Blaine Reeder, PhD
Blaine Reeder holds a PhD in Biomedical and Health Informatics from the University of Washington School of Medicine. A through line of his research is the design and evaluation of informatics interventions at individual, group and systems levels. Blaine's research explores how different groups in different settings interact with the same types of information to achieve different goals. He employs an interdisciplinary approach that employs qualitative and quantitative methods as necessary.
Blaine's research aims to link the contexts of consumer health and public health through the use of informatics to support individual wellness and improved population health.
Sonia Venkatraman, PhD
I received my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Oregon, and completed my clinical internship in Behavioral Medicine/Neuropsychology at the University of Washington, where I worked in an acute care setting with patients and families who had experienced physical trauma. My research thus far has mainly focused on the role of families (in particular, the importance of parental monitoring and positive family relations) in the prevention of adolescent problem behavior, which includes antisocial behavior and substance use. My postdoctoral research will focus on adolescent behavior and functioning in the context of chronic illness—in this case, cancer—and the role of the family in adaptation and coping. My work will involve developing behavioral interventions to improve the functioning of families where either the parent or the adolescent has cancer.
Viola G. Benavente, PhD, RN, CNS
I have recently completed my PhD in Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA. My long-term career goal is to advance cardiovascular nursing science to improve Hispanic healthcare and reduce health disparities. My focused area of research is promoting cardiovascular health in Mexican-American women, an understudied subgroup. In particular, I am interested in biobehavioral factors associated with disease prevention and risk management of coronary heart disease (CHD), the leading cause of death and disability among Hispanics in the United States (US) today. Health-promoting lifestyles can largely reduce cardiovascular risk and/or delay coronary disease progression. The results of my dissertation research consisted of a relatively young sample of Mexican-American women who preferred to speak Spanish, regardless of birth country, length of US residency, or acculturation level. In addition, these women maintained a positive health outlook and perceived they could influence present health status, but only when it became necessary to do so. Perceptions significantly influenced health behaviors in this younger cohort of women. My postdoctoral study will extend my dissertation research. I intend to explore and compare the degree of influence of health perceptions and other biobehavioral factors on cardiovascular health-promoting lifestyles in older Mexican-American women. These are but first steps in a program of research that may contribute to the future development of sex-specific and culturally-sensitive interventional programming for heart-healthy lifestyles in Latinas.
On the home front, I am a proud mother of three adult children, and a first-time grandmother. I enjoy arts and crafts, romance or mystery novels, as well as listening to music and dancing with my wonderful and supportive husband.