Elizabeth Lin, MD, MPH

Affiliate Investigator, GHRI

Group Health Physician


Recent publications

Curriculum vitae (CV)



Research interests and experience

  • Mental health: collaborative care to integrate treatment of common mental health problems into general medical services; physical-mental comorbidity
  • Chronic illness management: innovative teamwork and a patient-centered, holistic approach in care for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic pain, and depression
  • Behavior change: healthy aging; physical activity; self care; medication adherence
  • Mindfulness-based interventions: stress reduction to improve quality of life for patients with psychological and physical conditions
  • Health disparities: minority and immigrant health

Elizabeth Lin is a Group Health physician scientist known for pioneering work integrating mental health treatment into primary care services. Dr. Lin co-founded the collaborative care model for depression with GHRI Senior Investigator Michael Von Korff, ScD, and Affiliate Investigator Wayne Katon, MD, of the University of Washington (UW). Since the 1990s, this model of care has been adopted by health care organizations nationwide and disseminated globally.

Dr. Lin’s experiences as a family physician fuel her enduring commitment to designing primary care services that address both the mental and physical health needs of patients. Harnessing the synergy of care team members who collaborate with each other and with patients to achieve optimal outcomes is a key focus of her research. In the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded TEAMcare randomized trial, Dr. Lin and colleagues found that patients with complex health care needs experienced improved diabetes, heart disease, and depression outcomes when mental health treatment was integrated into primary care. The study’s compelling findings have been published in several influential journals—including the New England Journal of Medicine in 2010 (see news release), British Medical Journal in 2011, and Annals of Family Medicine in 2012 (see news release).

Dr. Lin’s experience as a principal investigator includes both major randomized controlled trials and epidemiologic cohort studies funded by NIH. As a practicing Group Health physician and a UW clinical professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, she prioritizes translating evidence-based methods of improving care and outcomes for chronic illnesses into a variety of clinical settings. In 2010, she received a Partnership for Innovation grant from the Group Health Foundation to adapt the TEAMcare program into the patient-centered medical home at a Group Health primary care clinic. The TEAMcare model is also a key component of a large Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services program to implement collaborative care for patients with diabetes, heart disease, and depression in seven states across the U.S.

This collection of ground-breaking work has prompted Dr. Lin’s appointment to several national advisory boards, including the Agency for Health Research and Quality’s National Council on Integration of Mental Health and Primary Care, and the American Psychological Association’s first-ever Guideline Development Panel for Depression Disorders. She also brings an important global health perspective to her work—having conducted international mental health research with the World Health Organization (WHO) and served as faculty at WHO research conferences. Fluent in several languages, Dr. Lin has participated in several volunteer medical assistance missions around the world.

Recent publications

Cukrowicz KC, Duberstein PR, Vannoy SD, Lin EH, Unutzer J. What factors determine disclosure of suicide ideation in adults 60 and older to a treatment provider? Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2014 Feb 3. doi: 10.1111/sltb.12075 [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Rosenberg D, Lin E, Peterson D, Ludman E, Von Korff M, Katon W. Integrated medical care management and behavioral risk factor reduction for multicondition patients: behavioral outcomes of the TEAMcare trial. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2013 Nov 4. pii: S0163-8343(13)00309-5. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2013.10.017. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Coleman SM, Katon W, Lin E, Von Korff M. Depression and death in diabetes: 10-year follow-up of all-cause and cause-specific mortality in a diabetic cohort. Psychosomatics. 2013 Sep-Oct;54(5):428-36. doi: 10.1016/j.psym.2013.02.015. Epub 2013 Jun 4. PubMed

Katon WJ, Young BA, Russo J, Lin EH, Ciechanowski P, Ludman EJ, Von Korff MR. Association of depression with increased risk of severe hypoglycemic episodes in patients with diabetes. Ann Fam Med. 2013;11(3):245-50. doi: 10.1370/afm.1501. PubMed

Davydow DS, Katon WJ, Lin EH, Ciechanowski P, Ludman E, Oliver M, Von Korff M. Depression and risk of hospitalizations for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions in patients with diabetes. J Gen Intern Med. 2013 Jul;28(7):921-9.doi: 10.1007/s11606-013-2336-1. Epub 2013 Jan 17. PubMed

Ludman EJ, Peterson D, Katon WJ, Lin EH, Von Korff M, Ciechanowski P, Young B, Gensichen J. Improving confidence for self care in patients with depression and chronic illnesses. Behav Med. 2013;39(1):1-6. doi: 10.1080/08964289.2012.708682. PubMed

Lunsky Y, Lin E, Balogh R, Klein-Geltink J, Wilton AS, Kurdyak P. Emergency department visits and use of outpatient physician services by adults with developmental disability and psychiatric disorder. Can J Psychiatry. 2012;57(10):601-7. PubMed

Seitz DP, Vigod SN, Lin E, Gruneir A, Newman A, Anderson G, Rapoport MJ, Rochon P, Blumberger DM, Herrmann N. Characteristics of older adults hospitalized in acute psychiatric units in Ontario: a population-based study. Can J Psychiatry. 2012;57(9):554-63. PubMed

Katon W, Russo J, Lin EH, Schmittdiel J, Ciechanowski P, Ludman E, Peterson D, Young B, Von Korff M. Cost-effectiveness of a multicondition collaborative care intervention: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2012;69(5):506-14. PubMed

Huang H, Russo J, Von Korff M, Ciechanowski P, Lin E, Ludman E, Katon W. The effect of changes in depressive symptoms on disability status in patients with diabetes. Psychosomatics. 2012;53(1):21-9. PubMed

Lin EH, Von Korff M, Ciechanowski P, Peterson D, Ludman EJ, Rutter CM, Oliver M, Young BA, Gensichen J, McGregor M, McCulloch DK, Wagner EH, Katon WJ. Treatment adjustment and medication adherence for complex patients with diabetes, heart disease, and depression: a randomized controlled trial. Ann Fam Med. 2012;10(1):6-14. PubMed

To view more publications, please see Dr. Lin's CV.