• Adjunct Professor, Biomedical Informatics
  • Professor (Clinical), College Of Nursing

Research Summary

My research is primarily focused on clinical decision support (CDS) and the development of standards to enable the use of electronic health records to meet population and public health goals. I have undertaken operational research to improve public health case and birth reporting, and more recently have focused on assessing and testing the readiness of CDS for implementing clinical guidelines and improving the accessibility of public health CDS at the point of care.


  • PhD (Biomedical Informatics), Dept of Biomedical Informatics, School of Medicine, University of Utah
  • Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS), Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch, Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • MPH (emphasis in epidemiology), School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University
  • BSN, School of Nursing, Georgetown University


Catherine J. Staes is currently the Director of the Nursing Informatics Specialty at the University of Utah’s College of Nursing. Prior to taking this position in August 2018, she was on the faculty of the University of Utah’s Department of Biomedical Informatics for 11 years leading efforts in the area of population and public health informatics.

Her expertise involves systems analysis, decision support, and standards to improve communication between public health and clinical entities, assisting clinicians and laboratories in making decisions that meet public health goals. This involves understanding the current processes for communicating public health guidelines and reporting requirements and designing systems and knowledge that can be implemented in the clinical setting. Dr. Staes’ focus also includes developing and delivering curriculum about public health informatics, clinical decision support, and standards and terminology for graduate informatics students and the public health workforce. 

Prior to joining the Biomedical Informatics Department in 2006, Dr. Staes worked primarily in epidemiology but has other healthcare experience as well. As a clinical nurse, she worked in a variety of areas including pediatric intensive care, infectious disease/oncology (AIDS), and in rural public health clinics with the U.S. Public Health Service (1981 to 1986). As an epidemiologist (1988 to 2000), Dr. Staes worked for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the North Carolina State Department of Health, and the Salt Lake Valley Health Department, where she worked in communicable disease control, lead poisoning prevention, and surveillance of injuries. She honed her public health research skills as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer at the CDC. After earning her PhD, she worked as a knowledge engineer for Theradoc, a decision-support vendor. 

Dr. Staes is an Associate Editor of JAMIAOpen and is on the editorial board of JAMIA. As an EIS Officer at the CDC, she earned the Alexander D. Langmuir Prize.

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