Group Health Research Institute hosts regular seminars where our scientists and collaborators present their research findings.


All are welcome.

Upcoming seminars and events

April 28, 2015

Project Esteban: Extending the effectiveness and reach of smoking cessation to those in most need

Presented by Roger Vilardaga, PhD

Group Health Research Institute, Room 1509A, 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.


In this presentation, Dr. Vilardaga will discuss the background, rationale, and initial stages of development of a mobile intervention for people with serious behavioral disorders. He will briefly present the results of (1) a summative UX evaluation of NCI QuitPal among people with a psychiatric disorders, and (2) a UX evaluation of Learn-to-Quit, the low fidelity prototype of a novel smoking cessation app based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Finally, he will discuss the results and describe the next steps involved in this project.


Roger Vilardaga studied psychology at the Universitat de Barcelona and received his doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno. He is passionate about the potential of mobile technologies for the advancement of contextual behavioral science and the development of cost-effective and higher-reaching behavioral interventions. In 2014 he received a five-year Pathway to Independence Award from the National Institutes of Health. This Award will provide training in user-centered design and will fund a three-year pilot randomized controlled trial to test the initial feasibility of the first NIH-funded smartphone app to deliver smoking cessation treatment for individuals with serious mental illness. Vilardaga is also Associate Editor of the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science and provides training in acceptance and commitment therapy to residents at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Coffee and tea will be provided.

May 12, 2015

Scientific Seminar: Prioritizing research: the use of risk prediction, value of information analyses, and portfolio evaluation to improve public investments in cancer clinical trials

Presented by Carrie Bennette, PhD

Group Health Research Institute, Room 1509A, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.


The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently stressed that rigorous prioritization of trial concepts for large cancer clinical trials cooperative groups was critical to ensure that limited public funds are used effectively and efficiently. Yet despite this ardent call to improve the means of prioritizing and selecting cancer clinical trials, many questions remain about how to achieve these goals. Portfolio management is commonly used to prioritize investments within the private sector, but is not used widely to manage public research investments due to the difficulty of defining and quantifying appropriate measures of risk and return.

During this seminar Dr. Bennette will present work completed for her dissertation, in which she developed and evaluated novel quantitative measures of risk and return that were appropriate for publicly funded cancer clinical trials and applied a 'proof of concept' portfolio evaluation to a sample of clinical trial proposals recently reviewed by a large cancer clinical trials cooperative group, SWOG. 


Carrie Bennette completed her PhD in the Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research and Policy Program at UW in December 2014 and began a K12 Patient-Centered Outcomes Research postdoctoral training award at GHRI with Karen Wernli as her primary mentor in 2015. Her research interests include cancer outcomes & policy, development, and implementation of decision analytical tools to help policymakers, patients, and healthcare providers in the face of uncertain and complex decisions, and the use of Web-based technology to improve the dissemination and implementation of comparative-effectiveness methods and results. 

During graduate school, Dr. Bennette worked with Dr. David Veenstra on several projects related to the cost-effectiveness of genomic sequencing. Prior to moving to Seattle, she completed her MPH at Columbia University and worked as a masters-level biostatistician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, primarily focusing on the evaluation of novel biomarkers in prostate cancer screening and the clinical value of prediction models. 

Coffee and tea will be provided.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Hilde and Bill Birnbaum Endowed Lecture 2015: Let’s go viral: New perspectives on connecting for health in the digital age

Featuring guest speaker Michael F. Evans, MD, associate professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto. 

7:30 a.m., Washington State Convention Center, Seattle.

Michael F. Evans, MD, associate professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto, will deliver Group Health’s 16th Annual Birnbaum Endowed Lecture at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 3, at the Washington State Convention Center.

Dr. Evans is a family physician and researcher who shares Group Health’s passion for finding practical ways to help people live happier, healthier lives. Read more about Dr. Evans' work and the 2015 Birnbaum lecture in Group Health Research Institute Events.

Past seminars and events

April 14, 2015

Scientific Seminar: Should We Screen for and Treat People Who Have "Prediabetes”?

Presented by David McCulloch, MD, Medical Director, Clinical Improvement, Group Health

Group Health Research Institute, Room 1509A, 4 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Unable to attend in person?
Webinar link: https://meetings.webex.com/collabs/#/meetings/detail?uuid=M87IVL0H7EQLYXGXEXCPVRIT4A-9ZW9&rnd=271097.23929

Meeting number: 197 339 310
Dial In Audio: 877-224-4168
Audio Code: 511238


With the growing epidemic of obesity and diabetes in the USA the desire to do something about it is very compelling. Shouldn’t we screen the population to identify those at highest risk for developing diabetes and then give them encouragement and support to prevent them from getting diabetes? What could be wrong with that idea? Actually, there is quite a lot wrong with that idea.
Dr. McCulloch will explain why the term “prediabetes” is misleading and why the National Diabetes Prevention Program that is being heavily promoted by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is seriously flawed. While well-intentioned, it is likely to result in very different outcomes and unintended consequences than those they are expecting and hoping for.


David McCulloch, MD, obtained his medical education at Edinburgh University, Scotland with additional postgraduate training at the University of Nottingham, England, and University of Washington, Seattle. He has worked in the field of clinical diabetes innovation for over thirty years and has over 80 publications on a wide variety of diabetes-related topics. He is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington and works as a diabetologist, leading clinical improvement efforts in diabetes with an energetic team at Group Health Cooperative. He has also chaired national and statewide diabetes and cardiovascular disease collaboratives with a wide variety of health care organizations. He is also the Medical Director for Clinical Improvement at Group Health.

Coffee and tea will be provided.

April 13, 2015

Seminar: Preparing for 2050—Transforming Health Care for a Graying America

Presented by Andrea LaCroix, PhD

Group Health Research Institute, Room 1509A, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The T-32 directors and fellows invite you to join them for a special scientific seminar presented by Andrea LaCroix, PhD.


A member of the Group Health Research Institute faculty since 1989, Andrea LaCroix is an epidemiologist interested in older women’s health, especially prevention of heart disease, cancer, and disability. She is also interested in identifying strategies to optimize healthy aging. Dr. LaCroix was co-principal investigator of the Women’s Health Initiative Clinical Coordinating Center in the Division of Public Health Sciences at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She is now a professor of epidemiology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, and continues to serve as a director of GHRI’s T-32 postdoctoral fellowship in women’s health.

March 11–13, 2015

HMORN Annnual Meeting—Care Improvement Research: Partnering with Patients, Providers and Operational Leaders

Featuring GHRI presenters Robert Reid, MD, PhD; Jane Grafton, BA; Diana Buist, PhD, MPH; Luesa Jordan; Sharon Fuller, PhD; Gwen Lapham, PhD, MPH; Katherine Bradley, MD; Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD, and more.

Hyatt Regency, Long Beach, Calif.

The 21st annual HMORN conference will offer opportunities to interact and share your knowledge and ideas with peers from around the country, and create new collaborations and partnerships to further your own research.

The event will feature groundbreaking examples of care improvement research from scientists and research administrators representing HMORN member organizations from throughout the United States. Abstracts are also welcomed from researchers outside the HMORN with an interest in care improvement. Topics of special interest at the conference will include rapid-cycle learning, comparative effectiveness research, delivery system innovations, and the efficient dissemination and uptake of research findings into clinical practice.

Visit the HMORN Annual Meeting website for full details including schedules, presenters, and attendees.

February 24, 2015

Scientific Seminar: Writing an IRB application that includes social media: Key considerations

Presented by Kelly Hebner, JD, IRB Regulatory Analyst, Seattle Children’s Research Institute

Group Health Research Institute, Room 1509A, 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.


The objectives of this presentation are to discuss the key ethical concepts in using social media in research, common regulatory issues that arise in IRB applications that include social media components, and strategies and resources to craft a social media IRB application.


Kelly Hebner brings expertise in Office of Human Research Protection (OHRP) regulations, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and pediatric research. Ms. Hebner received her Juris Doctor at Seattle University in 2009, and is a member of the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA). She is a member of the Health Law section of the WSBA.

Coffee and tea will be provided.

February 19, 2015

Scientific Seminar: MsFLASH and Other Stories: Non-hormonal Management of Menopause Symptoms

Presented by Katherine M. Newton, PhD, Senior investigator, Director of Research & External Affairs, Group Health Research Institute

Group Health Research Institute, Room 1509A, 1 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.


Since the publication of the findings from the Woman’s Health Initiative, which clarified the risks for women associated with the use of hormone therapy for menopause symptoms, women have been seeking non-hormonal, safer therapies to treat menopause symptoms. Our understanding of which menopause symptoms are most important to women, and our toolkit to help them manage these symptoms, has improved dramatically over the last 13 years. In this presentation, the results of a series of studies (HALT and MsFLASH) that have added to this toolkit will be presented.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Scientific seminar: Bias in estimating the causal hazard ratio when using two-stage instrumental variable methods

Presented by Fei Wan, PhD candidate and biostatistician in the Center for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania. 

4:00—5:15 p.m., Group Health Research Institute, Room 1509A, 1730 Minor Ave., Seattle


Fei Wan is a PhD candidate and biostatistician in the Center for Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests are in the area of causal inference /observational studies, Comparative Effectiveness Research, and health service research.


Two-stage instrumental variable methods are commonly used to estimate the causal effects of treatments on survival in the presence of measured and unmeasured confounding. Two-stage residual inclusion (2SRI) has been the method of choice over two-stage predictor substitution (2SPS) in clinical studies.

We directly compare the bias in the causal hazard ratio estimated by these two methods. Under a principal stratification framework, we derive a closed form solution for asymptotic bias of the causal hazard ratio among compliers for both the 2SPS and 2SRI methods when survival time follows the Weibull distribution with random censoring. When there is no unmeasured confounding and no always takers, our analytic results show that 2SRI is generally asymptotically unbiased but 2SPS is not. However, when there is substantial unmeasured confounding, 2SPS performs better than 2SRI with respect to bias under certain scenarios. We use extensive simulation studies to confirm the analytic results from our closed-form solutions.

Coffee and tea will be served.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Constructing Optimal Dynamic Antipsychotic Treatment Regimes for Patients with Schizophrenia

Presented by Susan Shortreed, PhDAssociate Investigator, Group Health Research Institute

3:00—4:30 p.m., University of Washington Health Sciences Building, Room H371, Seattle.

Event information

The Program in Health Economics and Outcomes Methodology (PHEnOM) seminar will be held Wednesday January 21, 2015 from 3–4:30 p.m. in the Health Sciences Building, Room H371.

Methods Topic: Dynamic Treatments

More information:
PHEnOM: http://depts.washington.edu/phenom/

For more information about the PHEnOM seminar series: http://depts.washington.edu/phenom/seminar/

Questions? Please contact: Anirban Basu at basua@uw.edu

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Seminar: Variable Selection for Case-Cohort Studies with Failure Time Outcome

Presented by Andy Ni, MS. 

4–5:15 p.m., Room 1509A, Group Health Research Institute, 1730 Minor Ave., Seattle.


Andy Ni received his MS in Biostatistics from the University of Toronto, and then worked at Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, Canada, as a biostatistician for two years. He is currently in his fifth year of PhD study and UNC-Chapel Hill.


Case-cohort design is widely used in large cohort studies to reduce the cost associated with covariate measurement. In many of those studies the number of covariates is very large, especially with the increasing availability of massive genetic information.

Therefore, an efficient variable selection method is needed for case-cohort design. In this presentation, Mr. Ni will focus on the Smoothly Clipped Absolute Deviation (SCAD) penalty based variable selection procedure in case-cohort studies with failure time outcome. He will establish the consistency and asymptotic normality of the maximum penalized pseudo-partial likelihood estimator.

Ni will further show that the proposed model selection procedure can identify the true model with probability one as sample size goes to infinity, and it estimates the nonzero parameters as efficiently as if the true model is known a priori. Simulation results will be presented to assess and compare the finite sample performance of the proposed variable selection procedure with AIC- and BIC-based tuning parameter selection methods. The proposed procedure is applied to the Busselton Health Study.

Ni will make recommendations for practical use of the variable selection procedures in case-cohort studies.


Coffee and tea will be served.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Special presentation
Research publishing open access

Presented by Jevin West, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Washington Information School

2:30–3:30 p.m., Room 1509A, Group Health Research Institute, 1730 Minor Ave., Seattle.


Open access journal articles are freely available on the Internet with no restrictions, no paywall. This publishing model raises many questions for researchers, including:

  • Does open access increase citations?

  • Do open access journals have impact factors comparable to subscription journals?

  • What are the costs and benefits—for my group, for GHRI, and for research in general—of paying extra to publish an open access article? 

  • Which open access journals should I publish in?

Join us for a presentation and conversation about open access publishing on Monday January 12, 2015 at 2:30 p.m., room 1509A. Assistant Professor Jevin West, University of Washington Information School, will talk about pros and cons and answer your questions about open access.

For more on open access publishing, see the 8-minute PHD comics video.

Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014

Scientific seminar
Beyond the 1-exposure, 1-outcome paradigm for scientific discovery in environmental epidemiology

Presented by Jennifer Feder Bobb, PhD, Research Associate, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health

4–5 p.m., Room 1509A, Group Health Research Institute, 1730 Minor Ave., Seattle.


The most common approach in environmental epidemiology is to hypothesize a relationship between a particular exposure and a particular outcome and then estimate the health risks.

In this talk I will present two case studies from my research that move beyond this standard one-exposure, one-outcome paradigm. The first case study considers the problem of estimating the effects of multiple exposures on a single outcome. We propose a new approach for estimating the health effects of multi-pollutant mixtures, Bayesian kernel machine regression, which simultaneously estimates the (potentially high-dimensional) exposure-response function and incorporates variable selection to identify important mixture components.

The second case study considers the effects of a single exposure (heat waves) on multiple outcomes (cause-specific hospitalization rates). Rather than pre-specifying a small number of individual diseases, we jointly consider all 15,000 possible discharge diagnosis codes and identify the full spectrum of diseases associated with exposure to heat waves among 23.7 million older adults. Through these case studies, we find that approaches that consider multiple exposures and/or multiple outcomes have the potential to lead to new scientific insights.


Jennifer received her PhD in biostatistics from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in May 2012. She is currently a research associate in the Department of Biostatistics at Harvard School of Public Health, working with Francesca Dominici and Brent Coull. In her research she develops statistical methodologies for large and high-dimensional, observational data, with applications in public health and epidemiology. Some of her work has been to develop methods for estimating the health effects of climate change, methods for estimating how concurrent exposure to multiple environmental stressors (heat waves, air pollution, chemical mixtures) impacts health, and applying these methods to conduct large-scale epidemiological investigations.

Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014

Integrating Behavioral Health into Primary Care, presented by The Commonwealth Fund

9–10 a.m. Pacific; Registration information


Moderator: Melinda Abrams, Vice President, Health Care Delivery System Reform, The Commonwealth Fund

Jurgen Unutzer, MD, Director, Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions Center, University of Washington

Andrea Fox, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Squirrel Hill Health Center

Marty Abdo, Certified Peer Specialist and Peer Bridger, Harborview Medical Center

Meeting Description:

Behavioral health problems significantly affect people’s health and quality of life, and often exist alongside physical health problems. This one-hour webinar on December 10, 2014, at 12 p.m., E.T., will discuss the benefits of integrating behavioral health into primary care, especially for low-income individuals, drawing on lessons from the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative, a five-year demonstration that was supported by The Commonwealth Fund, Qualis Health, and the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation at the Group Health Research Institute.

Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014

Scientific seminar
The role of stage at diagnosis in colorectal cancer racial/ethnic survival disparities: a causal inference perspective

Presented by Linda Valeri, PhD, Research Fellow, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health

4–5 p.m., Room 1509A, Group Health Research Institute, 1730 Minor Ave., Seattle.


Disparities in colorectal cancer survival and stage at diagnosis between white and black patients are widely documented, whereby black patients are more likely diagnosed at advanced stage and have poorer prognosis. Interest lies in understanding the importance of stage at diagnosis in explaining survival disparities.

To this aim we propose to quantify the extent to which racial/ethnic survival disparities would be reduced if disparities in stage at diagnosis were eliminated. In particular, we develop a causal inference approach to assess the impact of a hypothetical shift in the distribution of stage at diagnosis in the black population to match that of the white population. We further develop sensitivity analysis techniques to assess the robustness of our results to the violation of the no-unmeasured confounding assumption and to selection bias due to stage at diagnosis missing not-at-random.

Our results support the hypothesis that elimination of disparities in stage at diagnosis would contribute to the reduction in racial survival disparities in colorectal cancer. Important heterogeneities across the patients’ characteristics were observed and our approach easily accommodates for these features. This work illustrates how a causal inference perspective aids in identifying and formalizing relevant hypotheses in health disparities research that can inform policy decisions.

Dr. Valeri's research interests

Dr. Valeri works on statistical methods for causal mediation analysis, which is relevant for comparative effectiveness research, evaluating and improving policy recommendations, and explaining biological mechanisms. Her dissertation focused on developing methods and computational tools for mediation analysis under the counterfactual framework in the presence of interactions and measurement error. Currently, she is interested in the analysis of pathways in longitudinal and time to event data.

Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014

The Team Guide: Healthier patients, happier staff

1–2 p.m. Pacific

Register here. Pre-registration not necessary. Please connect via WebEx on December 9.

Event information
Join the MacColl Center team on December 9, 2014 to discuss team-based care. We are pleased to announce the release of the Team Guide, an online tool for primary care teams working to establish or transform team-based care developed through our Primary Care Teams-Learning from Effective Ambulatory Practices (PCT-LEAP) project. Please join us on December 9, 2014, at 1 p.m. Pacific / 4 p.m. Eastern for an introductory webinar.

Visit the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's website for more information: New Online Resource Provides Tools for Transforming Primary Care.

Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014

Scientific seminar
A review of the long-term benefits and risks of bariatric surgery

Presented by David Arterburn, MD, MPH

2–3 p.m., Room 1509A, Group Health Research Institute, 1730 Minor Ave., Seattle.


In the last 10 years there has been a marked increase in data on the short- and long-term outcomes of bariatric surgery. The objective of this seminar is to summarize recent evidence related to the safety, efficacy, and metabolic outcomes of bariatric surgery to guide clinical decision making. 

Dr. Arterburn will discuss the challenges of randomized and observational trials in the area of bariatric surgery and present data and conclusions from the 2013 National Institutes of Health Symposium on the Long-Term Outcomes of Bariatric Surgery. He will also specifically focus on a review of the sparse data on bariatric outcomes among older adults.


A national leader in obesity research, Dr. Arterburn joined Group Health Research Institute in 2006 to forge a new program of research spanning behavioral, pharmaceutical, and bariatric surgical care. Before joining GHRI, he published important findings on the epidemic nature and rising cost of obesity in the United States.

Because tackling the obesity crisis requires a menu of treatment options, Dr. Arterburn's current research covers a broad range, including policy-level interventions for health plans, pharmaco-epidemiology, pharmacogenetics, the long-term outcomes of bariatric surgery, and shared decision making related to elective surgery. With the support of the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, for which he serves as a medical editor, he has collaborated with Group Health's specialty leadership to implement and evaluate a new initiative to promote shared decision making around elective surgical care with video-based patient decision aids. The approach shows great promise for simultaneously improving the quality and lowering the costs of health care.

Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014

Scientific seminar
The patient as agent: Examining the role of the "activated patient" in chronic illness care

Presented by Mark Sullivan, MD, PhD, UW professor of psychiatry and adjunct professor of bioethics and humanities

4–5 p.m., Room 1509A, Group Health Research Institute, 1730 Minor Ave., Seattle.


Patient-centered care for chronic illness is founded upon the informed and activated patient, but we are not clear what this means. We must understand patients as subjects who know things and as agents who do things. Bioethics has urged us to respect patient autonomy, but it has understood this autonomy narrowly in terms of informed consent for treatment choice.

In chronic illness care, the ethical and clinical challenge is to not just respect, but to promote patient autonomy, understood broadly as the patients’ overall agency or capacity for action. The primary barrier to patient action in chronic illness is not clinicians dictating treatment choice, but clinicians dictating the nature of the clinical problem.

Patients contribute not only values to clinical decisions, but facts about how illness impairs their capacity for action. The patient’s perspective on clinical problems is now often added to the objective-disease perspective of clinicians as health-related quality of life (HRQL). But HRQL is merely a hybrid transitional concept between disease-focused and health-focused goals for clinical care.

Truly patient-centered care requires a sense of patient-centered health that is perceived by the patient and defined in terms of the patient’s vital goals. Patient action is an essential means to this patient-centered health, as well as an essential component of this health. This action is not extrinsically motivated adherence, but intrinsically motivated striving for vital goals. Modern pathophysiological medicine has trouble understanding both patient action and health. The self-moving and self-healing capacities of patients can be understood only if we understand their roots in the biological autonomy of organisms. We must bridge between patients’ personal processes and impersonal disease processes without recourse to mind vs body dualism or the mysterious forces of vitalism.

Finally, we come to the policy implications of taking the patient as the primary definer, perceiver, and producer of health.

  1. Care will become patient-centered only when the patient is the primary customer of care.
  2. Professional health services are not the principal source of population health, and may lead to clinical, social and cultural iatrogenic injury.
  3. Health capability has many sources outside disease-focused health services, including exercise, education, and safe neighborhoods.
  4. Social justice demands equity in health capability more than equal access to health services.

Dr. Mark Sullivan received his MD and his PhD in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University. After completing an internship in Family Medicine at University of Missouri, he completed a residency in Psychiatry at the University of Washington in 1988. He is now Professor of Psychiatry and Adjunct Professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Washington. He has served as attending physician in the UW Center for Pain Relief for 25 years, where he is Co-Director of Behavioral Health Services. He has published more than 225 peer-reviewed articles, many on the interaction of mental health and physical health. He is currently completing a book, The Patient as Agent, for Oxford University Press.

Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014

Scientific seminar
Sustainable well-being: Fixing a fragmented health care system using technology

Presented by Marc West, Consultant, Innovation Strategy, Group Health Physicians

4–5 p.m., Room 1509A, Group Health Research Institute, 1730 Minor Ave., Seattle.


The U.S. ranks last nationally in the Long, Healthy Productivity Lives metric in the Commonwealth Fund. Building on his vast experience in health care and his now personal experience with telehealth, Marc has envisioned a new way for coordinated care systems to support complex chronically ill, and ultimately other patients, to live full lives using technology to link providers and patients in new ways.

The Telehealth Accountable Care Organization (T-ACOTM) vision may provide a route for Washington state to improve the health care system and even close budget gaps by leveraging technology in progressive and pioneering ways, combined with proven population management tactics.

This presentation will outline the vision for the T-ACOTM, and demonstrate some of the technological components of the Imagine Telecommunication Telehealth System (ITTS), its technology bundle. It will consider data on potential target populations and impacts to cost of care, current regulatory requirements and research on the use of telehealth in health care to-date, and imagine how this vision could inform the future of health care, health information technology, and telecommunications in our state and beyond.


Marc West is currently working as a Consultant for Innovation Strategy for Group Health Physicians. He was diagnosed with ALS in 2011, and was the first recipient of the Inspirational Leadership Award in 2013. Marc served as executive vice president of Group Health Physicians (GHP) from 2005–2012, during which time his responsibilities also included Executive Vice President of Care Systems Development for Group Health Cooperative.

As the EVP of Group Health Physicians, Marc provided long-range strategic guidance to the GHP Board and led the Administrative Team in areas of Finance, Human Resources, and Information Technology. In his leadership role in Care Systems Development he was responsible for partnering with the health plan, group practice, and other divisions as they developed and implemented improvements in Group Health’s integrated care system. Prior to his current roles, Marc was chief financial and administrative officer for GHP and served in a variety of positions within Group Health Cooperative, including director of Regional Finance and Planning, manager of Business Systems, and regional cost consultant. He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and accounting from the University of Washington in 1990, and completed a CPA certificate program in 1992. He completed his MBA degree from Kaplan University in April of 2011.

Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

Data and Analytics Fair

All are welcome at Group Health's Data and Analytics Fair, to be held at Group Health Cooperative Headquarters at 320 Westlake Avenue North in Seattle. The event will take place from 1:30–4 p.m. in rooms W281, W283, and W285. Registration is now closed for posters and presentations. For more information about the event, please contact Christopher Mack.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

“Applying the Tools of Health Services and Operations Research to Designing and Evaluating the Patient-Centered Medical Home”

Room 1509A, Metropolitan Park East, 1730 Minor Ave., Seattle, WA 98101-1448: Paul Fishman, PhD, Senior Investigator at Group Research Institute and  Affiliate Associate Professor at the University of Washington's School of Public Health and Community Medicine. 

Abstract: Health services are financed, produced and delivered through a complex and multi-layered system whose constituent parts too often act independently of one other.  The lack of integrated and coordination among elements of the health services sector results in inefficiencies that lead to increased costs to producers and consumers and errors in care that effect patient health and safety.  In response to the challenges created or amplified by the way in which health services have been organized as well as by incentives contained in legislation at the federal and state levels the industry is attempting to recreate itself and build more financial and clinical integration between and among health services providers.  The industry has little evidence about how to effect this transformation and there are experiments throughout the country attempting to find ways to create a more efficient, safer and productive health care sector that is responsive to patient needs.

We present a research framework and initial results of collaboration between the economists, health services and operations researchers designed to identify and test opportunities for achieving the triple aims of lower cost, improved quality and better patient satisfaction that has been established as the outcome of a successful reform of the US health care system.  We present results of a model that capture the manner in which patients transition through the health care system that allows us to test for the impact of alternative delivery system design principles and identify opportunities for improved cost results and health outcomes.

Sept. 28–30, 2014

1st Seattle Symposium on Health Care Data Analytics: Confronting statistical challenges of using health record data to conduct health research.
Hosted by GHRI and the University of Washington Department of Biostatistics.

June 10, 2014

“On the front lines of a paradigm shift: The value of qualitative perspectives for the emerging field of Patient Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR).”

Clarissa Hsu, PhD, Research Associate/Research Program Manager, Center for Community Health and Evaluation (CCHE), Group Health Research Institute

Abstract: Patient centered care and patient centered research has received increasing attention as a result of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) focus on the Triple Aim of improving the quality of patient care, advancing population-based health and cost containment. By prescribing the formation of the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and related funds for dissemination of PCOR results, the ACA is supporting the emergence of PCOR as a new approach to health care research. PCOR asks both researchers and those delivering care to fundamentally rethink their assumptions and values regarding what they know and the methods used to gather evidence to inform future innovations aimed at improving health and health care.

Qualitative methods use open-ended inquiry and observation to learn about lived experiences and how people make sense and derive meaning from those experiences. As such, these methods offer unique perspectives and approaches that are well suited to gaining new insights about what matters to patients and how patients and clinical staff experience health care processes.

This presentation will explore the different ways that qualitative work can inform both the way we conceptualize PCOR and insights that are generated in this emerging field. Dr. Hsu will highlight several projects she has led or worked on that have an explicit focus on PCOR and/or patient perspectives. Her goal is to provide concrete examples of how our work at GHRI is intersecting with the field of PCOR and launch a dialog around how researchers at GHRI can continue to be leaders and innovators in this exciting new area of research.

May 8, 2014

15th Annual Hilde and Bill Birnbaum Endowed Lecture and Panel Discussion
“Affordable health care for all: How will our nation and region deliver on the promise?”

April 17–Fri. April 18, 2014

2014 Latino Health Conference
Seattle, Wash.

Mon., Feb. 3, 2014

“Development and evaluation of prognostic models in chronic heart failure.”
Benjamin French, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract: Recent clinical research regarding chronic heart failure has focused on identifying prognostic models to predict future morbidity and mortality. Accurate models could be used to counsel patients more effectively and to guide personalized treatment strategies over time. Development of a prognostic model typically requires specification of an appropriate statistical model and is most frequently achieved using standard regression methods such as Cox regression. The prognostic model can be evaluated using time-dependent receiver operating characteristic methods, or risk reclassification methods adapted for censored survival outcomes. In this seminar, Dr. French will

  • illustrate the application of these methods to derive a multi-biomarker risk score and evaluate its prediction accuracy for terminal events in chronic heart failure: death, cardiac transplantation, and placement of a ventricular assist device.
  • compare the performance of alternative model accuracy methods using simulations, both to evaluate power and to quantify the potential loss in accuracy associated with use of a sub-optimal regression model to derive the multi-marker score.
  • discuss ongoing research directions, including the development of new methods to evaluate prediction accuracy for recurrent events (e.g., hospitalization) and their linked outcomes (e.g., total cost and length of hospital stay).

2013 events