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Dr. Steven J. Palazzo : Principal Investigator/TTH Program Director

Dr. Steven J. Palazzo

Principal Investigator/TTH Program Director

Steven J. Palazzo, Ph.D., M.N., R.N., C.N.E., is an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing at Seattle University. Dr. Palazzo earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), a Master in Nursing (MN), and a Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Washington. He has eight years of clinical experience in critical care at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and has published research on the utility of biomarkers in diagnosing ventilator-associated pneumonia.

Dr. Palazzo is interested in Prevention Science Research. His current research and scholarship focuses on developing and implementing a sustainable interdisciplinary program of cardiovascular health promotion and disease prevention aimed at creating a culture of health in adolescents from under-resourced communities. He currently partners with the Hope Heart Institute to lead the Teen Take Heart program.

Teen Take Heart (TTH) confronts a major national healthcare issue by using a health and science-based program to engage students and promote sustained change in attitudes and actions about wellness. TTH utilizes a series of interactive in-class instructional and hands-on, web- and kit-based lessons. Recognizing that no single health promotion strategy will be uniformly effective, a complementary goal is to expand our understanding of how to initiate and sustain behavior change in economically and ethnically diverse populations. An additional feature of the program is that it exposes teens to options for health care careers that rely on science. “Teen Take Heart is an experiment in progress.” He will be measuring results over time to see if there are sustained changes in the cardiovascular knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of high school students both short- and long-term.

Dr. Palazzo is one of just 12 nursing educators from across the United States to win a highly competitive grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nurse Faculty Scholars program in 2013. He has receivde a three-year, $350,000 award to promote his academic career and support his research. The Nurse Faculty Scholar award is given to junior faculty who show outstanding promise as future leaders in academic nursing.

He and Cherie Skager, the Hope Heart's executive director, are recipients of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Strategic Communications Training Fellowship (2015).

Dr. Palazzo is also the recipient of the Achievement Rewards for College Scientist (ARCS) fellowship (2007), the Hope Heart Institute Sauvage Fellow (2012), Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy Fellowship (2012-13), the Hope Heart Endowed Fellowship (2014), and The Academic Service Learning Faculty Fellowship Program, Seattle University, College of Education (2015).

Cristina Jaramillo : Lead Graduate Research Assistant

Cristina Jaramillo

Lead Graduate Research Assistant

Cristina Jaramillo was raised in Ontario, OR with a love for the outdoors. She attended the University of Oregon where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Family and Human Services and Master’s degree in Counseling, Family and Human Services with a specialization in Prevention Science. She is currently attending Seattle University to receive her Educational Specialist degree in School Psychology. Upon completion of her graduate program, Cristina hopes to work as a school psychologist in rural Oregon to provide resources and services to students and families. Her research interests include Latino adolescents’ academic engagement and acculturation for first generation students. Cristina can be found between two trees on a slack line, exploring Seattle, or out camping in the woods.j

Carrie Nass, MPH : Director of Prevention Programs

Carrie Nass, MPH

Director of Prevention Programs

Carrie is passionate about promoting health and bridging the gap between public health research and communities. She brings with her more than 17 years of experience managing health education programs in community health and research settings. Prior to working at Hope Heart, Carrie worked as a Research Scientist at the University of Washington to improve the health of American Indians and Alaska Natives through education, outreach, and research. Before that, she managed outreach and education programs at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and HealthPoint Community Health Clinics.

Carrie has a Bachelor of Science in Community Health from Western Washington University and a Masters of Public Health from the University of Washington. As a fourth generation Washingtonian, she is blessed to have a large extended family in the region. In her free time she enjoys being outdoors hiking, biking, skiing, and playing with her young children, Lauren and Elliot, and her sweet husband, Jeffrey.

Lauren Ivey, RN : Graduate Research Assistant

Lauren Ivey, RN

Graduate Research Assistant

As a research assistant for Teen Take Heart, Lauren is responsible for coordinating and communicating with participating schools. She received her bachelor’s degree in Public Health from the University of Washington in Seattle. With a desire to pursue her passion of health promotion and patient advocacy, Lauren is studying Adult Gerontology at Seattle University’s Graduate Nurse Practitioner program. Lauren also volunteers with Seattle’s Public Health Reserve Corps and is training for her first triathlon this summer.

Allison Emery, MPH : Evaluation & Heart Restart Program Manager

Allison Emery, MPH

Evaluation & Heart Restart Program Manager

Allison has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Bates College in Lewiston, ME, where she was a member of the women’s soccer program. Allison also has a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Washington. Prior to joining Hope Heart, Allison worked as a Project Manager for the Solutions Consulting Group at DatStat, a company specializing in health-centric software products, and as a Research Coordinator for the Diabetes Research Group at the Seattle Institute for Biomedical and Clinical Research.
Her early experiences working in research and disease prevention led to a passion for public health and health education. The power of prevention is a common theme through Allison’s career and she has always had a particular interest in the impact of healthy lifestyle choices.

Allison enjoys running, hiking, and taking advantage of the beautiful natural surroundings Seattle has to offer. If she’s not outdoors, she is most likely reading, continuing her culinary education and spending time with her adorable dog.

Gavin Mahaley : IT Consultant

Gavin Mahaley

IT Consultant

As a consultant for Teen Take Heart, Gavin oversees the design and development of the online versions of the learning modules. With a background in user experience design for pediatric health initiatives, Gavin was drawn to the Teen Take Heart mission of helping at-risk youth in underserved communities. Gavin has a Master’s degrees in English Literature from Portland State University and a Master’s degree in Philosophy from New York University. Gavin spends his free time surfing the Oregon coast.