• Adjunct Professor, Global Health
  • Professor, School of Social Work
  • Adjunct Professor, Health Services

Seattle, WA
United States

Phone Number: 
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Mike Spencer is the Presidential Term Professor of Social Work at the University of Washington School of Social Work and Director of Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Oceanic Affairs at the University of Washington Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI). Dr. Spencer is also Adjunct Faculty with the School of Public Health in both Global Health and Health Services. He is of Native Hawaiian descent. His research examines health and wellness among Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders and is focused on interventions that promote health among Native Hawaiians through indigenous practices and values. He uses community-based, participatory research approaches as well as indigenous methodologies. Currently, his funded research examines the added benefit of integrating Native Hawaiian healers into primary care. He also works with colleagues at the University of Hawai’i to promote food security and wellbeing through the use of backyard aquaponics systems. He has taught courses in diversity and social justice and community practice. He is also a Fellow of the Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (AASWSW) and the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR).

  • PhD (University of Washington)
  • MSSW (University of Texas (Austin))
  • BA (University of Hawaii)
Country Affiliations 
Health Topics 
  • Chronic Disease (incl. Cardiovascular, Diabetes)
  • Community Health Workers
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Community-Based Primary Health Care
  • Health Disparities
  • Health Interventions
  • Indigenous/Traditional Health
  • Intervention Design and Management
  • Mental Health
  • Prevention
  • Race
  • Research
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Social Justice and Human Rights
  • Social Work

Spencer, M.S. (Ed.)(2019). Microaggressions in social work research, education, and practice. Routledge, New York, NY.

Chung-Do, J.J., Ho-Lastimosa**, I., Keaulana, S.*, Ho, K.*, Hwang, P.W., Radovich, T., Albinio, L.**, Rogerson, I.**, Keli‘iholokai, L.*, Deitschman, K.**, Spencer, M.S. (2019). Waimānalo Pono Research Hui: A Community-Academic Partnership to Promote Native Hawaiian Wellness through Culturally-Grounded and Community-Driven Research and Programming. American Journal of Community Psychology

Ho-Lastimosa, H. I.**, Chung-Do, J.J., Hwang, P., Radovich, T., Rogerson, I.**, Ho, K.**, Kaholokula, J. K., Spencer, M. S. (2019). Promoting Ahupua‘a Health through Backyard Aquaponics with Native Hawaiian Families. Global Health Promotion.

LeBron, A.*, Spencer, M.S., Kieffer, E., Sinco, B., Palmisano, G.** (2018). Racial Discrimination and Diabetes-Related Outcomes among Latinos with Type 2 Diabetes: Considering Variation by Nativity. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, epub ahead of print, PMID: 29435948, doi: 10.1007/s10903-018-0710-0.

Spencer, M.S., Kieffer, E., SInco, B.R., Hawkins, J.*, Lebron, A.*, Piatt, G., Palmisano, G.**, Espitia, N.*, Tang, T. & Heisler, M. (2018). 18-Month Outcomes from a Community Health Worker and Peer Leader Diabetes Self-Management Program for Latino Adults. Diabetes Care, 41(7), 1414-1422. PMID: 29703724, doi: 10.2337/dc17-0978.