Skip to main content

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 Systems and Population Health
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

Wool JL, Walkinshaw LP, Spigner C, Thayer EK, Jones-Smith JC. A Qualitative Study of Living in a Healthy Food Priority Area in One Seattle, WA, Neighborhood. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Nov 22;18(22). pii: 12251. doi: 10.3390/ijerph182212251.  PMID: 34832005    PMCID: PMC8625696
PubMed Central

Alsayid M, Tlimat NM, Spigner C, Dimaano C. Perceptions of colorectal cancer screening in the Arab American community: a pilot study. Prim Health Care Res Dev. 2019 Jul 1;20:e90. doi: 10.1017/S1463423619000161.  PMID: 32799969    PMCID: PMC6609968
PubMed Central

Murugan H, Spigner C, McKinney CM, Wong CJ. Primary care provider approaches to preventive health delivery: a qualitative study. Prim Health Care Res Dev. 2018 Sep;19(5):464-474. doi: 10.1017/S1463423617000858. Epub 2018 Jan 8.  PMID: 29307319    PMCID: PMC6452935
PubMed Central

Hagopian A, West KM, Ornelas IJ, Hart AN, Hagedorn J, Spigner C. Adopting an Anti-Racism Public Health Curriculum Competency: The University of Washington Experience. Public Health Rep. 2018 Jul/Aug;133(4):507-513. doi: 10.1177/0033354918774791. Epub 2018 May 30.  PMID: 29847749    PMCID: PMC6055294
PubMed Central

Young BA, Fullerton SM, Wilson JG, Cavanaugh K, Blacksher E, Spigner C, Himmelfarb J, Burke W. Clinical Genetic Testing for APOL1: Are we There Yet? Semin Nephrol. 2017 Nov;37(6):552-557. doi: 10.1016/j.semnephrol.2017.07.009. Review.  PMID: 29110763    PMCID: PMC6774255
PubMed Central

Chair, thesis committee for Marilyn Haas
Facilitators and Barriers for the Sleep Health in Preschoolers (SHIP) Intervention: A Qualitative Study

Member, thesis committee for Erin Lee
Motivations of community based doulas: Perspective from women of color

Chair, thesis committee for Jann Marc Macarulay
Diabetes rates amoung public housing residents in King County

Chair, thesis committee for Elizabeth Nutting
An estimate of prevalence of CBT for psychosis providers in the US and Canada

Chair, thesis committee for Cara Than
Factors affecting Cambodian-American Health and Healthcare Experience

Member, thesis committee for Jenny Wool
A qualitative study of experiences of individuals residing in a healthy food access priority area

Chair, capstone for Wesley Loven
Exploring the feasibility of non-potable water reuse systems in Washington State: professional perspectives on need, safety, economic viability, and impact on existing water/sewer utilities

Chair, capstone for Jenny Paul
Department of Defense Transgender Policy: Exploring Barriers to Integration and Acceptance

Chair, capstone for Elaine Albertson
Geographic access to behavioral health services after reentry from the Washington State juvenile justice system

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.