, MD, MPH
Lecturer, Family Medicine
Director, UW Tobacco Studies Program
Family Medicine Research Section
Phone: 206-616-4482

Biographical Information

Abigail Halperin received her medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and completed Family Medicine residency training at University of Washington (UW) affiliated Swedish Hospital in Seattle. After 12 years in a primary care medical practice, she received a Master in Public Health (MPH) degree as a National Research Service Award (NRSA) Fellow at UW and began a primary care clinical research and teaching career focused on the prevention and treatment of tobacco addiction and related diseases. She has been an investigator on projects funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Legacy Foundation to conduct research on reducing tobacco use among young adults and other priority populations, with a particular interest in increasing reach and effectiveness of smoking cessation interventions by health care providers in hospitals and other clinical settings. Dr. Halperin has consulted for the World Health Organization (WHO) Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI), served on an expert panel for the CDC and has been a member of the strategic planning and evaluation committees for the Washington State Department of Health's Tobacco Prevention and Control Program. From 2004 to 2012, she served as Medical Director for Free & Clear (now Alere Wellbeing Inc.), the largest provider of tobacco quit line services for states, employers and health insurance companies in the United States, and in 2007, developed and became Director of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) Smoke Free Life Program, a tobacco cessation clinic for cancer patients at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) and SCCA. In 2011, Dr. Halperin led a project that implemented systematic screening and smoking cessation treatment for all tobacco-using patients at the two UW Medical Center hospitals. She also founded and remains Co-Director for the International Quitline Institute, a collaboration with WHO, NCI and the CDC Foundation, and which provides tobacco cessation training and technical assistance for medical and public health professionals to expand services through telephone-based treatment in low and middle-income countries. Dr. Halperin founded the University of Washington's Tobacco Studies Program and has served as Director since its inception in 2002.

Teaching Interests & Roles

Public health impact of tobacco use; policies and practices to reduce addiction to and harms from tobacco

Research Interests & Roles

Tobacco use prevention and treatment; Health policy; Alcohol harm reduction among college students; Global Primary Care

Current Projects

1-PI, UWMC Inpatient Tobacco Treatment Program, funded through the University of California-San Francisco/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Smoking Cessation Leadership Center

2-Director, UW Tobacco Studies Program

3-Project Director, International Quitline Institute, funded by Pfizer Medical Education Group, with additional support from the American Cancer Society, NCI and the CDC Foundation

Clinical Practice Information

UW Medicine Provider Biographies