Edward H. Wagner, MD, MPH

“Our models for transforming primary care both focus, quite appropriately, on patients. And they improve patients' health and health care experiences.”

Edward H. Wagner, MD, MPH

Group Health Research Institute Senior Investigator
Director (Emeritus), MacColl Center

Biography

Patients and health care systems worldwide have benefited from Ed Wagner's commitment to transforming health care. Best known for innovations in chronic illness care, Dr. Wagner's work spans a range of topics in health services research and produces results that consistently enhance our nation’s capacity for health systems change.

Translating evidence-based methods of improving care into practice is the tie that binds Dr. Wagner's investigations in preventive medicine, geriatrics, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Another common thread is collaboration—between researchers and health care teams,  between health care teams and patients, and between researchers at different health care organizations. Under his leadership, several projects, initiatives, and organizations aimed at improving care have sprung up and flourished.

Group Health Research Institute's founding director, Dr. Wagner established its MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation in 1992, launching a new effort to move advances in quality improvement research into practice. He and his team developed and disseminated the Chronic Care Model (CCM), an evidence-based framework for health care that delivers safe, effective, and collaborative care to patients.

The CCM is widely recognized for its capacity to guide health care teams in caring for chronically ill patients. Funded as a national program by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and led by Dr. Wagner, Improving Chronic Illness Care (ICIC) introduced the Chronic Care Model to a wide spectrum of organizations, with a particular focus on safety net practices. Over the past two decades, he and his colleagues at the MacColl Center have focused on promoting such efforts in quality improvement research to organizations serving safety net populations. Dr. Wagner also served for many years as principal investigator for the Cancer Research Network CRN, a National Cancer Institute-funded consortium of health-plan-based research organizations. The CRN is part of the Health Care System Research Network (formerly called the HMO Research Network), a larger alliance of health care delivery organizations with sophisticated research capabilities that he helped establish in 1996.

Dr. Wagner's professional service is extensive. Locally, he served as co-chair of the task force that led to the creation of the Washington Health Alliance, a regional multi-stakeholder collaboration committed to improving health care quality and reducing costs in the Pacific Northwest.

In 2007, Dr. Wagner received the Health Quality Award from the National Committee for Quality Insurance (NCQA) and was elected  into the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine, now National Academy of Medicine. A longstanding champion of patient-centered care, he was also  honored in 2007 with the Picker Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Patient-Centered Care—for  advocating that respecting patients' values and preferences be central to chronic illness care. He received the William B. Graham Prize for Health Services Research in 2011, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Community Health Centers in 2012. Dr. Wagner has authored two books and more than 300 publications. He is also professor emeritus of health services at the University of Washington School of Public Health.

Research interests and experience

Recent publications

Parchman ML, Von Korff M, Baldwin LM, Stephens M, Ike B, Cromp D, Hsu C, Wagner EH. Primary care clinic re-design for prescription opioid management. J Am Board Fam Med. 2017 1/2;30(1):44-51. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2017.01.160183. PubMed

Wagner EH. A First Step on the Journey to High-Quality Chronic Illness Care. Healthc Pap. 2016;15 Suppl:62-5. PubMed

Ratzliff A, Phillips KE, Sugarman JR, Unutzer J, Wagner EH. Practical approaches for achieving integrated behavioral health care in primary care settings. Am J Med Qual. 2015 Dec 23. pii: 1062860615618783. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

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

 

healthy findings blog

Honoring Dr. Wagner’s far-reaching influence on primary care

Qualis President and CEO Dr. Jonathan Sugarman reflects on Dr. Wagner’s award from the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative.

Read it in Healthy Findings.

behavior change

Among Group Health’s greatest coups? We kicked tobacco’s butt!

Joan DeClaire remembers how the whole organization went mano a mano with America’s biggest killer—and won.

Read it in News and Events.

Improving Primary Care

man-leaping-sunset-1col.jpg

Make a great LEAP forward with new Improving Primary Care Team Guide

With the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation studied the strategies and tactics that 31 practices across the country used to markedly improve care, efficiency, and job satisfaction.

Video

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Nurse navigators help Group Health patients with cancer 

November 2013