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Rachel Widome PhD, MHS

Assistant Professor

School of Public HealthDivision of Epidemiology & Community Health

Address Division of Epidemiology and Community Health 1300 South 2nd Street, Suite 300 Minneapolis MN 55454 Work Phone: 612-624-3518
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Biography:

Rachel Widome is a social epidemiologist with research interests in how social factors influence health-related behaviors such as tobacco use, physical activity, and diet. She is particularly interested in the young adult age group, health disparities, military veterans and how policy can be used to promote health.

  •  PhD in Epidemiology, University of Minnesota
  • MHS in International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • AB in Medical Anthropology, Brown University

Expertise:

Social epidemiology, tobacco policy, survey research, longitudinal study design.

Affiliate Investigator:

Center for Chronic Disease outcomes Research (CCDOR)
Minneapolis VA Healthcare System

Research interests:

Chronic disease prevention, health equity, prevention policy, retail tobacco environment, food security, how economic and social influences on health, health risks among military veterans, adolescent and young adult risk behaviors.

Professional Experience:

  • 2013-present – Assistant Professor, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota
  • 2008-2013 – Core Investigator, Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research (CCDOR), Minneapolis VA Healthcare System
  • 2008-2013 – Assistant Processor, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Minnesota
  • 2006-2008 – Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Minnesota

Select Current and Prior Funded Projects:

Minneapolis Smokefree Housing Study
Principal Investigators
: Rachel Widome, Deb Hennrikus
Collaborators:  Jean Forster, Zobeida Bonilla
Funding Agency: ClearWay Minnesota
Goals: This study explores how the enactment of smoke-free policy in subsidized multi-unit residential buildings impacts smoker behaviors and secondhand smoke exposure within the building. The goal is to inform smoke-free policy implementation strategies that maximize health benefit and minimize unintended consequences.

OIF/OEF Veteran Health: social context and novel preventive services (Northstar)
Principal Investigators
: Rachel Widome
Collaborators:  Steven Fu, Anne Joseph, Melissa Partin
Funding Agency: US Department of Veterans Affairs
Goals: This study focuses on exploring the personal, cognitive, and environmental factors associated with tobacco use and weight-related behaviors among veterans returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan, with the goal of using these results to inform VA policy and interventions.

Correlates Of Underage sales and Neighborhood Tobacco Retailing (COUNTR)
Principal Investigators
: Rachel Widome
Collaborators:  Jean Forster, Betsy Brock
Funding Agency: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Goals: This research used GIS to examine how community characteristics relate to retail-level tobacco advertising. Additionally, this study examined if retail-level advertising is associated with ease of purchasing tobacco for minors and young adult tobacco use cessation rates.

Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan Champions over Tobacco study (VIA-Champ)
Principal Investigators
: Rachel Widome
Collaborators:  Steven Fu, Anne Joseph, Melissa Polusny
Funding Agency: American Cancer Society – Midwest Division
Goals: This pilot study was an innovative tobacco cessation program which aimed to increase the delivery of tobacco treatment to soldiers and veterans who have recently returned from service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Professional Experience:

  • 2013-present – Assistant Professor, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota
  •  2008-2013 – Core Investigator, Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research (CCDOR), Minneapolis VA Healthcare System
  •  2008-2013 – Assistant Processor, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Minnesota
  •  20086-2008 – Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Minnesota

Research Interests:

Chronic disease prevention, health equity, prevention policy, retail tobacco environment, food security, how economic and social influences on health, health risks among military veterans, adolescent and young adult risk behaviors.

Selected Publications:

  • Widome R, Jensen A, Bangerter A, Fu SS, Food Insecurity among Veterans of the US Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (In press at Public Health Nutrition)
  • Aldrich MC, Hidalgo B, Widome R, Briss P, Brownson RC, Teutsch SM. The Role of Epidemiology in Evidence-Based Policy Making: A Case Study of Tobacco Use in Youth. (In press at Annals of Epidemiology)
  • Fu SS, Robert C, Rhodes K, Widome R, Forster JL, Joseph AM, Designing and Evaluating Culturally Specific Smoking Cessation Interventions for American Indian Communities Nicotine and Tobacco Research. 2014 Jan;16(1):42-49.
  • Widome R, Wall M, Eisenberg ME, Laska MN. Adolescence to Young Adulthood: When socio-economic disparities in substance use emerge. Substance Use and Misuse. 2013 Dec;48(14):1522-9.
  • Widome R, Brock B, Noble P, Forster JL. The relationship of neighborhood characteristics on point-of-sale tobacco advertising and marketing. Ethnicity and Health. 2013;18(2):136-51.
  • Widome R, Brock, B, Klein EG, Forster JL. Smokeless tobacco advertising at the point of sale: prevalence, placement, and demographic correlates. Nicotine and Tobacco Research. 2012 Feb; 14(2): 217-23.
  • Widome R, Littman AJ, Laska MN Fu SS Promoting healthful behaviors in young veterans is the key to preventing chronic disease Preventing Chronic Disease. 2012 Jan; 9:E19.
  • Widome R, Samet JM, Hiatt RA, Orleans CT, Ponkshe P, Luke DA, Hyland A. Science, Prudence & Politics: The Case of Smoke-Free Indoor Spaces. Annals of Epidemiology. 2010 Jun; 20(6): 428-35.