Amy Lee, MPH, contributes to a wide range of research focused on improving whole-person care, from prevention to treatment for common mental health and substance use conditions. Her main goals include reducing stigma related to care for unhealthy alcohol and other substance use, and improving patients’ receipt of high-quality treatment and support for these conditions in primary care. Her other areas of interest include health equity, social justice, and social determinants of health.
Working with senior investigator Katharine Bradley, MD, MPH, Ms. Lee has played a lead role in Kaiser Permanente Washington’s Behavioral Health Integration (BHI) initiative. As the primary BHI practice coach, she trained and supported clinical teams in implementing a standard process for screening primary care patients for alcohol and other substance use as well as depression; providing brief counseling for patients with unhealthy alcohol use; and engaging patients in shared decision making and treatment for alcohol and other substance use disorders, depression, and suicidal ideation. Currently, Ms. Lee is working with Dr. Bradley and colleagues to develop a decision aid for people with alcohol use disorders. She is also leading the implementation monitoring team on a nationwide study in six health systems to test the implementation of a collaborative care model for treating opioid use disorders in primary care.
Ms. Lee’s other recent and ongoing projects include:
Ms. Lee received her master’s degree from the University of Washington’s Community Oriented Public Health Practice program in 2012, after which she joined Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) as a clinical research specialist. She became a research interventionist in 2015 and was promoted to research associate in 2016. Ms. Lee is a steering committee member of the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Equity and Access Team, also called HEAT, and is a member of the KPWHRI Equity Team.
Alcohol and drug screening; brief alcohol interventions
Implementation research; quality measurement
From Health Care to Health: A Summit to Address Community and Social Factors—supporting work with three groups that came out of the Summit (Community-centered Design, Behavioral Health and NEAR Science, Undoing Institutional and Structural Racism); Community Resource Specialist Role: Implementation and Evaluation
Primary care management of unhealthy alcohol use; primary care management of alcohol, opioid, and other substance use disorders
Screening and brief intervention; mental health quality measurement; behavioral health integration
Unhealthy alcohol and drug use
Prevention and treatment
Takahashi T, Lapham G, Chavez LJ, Lee AK, Williams EC, Richards JE, Greenberg D, Rubinsky A, Berger D, Hawkins EJ, Merrill JO, Bradley KA. Comparison of DSM-IV and DSM-5 criteria for alcohol use disorders in VA primary care patients with frequent heavy drinking enrolled in a trial. Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2017;12(1):17. doi: 10.1186/s13722-017-0082-0. PubMed
Bradley KA, Ludman EJ, Chavez LJ, Bobb JF, Ruedebusch SJ, Achtmeyer CE, Merrill JO, Saxon AJ, Caldeiro RM, Greenberg DM, Lee AK, Richards JE, Thomas RM, Matson TE, Williams EC, Hawkins E, Lapham G, Kivlahan DR. Patient-centered primary care for adults at high risk for AUDs: the Choosing Healthier Drinking Options In primary CarE (CHOICE) trial. Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2017 May 17;12(1):15. doi: 10.1186/s13722-017-0080-2. PubMed
Williams EC, Achtmeyer CE, Young JP, Rittmueller SE, Ludman EJ, Lapham GT, Lee AK, Chavez LJ, Berger D, Bradley KA. Local implementation of alcohol screening and brief intervention at five Veterans Health Administration primary care clinics: perspectives of clinical and administrative staff. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2015 Jul 26. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2016 Jan;60:27-35. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2015.07.011. Epub 2015 Jul 26. PubMed
Delaney KE, Lee A, Lapham GT, Rubinsky AD, Chavez LJ, Bradley KA. Inconsistencies between alcohol screening results based on AUDIT-C scores and reported drinking on the AUDIT-C questions: prevalence in two national samples. Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2014 Jan 27;9(1):2. doi: 10.1186/1940-0640-9-2. PubMed
Sharing CHOICE trial results, KPWHRI takes next steps to advance research on alcohol-related care at Kaiser Permanente Washington and beyond.
Clinicians and staff at Tacoma South describe the many ways Behavioral Health Integration is making a difference for patients
Opioid misuse and overdose are now a national priority. For decades, KPWHRI has worked to help patients find safe, effective ways to manage chronic pain.
Learn more about our work in opioid research.