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Betty Bekemeier PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN

Kirby & Ellery Cramer Endowed Professor
Director, Northwest Center for Public Health Practice
Affiliate faculty, UW Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology
PI, Public Health Activities and Services Tracking (PHAST) Study
Adjunct Professor, UW School of Public Health, Department of Health Services

Betty is a nationally recognized public health systems and practice-based researcher with a particular focus on the structures and practices of state and local health departments in relation to health outcomes and reducing disparities. Much of her research and leadership in advancing public health systems has been conducted through state Public Health Practice-based Research Networks (PBRN), working directly with public health leaders to provide the evidence needed to most effectively and equitably promote health in communities. She is PI of the Public Health Activities & Services Tracking (PHAST) Study, an ongoing multi-state study to generate data and evidence for examining the health outcomes associated with public health services and systems. Several of her studies and publications have focused specifically on the nature of and changes to the local public health workforce and often with a focus on public health nurses. Betty is also a national public health nursing leader, having served in significant national positions of public health and public health nursing leadership.



  • BSN, Pacific Lutheran University, 1984
  • MSN, Johns Hopkins University, 1994
  • MPH, Johns Hopkins University, 1994
  • PhD, University of Washington, 2007

Awards and accolades

  • Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN)
  • Awarded 2014 Academy Health’s Public Health Systems Research article of the year

What classes do you teach?

I am currently teaching: NURS 587 Role Transition Seminar (for PhD students); I have taught in MN, DNP, and Undergrad programs in courses such as community health, health economics, and theory.

What do you love about the UW School of Nursing?

I love the breadth and depth of collaboration available across the school and campus and the amazing interdisciplinary teams of researchers and good thinkers that emerge to generate evidence that is critically needed by our communities, health systems, and practice partners!


Psychosocial and Community Health

Research Areas

  • Innovative Interventions
  • Health Equity
Picture of  Betty Bekemeier
Main: 206-616-8411

University of Washington School of Nursing
Box 357263
1959 NE Pacific St.
Seattle, WA 98195

Office: T502c