Katie Coleman, MSPH

“In the Learning Health System program and the MacColl Center, we're developing evidence-based tools and approaches to improve care. I'm working to bring these resources to Kaiser Permanente Washington and health care systems across the country.”

Katie Coleman, MSPH

Director, Learning Health System Program, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute


Improving care is never easy. But Katie Coleman, MSPH, is finding strategies that make it easier to integrate what's known about how best to care for patients into daily practice. As the Director for Kaiser Permanente Washington’s Learning Health System program, Ms. Coleman gathers knowledge about optimal ways to deliver, organize, and improve health care—and translates it into practice within Kaiser Permanente Washington, and in community health centers, public hospitals and small private practices. She focuses especially on elevating the quality of primary care and behavioral health for patients and providers.

Within KP Washington, she is working with care delivery leaders to cultivate curiosity and bring research to their priorities by evaluating new capital investments, leveraging big data to improve care, and using implementation science and quality improvement methods to accelerate translation of evidence-based into care.  

In the community, Ms. Coleman also designs and evaluates large scale improvement efforts to partnerships with patients, staff, and clinicians.  Currently, she’s leading the primary care practice improvement arm of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Delta Center for a Thriving Safety Net initiative, which aims to advance value-based pay and care competencies in 12 state behavioral health and primary care associations.  She recently worked to improve care in a diversity of practices  in the Colorado Health Foundation’s Team-based Care Initiative,  in 65 community health centers in 5 states as part of the Commonwealth Fund’s Safety Net Medical Home Initiative and 250 small practices as part of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Evidence NOW initiative.  

Ms. Coleman speaks often and publishes her work in peer-reviewed papers, policy briefs, and white papers.  She recently published a report clarifying the core competencies of high-performing primary care their intersection with value-based pay. She has contributed to early work evaluating the Kaiser Permanente Washington Patient-Centered Medical Home demonstration and Oregon Primary Care Associations’ Empathic Inquiry initiative, aimed at identifying and addressing social determinants of health.

Prior to joining the MacColl Center and Kaiser Permanente, Ms. Coleman managed the strategic planning and government grants portfolio for Access Community Health Network, the nation’s largest network of community health centers.

Research interests and experience

  • Health Services & Economics

    Health policy (access to care, health disparities, primary care safety net providers); practice variation; primary care organization and design; translation of preventive care research into clinical practice; health care financing (pay for performance, business case for quality); payment reform; performance measurement and incentives
  • Chronic Illness Management

    Collaborative approaches to transforming health care systems; design of health care systems and teams; evaluation of health care systems; measurement of change in health care systems
  • Social Determinants of Health

Recent publications

Parchman ML, Anderson ML, Coleman K, Michaels LA, Schuttner L, Conway C, Hsu C, Fagnan LJ. Assessing quality improvement capacity in primary care practices. BMC Fam Pract. 2019 Jul 25;20(1):103. doi: 10.1186/s12875-019-1000-1. PubMed

Coleman K, Wagner EH, Ladden MD, Flinter M, Cromp D, Hsu C, Crabtree BF, McDonald S. Developing emerging leaders to support team-based primary care. J Ambul Care Manage. 2019 Jun 4. doi: 10.1097/JAC.0000000000000277. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Hertel E, Cheadle A, Matthys J, Coleman K, Gray M, Robbins M, Tufte J, Hsu C. Engaging patients in primary care design: An evaluation of a novel approach to codesigning care. LID - 10.1111/hex.12909 [doi] Health Expect. 2019 May 27. doi: 10.1111/hex.12909 [Epub ahead of print] PubMed

Hsu C, Hertel E, Johnson E, Cahill C, Lozano P, Ross TR, Ehrlich K, Coleman K, BlueSpruce J, Cheadle A, Matthys J, Chapdelaine M, Gray M, Tufte J, Robbins M. Evaluation of the Learning to Integrate Neighborhoods and Clinical Care project: findings from implementing a new lay role into primary care teams to address social determinants of health. Perm J. 2018; 22:18-101.Published online 2018 Oct 22.doi: 10.7812/TPP/18-101.


Learning Health System


How the LHS Program helps us be best at getting better

One year in, leaders of Kaiser Permanente Washington’s Learning Health System Program describe how research-care delivery partnerships drive continuous learning.

Read it in Healthy Findings

recent grants


Delta Center awards $2.4 million to 10 state associations

New collaborative with John Snow Inc. and Center for Care Innovations aims to spur innovation in value-based payment and care.

healthy findings blog


In value-based settings, community health centers find partnering is key

Read how these small health centers can join with others to meet the unique challenges of caring for some of our nation’s most vulnerable populations.

Read it in Healthy Findings.