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Alberta Kong, M.D.

Associate Professor, UNM HSC, Leader Project #3

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Contact Information

Mail: MSC10 5590
Phone: (505) 272-5152

About Alberta

Alberta, the Project 3 Leader, is a University of New Mexico (UNM) Associate Professor with a primary appointment in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent Medicine and a secondary appointment in the Department of Family and Community Medicine.  She received her Medical Degree from the University of Arizona. Choosing to stay in the Southwest, she completed a Pediatric Residency followed by an Adolescent Medicine Fellowship in 2000 at UNM.  Her interest in community and preventive health for improving population health led her to the Masters in Public Health Program at UNM where she received her M.P.H. degree in 2002.  She practiced the full spectrum of Pediatrics from covering a level two nursery to seeing adolescents and emerging adults up to 24 years of age before starting her faculty position in 2006 at UNM.  Since that time, she has furthered her career development with clinical research training through a competitive selection process for one of the first KL2 scholar’s award in the UNM Clinical and Translational Science Center.  Now, as a physician scientist, she continues to practice medicine as one of only two Board Certified Adolescent Medicine Specialists in the state of NM in addition to teaching/mentoring medical students, pediatric residents, graduate students, and junior faculty members.

Research Interests

Dr. Kong’s research interests relate to highly prevalent conditions such as sexually transmitted infections and obesity that commonly affect adolescents.  Her research ranges from observational studies to development and testing of interventions targeting behavior change to improve adolescent health outcomes.  Regardless of the research design, she utilizes community engagement approaches to ensure that her research has real world applications that can contribute to clinical care of the population she serves. In addition to being a lead on Project 3 studying STI co-infections and the cervical immune microenviroment, she is also the Principal Investigator on a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (R01Hl118734) with aims to investigate the efficacy of motivational interviewing approaches for overweight and obesity prevention and treatment through the use of school-based health centers.  Furthermore, Dr. Kong has a long history of working with Dr. Wheeler (PI of EPIC-STI) including serving as the physician on Phase III clinical trials evaluating the efficacy, safety and immunogenicity of HPV vaccines when co-administered with other adolescent vaccines to creating and feasibility testing a web-based intervention to enhance HPV vaccine adoption in girls within Dr. Wheeler’s Interdisciplinary Human Papillomavirus Prevention Center.  Currently, Dr. Kong’s research includes being a co-investigator on federally funded (e.g., DHHS, NIH, PCORI) intervention studies on teen pregnancy prevention and web-based enhancement of HPV vaccine adoption in both boys and girls.  She is also a co-PI representing UNM as part of the IDeA States Network to increase Pediatric Clinical Trials within the NIH ECHO (Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes) initiative.

Recent Publications

  1. Outcome Evaluation of a Policy-Mandated Lifestyle and Environmental Modification Program in a National Job Training Center.
    Jimenez EY, Harris A, Luna D, Velasquez D, Slovik J, Kong A. J
    Community Health. 2016 Oct 18. PMID: 27757596
  2. Overweight adolescents' brain response to sweetened beverages mirrors addiction pathways.
    Feldstein Ewing SW, Claus ED, Hudson KA, Filbey FM, Yakes Jimenez E, Lisdahl KM, Kong AS
    Brain Imaging Behav. 2016 Jul 9. PMID: 27392791
  3. Association between circulating CCL2 levels and modifiable behaviors in overweight and obese adolescents: a cross-sectional pilot study.
    Bodo MJ, Jimenez EY, Conn C, Dye A, Pomo P, Kolkmeyer D, Orlando R, Kong AS.
    J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Apr;29(4):441-9. doi: 10.1515/jpem-2015-0260. PMID: 26673018
  4. Usability Testing of an HPV Information Website for Parents and Adolescents.
    Starling R, Nodulman JA, Kong AS, Wheeler CM, Buller DB, Woodall WG.
    Online J Commun Media Technol. 2015 Oct;5(4):184-203. PMID: 26594313
  5. Investigating stakeholder attitudes and opinions on school-based human papillomavirus vaccination programs.
    Nodulman JA, Starling R, Kong AS, Buller DB, Wheeler CM, Woodall WG.
    J Sch Health. 2015 May;85(5):289-98. doi: 10.1111/josh.12253. PMID: 25846308
  6. Beta-test Results for an HPV Information Web site: - Increasing HPV Vaccine Uptake in the United States.
    Starling R, Nodulman JA, Kong AS, Wheeler CM, Buller DB, Woodall WG.
    J Consum Health Internet. 2014 Jan 1;18(3):226-237. PMID: 25221442
  7. Different models of HPV vaccine decision-making among adolescent girls, parents, and health-care clinicians in New Mexico.
    Getrich CM, Broidy LM, Kleymann E, Helitzer DL, Kong AS, Sussman AL; RIOS Net Clinicians.
    Ethn Health. 2014 Feb;19(1):47-63. doi: 10.1080/13557858.2013.857767. PMID: 24261842
  8. An adaptive CBPR approach to create weight management materials for a school-based health center intervention.
    Sussman AL, Montoya C, Werder O, Davis S, Wallerstein N, Kong AS.
    J Obes. 2013;2013:978482. doi: 10.1155/2013/978482. PMID: 23984053
  9. School-based health center intervention improves body mass index in overweight and obese adolescents.
    Kong AS, Sussman AL, Yahne C, Skipper BJ, Burge MR, Davis SM.
    J Obes. 2013;2013:575016. doi: 10.1155/2013/575016. PMID: 23589771
  10. Interventions for treating overweight and obesity in adolescents.
    Kong AS, Dalen J, Negrete S, Sanders SG, Keane PC, Davis SM.
    Adolesc Med State Art Rev. 2012 Dec;23(3):544-70. Review. No abstract available. PMID: 23437687
  11. Acanthosis nigricans predicts the clustering of metabolic syndrome components in Hispanic elementary school-aged children.
    Kong AS, Vanderbloemen L, Skipper B, Leggott J, Sebesta E, Glew R, Burge MR.
    J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2012;25(11-12):1095-102. doi: 10.1515/jpem-2012-0117. PMID: 23329755
  12. An adaptive community-based participatory approach to formative assessment with high schools for obesity intervention*.
    Kong AS, Farnsworth S, Canaca JA, Harris A, Palley G, Sussman AL.
    J Sch Health. 2012 Mar;82(3):147-54. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2011.00678.x. PMID: 22320339
  13. The "ins" and "outs" of provider-parent communication: perspectives from adolescent primary care providers on challenges to forging alliances to reduce adolescent risk.
    Helitzer DL, Sussman AL, de Hernandez BU, Kong AS.
    J Adolesc Health. 2011 Apr;48(4):404-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2010.07.020. PMID: 21402271
  14. Acanthosis Nigricans: high prevalence and association with diabetes in a practice-based research network consortium--a PRImary care Multi-Ethnic network (PRIME Net) study.
    Kong AS, Williams RL, Rhyne R, Urias-Sandoval V, Cardinali G, Weller NF, Skipper B, Volk R, Daniels E, Parnes B, McPherson L; PRIME Net Clinicians.
    J Am Board Fam Med. 2010 Jul-Aug;23(4):476-85. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2010.04.090221. PMID: 20616290
  15. A pilot walking school bus program to prevent obesity in Hispanic elementary school children: role of physician involvement with the school community.
    Kong AS, Burks N, Conklin C, Roldan C, Skipper B, Scott S, Sussman AL, Leggott J.
    Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2010 Oct;49(10):989-91. doi: 10.1177/0009922810370364. No abstract available. PMID: 20522604
  16. Internet-based training in a practice-based research network consortium: a report from the Primary Care Multiethnic Network (PRIME Net).
    Williams RL, McPherson L, Kong A, Skipper B, Weller N; PRIME Net clinicians.
    J Am Board Fam Med. 2009 Jul-Aug;22(4):446-52. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2009.04.090018. PMID: 19587260
  17. Implementation of a walking school bus: lessons learned.
    Kong AS, Sussman AL, Negrete S, Patterson N, Mittleman R, Hough R.
    J Sch Health. 2009 Jul;79(7):319-25; quiz 333-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2009.00416.x. PMID: 19527414
  18. Acanthosis nigricans and diabetes risk factors: prevalence in young persons seen in southwestern US primary care practices.
    Kong AS, Williams RL, Smith M, Sussman AL, Skipper B, Hsi AC, Rhyne RL; RIOS Net Clinicians.
    Ann Fam Med. 2007 May-Jun;5(3):202-8. PMID: 17548847