Heather is an academic trauma surgeon with a keen interest in investigating the novel application of health information technology to improve early detection and treatment of healthcare associated infections.
She received her MD from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY and a Master of Health Evaluation Sciences from University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, where she completed her general surgery training and a 3-y research fellowship in surgical infectious disease. In 2008, after a yearlong clinical fellowship in surgical critical care at the University of Washington, she joined the University of Washington faculty in the Division of Trauma, Critical Care and Burn at Harborview Medical Center, the only level I trauma center for the Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho region. After 11 years at UW, most recently Associate Professor of Surgery and Director of Surgical Infectious Disease, in 2018, Heather moved to Charleston, SC to take a new leadership position at the Medical University of South Carolina, where she is currently Vice Chair of Clinical Research and Applied Informatics, and Professor of Surgery.
Heather traces the origins of mPOWEr back to a critical summer 2013 meeting with Dr. Patrick Sanger, as he sought mentorship for an informatics-enabled infection control project for his Masters thesis in Biomedical Health Informatics. With seed money from an AHRQ Comparative Effectiveness Research K12 career development award and additional support from the UW Department of Surgery Research Reinvestment Fund, Heather assembled a multidisciplinary team to bring a vision of post-discharge surgical site infection surveillance with mobile technology to reality. The project has also benefitted from research funds from UW ITHS, a commercialization development award from UW CoMotion, the 2014-16 Surgical Infection Society Foundation Junior Faculty Fellowship, an award from the UW Patient Safety Innovation Program and from the CMMI UW Medicine Practice Transformation Network to work towards enterprise-wide integration within the electronic medical record.
When she is not updating the mPOWEr website, revising manuscripts or operating, Heather enjoys cycling, travel and looking for excuses to sing disco.