Healthy Communities

“Tackling the complex challenges faced by communities today means bringing together health care, public health, and other sectors to come up with collaborative solutions.”

Allen Cheadle, PhD
Director, Center for Community Health & Evaluation
Group Health Research Institute Senior Investigator

Research overview

Health is about more than health care. Where people live can have a profound influence on daily choices that can promote population health—or harm it. Group Health Research Institute (GHRI) scientists work to improve and sustain conditions that support healthy lifestyles and health care services.

At GHRI’s Center for Community Health and Evaluation (CCHE), for instance, we are working with foundations, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies to evaluate their community health improvement initiatives. A few examples:

  • Since 2004 CCHE Director and Senior Investigator Allen Cheadle, PhD, has led evaluations of Kaiser Permanente’s efforts to prevent obesity, including projects in more than 40 communities that promote healthy eating and active living, largely through policy and environmental changes.
  • CCHE Assistant Investigator Clarissa Hsu, PhD,  led the LINCC, a project that tested a new community resource specialist (CRS) role in primary care clinics at Group Health. CRSs help patients set health goals and connect them with health-promoting resources in their own neighborhoods, including YMCAs, community centers, and farmers’ markets.
  • CCHE Operations and Develop Manager Emily Bourcier is overseeing an evaluation of the Kresge Foundation’s Healthy Futures Fund, which finances projects that co-locate primary care centers and non-clinical services such as employment or housing.

Beyond CCHE, other Group Health researchers are exploring opportunities to improve population health by creating healthier communities. Assistant Investigator Dori Rosenberg, PhD, MPH, investigates how the built environment can better encourage walking and other movement, especially for older adults and those who have limited mobility. GHRI researchers have also examined the link between diabetes prevalence and neighborhood characteristics such as home value and education levels. They have also studied how other social and environmental factors affect health.

Answering such questions gives policymakers, urban planners, and others the information they need to create healthier communities in the future.

Recent Publications on Healthy Communities

Hsu C, Liss DT, Frosch DL, Westbrook EO, Arterburn D. Exploring provider reactions to decision aid distribution and shared decision making: lessons from two specialties. Med Decis Making. 2017;37(1):113-126. Epub 2016 Oct 6. PubMed

Johnson D, Bush M, Brandzel S, Wernli KJ. The patient voice in research; evolution of a role. Res Involvement and Engagement.2016;2:6.

Perla ME, Rue T, Cheadle A, Krieger J, Karr CJ. Biomarkers of insecticide exposure and asthma in children: a national health and nutrition examination survey (NHANES) 1999-2008 analysis. Arch Environ Occup Health. 2015;70(6):309-22. doi: 10.1080/19338244.2014.910490. PubMed

Buist DS, Chang E, Handley M, Pardee R, Gundersen G, Cheadle A, Reid RJ. Primary care clinicians' perspectives on reducing low-value care in an integrated delivery system. Perm J. 2015 Nov 2;20(1). doi: 10.7812/TPP/15-086. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Butler RB, Cheadle A, Aschman DJ, Riske B, Senter S, McLaughlin KM, Young G, Ahuja S, Forsberg AD. National needs assessment of patients treated at the United States federally-funded hemophilia treatment centers. Haemophilia. 2015 Oct 30. doi: 10.1111/hae.12810. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Researchers in Healthy Communities

Allen Cheadle, PhD

Director, Center for Community Health & Evaluation; Senior Investigator, GHRI
206-287-4391
cheadle.a@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Clarissa Hsu, PhD

Assistant Investigator
206-287-4276
hsu.c@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Dori E. Rosenberg, PhD, MPH

Assistant Investigator
206-287-2532
rosenberg.d@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Leah Tuzzio, MPH

Research Associate
206-287-2109
tuzzio.l@ghc.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Recent Publications on Healthy Communities

Hsu C, Liss DT, Frosch DL, Westbrook EO, Arterburn D. Exploring provider reactions to decision aid distribution and shared decision making: lessons from two specialties. Med Decis Making. 2017;37(1):113-126. Epub 2016 Oct 6. PubMed

Johnson D, Bush M, Brandzel S, Wernli KJ. The patient voice in research; evolution of a role. Res Involvement and Engagement.2016;2:6.

Perla ME, Rue T, Cheadle A, Krieger J, Karr CJ. Biomarkers of insecticide exposure and asthma in children: a national health and nutrition examination survey (NHANES) 1999-2008 analysis. Arch Environ Occup Health. 2015;70(6):309-22. doi: 10.1080/19338244.2014.910490. PubMed

Affiliate researchers in healthy communities

David Grembowski, PhD
Professor, Health Services and Oral Health Sciences
University of Washington