Elizabeth Lin, MD, MPH

“There is no good health without mental health so TEAMcare helps doctors and patients reach and maintain mental and physical health goals. We're pleased that TEAMcare has been so well received nationally.”

Elizabeth Lin, MD, MPH

Group Health Research Institute Affliate Investigator

Group Health Physician

Areas of focus:

Biography

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.

 

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

 

 

Recent publications

Jones SM, Ludman EJ, McCorkle R, Reid R, Bowles EJ, Penfold R, Wagner EH.

A differential item function analysis of somatic symptoms of depression in people with cancer.

J Affect Disord. 2014 Sep 10;170C:131-137. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2014.09.002 [Epub ahead of print] PubMed

Richardson LP, Ludman E, McCauley E, Lindenbaum J, Larison C, Zhou C, Clarke G, Brent D, Katon W.

Collaborative care for adolescents with depression in primary care: a randomized clinical trial.

JAMA. 2014;312(8):809-16. doi: 10.1001/jama.2014.9259. PubMed

Katon W, Russo J, Reed SD, Croicu CA, Ludman E, LaRocco A, Melville JL.

A randomized trial of collaborative depression care in obstetrics and gynecology clinics: socioeconomic disadvantage and treatment response.

Am J Psychiatry. 2014 Aug 26. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.14020258 [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Fann JR, Bombardier CH, Vannoy S, Dyer J, Ludman E, Dikmen S, Marshall K, Barber J, Temkin N.

Telephone and in-person cognitive behavioral therapy for major depression after traumatic brain injury: a randomized controlled trial.

J Neurotrauma. 2014 Jul 29 [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed