Meet the Team
My clinical interest is in evaluating and caring for patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD) of any cause. I co-run a clinical research lab whose goal is to explore interesting and important clinical questions regarding ILD, including pulmonary fibrosis (PF). The global focus of my individual research program is on how patients live with and experience PF, how we assess that experience, and how we, as health care providers, might improve quality of life in patients suffering from PF. I have a particular interest in developing and investigating so-called patient-reported outcomes (PRO) in PF. These are instruments designed to capture patients’ perceptions of what life is like with PF and are used to assess whether and how therapeutic interventions affect patients (including supplemental oxygen).
I specialize in the assessment and treatment of depression and anxiety problems in patients with chronic respiratory, immunologic, allergic, infectious, and occupational/environmental diseases. I have a broad set of research interests in the areas of psychiatric and interpersonal/family factors in the context of chronic medical illness.
Kaitlin Fier, MPH
I have been with the Interstitial Lung Disease program at National Jewish Health since June 2013. In the short year I have been with the department I have worked on various research projects before becoming a research coordinator for the Participation Program for Pulmonary Fibrosis. I am originally from Hudson, Wisconsin and received my undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. I moved out to Colorado in August 2012 when I began pursuing my Master’s Degree in Public Health at the Colorado School of Public Health. My concentration is in Epidemiology. So far, this job has been incredibly rewarding and I love being involved in the effort of trying to improve quality of life for those individuals living with pulmonary fibrosis.
Tara Farnsworth, MPH
I migrated to Denver from Los Angeles over 10 years ago. I have my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from CU Denver. I started with the Participation Program for Pulmonary Fibrosis during my practicum in the summer of 2014, completed my capstone with P3F, and am now on with the program permanently as a research coordinator. I recently graduated from CU Denver AMC with my Master’s Degree in Public Health, with a concentration in Epidemiology. I love working with P3F, and I hope for many more breakthroughs in PF and ILD treatment.
I am a retired parks planner and landscape architect for the City of Denver with two teenage boys and looming college tuition bills. I have worked on great park projects, from one at the top of Mt. Evans at 11,000 feet to designing a new park system when Denver’s old Stapleton Airport closed. I also taught and did research at the University of Illinois and University of Colorado. I was diagnosed with an unusual type of fibrosis—non-specific interstitial pneumonia (NSIP) — almost four years ago and have kept active with increasing amounts of supplemental oxygen. I am faithful to and a great believer in pulmonary rehabilitation exercise class. I am an avid reader and eclectic Pandora listener.
I had the privilege of serving in the US Army and US Air Force for a bit over 34 years. During that time I was an infantry officer, I flew fighters for the Air Force, I was also on the senior staff at Air Force Space Command, and I completed my career on the senior staff of the US Air Force Air Force Academy. My wife and I have been married for 26 years and we have three daughters and a son and one very cute granddaughter. I enjoy being outside regardless of the weather, whether walking in the woods or working in my yard.
I am currently retired in order to enjoy my life to the fullest even with IPF. I was a HR/Recruiting professional specializing in hands on recruiting, career coaching, and corporate and individual development and career strategy. Within that field; strong management, and training expertise, executive recruiting as well as strong financial, accounting and technology search and placements. Managed and trained large teams for optimum productivity both on and off site. Most important, mother of two exceptional children and Grandmother to five wonderful grandchildren.
I have worked in the Telecom Industry for the past 38 years. I have an MBA from Regis University and I currently work for Comcast. I paint a little and like to play golf. My wife and I have been married for 38 years and we have two adult children, Scott and Kenna and two grandchildren, Chase and Caiden.
Brenda Crowe, CRT
I am a Certified Respiratory Therapist graduating from T.H. Pickens Technical Center in 1986 and earned a Certificate in Gerontology from the University of Denver in 1993. I am the current Chair of the Patient Chapter of the Colorado Society of Respiratory Care and I coordinate 2 monthly support groups, the Mile-High Pulmonary Fibrosis Support Group and EZ Breathers. In Sept of 2013 I celebrated 27 years at Lutheran Medical Center, where I am the manager of the Pulmonary Rehab Dept.
I am a Medical Geographer at the University of Colorado at Boulder. My research program includes examining geographical patterns of health and disease using quantitative spatial methodologies, including spatial statistical analysis, geographic information systems and remote sensing to explore the dynamic human-environment interactions.
I am a Sociologist in the Department of Behavioral Health at the Colorado School of Public Health. I run the qualitative research program there, and have extensive experience performing and teaching how to conduct qualitative analyses. Dr. Swigris and I have an established collaboration for an ongoing project in which we are studying quality of life in PF patients, where I directed the development of focus group guides and continue to oversee the qualitative analysis of the data we have collected.
Amanda Belkin, Volunteer
I am originally from Detroit, MI. For my undergraduate studies, I majored in French and minored in Biology at the University of Texas in Austin, TX. Afterward, I got my Master’s Degree in Public Health at the Colorado School of Public Health in Aurora, CO. I have been working as a Clinical Research Coordinator at National Jewish Health since the summer of 2012. What I love most about my job is getting to meet the incredible people who participate in research and also knowing that we are all a part of something that is going to better the lives of others.