Training Team

abigail Abigail Halperin, MD, MPH, is the Primary Investigator and Project Director for the IQI. She serves on the faculty of the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine and UW School of Public Health, where she also directs the UW Tobacco Studies Program. Abigail received her medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and completed Family Medicine residency training at the UW-affiliated Swedish Hospital program in Seattle. After 15 years in a primary care medical practice, she received a Master in Public Health degree as a National Research Service Award Fellow at the UW and began an academic career focused on the prevention and treatment of tobacco addiction and tobacco-related diseases.
ken Ken Wassum, MA, is the IQI Project Co-Director and Lead Trainer. He is the Director of Clinical and Quality Support for Optum, the largest provider of tobacco quitline services for states, employers and health insurance companies in the United States. A graduate of the UW with a Bachelor of Arts in Education, Ken has 22 years of direct clinical experience developing tobacco intervention programs and protocols, training coaches, and administrative management. He is a featured national and international conference speaker and trainer for tobacco cessation programs, pharmacotherapy protocols, behavioral counseling skills, and program development.
Fu_Dongbo Dongbo Fu, MD, MPH, PhD, is a collaborative partner of the IQI, and a technical officer for tobacco cessation in the Tobacco Free Initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO). The focus of his work in tobacco control is on providing technical support and expertise to WHO Member States to strengthen healthcare systems for treating tobacco dependence by applying and using WHO’s policy recommendations as outlined in its Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). He has contributed to the development of WHO technical tools for integrating brief tobacco interventions into primary health care services and developing national toll-free quitline services. He also provides direct technical support to WHO Member States through country-level workshops to enhance their technical capacity and health systems support for treating tobacco dependence. Before joining WHO in September 2007, he was an associate professor and the deputy director of the Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health, Fudan University (former Shanghai Medical University) in Shanghai, China.
etta Etta Short, MS, is a Director of Clinical Development and Support for Optum, where she is responsible for the design, development, and training of health behavior change programs. She has over 25 years of public health experience managing behavior change and health promotion programs in clinical, government, nonprofit, and corporate settings. Her expertise includes smoking cessation and prevention, weight management, and lifestyle behaviors. Etta has contributed to the development of WHO training tools, including Training for tobacco quit line counsellors: telephone counselling, and Strengthening health systems for treating tobacco dependence in primary care. Etta received a MS in Public Health Education from the UW, and is a graduate of the Northwest Public Health Leadership Institute.
luke Luke Atkin, MPH, is the Manager of Cessation, Partnerships and Priority Settings at Quit Victoria (a program of Cancer Council Australia), and is Chair of both the Australian and New Zealand Quit Group and the Smoking and Disadvantage Network. At Quit Victoria, Luke leads a team that focuses on supporting the creation of quit-friendly environments and organizational capacity building for provision of cessation advice and referrals to other support.