Improving care is never easy. But Katie Coleman, MSPH, is finding strategies that make it easier to integrate what's known about how best to care for patients into daily practice. As a director of KPWHRI's Center for Accelerating Care Transformation (ACT Center), Ms. Coleman gathers knowledge about optimal ways to deliver, organize, and improve health care — and translates it into practice within Kaiser Permanente Washington, and in community health centers, public hospitals, and small private practices. She focuses especially on transforming primary care to better integrate behavioral health, social health, and patient and community perspectives.
Formerly the director of the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation, Ms. Coleman co-led the launch of the ACT Center in 2021. The ACT Center brought the MacColl Center together with Kaiser Permanente Washington’s Learning Health System Program to help health systems nationwide accelerate care transformation and achieve lasting, equitable improvements in care delivery.
Within Kaiser Permanente Washington, Ms. Coleman’s ACT Center work has included contributing to the design and evaluation of innovative new primary care clinics — and the subsequent rapid transition to virtual care in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. She also worked with patients and care teams to develop and implement the community resource specialist role systemwide and is now supporting an approach to test universal social health screening.
Additionally, Ms. Coleman serves as co-director of Kaiser Permanente's Social Needs Network for Evaluation and Translation (SONNET) — a learning network of researchers and evaluators who work to improve member health by using scientific capabilities to inform social health policy and practice. She also pursues social health partnerships in the larger community, such as leading the evaluation of the Oregon Primary Care Association’s Empathic Inquiry approach to social needs screening and organizing the ACT Center’s work in a Washington Association for Community Health project to promote social needs screening in federally qualified health centers.
In the community, Ms. Coleman also designs and evaluates large-scale improvement efforts in partnerships with patients, staff, and clinicians. Currently, she’s leading the primary care practice improvement arm of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Delta Center for a Thriving Safety Net initiative, which aims to advance value-based pay and care competencies in 20 state behavioral health and primary care associations. She previously worked to improve care in 65 community health centers in 5 states as part of the Commonwealth Fund’s Safety Net Medical Home Initiative and in 200 small practices as part of Healthy Hearts Northwest, funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Evidence NOW initiative.
Over the years, Ms. Coleman has contributed to the development of dozens of tools and resources to support primary care transformation, including:
Ms. Coleman speaks often and publishes her work in peer-reviewed papers, policy briefs, and white papers. Prior to joining the ACT Center and Kaiser Permanente, Ms. Coleman managed the strategic planning and government grants portfolio for Access Community Health Network, one of the nation’s largest network of community health centers.
Hsu C, Hertel E, Johnson E, Cahill C, Lozano P, Ross TR, Ehrlich K, Coleman K, BlueSpruce J, Cheadle A, Matthys J, Chapdelaine M, Gray M, Tufte J, Robbins M. Evaluation of the Learning to Integrate Neighborhoods and Clinical Care project: findings from implementing a new lay role into primary care teams to address social determinants of health. Perm J. 2018; 22:18-101.Published online 2018 Oct 22.doi: 10.7812/TPP/18-101.
Blasi PR, Cromp D, McDonald S, Hsu C, Coleman K, Flinter M, Wagner EH. Approaches to behavioral health integration at high performing primary care practices. J Am Board Fam Med. 2018;31(5):691-701. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2018.05.170468. PubMed
Wagner EH, LeRoy L, Schaefer J, Bailit M, Coleman K, Zhan C, Meyers D. How do innovative primary care practices achieve the quadruple aim? J Ambul Care Manage. 2018 Oct/Dec;41(4):288-297. doi: 10.1097/JAC.0000000000000249. PubMed
Hsu CW, Hertel E, BlueSpruce J, Ross TR, Cheadle A, Johnson E, Matthys J, Ehrlich K, Coleman K, Tufte J, Robbins M, Fishman P. Connecting primary care patients to community resources: lessons learned from the development of a new lay primary care team role. J Patient Cent Res Rev. 2016;3:218.
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