Recognition May 2019

Julie Richards attends policy forum on suicide prevention

KPWHRI Research Associate Julie Richards, MPH, is attending a national Kaiser Permanente health policy forum, “Taking Action to Prevent Suicide,” at the organization’s Center for Total Health in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, May 2.  The goal of the forum is to promote successful suicide-prevention strategies through collaboration among health care systems, communities, policymakers, and others. Attendees include leaders from Kaiser Permanente, patient advocacy organizations, academia, professional associations, think tanks, and government.

Among Ms. Richards’ current research is a project that focuses on understanding suicide attempts following patient reports of no prior suicidal ideation.  She is also helping to manage a large pragmatic trial of population-based programs to prevent suicide attempt.

Others from our region attending the forum are Washington state Secretary of Health John Weisman, DrPH, MPH, and Ursula Whiteside, PhD, a clinical psychologist and CEO of NowMattersNow, a skills program for helping people to manage suicide thoughts.

ACT study paper on PPI use wins Editor Choice award         

A team of University of Washington (UW) and KPWHRI researchers will receive the “Editor’s Choice Award” from the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society May 3-4 in Portland for their 2018 publication showing that proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use was not associated with dementia risk.  PPIs are a type of drugs commonly used to treat acid reflux, peptic ulcers, and ingestion. 

“Proton pump inhibitor use was not associated with dementia risk, even for people with high cumulative exposure,” the authors concluded. “Although there are other safety concerns with long-term PPI use, results from our study do not support that these medications should be avoided out of concern about dementia risk.”

UW Pharmacy Professor Shelly Gray, PharmD, MS, who is also an affiliate investigator at KPWHRI, was lead author on the study, which was conducted among Kaiser Permanente Washington members enrolled in the Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study.  Other authors were UW’s Paul Crane, MD, MPH, and KPWHRI’s Rob Walker, MS; Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD; Onchee Yu, MS; Erin Aiello Bowles, MPH; Melissa Anderson, MS; and Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH.

KPWHRI researchers present on panels at 2019 HCSRN meeting

More than 400 people came to the Health Care Systems Research Network (HCSRN) annual conference April 8-10 to discuss how to advance research that is embedded in health care systems and provide greater support to the investigators conducting the work.

The group was celebrating 25 years since it began in 1994 with Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) as a founding member.  The consortium of 18 research centers based in community-based health systems is committed to rigorous public domain research to improve health and health care.

In a post for the KPWHRI blog, HCSRN Executive Director Sarah Greene, MPH, reflects on the key accomplishments discussed at the meeting in Portland, OR., and the challenges ahead. The event featured 10 KPWHRI researchers as panel and oral abstract speakers:

  • Project Manager Kelly Ehrlich, MS, and Senior Investigator Bev Green, MD, MPH, in the session, "Challenges and Opportunities of Embedding Studies in Real-World Practices in Three PCORI-funded Pragmatic Hypertension Trials: Hyperlink 3, BP-Check, and PCORnet BP Control Lab";
  • Dr. Green and Affiliate Researcher Laura-Mae Baldwin, MD, MPH, in the session, "Transforming Research Findings into Action: Building a Communications Strategy to Promote Change at the Local, Regional, and State Level"; and
  • Dr. Kamineni with Adjunct Researcher John Dunn, MD, MPH, and Kaiser Permanente Washington Manager of Screening and Outreach Susan Carol Bradford, MS, on "Risk-Based Cancer Screening: Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze?"
  • Senior Investigator Michael Parchman, MD, MPH, presented the oral abstract, “Reducing Medical Overuse across Three Diverse Health Care Settings: Lessons Learned.”
  • Data ArchitectRoy Pardee, JD, MA, gave the oral abstract presentation “DIY Analytics for HMOs: How You Can and Why You Should.”
  • Research Associate Julie Richards, MPH, delivered the oral abstract for “ ‘What Will Happen If I Say Yes?’ Perspectives among Adults with Depressive Symptoms on Routine Questions about Firearms Access in Primary Care.”
  • And two other abstracts were presented by Dr. Green: “Blood Pressure Checks and Diagnosing Hypertension (BP-CHECK): A Randomized Controlled Diagnostic Study Comparing Clinic, Home, Kiosk to 24-Hour Ambulatory BP Monitoring: Comparative Accuracy Primary Outcome Results” and “Financial Incentives to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening Uptake and Decrease Screening Disparities: A 3-arm Randomized Controlled Trial.”