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Katherine Ellingson PhD

Katherine   Ellingson PhD

Assistant Professor

Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department

1295 N. Martin Ave
Drachman Hall
PO Box: 245163
Tucson AZ 85724-5163


Katherine (Kate) Ellingson, PhD, joined the College of Public Health in 2017 following 10 years of public service as a healthcare epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Oregon State Health Department. While at CDC, she investigated the transmission of multidrug-resistant organisms in healthcare settings, evaluated initiatives to prevent healthcare-associated infections, built capacity for infection prevention in resource-limited settings, and served as the agency’s subject matter expert for hand hygiene in healthcare. At the Oregon Health Department, she directed the state’s mandatory healthcare-associated infection reporting program, investigated infectious disease outbreaks and led injection safety promotion efforts.  

Training & Education:

2006-08: Epidemic Intelligence Service – CDC

2006: PhD, Epidemiology and Public Health – Yale University

1999: BS, Biology/Psychology – University of California, Los Angeles

Areas of Expertise:

  • Healthcare-associated infections
  • Infection prevention in healthcare
  • Antimicrobial resistance and stewardship
  • Program evaluation
  • Impact assessment through time-series analyses
  • Hand hygiene in healthcare settings
  • Transfusion safety
  • Outbreak investigation
  • Field epidemiology
  • Surveillance and capacity-building in resource-limited settings
  • Injection safety in healthcare
  • Healthcare transitions

Selected Publications:

Russell K, Hills SL, Oster AM, Porse CC, Danyluk G, Cone M, Brooks R, Scotland S, Schiffman E, Fredette C, White JL, Ellingson K, Hubbard A, Cohn A, Fischer M, Mead P, Powers AM, Brooks JT. Male-to-Female Sexual Transmission of Zika Virus-United States, January-April 2016. Clin Infect Dis. 2017 Jan 15;64(2):211-213

Ndegwa L, Katz M, Otieno J, Mungai A, Kimathi F, Kollmann M, Breiman R, Njenga K, Nganga Z, Mott J, Ellingson K. Surveillance for Healthcare-Associated Respiratory Infections in Kenya: 2010-2012. Am J Infect Control. 2014 Sep;42(9):985-90.

Ellingson K, Haas J, Aiello A, Kusek L, Maragakis L, Olmsted R, Perencivich E, Polgreen P, Schweizer M, Trexler P, VanAmringe M, Yokoe D.  Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections through Hand Hygiene. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2014 Aug;35(8):937-60.

Ellingson K, Garcia-Williams A, McCormick K, Woodard T, Mendel P, Khan K, Baker D, McDonald C, Jernigan J, Sinkowitz-Cochran R. Perspectives on Federal Funding for State Healthcare-Associated Infection Programs: Barriers, Facilitators, and Implications for Sustainability. Med Care Res Rev. 2014 May 7;71(4):402-415.

Ellingson K, McCormick K, Sinkowitz-Cochran R, Woodard T, Jernigan J, Srinivasan A, Jernigan J, Rask K. Health Department Capacity for Healthcare-Associated Infection Prevention Enhanced through Recovery Act-Funded Programs. Am J Public Health. 2014 Apr;104(4):e27-33.

Benoit S, Ellingson K, Waterman S, Pearson M. Antimicrobial Resistance in 8 U.S. Hospitals along the U.S.-Mexico Border, 2000-2006. Epidemiol Infect. 2013 Dec 17:1-10.

See I, Lessa F, El Ata OA, Hafez S, Samy K, El-Kholy A, El Anani MG, Ismail G, Kandeel A, Ellingson K, Talaat M. Incidence and Pathogen Distribution of Healthcare-Associated Infections in Pilot Hospitals in Egypt. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2013 Dec;34(12):1281-8.

Ellingson KD, Palekar RS, Lucero CA, Kurkjian KM, Chai SJ, Schlossberg DS, Vincenti DM, Fink JC, Davies-Cole JO, Magri JM, Arduino MJ, Patel PR. Vascular access hemorrhage deaths among hemodialysis patients: a case review and risk factor analysis. Kidney Int. 2012. 82(6):686-92

Fries J, Segre AM, Thomas G, Herman T, Ellingson K, Polgreen PM. Monitoring hand hygiene via human observers: how should we be sampling? Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2012. 33(7):689-95

Ellingson K, Polgreen PM, Schneider A, Shinkunas L, Kaldjian LC, Wright D, Thomas GW, Segre AM, Herman T, McDonald LC, Sinkowitz-Cochran R. Healthcare personnel perceptions of hand hygiene monitoring technology. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2011. 32(11):1091-6

Ellingson K, Seem D, Nowicki M, Strong DM, Kuehnert MJ. Estimated risk of human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C virus infection among potential organ donors from 17 organ procurement organizations in the United States. Am J Transplant. 2011. 11(6):1201-8

Ellingson K, Muder RR, Jain R, Kleinbaum D, Feng PJ, Cunningham C, Squier C, Lloyd J, Edwards J, Gebski V, Jernigan J. Sustained reduction in the clinical incidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonization or infection associated with a multifaceted infection control intervention. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2011. 32(1):20-5

Research Synopsis

Dr. Ellingson’s research focus is patient safety. Specifically, she examines the distribution and predictors of healthcare-associated infections across hospital, long-term care, and outpatient settings. She also evaluates the impact of interventions designed to decrease antimicrobial resistance and patient adverse events. As a guest researcher at CDC, she continues to work with federal colleagues on infection prevention and transfusion safety. Additionally, she supports the University of Arizona’s One Health program with an emphasis on stemming the tide of antimicrobial resistance across community, agricultural, and healthcare settings. 

The University of Arizona