Leah Tuzzio, MPH


“I am a qualitative researcher who uses human-centered design principles to improve people’s care experience.”

Leah Tuzzio, MPH

Senior Research Associate, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute



Leah Tuzzio, MPH, focuses on improving patient experience, implementing evidence into health systems, and improving the health of populations. She is collaborating with teams at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI)’s MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation and Center for Community Health and Evaluation on projects related to social determinants of health, including financial hardship in cancer care, quality improvement in primary care, patient-centered care, and community-based research.

She co-leads the National Institutes of Health Collaboratory’s Health Care Systems Interactions core, which reports on lessons learned from implementing pragmatic trials embedded in health systems. The core disseminates these lessons in the Living Textbook, in manuscripts, and through learning workshops. With Dr. Nora Henrikson, Leah studies ways to improve price transparency at the point of care and the impact of price data on behavior. With several teams at KPWHRI, she conducts qualitative research to learn about people’s values for their health and well-being, barriers and facilitators to getting preventive screening, clinicians’ ideas for implementing evidence into shared decision making, and how research affects health policy. At Kaiser Permanente Washington, she is a steering committee member of the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Equity and Access Team, also called HEAT. In addition, she co-leads the Health Care Systems Research Network (HCSRN) Patient Engagement in Research Scientific Interest Group.

Research interests and experience

Recent publications

Clauser SB, Wagner EH, Aiello Bowles EJ, Tuzzio L, Greene SM. Improving modern cancer care through information technology. Am J Prev Med. 2011;40(5 Suppl 2):S198-207. PubMed

Wagner EH, Aiello Bowles EJ, Tuzzio L, Wiese CJ, Kirlin B, Greene SM, Clauser SB. The quality of cancer patient experience: perspectives of patients, family members, providers, and experts. Qual Saf Health Care. 2010 Dec;19(6):484-9.

Chubak J, Hsu C, Tuzzio L, Kirlin B, Nekhlyudov L. C-a4-01: providing care for cancer survivors in integrated delivery systems: an assessment of current practices and future opportunities. Clin Med Res. 2010;8(3-4):182.

Onega T, Cook A, Kirlin B, Buist D, Tuzzio L. PS3-16: the influence of travel time on breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Clin Med Res. 2010;8(3-4):196. PubMed

Horner K, Wagner E, Bowles EA, Kirlin B, Tuzzio L. PS3-29: the benefits of stakeholder involvement in research. Clin Med Res. 2010;8(3-4):201.

Lin CP, Black RA, Laplante J, Keppel GA, Tuzzio L, Berg AO, Whitener RJ, Buchwald DS, Baldwin LM, Fishman PA, Greene SM, Gennari JH, Tarczy-Hornoch P, Stephens KA. Facilitating health data sharing across diverse practices and communities. AMIA Jt Summits Transl Sci Proc. 2010 Mar 1;2010:16-20. PubMed

Aiello Bowles EJ, Tuzzio L, Ritzwoller DP, Williams AE, Ross T, Wagner EH, Neslund-Dudas C, Altschuler A, Quinn V, Hornbrook M, Nekhlyudov L. Accuracy and complexities of using automated clinical data for capturing chemotherapy administrations: implications for future research. Med Care. 2009;47(10):1091-7. Epub 2009 Jul 30. PubMed

Bowles EJ, Tuzzio L, Ross T, Williams AE, Altschuler A, Ritzwoller DP, Nekhlyudov L. The trustworthiness of administrative health plan data in chemotherapy research. Clinical Medicine & Research. 2008 Dec 1;6(3-4):123.


Co-designing with patients


Patient collaboration sparks care innovations

By partnering with patients, KPWHRI researchers developed 2 new interventions to boost lung cancer screening.



CVD risk calculation: Can smaller clinics break through?

KPWHRI researchers uncover obstacles faced by smaller practices when adding CVD risk calculators into primary care.



What defines outstanding primary care leadership?

The MacColl Center’s LEAP project identifies 11 features of effective leadership at primary care practices.

health services & economics


Community health workers can help make the difference for patients

Leah Tuzzio, MPH, and colleagues describe an underutilized role that can help primary care become truly patient-centered.