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Executive Director's Message

A message from the executive director

The best cure? Everyday prevention

At Group Health, we believe the best way to triumph over illness is to prevent it from happening in the first place. And when illness or injury does occur, treatment should be as effective and patient-centered as possible. With this in mind, we focus on discovering practical solutions that people can use every day to improve their health and health care.

American health care faces unprecedented challenges—especially as our population ages and people with chronic conditions live longer. At the same time, medical research is making tremendous advances in areas including information technology, vaccine development, and health behavior change.

Group Health Research Institute (GHRI) is on the leading edge of such change with breakthroughs including:

  • helping millions to stop smoking;
  • improving cancer screening;
  • delaying the onset of dementia in the elderly;
  • improving the safety and effectiveness of prescription drugs, vaccines, medical devices, and imaging; and
  • transforming the medical practices nationwide so patients can stay healthy and get the care they need.

Integrating research and care

Much of our success comes from our Institute’s role within Group Health, an integrated health plan that provides both care and coverage. Like our nation, Group Health must address problems holistically—balancing efforts to improve quality, lower cost, and sustain access for its population.

We take pride that Group Health has become a “learning health care system”—a living laboratory for innovation—where GHRI scientists work closely with care-delivery system leaders. Rather than working in experimental environments, we gather data in real time from clinical settings, making our findings relevant to patients and health care providers elsewhere. And we participate in large networks of similar research institutes, adding statistical power to our discoveries.

At GHRI, our research teams provide evidence that matters to those improving care for Group Health members and the nation. 


Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH
Vice President for Research, Group Health Cooperative
Executive Director & Senior Investigator, Group Health Research Institute

Notes from Eric

Read Dr. Larson's monthly column, “Notes from Eric,” in Group Health Research News.