Melissa Anderson, MS


“My work is rewarding because we study a wide variety of scientific questions that address major public health priorities and our results have an impact.”

Melissa Anderson, MS

Senior Collaborative Biostatistician, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute


Biostatistician Melissa Anderson, MS, has collaborated on a wide range of health care topics throughout her career, with an emphasis on preventive care. Her recent research has focused on cancer screening and cardiovascular health. Ms. Anderson worked with Beverly Green, MD, MPH, to determine whether a centralized system of stepped increases in support improves uptake and long-term adherence to colorectal cancer screening.  Ms. Anderson and Dr. Green have also collaborated to answer important questions regarding cardiovascular health, including whether a patient’s cardiovascular risks can be defined using automated electronic health record data and if this method can identify high-risk patients. Other areas of interest are blood pressure measurement variability, and diagnostic accuracy of various blood pressure measurement protocols.

Ms. Anderson has experience with longitudinal observational studies and has considerable expertise in the design and analysis of randomized clinical trials. She was the lead analyst for recent randomized trials of behavioral interventions to (1) promote smoking cessation and oral health behaviors among smoking quitline callers, (2) decrease sedentary time among older adults with obesity, and (3) improve pain and function outcomes through group-based cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness-based stress reduction among patients with chronic back pain.  

Ms. Anderson received her master’s degree in biostatistics at the University of Washington in 1996.  Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in 2003, she worked at the Statistical Coordinating Center for the Cardiovascular Health Study, and the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. 

Research Interests and Experience

  • Biostatistics

    Randomized trials, diagnostic test accuracy, longitudinal data analysis, missing data methods

  • Behavior Change

    Physical activity, oral health care, smoking cessation

  • Cancer

    Breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening

    Cardiovascular Health

    Cardiovascular risk assessment, blood pressure measurement

  • Preventive Medicine

    Adherence to preventive care recommendations

Recent publications

Reed SD, Buist DS, Anderson ML, Aiello Bowles EJ, Fitzgibbons D, Seger D, Newton KM. Short-term (1-2 mo) hormone therapy cessation before mammography. Menopause. 2009;16(6):1125-31. PubMed

Miglioretti DL, Haneuse SJ, Anderson ML. Statistical approaches for modeling radiologists' interpretive performance. Acad Radiol. 2009;16(2):227-38. PubMed

Bonomi AE, Anderson ML, Cannon EA, Slesnick N, Rodriguez MA. Intimate partner violence in Latina and non-Latina women. Am J Prev Med. 2009;36(1):43-48. PubMed

Grembowski D, Anderson ML, Conrad DA, Fishman PA, Larson EB, Martin DP, Ralston JD, Carrell D, Hecht J. Evaluation of the Group Health Cooperative Access Initiative: study design challenges in estimating the impact of a large-scale organizational transformation. Qual Manag Health Care. 2008;17(4):292-303. PubMed

Conrad D, Fishman P, Grembowski D, Ralston J, Reid R, Martin D, Larson E, Anderson M. Access intervention in an integrated, prepaid group practice: effects on primary care physician productivity. Health Serv Res. 2008;43(5 Pt 2):1888-905. Epub 2008 Jul 25. PubMed


New findings

Senior adult male sitting at table taking blood pressure with a blood pressure machine

There’s no place like home … to track blood pressure

Research led by KPWHRI’s Beverly Green, MD, MPH, finds that patients prefer at-home monitoring of blood pressure. 

health care innovation


Research helps our newest clinics build the future—now

Katie Coleman tells how Kaiser Permanente Washington research supports innovation at new clinics in Ballard and South Lake Union.

research into action


Healthy Hearts Northwest helps small clinics improve care

A new study shows how a little supplemental support can result in big gains, especially in managing patients’ blood pressure.