February 1, 2017

Kaiser Permanente’s acquisition of Group Health is good for research


GHRI is now one of Kaiser Permanente’s eight regional health research institutes. Dr. Eric B. Larson explains why he’s excited about the change.

by Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH, Group Health Research Institute (GHRI) executive director, and Group Health vice president for research

We are pleased to announce that Kaiser Permanente has completed its acquisition of Group Health Cooperative. Details about the acquisition can be found in the news release.

Now that the acquisition is complete, we will move forward with certainty in this exciting new phase for our research organization — which will soon be known as Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute.

Why I’m enthused about this transition

Change is never easy. But as part of the senior leadership team for Susan Mullaney, president of our new Kaiser Permanente region, I’ve seen firsthand how leaders, clinicians, and staff from across our organization are working together to make this transition as smooth as possible.

It’s a lot of hard work that requires diligent planning and robust collaboration. It’s also very energizing and inspiring to see people come together around common goals.

Here are several key reasons I’m feeling excited and hopeful about the future of our research as Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute:

Our mission and our approach to public-interest research will not change. Even though we’re getting a new name, our mission will stay the same as it’s been for more than 30 years: to improve health and health care for everyone. Our researchers will continue to conduct independent studies focused on improving health and health care for people like you and your family — and more broadly on public health. Nearly all of our funding will still come from federal and foundation grants.

We will be part of Kaiser Permanente’s extensive research network, which includes seven other research centers focused on bringing better health and health care to communities across the nation. As part of this national research network, we’ll be in a better position to study ways to help people everywhere stay healthy and get the care they need.

We have a long history of successful collaborations with Kaiser Permanente. Our researchers have worked closely with Kaiser Permanente colleagues for decades, collaborating on dozens of multisite studies through the Health Care Systems Research Network (formerly known as the HMO Research Network). Over the years, Group Health and Kaiser Permanente have also worked together to bring about improvements in care quality, health policy, and more.

Honoring the legacy of Group Health research

As we begin this next chapter, I couldn’t be more proud of our institute’s 33 years of practical research. 2016 was another stellar year, with a long list of studies that earned national media.

Now it’s great to move forward knowing the legacy of the organization’s commitment to research that improves lives will endure and grow.

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