Education & Background
I earned a PhD in psychology from the University of Utah in 1988 with an accompanying internship in the nascent field of medical informatics. This overlap of behavioral research and information science would place me at the epicenter of the vast sociotechnical change that would occur across medicine in the ensuing decades. From 1988 to 1990, I was invited to join the Committee for Social Science Research on Computing as a postdoctoral fellow within the Department of Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). After completing my postdoctoral internship, I joined the American Institutes for Research in Palo Alto, California, where I co-founded its Center for Research on Technology. Clients included government sponsors within the Departments of Education, Health & Human Services, Labor, and Defense along with technology leaders such as Apple Computer, Hewlett Packard, Xerox, Microsoft, Adobe, Netscape, and IBM. I followed my wife from California to Washington DC in 1996 as she completed her residency training in Obstetrics Gynecology.
National Cancer Institute
I was recruited to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 2003 where I served as Chief of the Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch within the Behavioral Research Program until 2018. As part of my branch chief duties, I served as program director for the NCI's Centers of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research P-50 initiative, a collaborative enterprise between the NCI and five leading research organizations; the project director for NCI's Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), a routinely administered general population survey with data volunteered from 40,000 plus U.S. residents; and as a collaborative planner for research initiatives including the cross-agency initiative with the National Science Foundation titled "Smart and Connected Health." In each of these activities, I embraced an open-science, broadly participative philosophy. By doing so, the HINTS program alone has fostered over 400 peer-reviewed publications while providing immediate access to meticulously calibrated population estimates for community planning. From 2014 to 2016, I served as co-chair for the President’s Cancer Panel expert meeting series on connected health, which culminated in a report to the White House titled “Improving Cancer-Related Outcomes with Connected Health." In 2018, we moved from the Washington DC area to our home in Kona, Hawaii where we could be closer to family at a time of medical need.
During my career, I have authored or co-authored over 200 publications including peer-reviewed journal articles, technical reports, books, and book chapters. In 2009, my coauthored book titled “Making Data Talk: Communicating Public Health Data to the Public, Policy Makers, and the Press” was named Book of the Year by the American Journal of Nursing, while in 2017 my co-edited volume “Oncology Informatics: Using Health Information Technology to Improve Processes and Outcomes in Cancer” was given the prestigious “PROSE Award” (Professional and Scholarly Excellence) for “Best Book in Clinical Medicine: 2016” by the Association of American Publishers.
Over the years, I have maintained an active membership in several professional societies: the American Psychological Association (APA), the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM), the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), the International Communications Association (ICA), and the Association of Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computer Human Interaction (ACM: SIG-CHI). I served on the Publication and Communications Board of Advisors for the American Psychological Association from 2011 to 2017, on the Board of Directors for the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) from 2010 to 2017, and on the Steering Committee for the Houston VA’s Center of Innovation for Veteran-Centered and Value-Driven Care from 2013 to 2019. In 2019 I was asked to chair a working group with the SBM on the topic of Open Science relative to the aspirations of the Society.