Issue 2014-01 (January 23, 2014)



WSU Spokane to Host New Interdisciplinary Clinic, Medical Residency Slots

By Terren Roloff

A Spokane health consortium will receive a $900,000 appropriation from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration that will help ease the shortage of physicians in Spokane and Eastern Washington and support an interprofessional teaching health facility for students in medical sciences, nursing, pharmacy, and other health sciences.

The appropriation will fund six new medical residency slots beginning July 1, 2014, with the opportunity to apply for additional funding support up to $2.7 million and 18 residency slots. The funding goes to a new non-profit entity known as the Spokane Teaching Health Center consortium whose partners include Empire Health Foundation, Providence Health Care, and Washington State University Spokane. Teaching health centers are made available through the federal Affordable Care Act.

The new residency slots will be housed at a planned interdisciplinary community clinic that will be based in renovated space on the WSU Spokane campus. The clinic will provide a venue where health sciences students can learn to practice as health care teams.

"Creating a clinic for our community while providing training for students on our campus has been a goal we've been working toward for some time," said Lisa Brown, chancellor of WSU Spokane. "Getting new residency slots is icing on the cake for our land grant mission of serving the underserved."

Brown said the clinic's emphasis is to teach future health care providers, right from the start, to work in interprofessional teams to provide patient care. "This way, when they go into practice, they can continue using this patient-focused model."

Three of the new residency slots will go to doctors specializing in family medicine—including one in the rural training program—and three to physicians looking to specialize in internal medicine. The clinic will also provide clinical training opportunities to students in medical sciences, nursing and pharmacy and will eventually do the same for students from other health sciences programs based in Spokane, including students from Eastern Washington University and potentially other educational institutions.

Elaine Couture, regional chief executive of Providence Health Care, noted that Eastern Washington has been underserved with regard to the number of residencies. "There are 1,600 residencies in the state but only 105 in eastern and central Washington. These six additional residency slots  bode well for our region since one of the most significant factors determining where a primary care provider will practice is where he or she completed his or her residency."

Empire Health Foundation will provide community-based governance of the medical residency program, as well as in-kind services and support to implement the project objectives, which include keeping at least half of the residency graduates of the center working in rural and underserved areas.

According to Antony Chiang, president of Empire Health Foundation, "This funding represents a unique opportunity to increase the pipeline of future primary care providers in Eastern Washington, ultimately leading to improved health care access and health outcomes in underserved communities."

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Remaking Corrections: Criminal Justice Researcher Helps Reduce Washington's Reoffense Rates

By Judith Van Dongen

A series of projects being conducted by a faculty member in the WSU Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology are helping Washington State to reduce offenders' rates of recidivism and increase public safety. 

Portrait photo of Zach Hamilton
Zachary Hamilton

With $519,915 in funding support from the Washington State Department of Corrections and the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Zachary Hamilton is leading three separate, but related projects that will enhance the state’s system for classifying and treating felony offenders and others who might potentially pose a threat to society.

In the first project, Hamilton is working with the Department of Corrections to update its existing risk assessment instrument. To reduce the risk of inmates reoffending following their release from prison, the Department of Corrections has been using an assessment instrument to calculate a risk score for each offender. That score is used to guide such decisions as the security level of the prison the offender will be placed in and the level of supervision needed upon that person’s release.

The current instrument bases the assigned risk score solely on criminal history and demographic information such as age and gender. Using Department of Corrections data that cover almost 50,000 felony convictions between 2008 and 2010, Hamilton is working to develop and validate a new, more comprehensive version of this risk assessment instrument. The new instrument consists of separate tools for male and female offenders for different types of crimes—such as violent crime, drug crime, or property crime. It also takes into account offenders’ needs based on a needs assessment interview.

Inmate at Walla Walla Penitentiary Psychiatric Ward
An inmate patient at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla reads in a room at the psychiatric ward. (Photo by Joe Tierney/The Associated Press)

"The interviewer will ask questions related to education, vocation, family history, criminal attitudes, aggression, and so on, getting at all the different domains that represent or have been linked to future criminal behavior," said Hamilton. He added that the Department of Corrections has already been collecting this type of information, but it wasn't previously considered as part of the risk assessment. Needs data will be reassessed every six months, making it possible to recalculate an inmate’s risk score to account for changes over time.

Hamilton said that preliminary validation results show that the new risk assessment instrument is not only more accurate, but will also provide cost savings since it will better predict where inmates should be placed. Implementation of the new tool is slated to start in January 2015.

In a second project mandated by the Washington Legislature, Hamilton and co-investigator Jacqueline van Wormer are working with the Department of Corrections to create an inventory of all state-sponsored offender programming. For each program, the researchers will identify whether it is considered effective (either evidence-based or research-based) or ineffective at reducing the risk of reoffense. Examples of programs being evaluated include substance abuse treatment, educational programs, vocational training, cognitive-behavioral therapy, parenting courses, and visitation programs.

"Our work will be used to eliminate funding for programs that aren't effective and to expand the scope of programs that are," said Hamilton. "The idea is that the new risk-needs assessment would feed people into those programs that are going to effectively reduce their risk of recidivism." He said that the implementation of plans to phase out and expand programs should be completed by January 2016.

Funded by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, the third project has Hamilton developing a new assessment instrument to help identify Washingtonians who are at risk of involuntary commitment. Involuntary commitment is a legal process used to place into treatment those individuals who are considered a public safety hazard due to their severe mental illness. The new instrument, which will include a needs assessment, will predict the risk of psychiatric rehospitalization and criminal behavior.

The three projects are part of the research portfolio of the new Washington State Institute for Criminal Justice Research based at WSU. The institute was established to provide research and technical assistance to the Washington criminal justice community. Hamilton, who is based at WSU Spokane, is the director of the institute's Division of Corrections and Sentencing. The division also includes WSU criminal justice faculty members Jacqueline van Wormer (Spokane); Faith Lutze, Mary Stohr, and Craig Hemmens (Pullman); and Laurie Drapela (Vancouver).

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Innovative Police Safety App Debuts at White House Conference

By Cynthia King, WSU News

An app to reduce the impact of fatigue on police officers and improve safety was presented at a White House innovation conference last week by Bryan Vila, WSU Spokane professor of criminal justice and criminology.

Bryan Vila presents at the White House Datapalooza event in January 2014
Bryan Vila presenting at the White House Safety Datapalooza

Ten teams from White House "DataJam" safety innovation competitions around the nation were invited to present their projects at the White House Safety Datapalooza, which is part of the White House DATA.gov (http://www.data.gov/) open-data initiative.

Vila and his team developed the BeSharp app to monitor objective assessments of police officers' fatigue rather than depending on self-assessments, since performance can be seriously impaired by the time officers actually feel drowsy.

Fatigue is measured using wrist actigraphy; that is, a small wristwatch-size device that monitors rest/activity cycles by measuring motor activity.

The app sends text message warnings as officers become progressively impaired by fatigue while on duty. The messages also suggest appropriate countermeasures while they still have time to work.

BeSharp will enhance understanding of how fatigue affects safety on the road and in the community; it will also enable evaluation of the impact of fatigue management efforts on officer safety.

DATA.gov is intended to increase the ability of the public to easily find, download and use datasets generated and held by the federal government. A primary goal of improved access is creative use of the data beyond the walls of government.

Other members of the BeSharp team are Jo Strang, American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association; Gregory Godbout, White House-OSTP Presidential Innovation Fellow; and Sean Kerklaan, CEO of Fatigue Science, Inc.

See a video of the White House Safety Datapalooza event. To get to the start of Vila's presentation, scroll to 2:52:20.

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Medical Student Researchers to Present at California Conference

By Doug Nadvornick

This weekend, seven Spokane second-year medical students will reap the rewards of hard work done during their last summer break.

The students will share details of their research projects during the annual Western Student Medical Research Forum in Carmel, California. The seven are Jessica Eckstrom, Lisa Grove, Scott Hippe, Erik Larson, Kelli McEntee, Spencer Schulte, and Amy Smith. An eighth student, Dallas Williams, will join them. She studied last year in Spokane but is in Seattle this year. They are among 466 student presenters invited to the conference.

Some of the Spokane students did their work as part of optional four-week assignments in rural Northwest health clinics. Others spent the summer in Spokane working with WSU faculty.

Photo of Spencer Schulte
Spencer Schulte

Spencer Schulte was paired with Kenn Daratha, an associate professor of nursing and medical sciences. Last year Schulte attended Daratha's course on Medical Information for Decision Making and expressed interest in doing summer work that would fulfill a research requirement.

"I had several projects in which I was interested that students could help with," said Daratha.

One involved tracking the use of hypertension (high blood pressure) medication in patients with moderate-to-severe chronic kidney disease. 

Daratha assigned Schulte to lead a team with two WSU nursing students pursuing their Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees and a Whitworth undergraduate majoring in chemistry and math.

Daratha provided Schulte's team members with patient data sets that he created. The team examined the administrative and lab records of 669 patients, confirming they had chronic kidney disease and recording the medications they took.

"We found that there were few changes in the antihypertensive therapy of patients as their disease worsened from stage 3 to stage 4," said Schulte. "Furthermore, patients hospitalized in 2011 were no more or less likely to receive an antihypertensive medication than patients hospitalized in 2007."

Schulte created a poster that he presented at a meeting of medical students in Seattle in November. He was later invited to present his poster and give an oral presentation at the California conference.

"I'm excited for Carmel. It will be fun to see the work other medical students have been doing," said Schulte. 

After the conference, Daratha hopes Schulte will continue with his project and write a paper that would eventually be published in a scientific journal.

Student projects address community needs

Photo of Lisa Grove
Lisa Grove

Some of the other student research projects were based on the needs of the communities where students worked last summer.

For example, Lisa Grove spent a month in Weiser, Idaho, where she said the local hospital had recently finished a community assessment. The major problems included rising adult and childhood obesity rates.

Grove had spent the year before medical school as a health educator, so she took that path in Weiser. In addition to her time working with local doctors, she created flyers that explained the health effects of diabetes and high blood pressure on human health. She made one that talked of the need for lifestyle changes and improved diets and created cards that featured healthier recipes.

"I spent a morning at the local food bank on a day when people came by to pick up their monthly food allotments," said Grove. "I handed out my flyers for people who wanted them and counseled people who had questions."

She left her extra printed materials at the food bank and hospital, where they were handed out after her stint in Weiser was over.

The Carmel conference is not the only forum where Spokane medical students will be presenting their research. In May, three students will go east to make presentations. Erik Larson and Halloran Peterson will present their work at the International Leksell Gamma Knife Society meeting in New York. Danny Olson will present an abstract at the American Urological Association annual meeting in Orlando, Florida. 

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Albertsons Pharmacies Partner with WSU to Provide Strep Throat Testing

By Lorraine Nelson, College of Pharmacy

After receiving training from a WSU College of Pharmacy faculty member and in collaboration with a local physician, pharmacists at eight Albertsons/Sav-on pharmacies in the Spokane area have begun testing for and treating strep throat.

Photo of Catrina Schwartz
Catrina Schwartz

The service provides quicker access to care for those who suspect they have strep throat, said Associate Clinical Professor of Pharmacotherapy Catrina Schwartz, the pharmacy faculty member who provided the training in November. This could result in quicker treatment and recovery, a reduced chance of secondary complications, and less cost to patients and outpatient emergency rooms, she said.

"We want to provide affordable and accessible health care to people," said Shon Volk, an Albertsons/Sav-on pharmacy manager in Spokane and coordinator of this program for the company. He is a graduate of the WSU pharmacy program and initiated the strep throat training for 20 company pharmacists, including himself.

A small number of pharmacies nationally are taking this approach.

Community pharmacies are often open extended hours, Schwartz said. "Providing access to strep throat testing at these pharmacies allows sore throat sufferers a way to get care when their regular doctor's office is closed and their only alternative would be an urgent care clinic or emergency room."

Recently published research in the American Journal of Managed Care indicates pharmacist-provided care for the diagnosis and treatment of strep throat was the most cost effective among the seven different treatment options studied, Schwartz said.

The pharmacists are using rapid antigen detection testing, which gives results within minutes; so if treatment is needed, it can be started immediately. Results from the more traditional throat culture take 24-48 hours, Schwartz said. She is director of the applied patient care laboratory at the WSU College of Pharmacy where students learn to apply their knowledge. She has taught the strep throat testing method in the lab.

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A Campus on the Move

By Judith Van Dongen

Now that the new Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Sciences Building is officially open, the WSU Spokane campus appears to be sighing a collective sigh of relief. For the past few years, space has been at a premium. This past fall, especially, the campus was as crowded as it’s ever been, due to the arrival of pharmacy students and faculty from Pullman and the addition of a second-year medical education cohort.

The majority of pharmacy and medical sciences faculty, staff, and students moved into the new building, leaving behind pockets of empty offices in other campus buildings. For some time to come, the Office of Capital Planning and Development will be working to redistribute the vacated space.  

"Efforts to provide space to accommodate campus growth while the new building was still under construction left some college departments scattered across buildings," said Rusty Pritchard, senior project manager for capital planning and development. "We've been talking to all colleges and departments to coordinate plans to get the affected departments into cohesive and adjacent spaces. At the same time, we'll be making some changes—particularly on the first floor of the Academic Center—that will enhance the services provided to students."

The first phase of this process will trigger a series of moves within the Academic Center building that will start next week and continue through the summer.

Chancellor Lisa Brown will kick off the process by moving her office to the west side of the fifth floor, where she will be joined by members of the Office of Communications & Development, who will be moving back up from their suite on the north and east sides of the fourth floor. The north side of the fifth-floor suite will be occupied by the Athletic Foundation, whose staff members are now based in a suite on the east end of the third floor.

The fourth-floor space vacated by the Communications & Development Office will be the new home for the College of Pharmacy’s Business Services (now based on the northwest side of the fifth floor) and the Pharmacy Student Services Office (currently located on the northwest end of the fourth floor). Human Resource Services will move from the first floor to the northwest side of the fourth floor.   

This coming summer, the student computer lab and the Technical Support Center will be moving up from the first floor to the east end of the third floor. The Technical Support Center will be housed in the space currently assigned to the Athletic Foundation; the adjacent classroom 311 will be remodeled to serve as the student computer lab. The remodeling and moves are slated to be complete prior to the start of the fall 2014 semester.

The first floor of the Academic Center will become even more student focused. The Office of Student Affairs will expand into suite 145 (now home to Human Resource Services), which will have testing rooms for students. Another change that is already in process is the expansion of the ASWSU Spokane office into the adjacent student lounge space. The space, which is currently being remodeled, will provide a much more visible location for the student leadership. In addition, plans are being made for an expansion of food services and student lounge space in the Academic Center.

Negotiations are underway with the Student Book Corporation—better known as "the Bookie"—to relocate from the South Campus Facility to another campus location, which would put the Bookie closer to the center of student activity.

Finally, the campus leadership is finalizing a lease agreement to bring to campus the administrators and staff of MEDEX Northwest, the University of Washington’s regional physician assistant studies program. The campus has hosted MEDEX Northwest classes since fall 2008, but the program's offices are still located in Providence Family Medicine's Fifth and Browne Medical Building. Under the new agreement, MEDEX staff members will be moving to the second floor of the Health Sciences Building.

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New WSU Web Site Launched

If you've noticed that this Web page looks different than before, it's because you're looking at the newly launched WSU Spokane Web site. The new Web site features a fresh, eye-catching design with lots of visuals to showcase the campus and the education, research, and outreach efforts going on here. The new WSU Spokane homepage and templates for secondary web pages were designed by Spokane design firm Klündt Hosmer, working with the WSU Communications Office and Information Technology Services. Check out the new WSU Spokane Web site at www.spokane.wsu.edu

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Grant and Contract Award Summary - October 1 through December 31, 2013



Research Title/Funding Source

Research Summary

Gregory Belenky



Sleep & Performance Research Center

Guam Island Hopper Alertness Study Evaluation

United Airlines

This is renewal funding for a project to study sleep, alertness, and fatigue in pilots who fly the Guam Island Hopper Route. This route goes from Honolulu to Guam and includes five stops along the way in the Marshall Islands and Micronesia.

Gregory Belenky

Sleep & Performance Research Center

Fatigue Risk Management System Flight Studies

United Airlines

This new contract provides funding for a field study to evaluate fatigue risk management systems for pilots on ultra long-range flight routes. Flight routes studied will include those between the continental U.S. and Sydney, Australia; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Hong Kong, China; Mumbai, India, and the Guam Islands.

Chris Blodgett

WSU Extension - Area Health Education Center

A Comparative Effectiveness Trial of School-based Complex Trauma

Trauma Center Justice Resource Institute/ US Department of Health and Human Services - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

This is renewal funding for a project funded by the U.S. Department of Justice. As part of the project, the researchers will evaluate an initiative to improve treatment and services for children and adolescents who have experienced traumatic events and to increase access to these treatments and services throughout the nation.

Chris Blodgett

WSU Extension - Area Health Education Center

Safe Start Promising Approaches Yr. 4

US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs

This is continued funding for a project aimed at integrating social emotional learning and trauma response in publicly funded early learning programs as a way to address children’s exposure to violence. It funds the development of a professional development program for Head Start and the Early Childhood and Assistance Program (ECEAP) in Spokane, Washington. In addition, the research team will test the value of introducing two psychoeducational interventions programs—the Circle of Security (COS) and the Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competence (ARC) Model—delivered by early learning staff and intended to improve parent adjustment, parent-child relationship, and child development in families.

Chris Blodgett

WSU Extension - Area Health Education Center

Maternal, infant, and early childhood home visiting program data benchmarks plan

Washington State Department of Early Learning

This contract provides renewal funding for AHEC’s work to support the federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting grant program. The program facilitates collaboration and partnership at the federal, state, and community levels to improve health and development outcomes for at-risk children through evidence-based home visiting programs.

Chris Blodgett

WSU Extension - Area Health Education Center

RAND National Evaluation Safe Start Yr 3

RAND Corporation/
US Department of Justice –
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

This is continued funding for a study that examines child outcomes related to participation in Safe Start programs at 10 sites across the nation. The study will also describe promising approaches to ameliorating the impact of violence exposure on children.

Chris Blodgett

WSU Extension - Area Health Education Center

A-TrACC Behavioral/Mental Health of Veterans/Service Members and Families Project

National AHEC Organization

This is supplemental funding that allows AHEC to work with the national AHEC organization to develop distance learning for civilian primary care, as well as mental health, behavioral health, and other health care providers who are serving veterans with post-deployment mental and behavioral health and substance abuse issues.

Chris Blodgett

WSU Extension - Area Health Education Center

Washington State CLEAR Trauma Center

US Department of Human Services – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

This is continued funding for WSU to serve as the lead agency for a statewide partnership of educational systems committed to addressing trauma as a primary threat to the success of schools. The goal is to help schools move significantly toward being trauma-informed systems with the capacity to provide evidence-based services to traumatized children, which will increase their opportunities to succeed in school. The partnership covers four in every ten children in Washington State and serves some of the most diverse communities, including rural, low income, Hispanic, and Native American populations.

Chris Blodgett

WSU Extension - Area Health Education Center

Keeping Kids in School and Out of Court Summit

Judicial Council of California/
US Department of Health and Human Services – Administration for Children & Families

This contract provides funding for the PI to train juvenile court stakeholders—including judges, attorneys, social services professionals, probation officers, mental health professionals, education officials, and staff—as part of the  "Keeping Kids in School and Out of Court Summit" in Anaheim, CA.

Dennis Dyck


Department of Psychology

SOC Implementation Youth Leadership Training

Washington Department of Social and Health Services/Children’s Mental Health Services

This is supplemental funding for a contract with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services to provide staffing, infrastructure, and expertise for the development of statewide evidence-based peer support programs for mental health and substance abuse. The work under this contract includes the development of initiatives to increase youth and family engagement in behavioral health policy, planning, and service delivery; training and workforce development for providers and/or mental health consumers; identification, review, and development of peer support models and programs; and research and evaluation and development and implementation of evidence-based practice.

Mike Gibson

College of Pharmacy

Large Neutral Aminoacidopathies: Pharmacotherapy Targeting Blood Brain Transport

University of Washington Institute for Translational Health Sciences/
National Institutes of Health

This study will examine the pharmacokinetics, toxicity and safety of 2-methyl-2-(methylamino) propionic acid, a compound the researchers have found to be reasonably specific in retarding the transport of phenylalanine into the brain on the large-neutral amino acid transporter in a murine model of phenylketonuria (PKU). The goal is to provide PKU patients with a novel pharmacotherapy that is not diet-based, as these patients still present with long-term neurocognitive deficits under the current treatment regimen, which consists of dietary restriction. Pilot studies are planned that will provide the baseline data needed for a Phase 0 (first-in-human) trial with this compound.

Zachary Hamilton


College of Arts and Sciences Criminal Justice

Interagency Agreement – Evergreen State College, WSIPP and WSU

Evergreen State College/
Washington State Institute for Public Policy

This project involves the development of a risk assessment instrument for patients who are committed for involuntary treatment in Washington State. The work will combine an existing static risk assessment tool with the development of a new needs assessment to yield a new instrument that will predict the risk of psychiatric rehospitalization.

Zachary Hamilton/
Jacqueline Van Wormer


College of Arts and Sciences Criminal Justice

Evidence-Based Proviso

Washington State Department of Corrections

This is renewal funding for a project of mutual interest and benefit to WSU and the Washington State Department of Corrections. WSU will facilitate and provide project expertise on the implementation of community- and prison-based offender programming that follows the risk-needs-responsivity model. The WSU team previously developed a series of risk assessment tools to predict the risk of recidivism, prison infractions, and technical violations, among others.

David Liu

College of Pharmacy

Mechanism of ATF5 pro-survival function in cancer cells

American Cancer Society

This project is aimed at gaining a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of a protein known as activating transcription factor 5 (ATF5) and how these mechanisms affect cell survival in cancer cells. Studies suggest that ATF5 is a cancer-specific cell survival factor—interference of ATF5 function leads to massive cell death in cancer cells, but does not affect the survival of non-cancer cells. The reason for this selective vulnerability is unknown. Through a study designed to elucidate the transcription mechanism and identify ATF5 downstream target genes, this project will test the hypothesis that ATF5 promotes cancer-specific cell survival primarily by regulation of the expression of its downstream target genes. The knowledge obtained from this research may lead to novel strategies for the selective destruction of cancer cells without affecting normal tissues.

Kay Meier

College of Pharmacy

ASPET Institutional Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Award

American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET)

This award, along with matching funds, will be used to continue the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program that has been offered by the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences for more than a decade. The program aims to provide undergraduate students with hands-on experience in pharmaceutical or biomedical research and kindle an interest in obtaining a graduate degree and pursuing a research career in academia, the pharmaceutical or biotech industries, or research institutes.

Hans Van Dongen/
Matthew Layton


Sleep & Performance Research Center/
WWAMI Spokane

Sleep Assessment Operations Research

U.S. Department of Defense/
Naval Postgraduate School

Inadequate sleep due to rotating shift work in the surface Navy community can lead to chronic sleep deprivation among sailors, which causes decreased performance and poses a serious threat to the safety and effectiveness of Navy operations. This new study will explore the effects of different watch standing schedules on the sleep and performance of sailors within the surface Navy community.

Hans Van Dongen/
John Hinson/
Matthew Layton/ Bryan Vila/
Paul Whitney



Sleep & Performance Research Center/
College of Arts & Sciences/
WWAMI Spokane

Enabling the Identification of Biomarkers for Individual Susceptibility to Fatigue: Scaling Up  from Attentional Processes to Operational Performance

U.S. Department of Defense/
Office of Naval Research

This is additional funding for a three-year study on the effects of sleep deprivation on distinct attention systems that can be separated out. It is part of a continuing line of research looking at the effects of fatigue on cognitive function. The researchers will test participants’ performance on laboratory attention tasks as well as simulated deadly force decision scenarios. Data collected will be used to enhance an individualized fatigue prediction model to enable task-specific predictions of fatigue-related performance impairment. The researchers will also look for genetic markers that explain individual differences in how people respond to fatigue related to distinct attention systems. The study may lead to more efficient staffing of Navy ships and other around-the-clock or safety-sensitive work environments.

Bryan Vila



Sleep & Performance Research Center/
Criminal Justice

Stress and Subclinical Cardio-Metabolic Disease in Police: A Longitudinal Study

State University of New York (SUNY)Buffalo/Centers for Disease Control (CDC)


This is renewal funding for a subcontract for a study funded by the Centers for Disease Control/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health that looks at stress and cardiovascular and metabolic disease in police officers. As part of the research team, Vila will explore the system of interactions that connect sleep deprivation, shift work, and circadian disruption to subclinical cardiovascular and metabolic disease and psychological disorders among police officers. He will also contribute to the team's efforts to translate and communicate study findings to practitioners, policymakers and the general public.

Linda Ward


 College of Nursing

Assessment of Genomic Literacy among Baccalaureate Nursing Students in the United States:  A Pilot Study

International Society of Nurses in Genetics

As part of this pilot study, the researcher will validate the Genomic Nursing Concept Inventory, which measures understanding of foundational knowledge nurses require to deliver genomic-based care. She will recruit and work with faculty at 12 to 15 nursing colleges nationwide to administer the instrument to more than 700 baccalaureate nursing students. Findings of this study will feed into the design of a larger study that is needed to develop targeted, evidence-based strategies to ensure a nursing workforce prepared to understand, deliver, and explain genome-based care to patients at the bedside.

Judy Zeiger


Student Affairs

Spokane MESA Center

University of Washington

This contract provides renewal funding for the Spokane Math Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) program. The program builds a pathway to college and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). MESA develops programming and initiatives to improve diversity and retention, with an emphasis on traditionally underrepresented students in STEM fields, including African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, Pacific Islanders, and women.

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In the News

  • Mike Gibson, a professor in clinical pharmacology, was interviewed from a KREM news feature on Dahl Natural, a medical research and development company that recently moved to Spokane. Gibson is collaborating with the company to create an in-home testing device for the genetic metabolic disorder phenylketonuria, or PKU. See/read the feature here.
  • Matt Layton, a clinical associate professor in the medical sciences program, was a featured panelist on an episode of KSPS Health Matters on mental health. Watch the show here.
  • Bryan Vila, a professor of criminal justice, was interviewed by Northwest Public Radio on a new app he helped to develop that alerts police officers when they're reaching dangerous levels of fatigue. Read/listen to the story here.

For more news coverage of WSU Spokane, go to the WSU Spokane news coverage page.

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  • Several faculty members in the WSU Program of Excellence in Addictions Research have been appointed to the editorial board of the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. John Roll began a term as associate editor on January 1, and Sterling McPherson and Celestina Barbosa-Leiker were appointed as consulting editors. In addition, Donelle Howell will serve as a reviewer for the journal.
  • Photo of Devon Grant Photo of Teresa Kruger
    Devon Grant (left) and Teresa Kruger (right) were selected to receive WSU Spokane's 2013 Employee Excellence Awards in the administrative professional and civil service staff categories, respectively. As the senior study coordinator for the Sleep and Performance Research Center, Devon Grant is known by her coworkers as a hard worker and an unflappable problem solver who keeps all studies running smoothly. She was cited by her nominators as a role model whose knowledge, work ethic, and professionalism leaves a positive impression on those around her. Teresa Kruger, the parking supervisor for Parking Operations, received the honor for her willingness to pitch in anywhere she is needed, her service to WSU Spokane and the wider community, and her dedication to customer service. Her nominators noted that she is someone who takes great pride in her work; is always willing to go the extra mile; and is patient and helpful through many challenging customer interactions. The two received their awards at the WSU Spokane Spring Kickoff earlier this month.
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Personnel and Staffing Changes


  • Zhenjia Wang, Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences, effective December 16, 2013
  • Darryl Duval, Instructor-Tri-Cities, College of Nursing, effective January 1, 2014
  • Jim Hansen, Instructor, College of Nursing, effective January 1, 2014
  • Dionetta Hudzinski, Instructor-Yakima, College of Nursing, effective January 1, 2014
  • Lindsey Moore, Instructor-Yakima, College of Nursing, effective January 1, 2014
  • Sandy Schilling, Instructor, College of Nursing, effective January 1, 2014
  • Jana Stuckrath, Graduate Teaching Assistant, College of Nursing, effective January 1, 2014
  • Donna Vreeland, Instructor, College of Nursing, effective January 1, 2014
  • Kevin Walker, Instructor, College of Nursing, effective January 1, 2014
  • April Davis, Instructor, Pharmacotherapy, effective January 2, 2014
  • Cathy Engel, Fiscal Specialist 2, College of Nursing, effective January 2, 2014
  • Annette Myers, Instructional & Classroom Support Technician 2, Pharmaceutical Sciences, effective January 2, 2014
  • Shuwen Wang, Clinical Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences, effective January 2, 2014
  • Maria Nelson, Custodian 1, FacOps, effective January 5, 2014
  • Joshua Reynolds, Custodian 1, FacOps, effective January 5, 2014
  • Justin Duke, Research Intern, Medical Sciences, effective January 8, 2014
  • Randall Legg, Instructor, Pharmacotherapy, effective January 16, 2014
  • John Barr, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Clinical Pharmacology, effective January 21, 2014


  • Ann Atkins, Instructor, Pharmacotherapy, effective December 31, 2013
  • Laura Hayward, Preceptor-Yakima, College of Nursing, effective December 31. 2013
  • Kasey Webster, Student Services Specialist, Student Affairs, effective January 2, 2014
  • Maria Nelson, Custodian 1, FacOps, effective January 12, 2014


  • Gary Johnson, Lab Manager, Office of Research, effective January 31, 2014


  • Margaret Holt, Office Assistant 3, Chancellor’s Office, to Program Specialist 2, Capital Planning and Facilities Services, effective October 1, 2013
  • Natalie Skaer, Office Assistant 3 to Student Services Counselor, Student Affairs, effective October 1, 2013
  • Andrea Guthrie, Graduate Teaching Assistant to Instructor, College of Nursing, effective January 1, 2014


  • Vicki Burnham, Assistant to the Dean, College of Pharmacy, to Assistant to the Vice President for ITS (Pullman), effective January 1, 2014
  • Cory Risse, Instructor to Graduate Teaching Assistant, College of Nursing, effective January 1, 2014

Recruitments & Searches:

  • Assistant Professor, College of Pharmacy/Clinical Pharmacology, closes 1/20/2014, apply at www.wsujobs.com
  • Assistant to the Dean, College of Pharmacy, open until filled, apply at www.wsujobs.com
  • Assistant/Associate/Full Professor (multiple openings), College of Nursing, open until filled, applications reviewed as received (some offers pending), apply at www.wsujobs.com
  • Clinical Assistant/Associate Professor, College of Nursing, open until filled, interviews pending
  • Development Director, College of Nursing, closes January 1, 2014, interviews in process
  • Extension Regional Specialist (Volunteer Development Specialist), WSU Extension, open until filled, apply at www.wsujobs.com
  • Extension Regional Specialist (Program Evaluation Specialist), WSU Extension, open until filled, apply at www.wsujobs.com
  • Information Technology Specialist 4, College of Nursing, closed, interviews pending
  • Laboratory Operations Manager, Office of Research, closes 1/20/2014, apply at www.wsujobs.com
  • Network Engineer/Administration, ITS, closed as of 1/10/2014, applications under review
  • Preceptor, College of Nursing-Yakima, closes 1/20/2014, apply at www.wsujobs.com
  • Postdoctoral Research Association, College of Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences, closes 1/20/2014, apply at www.wsujobs.com
  • Research Operations Engineer, Shock Physics, open until filled, apply at www.wsujobs.com
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Way to Go!

Here's where you make someone's day a little brighter by extending your thanks for a job well done. Send your "Way to Go!" comments to Judith Van Dongen and watch for your thanks to be published in an upcoming issue of the Campus Bulletin!

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The Bulletin is a monthly publication that is usually published on the second or third Wednesday of each month. The exact publication date may shift due to holidays. If you have an item that you'd like us to include, send it to us by Friday in the week before publication.

The Bulletin covers news of interest to the faculty, staff, and friends of Washington State University Spokane, and associates on other WSU campuses.

Regular stories cover professional accomplishments, opportunities for involvement in the campus community and the Spokane community, notices of new developments on campus, upcoming events, personnel changes, and other news.

The Bulletin also serves as a source of information for external communications directed to alumni, future and current students, and friends of Washington State University Spokane.

Subscribers welcome! To subscribe, go to http://lists.wsu.edu/join.php, enter your e-mail address, type "wsusb" in the List Name field, and click on "Join List."

Editorial staff