Meet Dr. Andrea Hartzler

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An expert in personal health information management (PHIM), Andrea Hartzler, PhD, has been an important part of the SOARING team from the project’s beginning. Recently, Andrea joined the University of Washington faculty after three years at Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute. We connected with Andrea to hear more about her journey and her interesting research along the way.


Q: Andrea, how did you get started with the SOARING project?
A: I got involved when we were first developing the grant proposal. I shared ideas from my prior PHIM work in cancer (“HealthWeaver” project) and personal information management more generally on the “Keeping Found Things Found” project at UW.

Q: Can you tell us more about your current SOARING role and what you think is most important about the project?
A: I am a co-investigator on the SOARING project. One of the things I like most is interacting with bright students and helping to explore ways our research can contribute to and advance work in informatics and human-computer interaction communities. The attention the SOARING project has brought to the complex needs of both older adults and their caregivers is an important contribution, as is specific design guidance the project is producing to inform supportive tools in the future.

Q: In addition to SOARING, what other research projects are you currently working on?
A: In addition to SOARING, I lead a project to design and test peer support tools to encourage exercise in prostate cancer survivors. I am also involved in projects at UW, Kaiser Permanente, and UCLA focused on patient-reported outcomes tools. As an affiliate investigator at Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute, I continue to contribute to projects on integrating patients’ values into care conversations, integration of genomic data into electronic health records and clinical decision support tools, and design of mhealth services for the prevention of substance abuse.

Q: You recently came back to the University of Washington as an Associate Professor in the Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education (BIME) department. Congratulations! What have you enjoyed most about this role so far? Are you teaching any classes?
A: I have really enjoyed reconnecting with colleagues, new and old, and students in academia. I’ve also had the opportunity to expand my focus to operational research, with my role in UW Medicine Information technology services, and to educational programs, including serving as co-director for the clinical informatics and patient-centered technologies (CIPCT) master’s program and teaching clinical informatics in our new undergrad specialization courses in biomedical informatics.

Q: Tell us about your role as co-director for the clinical informatics and patient-centered technologies (CIPCT) master’s program.
A: CIPCT is a professional master’s program offered jointly between the School of Nursing and the School of Medicine. It attracts excellent students with clinical backgrounds interested in gaining expertise and leadership skills to become leaders in clinical informatics. I work closely with my co-director, Dr. Hilaire Thompson, on program planning and administration, as well as advising students.

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Andrea and her family on their recent trip to Machu Picchu in Peru

Q: Outside of your research and the SOARING project, what do you like to do for fun?
A: I love to dance – modern, jazz, hip hop, you name it! I also love being outdoors to hike, ski, and travel, especially with my son Luke.

Article Published: August 31, 2018