HSPop Faculty Accelerator Fund

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The HSPop Faculty Accelerator Fund provides professional development opportunities for mid-career faculty in the Department of Health Systems and Population Health. The fund was created to provide preliminary resources for pilot testing of “good ideas,” generating results that could potentially lead to large grants to continue the research.

“We have excellent faculty working hard to learn about what works to reduce health inequities. When they have a new, potentially great, idea, they often need hard-to-come-by small funding to pilot their idea before going for a larger grant. The Faculty Accelerator Fund is designed to provide that small funding.”

-Jeff Harris, Professor of Health Systems and Population Health

The fund was established by professor of Health Systems and Population Health Jeff Harris and Judy Wasserheit, professor of Global Health.

This annual award is given to faculty who have demonstrated outstanding potential for scholarly and professional contributions in the various disciplines of health services.


Linda K. Ko – 2023-24

Linda K. Ko

Professor, Health Systems and Population Health
Associate Chair, Health Systems and Population Health
Adjunct Professor, Family Medicine

The Faculty Accelerator award helped implement the Healthy Mind Healthy Living project, a single arm, pre-/post-intervention study to evaluate the preliminary efficacy of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) on depression among 40 older Korean American adults.

This is a collaboration with a community-based organization (Asian American Resource and Information Network, AARIN), Dr. Pallavi Visvanathan (a MBCT clinician and trainer), and Dr. Amanda Shallcross (MBCT researcher) at Cleveland Clinic.

Preliminary data showed reduced depression and anxiety and improved sleep quality post-participation in MBCT sessions. Accelerator funds covered part of the costs of hiring a graduate student data collector for the semi-structured interviews and completion of transcription and translation (Korean to English) of the interview data.

Edwin S. Wong – 2022-23

Edwin S. Wong

Research Associate Professor, Health Systems and Population Health
Core Investigator, Veterans Administration Puget Sound Health Care System

Funding from the Faculty Accelerator award was used to support time effort for a graduate-level research assistant to conduct pilot work supporting development of provider network adequacy indicators that better incorporate the preferences of persons of color and other marginalized populations.

Specific activities have included the completion of a literature review pinpointing key drivers of individuals’ choice of providers, identifying potential data sources for measure development and the exploration of a comprehensive database of providers and their characteristics. 

Michelle Johnson-Jennings – 2021-22

Michelle Johnson-Jennings

Professor, Health Systems and Population Health
Professor, School of Social Work

Faculty Accelerator Funds were used for the Chahta Chatter Proposal, which sought to explore how a podcast could be utilized as health intervention for increasing health knowledge dissemination.

Two student research assistants were hired, both Indigenous students (one US-based and one in Latin America). Funds were further utilized to record two podcast sessions and purchase microphones to gain participant quotes. An online survey was developed and was preparing to launch at last check in.

(This was one of two awards granted in 2021-22)

India J. Ornelas – 2021-22

India Ornelas

India J. Ornelas

Professor, Health Systems and Population Health
Professor, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

India used the Faculty Accelerator Fund grant to build relationships with two community partners in the Yakima Valley. Together they conducted a small research project to pilot an intervention to address mental health in Latina immigrant women. The pilot was very successful and the community partners were supportive of continuing the project.

The team applied for and were awarded a Tier 3 Population Health Initiative grant to continue the work.

(This was one of two awards granted in 2021-22)