Staff Profiles

SHARP's team of researchers offer expertise in economics, epidemiology, ergonomics, industrial hygiene, occupational medicine and nursing, safety, toxicology, and computer systems.

For additional information about the Safety & Health Assessment & Research for Prevention (SHARP) program, please contact us.

Darrin Adams is the Information Technology Specialist for SHARP. Darrin graduated with a BS in Computer Science Engineering from the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY in 1991. Darrin came to the Department of Labor & Industries in 1998 and has worked for the Data Warehouse Technical Team, and Actuarial Services.

Naomi Anderson is an Epidemiologist at SHARP. Naomi received her BA in Sociology from San Diego State University and her MPH in Epidemiology from UCLA. Naomi's research interests include epidemiologic study design/methodology, social and behavioral risk factors, and survey design/methodology. She works on Occupational Health Surveillance projects that collect, analyze and publish WA occupational health data, including occupational asthma, hospitalized burns, influenza-like illness, amputations, the CSTE Occupational Health Indicators for WA State, and WA Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data.

Stephen Bao is an Ergonomist in SHARP. Stephen received his Ph.D. and Licentiate both in Industrial Ergonomics from the Lule University of Technology, Sweden, an MS in Orthopaedic Biomechanics from Shanghai Second Medical University, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Shanghai Jiaotong University. Before joining SHARP in November, 1997, Stephen spent over 12 years in ergonomic research and consultation with the University of Waterloo (Canada), Advanced Ergonomics Inc. (Canada), Ergonomics Plus Inc. (Canada), Atlas Copco Tools (Sweden), the Swedish National Institute for Working Life, Lule University of Technology, and Tongji Medical University (China). Stephen's major research interests include physical exposure assessment and workplace ergonomics risk evaluation, ergonomics intervention and hand tool ergonomics.

David Bonauto is the occupational medicine physician and research director with SHARP. David did his undergraduate work at Bowdoin College in 1987 and did research in private industry from 1987 to 1989. He went to medical school at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons receiving his MD degree in 1993. He trained in Internal Medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York receiving his board certification in 1996. After two years practicing as an internist, David did public health training at the University of Washington receiving his MPH in 2000. David is an associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington. David's interests are in occupational injury and illness surveillance, chemically related illness, occupational injury epidemiology, and work-related musculoskeletal disorders.

Randy Clark is a research analyst with the SHARP program. He has a BA from the Evergreen State College. He has been with the SHARP program since 1996.  Randy’s interests include the prevention of fatal and nonfatal occupational injuries. He currently works with SHARP’s Washington Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program and Trucking Industry Reduction Emphasis (TIRES) Initiative.

Scott K. Edwards, CSP, is a Safety & Health Specialist in SHARP. Scott is a graduate of University of Central Missouri (formerly Central Missouri State University), Warrensburg, MO and has a BS in Industrial Safety. Scott has worked as an Industrial Health and Safety Specialist with a major aerospace company and as Safety Program Coordinator for a major North American Maritime Port. Scott brings a background in manufacturing, safety and health program assessment and risk management. Scott is a Professional Member of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) and supports the Trucking Injury Reduction Emphasis (TIRES) project as well as other health and safety research within SHARP.

Michael Foley is an economist at SHARP. Prior to coming to SHARP in 1997, he was an assistant professor of economics at Reed College. His primary research interests include the health and safety implications of the growth of the contingent workforce, the long-term economic and social burden of occupational injuries, and evaluating the impact of occupational health and safety regulations on worker injury rates and costs. In addition, Michael assists with other SHARP projects, including workplace violence in healthcare and a study of the safety climate in Washington workplaces.

Ninica Howard is an ergonomist at SHARP. She received her bachelor of science degree in kinesiology from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia and her MS in Work Environment from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. A major area of research for Ninica has been the identification and control work-related musculoskeletal injuries and disorders (WMSDs), including a 5-year prospective study of upper extremity WMSDs.  Since 2007, Ninica has been involved research in healthcare, including evaluating the impact of the Washington State Hospital Safe Patient Handling Law on injuries, safety climate and job satisfaction and acting as coordinator of the Washington State Safe Patient Handling Steering Committee.  She has conducted field research in numerous industries, including manufacturing, construction, agriculture, hospitals, nursing homes and home health care.  Her interests lie in the development and application of ergonomic exposure assessment, macro-ergonomics, safety climate and culture, and musculoskeletal epidemiology.

Daniel Hunter joined SHARP as a project coordinator in 2010. He received his BS in Industrial Design from Auburn University in Auburn, AL in 2000, and gained industry experience in product design, wood products manufacturing, and sales. He earned his MA in Applied Anthropology from Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR in 2009 studying public perceptions of wave energy development and its potential impacts on the well-being of coastal communities. Before coming to SHARP, Daniel worked on a book chapter about the trajectory of social science at Experimental Forests and Ranges for the USDA Forest Service at the Wildfire Sciences Laboratory in Seattle, WA. His previous work at SHARP has included developing nomenclature systems, field instruments and a relational database for the Isocyanates Collision Repair project. He is currently coordinating the work-related musculoskeletal disorders project (WMSD) to help develop a simple tool that employers can use to mitigate workplace hazards.

Wendy Lu is an epidemiologist in SHARP. Wendy graduated with a Bachelor’s in Biochemistry (Major) and Mathematics (Minor) from Queen’s University in Canada and received her MPH in Epidemiology from University of Toronto. Her past research experience includes Mother-to-Child HIV transmission, and dietary pattern analysis using nationwide population surveys. Wendy joined SHARP in February of 2013 and she is now working on a research project comparing workers compensation injuries and illnesses to those reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Survey of Occupational Injuries and illnesses (SOII).

Edmund Rauser is the Research Data Manager for the SHARP program. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Manufacturing Engineering Technology from Western Washington University and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Washington. Prior to joining the SHARP program in 2005 he was a new products development manufacturing engineer at the Medtronic Corporation, where he developed electronic defibrillators for emerging markets. Prior to Medtronic Corp he was a manufacturing engineer for the Plexus Corporation, a contract design and manufacturing company specializing in medical device design and manufacturing. Currently, Edmund is a member on many cross functional research projects in the SHARP program.

Todd Schoonover has a PhD in Industrial Hygiene from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Todd has specialized training in industrial hygiene, air quality management, and statistics. He is a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) and Certified Safety Professional (CSP). Todd has research experience in several occupational environments including; agriculture processing, animal laboratories, welding, and wood working facilities. His research interests involve the assessment of complex occupational exposures and the investigation of less invasive biomarkers of occupational exposures, health effects, and the development of respiratory diseases. At SHARP, Todd is currently working on the fatality assessment and occupational lead exposure surveillance projects.

Barbara Silverstein served as SHARP’s Research Director from 1991 through August of 2013. In retirement, Barbara is a part-time epidemiologist with SHARP. She received her MS degree in nursing from the University of California San Francisco, her MPH in Epidemiology and Environmental and Industrial Health from the University of Michigan, and her Ph.D. in Epidemiologic Science from the University of Michigan. She has worked on ergonomics-related issues at OSHA, the University of Michigan Center for Ergonomics, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, and the California Department of Health Services. Her major areas of research have been identification and control of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, comparison of surveillance methods and intervention studies to control these disorders. She has conducted field research in a number of industries, including electronics, meat, poultry and fish processing, newspaper publishing, appliance manufacturing, medical equipment manufacturing, office work environment, pulp and paper mills, aluminum mills, automotive manufacturing.

Caroline Smith is an epidemiologist in SHARP. Caroline received her Masters' in Public Health from the University of Washington, and is currently pursuing her PhD in Sociology, Social Inequalities in Health at Portland State University. Caroline's research interests include the health and safety of truck drivers, as well as occupational health disparities for racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants and other vulnerable populations. Caroline is also interested in the areas of medical sociology, labor and organizational sociology and quantitative and qualitative research methods. Caroline currently supports the Washington Occupational Surveillance Program, as the project director for the Trucking Injury Reduction Emphasis (TIRES), and the Occupational Health Disparities programs in SHARP.

Carolyn Reeb Whitaker is a certified industrial hygienist at SHARP.   She has an MS in Exposure Sciences from the University of Washington and a BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic.  She has occupational experience in several industrial environments including including collision repair, wood product manufacturing, and construction.   Her primary research area is respiratory disease including exposure assessment for industrial coatings and paints, isocyanates, solvents, carbon monoxide, methylene chloride, food flavorings and hop dust.   Her past research experience has been in the areas of noise exposure in construction workers and laboratory animal allergy in a mouse breeding facility.  Carolyn currently supports SHARP’s asthma surveillance program and the chemical and biological hazards project.

Jena Williams is the project manager of the Trucking Injury Reduction Emphasis (TIRES) program which includes developing safety training materials and handling social media for the project including management of KeepTruckingSafe.org, the TIRES blog, Twitter @TruckSafe and the monthly TIRES E-news. Jena graduated with a BA in Economics from Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington and began her work for SHARP in 2003. She is passionate about developing practical solutions to keep workers safe and working and thereby increasing profitability for Washington employers.

Sara Wuellner is an Epidemiologist at SHARP. She received her MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Illinois and her BA in sociology from the University of Chicago. Her previous research experience includes water-borne illness, air pollution, and health service disparities. She is interested in epidemiologic study methodology, especially longitudinal data and time series analysis, and multisource surveillance systems. Currently she is working to increase case ascertainment through improved occupational health surveillance systems.

Nanette Yragui is an Occupational Health Research Psychologist at SHARP. She is a graduate of Portland State University with a PhD in Systems Science: Psychology with a specialization in Occupational Health Psychology. She was awarded a pre-doctoral fellowship at Oregon Health & Science University and worked on developing a workplace climate for support measure. She received a Center for Disease Control Violence Prevention Dissertation Award for her research on supervisor support and work outcomes for low-wage workers experiencing intimate partner violence. She has conducted applied research on care provider health and stress in health care settings in Washington State. Her research interests include: workplace violence and aggression; occupational health and safety with a focus on low-wage and vulnerable workers; aging workers; and application of community-based participatory research methods. She is currently working on workplace violence intervention research and a participatory project to develop a work-stress training. The aim of the training is to increase supervisor support for employee work-life integration and patient and staff safety with a goal of reducing workplace violence.

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