Robert J. Reid, MD, PhD

“We’re trying to create a patient-centered medical home ‘where everybody knows your name,’ like Cheers—minus the alcohol, of course."

Robert J. Reid, MD, PhD

Group Health Research Institute Senior Investigator
Group Health Medical Director, Research Translation
Group Health Physician, Public Health & General Preventive Medicine

Areas of focus:


Robert Reid is best known for his seminal work in evaluating Group Health’s pioneering patient-centered medical home. This way of coordinating and streamlining care—and grounding it in team-based primary care—yielded cost savings, lowered death rates, and improved patient outcomes.

Dr. Reid wears two hats at Group Health: as a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute (GHRI) and the medical director of research translation at Group Health Cooperative. This second role is unusual: In it, he helps to translate research into practice and policy at Group Health and beyond—but that’s not all. He also helps to integrate research projects and programs into Group Health’s care, financing, and operations.

All of Dr. Reid’s work is unified by his mission to improve primary care organization, financing, and design—and to translate preventive and chronic care research into day-to-day clinical practice.

A member of GHRI’s MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation, Dr. Reid previously served as an associate medical director of preventive care and a family physician at Group Health. Earlier he taught at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and worked on health reform in Canada, helping to translate research into policy. He is a primary care physician specializing in general preventive medicine with master's training in public health and doctoral training in health policy and management. This background in primary care and preventive medicine helps him to focus on whether system changes will work on the front lines: for patients, clinicians, and care teams.

He credits four mentors:

  • The late Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH, his dissertation advisor at Johns Hopkins, a pivotal figure in the health services research community who made landmark contributions in understanding primary care;
  • Robert G. Evans, PhD, his colleague on the UBC faculty, for grounding in the economics of health care;
  • Ed Wagner, MD, MPH, of the MacColl Center, for understanding of how change happens in primary care; and
  • Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH, for research leadership and how to work in large collaborations.

A fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine, Dr. Reid has lectured regionally, nationally, and internationally: from Olympia, the Mayo Clinic, and Harvard to Ottawa, London, and New Zealand. He is also an affiliate associate professor of health services at the University of Washington School of Public Health and an adjunct professor at the UBC School of Population and Public Health in Vancouver.


Research interests and experience

  • Health Services & Economics

    Primary care organization, finance, and delivery; translation of preventive and chronic care research into clinical practice

  • Preventive Medicine

    Screening; health behavior change; intimate partner violence

  • Primary Care

    Organization and financing; access to care; continuity, referral and care coordination, comorbidity

  • Case-Mix and Risk-Adjustment Modeling

Recent publications

O'Malley AS, Rich EC, Maccarone A, DesRoches CM, Reid RJ. Disentangling the linkage of primary care features to patient outcomes: a review of current literature, data sources, and measurement needs. J Gen Intern Med. 2015 Aug;30 Suppl 3:576-85. doi: 10.1007/s11606-015-3311-9. PubMed

Hvitfeldt Forsberg HH, Nelson E, Reid RJ, Grossman DC, Mastanduno MP, Weiss LT, Fisher ES, Weinstein JN. Using patient-reported outcomes in routine practice: three novel use cases and implications. J Ambul Care Manage. 2015 Apr-Jun;38(2):188-95. doi: 10.1097/JAC.0000000000000052.

Cromp D, Hsu C, Coleman K, Fishman PA, Liss DT, Ehrlich K, Johnson E, Ross TR, Trescott C, Trehearne B, Reid RJ. Barriers and facilitators to team-based care in the context of primary care transformation. J Ambul Care Manage. 2015 Apr-Jun;38(2):125-33. doi: 10.1097/JAC.0000000000000056.

Ludman EJ, McCorkle R, Bowles EA, Rutter CM, Chubak J, Tuzzio L, Jones S, Reid RJ, Penfold R, Wagner EH. Do depressed newly diagnosed cancer patients differentially benefit from nurse navigation? Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2015 Feb 28. pii: S0163-8343(15)00038-9. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2015.02.008 [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed


The learning health system

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Medical home pays off, improving primary care and cutting cost at 2 years

When it comes to primary care, there’s no place like a medical home

The Chicago Tribune, Apr 23, 2014