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Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Robert Newton

Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Robert Newton

Robert Newton, Jr., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Physical Activity and Ethnic Minority Health Laboratory at Pennington Biomedical Research Center (PBRC) at Louisiana State University. He has collaborated with Dr. Valerie Myers for several years – most recently on the Healthy Detours project funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the MobileMen project funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

In Phase I of the MobileMen project, a prototype mobile app to track physical activity, tailored to African American men ages 18 to 45, was developed. The goal was to help African American men in the maintenance phase of physical activity to remain actively physically active. Currently, Dr. Newton and Dr. Myers are working on funding for Phase II of MobileMen. In Phase II, all features of the full mobile app will be programmed and evaluated with the target population.

More broadly, Dr. Newton’s research addresses health disparities experienced by the African American community. Much of his work addresses the design and development of physical activity interventions and he also conducts weight loss research. He develops community-based and technologically-driven interventions to promote physical activity, weight management, and weight loss among African American adolescents, adults, and older adults.

Currently, Dr. Newton leads studies assessing the effect of a community-based physical activity intervention in older African American adults and a mobile phone-based intervention targeting increased physical activity in young children. He is also involved in two primary care weight management programs and several childhood physical activity and/or weight management studies.

Dr. Newton has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Florida. Outside of his work at PBRC, Dr. Newton is the Healthy Equity Special Interest Group Chair for the Society of Behavioral Medicine and is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Vern Westerberg

Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Vern Westerberg

Dr. Vern Westerberg is a retired clinical research professor, scientist, and administrator working part time at the University of New Mexico (UNM) Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Addictions (CASAA).

Currently, Dr. Westerberg is working with Klein Buendel as a collaborating scientist with Dr. Gill Woodall on a project called Smartphone Help for DWI Offenders and Their Families: A B-SMART App. The research is funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Dr. Westerberg is assisting with the creation of a mobile web app to help family members learn ways to support the Driving While Impaired (DWI) offender in their family. The goal is to decrease the offender’s drinking and risk of drinking and driving when an ignition interlock device has been mandated by the courts. The randomized control trial will take place in New Mexico.

Before pursuing clinical administration, Dr. Westerberg’s research investigated treatments for substance use disorders and some of the mechanisms underlying such disorders in clinical populations. His interests included substance use craving and mechanisms underlying relapse to alcohol use after quitting.

In addition to collaborating with Klein Buendel, Dr. Westerberg operates his own business that focuses on program evaluation and research for behavioral health programs that serve primarily less-advantaged populations. He also volunteers as part of a committee at a homeless treatment facility where he advises on the use of data to implement, improve, and assess clinical and medical programs.  He is part of a subcommittee that determines how local city and county government should spend mill levy money to improve and integrate behavioral health services.

Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Frank Pérez

Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Frank Pérez

Image courtesy of UTEP

Frank G. Pérez, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Communication and Research at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). He is currently a collaborator working with Klein Buendel scientists, Dr. Gill Woodall and Dr. David Buller, on WayToServe® Español: A Culturally-Appropriate Online Responsible Beverage Service Training for Spanish-Speaking Servers project, funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Dr. Pérez will assist with the creation of culturally-appropriate content and the translation of the WayToServe online training program into Spanish and to ensure the translation is compatible with the needs and values of alcohol servers in Spanish language-dominant bars and restaurants. The randomized control trial will take place at Spanish-dominant businesses in the Southwestern region of the United States.

At UTEP Dr. Pérez ’s research includes Intercultural communication, popular culture, Chicano studies, identity issues and the Master of Leadership Studies programs. He also conducts research in intercultural health with a focus on Latina/Latino populations in relation to alcohol use. He is also the lead instructor of the UTEP-Rare Mater of Arts program, an internationally based program that allows environmental conservation professionals from throughout the developing world to earn a Master of Arts. Students first complete a year of coursework in communication followed by the development, implementation, management, and evaluation of a one-year environmental conservation campaign, often in a rural community.

Dr. Pérez has recently completed a book-length manuscript on the fantasy heritage of Spanish colonizer Juan de Oñate in Southwest tourism. The manuscript examines tourism and how it erases and/or marginalizes Mexican/Americans from memory at popular tourism sites in the Southwest. Dr. Pérez’s research has also appeared in Communication for Development and Social Change Journal, Western Journal of Communication, Communication Yearbook, Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, and other scholarly outlets.

Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Victoria Sánchez

Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Victoria Sánchez

Dr. Victoria Sánchez is an Associate Professor in the College of Population Health at the University of New Mexico (UNM) in Albuquerque.  She earned her MPH at the University of California at Berkeley and her Doctorate in Public Health (DrPH) in Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She directs the MPH Community Health Concentration track at UNM and teaches social and behavioral sciences courses for the UNM College of Public Health.

Dr. Sánchez has a long-standing commitment to participatory planning and evaluation processes with communities and public health organizations. Over the last thirty years, she has integrated her expertise in public health practice and participatory and multidisciplinary research methodologies to plan and implement joint solutions for reducing health and social disparities in Latino and other vulnerable communities. As a member of multidisciplinary teams, she has applied social and cultural theories and models in the development, tailoring, testing, and evaluation of interventions to improve the health of Latinos/Hispanics in New Mexico, Texas, and California.

Currently, Dr. Sánchez is working with Klein Buendel as a collaborating scientist with Dr. Gill Woodall and Dr. David Buller on WayToServe Español: A Culturally-Appropriate Online Responsible Beverage Service Training for Spanish-Speaking Servers (R44MD010405; Dr. Gill Woodall, Principal Investigator). This research project is funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Dr. Sánchez collaborates on the creation and evaluation of culturally-appropriate content and the translation of the English WayToServe® online training program to Spanish. She helps ensure that the translation is compatible with the values and needs of servers in Spanish language-dominant bars and restaurants. The randomized control trial is being conducted at Spanish-dominant businesses in the Southwestern region of the United States.

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