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Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Abby King

Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Abby King

Abby C. King, Ph.D., is a Professor of Health Research and Policy (Epidemiology) and a Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Her past research has focused on investigating the development, evaluation, and translation of public health interventions to reduce chronic disease in the U.S. and globally. Her current research focuses on expanding the reach and generalizability of evidence-based interventions through the use of state-of-the-art communication technologies, community-based participatory research perspectives, and policy-level approaches to health promotion.

Presently, Dr. King is a Co-Investigator on the SBIR Phase II research project with Dr. Valerie Myers from Klein Buendel called “¡Caminemos Juntas!”. The project proposes to connect Latinas with one another in order to improve walking habits by increasing social support and decreasing perceived barriers through the use of a smartphone app. It is funded by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health (MD009652; Dr. Valerie Myers, Principal Investigator).

In addition to her research, Dr. King has served on a number of government task forces in the U.S. and abroad, including membership in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Scientific Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2020, and the Science Board of the U.S. President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. She has also taken part in various types of community and international work, including Active For Life, Citizen Science to Promote Sustained Physical Activity in Low-Income Communities, Preventing Obesity Among Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Women and Children in Melbourne, Australia; and Computer-based Physical Activity Advice for Ethnic Minority Aging Adults in San Jose. Dr. King has received many distinguished awards and honors throughout her career.

Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Aida Midgett and Dr. Diana Doumas

Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Aida Midgett and Dr. Diana Doumas

Dr. Aida Midgett and Dr. Diana Doumas, both from Boise State University, currently collaborate with KB Senior Scientist, Dr. Valerie Myers, on the STAC-T Project. STAC-T is a technology-delivered adaptation of a bullying intervention program for schools – STAC – that teaches students to act as “defenders” on behalf of targets of bullying. STAC stands for four bullying intervention strategies: “Stealing the Show,” “Turning it Over,” “Accompanying Others,” and “Coaching Compassion.”

Dr. Aida Midgett is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Counselor Education. She obtained her doctoral degree in Educational Psychology/Counseling Psychology and her masters degree in Community Counseling from Northern Arizona University. Her professional background includes behavioral health and school-based research, training counselor education students, and evaluating service-learning projects related to multicultural training. Dr. Midgett is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She has worked as a clinician in university, agency, and in-patient mental health hospital settings. Currently, her research focuses on evaluating the bystander bullying intervention program in K-12 settings.


Dr. Diana Doumas is a Distinguished Professor and Director for the Institute for the Study of Behavioral Health and Addiction. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Psychologist in Idaho. She is a member of the American Counseling Association, the Association of Counselor Education and Supervision, and Research Society on Alcoholism. Her experience includes both individual and couples counseling for clients with substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and interpersonal concerns. She specializes in empirically-based interventions and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Her research interests include substance abuse prevention and intervention, with a focus on harm reduction and online interventions for high-risk college and high school students.

The STAC-T project is funded by a small business (STTR) grant to Klein Buendel from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health (MD014943; Dr. Aida Midgett, Principal Investigator).

Spotlight:
Dr. Christie Rizzo

Spotlight:
Dr. Christie Rizzo

Christie J. Rizzo, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Applied Psychology at Northeastern University, and maintains an appointment as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University. Dr. Rizzo is leading a collaboration with Klein Buendel to create a Spanish version of Project STRONG, a web-based dating violence prevention program for parents and middle school boys. The interactive, technolyg-delivered curriculum is grounded in Developmental Assets Theory which asserts that family support, knowledge, values development, and social skills are necessary for healthy development and offset the emergence of risky behavior. Project Strong is funded by a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (HD097126; Dr. Christie Rizzo, Principal Investigator).

Dr. Rizzo received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Southern California. Much of her research focuses on the development and implementation of evidence-based, violence and risk behavior prevention programming for youth, including technology-based initiatives. She particularly focuses on vulnerable youth, such as those involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Dr. Rizzo was previously the Assistant Director of the Juvenile Mental Health Clinic at the Rhode Island Family Court. She now directs the Adolescent Relationships and Risk Behavior Lab at Northeastern University.

Along with Project STRONG, Dr. Rizzo’s current research projects include: 1) Dating Violence Prevention for Juvenile Justice Girls, and 2) Dating Violence Perpetration among Juvenile Justice Youth: The Role of Social, Behavioral, and Ecological Processes.

Dr. Robert Dellavalle Honored by Melanoma Research Foundation

Dr. Robert Dellavalle Honored by Melanoma Research Foundation

Robert P. Dellavalle, MD, PhD, MSPH, is being honored with the first Excellence in Prevention Award from the Melanoma Research Foundation at the 2020 Denver Virtual Gala on August 6, 2020. Dr. Dellavalle, a longtime Klein Buendel research collaborator, is a Professor of Dermatology and Public Health at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and chief of the Dermatology Service at the Rocky Mountain Regional Veterans Administration Hospital in Aurora, Colorado.

Dr. Dellavalle is a lifelong melanoma awareness advocate and leads a prominent research laboratory focused on skin disease prevention and evidence-based dermatology. His laboratory has investigated skin cancer chemoprevention both in vitro and in clinical practice. Their key discoveries include ranking the most disabling skin diseases in the world and in the United States. The laboratory was also the first to summarize global indoor UV tanning age restriction laws, measure compliance with tanning age restrictions, and call for a tax on UV tanning. The research showed that UV tanning salons target minors using advertisements in high school newspapers and that tanning salon operators do not adequately inform customers of the health risks. These discoveries were featured on national television network nightly news and in the U.S. Surgeon General’s recent Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer.

Currently, Dr. Dellavalle is a Multiple Principal Investigator on Sun Safety Ink!: A Skin Cancer Prevention Program for the Tattoo Community (CA206569) and he is a consultant on Using Technology to Scale-up an Occupational Sun Protection Policy Program (Sun Safe Workplaces Technology) (CA134705). Both are Klein Buendel research projects funded by the National Cancer Institute. Sun Safety Ink! is a skin cancer prevention program for tattoo artists and their clients and Sun Safe Workplaces Technology is a scale-up of an occupational sun protection program for State Department of Transportation employees, who work outdoors. Dr. Dellavalle works closely with Dr. Barbara Walkosz and Dr. David Buller from Klein Buendel on these projects.

Dr. Dellavalle has multiple publications in the highest impact scientific journals including Science, Journal of the American Medical Association, and Nature. He is an affiliate of the American Academy of Dermatology, the Society of Investigative Dermatology, and the Colorado Dermatologic Society. He is also the coordinating editor of the Cochrane Skin Review, that aims to accept for review any aspect of skin disease management which it feels will be of value to professionals or to lay people with an interest in skin disease. Since 2010 he has co-chaired the Colorado Skin Cancer Task Force promoting sun safety and increasing awareness for skin cancer prevention across Colorado at public community events, employee conferences, and school meetings.

Congratulations, Dr. Dellavalle on a well deserved award!

Collaborator Spotlight:
Barbara McCrady, PhD

Collaborator Spotlight:
Barbara McCrady, PhD

Barbara McCrady, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of New Mexico, a licensed psychologist, a specialist in the treatment of alcohol abuse, and a long-time research collaborator with Dr. W. Gill Woodall, Senior Scientist at Klein Buendel.

The research project that Dr. McCrady and Dr. Woodall are currently working on together is entitled “Smartphone Help for DWI Offenders and their Families: A B-SMART App.” B-SMART is a smartphone app intervention designed to extend the drunken driving cessation initially provided by an interlock ignition device. It involves participation of a concerned family member of DWI (driving while intoxicated) offenders by providing coping skills, communication skills, and strategies to help avoid a subsequent DWI. This study is unique because it involves a family member in supporting the DWI offender to not drink and drive, and the use of smartphone technology to make family support immediate, accessible, and diffusible. Dr. McCrady developed the content for the intervention based on empirically validated couples therapy techniques for those with alcohol use disorders.

In her research, Dr. McCrady has focused on conjoint therapy, approaches that involve the social network, cognitive behavioral therapy, mutual help groups, and therapies for women. In her words: “As a clinical scientist, the overall goal of my work is to conduct research to test innovative treatments and treatment delivery systems for persons affected substance use disorders, and to better understand the mechanisms by which these treatments work. An ultimate goal is to improve clinical practice through the use of empirically supported assessment and treatment approaches.”

Dr. McCrady has published more than 250 refereed papers, books, book chapters, and commentaries. She has also published four treatment manuals and client workbooks with Elizabeth Epstein (a member of the B-SMART Project Expert Advisory Board) on empirically supported treatments for couple’s therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy for alcohol use disorders. She has a second edition of a textbook entitled, Addictions: A Comprehensive Guidebook, published by Oxford University Press.

She is the past Director of the Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addictions (CASAA) at the University of New Mexico, and is currently the Chair of the Diversity Committee for the Research Society on Alcoholism and the Vice President for the Research Advisory Committee of the Research Society on Alcoholism.

Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Alberta Kong

Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Alberta Kong

Dr. Alberta Kong has been collaborating with Dr. W. Gill Woodall from Klein Buendel for several years on research to prevent HPV – the Human Papillomavirus – by encouraging vaccination for adolescent girls and boys. They are currently working together on a four-year research project entitled “Web App Technology for Boys and Parents: Improving HPV Vaccine Uptake.” The project, which is funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute to Klein Buendel (CA210125; W.G. Woodall, Principal Investigator), is creating and testing a mobile web app to accurately inform parents and adolescent boys about the HPV vaccination and address unique concerns about its safety and effectiveness for boys.

Dr. Kong specializes in adolescent health and infectious disease prevention. She is an Associate Professor with a primary appointment in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent Medicine and a secondary appointment in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of New Mexico (UNM) Health Sciences Center. She received her Medical Degree from the University of Arizona. Dr. Kong is one of only two Board Certified Adolescent Medicine Specialists in the state of New Mexico. In addition to practicing medicine, she teaches and mentors medical students, pediatric residents, graduate students, and junior faculty members.

According to her UNM bio, “Dr. Kong’s research interests relate to highly prevalent conditions such as sexually-transmitted infections and obesity that commonly affect adolescents. Her research ranges from observational studies to development and testing of interventions targeting behavior change to improve adolescent health outcomes. Regardless of the research design, she utilizes community engagement approaches to ensure that her research has real world applications that can contribute to clinical care of the population she serves.”

Among other research projects, Dr. Kong is the Principal Investigator on a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (HL118734) investigating the efficacy of motivational interviewing approaches for overweight and obesity prevention and treatment through the use of school-based health centers.

Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Kimberly Henry

Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Kimberly Henry

Kimberly Henry, Ph.D., is a Professor at the Colorado State University Department of Psychology in Fort Collins, Colorado. She received her Ph.D. in biobehavioral health from The Pennsylvania State University.  Her areas of research expertise include school disengagement, adolescent and young adult development, drug use, delinquency and longitudinal methodology. Her focus is on the psychological and social factors that produce or mitigate the health-risking behaviors of adolescents and young adults. Her goal is to develop and test theoretical models in order to understand the complex interactions of risk, promotive, and protective factors that influence risky behaviors and to create and test methods for prevention.

Currently, Dr. Henry is collaborating with Dr. David Buller, Principal Investigator from Klein Buendel, on the research study Likes Pins and Views: Engaging Moms on Teen Indoor Tanning Thru Social Media (CA192652). This study focuses on the use of a social media campaign for mothers on the health and wellness of adolescent daughters. The intervention included theory-based messaging advocating adolescent girls avoid indoor tanning delivered through private Facebook groups. Overall, the research is evaluating the effectiveness of social media indoor tanning messages at decreasing mothers’ permissiveness for daughters to indoor tan. The research is also assessing daughters’ perceptions of their mothers’ permissiveness, prevalence of indoor tanning by mothers and daughters, and mothers’ support for bans on indoor tanning by minors.

In addition to research, Dr. Henry serves on the editorial boards for the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, the Journal of Primary Prevention, Adolescent Research Reviews, and Occupational Health Science. She serves as an ad hoc reviewer for multiple journals, and for the William T. Grant Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Hilton Hudson

Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Hilton Hudson

Hilton M. Hudson, MD, FACS, of HPC International, Inc. (HPC), is a Co-Investigator on a SBIR Phase II research project with Dr. Valerie Myers (Principal Investigator) from Klein Buendel called, “Pinpoint: Gaming Technology to Engage Adolescent Sickle Cell Patients in Precision Pain Management. The project is funded by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (MD010746) at the National Institutes of Health. As an African American, a surgeon, a researcher, and the CEO of a publishing company, the effective management and treatment of sickle cell disease is very important to Dr. Hudson. In fact, HPC is the publisher of two preeminent books on sickle cell disease for the public: Hope and Destiny for adults and Hope and Destiny, Jr. for adolescents.

Dr. Hudson is one of less than 40 board-certified, African-American cardiothoracic surgeons currently practicing in the United States. He is a partner of the Institute of Cardiothoracic and Vein Surgery, LLC in Illinois and serves on the Board of Directors for the Healthcare Supplier Diversity Alliance. During his 25+ years of practicing medicine, Dr. Hudson has also served as Chairman of the Board at Heartland Hospital in Munster, Indiana and as the Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Franciscan Physicians Hospital in Munster, Indiana.

With respect to his research experience and publications, Dr. Hudson is perhaps best known for authoring and publishing the successful book, “The Heart of the Matter: The African American’s Guide to Heart Disease, Heart Treatment, and Heart Wellness,” in 2000, which has subsequently been revised and translated into Spanish with total collective sales of over 75,000 copies.

In addition to practicing medicine, Dr. Hudson is the President and CEO of HPC International, Inc. (formerly the Hilton Publishing Company, Inc.), which he co-founded in 1996 to publish trusted content that can improve the health, education, awareness and wellness of health disparate and other underserved populations. “Around that time,” recalls Dr. Hudson, “I started practicing medicine as a cardiothoracic surgeon and immediately noticed an unfortunate but quite obvious correlation between the socio-economic, racial and gender status of my patients and subpar health. Patient after patient from these community groups lacked the education to teach them how simple changes to their daily habits and health routines could significantly reduce many of their risks for heart issues and other chronic diseases. I spent a lot of time researching what information was available for patients, and discovered a critical gap — a need for new health literature that would be culturally meaningful, evidence-based and impactful for improving the state of health in our health disparate populations. When multiple publishers declined to publish the book for me, I started a new company to do it myself!”

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, Dr. Hudson is a graduate of Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in English and Math in 1980. He earned his medical degree at Indiana University Medical Center in 1987. Dr. Hudson then completed his Cardiovascular Surgery Extern at Methodist Hospital and his residency for General Surgery at Boston City Hospital and Boston University Hospital before serving in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1992-1998. During his years in the military, Dr. Hudson completed a fellowship for Cardiothoracic Surgery at Ohio State University in Columbus. That was 1994, just two years before he founded HPC.

In 2014, HPC started a new affiliated company called EMIC LLC (Evidence-based Medical Information Company) to disseminate evidence-based products and e-health programs on technology platforms to facilitate positive health behavior, empower patients with trusted evidence-based information, and improve the quality of healthcare.

Dr. Hudson has received many distinguished awards and honors throughout his career, including:

  • The Sagamore of the Wabash Award for Distinguished Service in Minority Health which he received from the Governor of Indiana in 2000;
  • A Nomination for the Humanitarian Award by the International Society on Hypertension in Blacks in 2003; and
  • The Award for Achievement in Health in the State of Indiana which was presented to him by Governor Mitch Daniels in 2008.

Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Michael Hecht

Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Michael Hecht

Michael L. Hecht, Ph.D., is the co-president of REAL Prevention LLC. He currently works with Klein Buendel Senior Scientist, Dr. David Buller, on a project entitled, “Feasibility of a Mobile Parent-Based Intervention to Reduce Alcohol Use by High School Seniors.” The Phase II SBIR research project is funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (AA025293; Dr. Michael Hecht, Principal Investigator).

The program aims to provide an efficient, engaging and effective means to enhance parents’ ability to reduce prevalence of alcohol use and consequences, and other substance use. The program, called Parenting Now (PN), is adapted from the evidence-based Parent Handbook and includes a brief, interactive, self-paced, web-based curriculum for parents of non-college bound high-school-aged adolescents. KB will develop the PN program, which was previously tested in a Phase I trial, and it will include core and optional modules in order to target parents based on their communication style. Parents will be able to customize their experience by choosing or clicking through the optional content. Results will help prepare PN for dissemination through D.A.R.E. America’s new high school program as well as REAL Prevention’s other community-based partners, such as 4-H and Planned Parenthood.

In addition to substance abuse prevention research, Dr. Hecht specializes in developing and evaluating culturally grounded, narrative health messages to engage diverse communities. Through his work on an R01 in the 1990s, called “keepin’ it REAL” (kiR), Dr. Hecht co-founded REAL Prevention and has disseminated and implemented the program in all 50 states and 53 other countries. As co-president of REAL Prevention, Dr. Hecht provides training, consulting, support and evaluation services to organizations interested in adopting of kiR or developing new interventions.

Dr. Hecht earned his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois and is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Pennsylvania State University. He has won numerous awards, including the Gerald R. Philips Award for Distinguished Applied Communication Scholarship, two Distinguished Scholarship Awards for the International and Intercultural Division of the National Communication Association, and the Article of the Year Award for SIETAR. Additionally, Dr. Hecht has served on NIH’s Community-Level Health Promotion Review Group, including being selected as its chair, as well as on numerous editorial boards in communication and other fields.

Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Christopher Houck

Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Christopher Houck

Christopher Houck, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Pediatrics and Psychiatry and Human Behavior departments at Brown University. He currently works with Dr. Valerie Myers on a project titled, “An Emotion Regulation Intervention for Early Adolescent Risk Behavior Prevention” which is funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development (HD089979).

The program, Project Trac, originally geared toward educating adolescents on sexual health, was proven effective at targeting emotional regulation and reducing sexual risk among middle schoolers and high schoolers. Through tablet-based gaming, the current intervention focuses on teaching adolescents’ skills for managing their emotions to reduce poor decision-making that can lead to engaging in a variety of risky behaviors, like substance use or fighting. The overall goal of the current study is to provide an engaging, digital format to deliver the effective emotional regulation program; delivering the intervention through this technology reduces implementation costs and allows for flexibility in order to reach a wider audience.

Dr. Houck has also collaborated with Klein Buendel as a Co-Investigator on a project funded by the National Institute of Justice titled “Partner Violence Prevention for Middle School Boys: A Dyadic Web-Based Intervention” (2014-MU-CX-4002). The aim of the study was to develop a web-based intervention to reduce the risk of dating violence among middle-school aged males. The engaging, web-based intervention, to be used by parents and adolescents together, was based on the large empirical literature linking emotion regulation deficits to violent behavior as well as numerous studies showing that parental involvement is crucial to offset dating violence risk. The results from the pilot-testing were promising and a larger randomized controlled trial will begin in the fall.

In addition to adolescent emotional regulation and risky behaviors research, Dr. Houck is a licensed psychologist and provides services to children and adolescents at Rhode Island Hospital in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He works with patients affected by family illness and dealing with both psychological and medical problems. Dr. Houck completed his postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric psychology at Brown University in Rhode Island. He received the Psychology Research Mentor Awards from the Alpert Medical School at Brown University Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior in 2017. In addition to his work at Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University, he is also on the editorial board of the Journal of Pediatric Psychology.