News and Events

Chair’s Message

pth-use-this-oneFall is here, with cooler weather and welcome rain. Our new students are arriving and getting settled. We are still actively recruiting new faculty as part of our strategic plan to expand our core faculty by 50%, with 3-4 positions remaining to be filled over the next two years (see link).

We had a successful annual Fall faculty retreat and identified specific goals for 2017-18 related to our strategic plan that include increasing intra-departmental research collaborations, new collaborations with Development, and revising and re-starting an undergraduate course.


Peter Tarczy-Hornoch, MD
Chair and Professor, Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education


Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education Newsletter

January 15-19, 2018


BIME 590A – Biomedical & Health Informatics Lecture Series

Thursday, January 18, 4:00pm-4:50pm, UW Medicine South Lake Union, Building C, Room C123A&B

 (Also broadcast live and archived at; livestream will have a red dot in the top left hand corner)

 Title:  Informatics to Improve Healthcare Quality

Speaker: David Vawdrey, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Informatics

Columbia University

Vice President of Analytics

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

Abstract: In the mission statement of nearly every healthcare delivery system can be found the aspirational goal of providing the best and safest care. The foundation of a Learning Healthcare System is the iterative drive toward “better” and “safer.” This seminar will examine various approaches for defining and measuring healthcare quality, and discuss the role of informatics therein.

Speaker’s Bio:  Dr. David Vawdrey is Vice President of Analytics for NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. He is Founding Director of NewYork-Presbyterian’s Value Institute, which was created to apply rigorous scientific methodology to improve healthcare outcomes. Dr. Vawdrey is Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University, with research interests involving the use of health information technology and patient engagement to enhance safety and quality. Dr. Vawdrey studied computer engineering and computer science at Brigham Young University and earned a doctorate in biomedical informatics from the University of Utah.

 See the course website for details.

BIME 591B– Ethical, Legal and Social Issues for Biomedical Informatics

Tuesday, January 16, 1:00-1:50pm., Health Sciences, Room T498

Facilitator: Taryn Hall, PhD

See course website for details.


 BIME Happy Hour
Thursday, January 18, 5:00 p.m., South Lake Union, Reception Lounge

Please join us for our monthly departmental BYOB Happy Hour, held every third Thursday of the month. As always, please bring your own beverage; snacks will be provided!


January 8-12, 2018


 BIME 590A – Biomedical & Health Informatics Lecture Series

Thursday, January 11, 4:00pm-4:50pm, UW Medicine South Lake Union, Building C, Room C123A&B

 (Also broadcast live and archived at; livestream will have a red dot in the top left hand corner)

Title:  Reviewing Informatics Year-in-Reviews


Michael Leu, MD, MS, MHS

Associate Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education

University of Washington


Adam Wilcox, PhD

Professor and Chief Analytics Officer, Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education,

University of Washington

Abstract: This presentation follows last year’s “Year in Review” presentation and will have a similar format.  Drs. Leu and Wilcox will present an overview with specific highlights of the different “Year in Review” presentations that have been given in informatics conferences (e.g., AMIA, AMDIS).  The goal is to give participants a condensed overview of many of the identified important publications in the field.

Speakers’ Bios:

Dr. Leu is a board-certified pediatrician and clinical informatician.  He is the Program Director of the University of Washington Clinical Informatics Fellowship, and a member of the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems (AMDIS).  His research interests include 1) How use information technology to disseminate best practice for clinician use, 2) value analysis of clinical recommendations, and 3) using informatics as the foundation for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety efforts.

Adam Wilcox, PhD, is a Professor for the Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education at the University of Washington. He also serves as the Chief Analytics Officer for UW Medicine. He has broad experience in both applied and research informatics. Dr. Wilcox completed a double major in 1995 in Physics and Mathematics at the University of Utah. He then obtained his PhD in 2000 in Medical Informatics at Columbia University (Advisor George Hripcsak). Dr. Wilcox worked with the informatics group at Intermountain Healthcare under Paul Clayton from 2001-2006, where he led the development and implementation of primary care and emergency medicine systems, while also researching the effectiveness of care managers in an advanced practice model that was a precursor to the patient-centered medical home. While at Intermountain, he was also faculty at the University of Utah, where he taught courses and lectures in research design and decision support. He was then faculty at Columbia University from 2006-2013, where he directed the legacy clinical information system, clinical data repository and data warehouse, and was also principal investigator of the Washington Heights/Inwood Informatics Infrastructure for Comparative Effectiveness Research (WICER) project, one of the country’s first population health research databases, funded by AHRQ. He arrives most recently from Intermountain Healthcare where he led Intermountain’s clinical decision support efforts and directed its analytic health repository. In 2015, Dr. Wilcox was appointed a member of the PCORI Methodology Committee. He is an elected fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics, is a senior editor for eGEMs, and serves on the Clinical Informatics Subcommittee for the American Board of Preventive Medicine, which administers the board examination for the clinical informatics subspecialty. He has authored over 100 book chapters, peer-reviewed articles and abstracts, and has presented at conferences and institutions across the country.

See the course website for details.

BIME 591B– Ethical, Legal and Social Issues for Biomedical Informatics

Tuesday, January 9, 1:00-1:50pm., Health Sciences, Room T498

Facilitator: Taryn Hall, PhD

See course website for details.


 BIME Chair Dr. Peter Tarczy-Hornoch was elected to serve on the ACMI Election and Nominations Committee.  Congratulations, Peter!

BHI Alumni Dr. Carolyn Paisie recently started a new position as a Bioinformatics Analyst I in Computational Science at The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine.  Congratulations, Carolyn!


January 1-5, 2018


BIME 590A – Biomedical & Health Informatics Lecture Series

Thursday, January 4, 4:00pm-4:50pm, UW Medicine South Lake Union, Building E, Room E130&B

 (Also broadcast live and archived at; livestream will have a red dot in the top left hand corner)

Title:  Big Improvements to EmNOC Access in Rural Kenya via Data Synthesis & Optimization


Keith Butler, PhD, MS

Affiliate Professor, UW Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering

Kelly Roberson, MS

The Boeing Company

Abstract:  In rural Kenya limited transport and long distances to emergency clinics are major obstacles for timely access to emergency obstetric and neonatal care (EmONC). This project improves EmNOC access with far less resources than previously thought possible via data synthesis, computational modeling, and optimization. Access was defined as % of women of child-bearing age (WOCBA) who can reach EmONC ≤ 120 minutes. GIS terrain data, demographics and public health records for Kilifi County were synthesized to model travel times, showing only 18% current WOCBA access.  Optimization methods then analyzed the model for best combination of new clinics, ambulances, and mobile service units (MUMS). Results showed 90% access can be achieved either by adding: ambulance capability to 4 of 7 existing clinics; Or, MUM capability to 2 of 7 existing clinics. Modeled travel times were verified by sampling actual travel. The method scaled to all 47 counties in Kenya.  Optimization techniques can plan logistics for many types of care. They are being packaged for health official webs under a highly usable, map UI.

Speakers’ Bios:

Kelly Roberson is a Sr. Data Scientist for Boeing Global Services. Previously he was a Sr. Applied Mathematician for Boeing Research and Technology. His work has focused on operations research solutions to product development and design, finance, manufacturing, logistics, sales and marketing, multi-disciplinary optimization and aftermarket sales support. Since 2012 he has consulted with Concern Worldwide to apply and adapt operations research to in global health problems. He has a B.S. in Operations Research from Va. Tech and an M.S. in Financial Mathematics from Claremont Graduate University.

Keith Butler is an affiliate professor in UW’s Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering. He was previously PI for AHRQ workflow research, Director of Future Products & Architecture in Microsoft Global Services Automation, and Technical Fellow for HCI at Boeing Math & Computing Technology. His PhD from Tufts University is in cognition and quantitative research methods.

December 25-29, 2017

 Happy Holidays!

December 18-22, 2017 



All colloquia are open to the public; no registration is required.

BIME 590A (SLN 11277) – Biomedical & Health Informatics Lecture Series

Thursdays, 4:00-4:50pm, UW Medicine South Lake Union, Bldg C, C123&B*
(Livestream will be available at; registered students must attend in person)

Facilitator: Adam Wilcox, PhD
Informatics faculty and researchers from the UW and affiliated institutions present their research findings and discuss their views of national developments in their areas of expertise. See the course schedule for details.

BIME 591B (SLN 11279) – Ethical, Legal and Social Issues for Biomedical Informatics

Tuesdays, 1:00-1:50pm., Health Sciences, Room T498

Facilitator: Taryn Hall, PhD

URL:  (not yet published)

Summary:  Introduces students to potential ethical, legal and social outcomes from biomedical research and translation efforts and provides tools to assess societal impacts.

We will cover ethical machine learning, malpractice and HIT, evolving privacy norms, return of health results, and risk prediction in children. Apart from a few short lectures, class time will be focused on discussion of these ELSI issues.


BIME welcomes new postdoctoral trainee, Mike Hairfield, DDS, MSD, MS!

Our newest BIME member, Mike Hairfield, will be studying 2D and 3D image analysis and pattern recognition as applied to craniofacial development and diagnosis with Dr. Linda Shapiro, UW Dept. of Computer Science, as an NLM Biomedical Health Informatics post-doctoral fellow. Mike studied biochemistry and dentistry at UW. He completed a hospital dental residency and craniofacial fellowship at North Carolina Memorial Hospital. Then, he was an attending dentist for the craniofacial cleft lip/palate team and completed a Master’s degree in bioengineering and mathematics at UNC.  Mike and his family moved back to Seattle in 1990 for him to attended UW orthodontic graduate school, and he taught part-time while in private practice for 22 years. When a recent injury to his arm ended his clinical career as an orthodontist, he decided the UW BIME program would provide the greatest personal satisfaction and the best opportunity for him to contribute to the future of dentistry and craniofacial science.


BIME Adjunct Associate Professor Beth Devine led a systematic review  recently published in eGEMS:

Dr. Wanda Pratt’s team had three full papers accepted to the upcoming ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’18):

  • Interpersonal Informatics: Supporting Collaborative Health Tracking in the Hospital by Sonali Mishra, Andrew Miller, Shefali Haldar, Maher Khelifi, Jordan Eschler, Rashmi Elera, Ari Pollack, and Wanda Pratt
  • Designing a Reclamation of Body and Health: Cancer Survivor Tattoos as Coping Ritual by Jordan Eschler, Arpita Bhattacharya, and Wanda Pratt
  • “Suddenly, we got to become therapists for each other”: Designing Peer Support Chats for Mental Health by Katie O’Leary, Stephen Schueller, Jake Wobbrock, and Wanda Pratt

 Turner, A.M., Osterhage, K., Loughran, J., Painter, I., Demiris, G., Phelan, E.A. Emergency information management needs and practices of older adults: a descriptive study.  International Journal of Medical Informatics

 Mikles, S. P., L. Wiltz, J., Fourquet, L., Painter, I., & Lober, W. B. (2017). Utilizing Standard Data Transactions and Public-Private Partnerships to Support Healthy Weight Within the Community. eGEMs (Generating Evidence & Methods to improve patient outcomes), 5(1), 21.

December 11-15, 2017


Backonja U, Carrington J, Kim K, Reeder B. Precision Nursing: Data-Driven Nursing to Transform Health & Support Health Equity (symposium). Will be presented at the Western Institute of Nursing’s 51st Annual Communicating Nursing Research Conference, April 11-14, 2018, Spokane, WA.

Joshua T. Herbeck, Kathryn Peebles, Paul T. Edlefsen, Morgane Rolland, James T. Murphy, Geoffrey S. Gottlieb, Neil Abernethy, James I. Mullins, John E. Mittler, and Steven M. Goodreau.

HIV population-level adaptation can rapidly diminish the impact of a partially effective vaccine. Vaccine (in press).