Joseph E. Glass, PhD, MSW

“We need to increase the reach of addiction treatment within health care systems. Many more people could benefit from effective care.”

Joseph E. Glass, PhD, MSW

Assistant Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute


Joseph E. Glass, PhD, MSW, is an assistant investigator with Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI). Before joining KPWHRI in July 2016, he worked as an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Social Work for four years. He remains an affiliate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Institute for Research on Poverty.

Dr. Glass’s research ultimately seeks to understand how health care interventions for unhealthy alcohol and drug use could reach more people. His research has sought to answer the questions:

  • Who are the people that receive treatment?
  • Who do not receive treatment?
  • Why?
  • How many people are provided with appropriate interventions for unhealthy drinking when they seek health care?
  • How many people are connected to treatments that may be indicated for them in their community?
  • Are current practices in health care systems to link people to community addiction treatments effective?

Other published studies include work to understand the social and economic conditions in which people live that affect their alcohol use, mental health, and help seeking by analyzing data from communities and health care systems. He has led efforts to measure and conceptualize the stigmatization of unhealthy alcohol use in the United States general population and among military veterans.

Dr. Glass is the principal investigator on “Racial and ethnic disparities in alcohol outcomes and health services,” a grant supported by the by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. This project uses an intersectionality framework to understand how poverty and other psychosocial stressors may influence both patterns of help seeking and the adverse outcomes of alcohol consumption.

After receiving an MSW from the University of Michigan, Dr. Glass spent three years as a social worker at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Ann Arbor Health Care System. As a licensed clinical social worker in a large mental health clinic, he developed expertise in social work case management and evidence-based treatments for anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders. Much of his research is driven by his clinical experiences, thinking back upon the many people struggling with both mental health difficulties and unhealthy substance use who had not yet considered reducing their use or receiving addiction treatment. 

Research interests and experience

Recent publications

Glass JE, Rathouz PJ, Gattis M, Joo YS, Nelson JC, Williams EC. Intersections of poverty, race/ethnicity, and sex: alcohol consumption and adverse outcomes in the United States. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2017 Mar 27. doi: 10.1007/s00127-017-1362-4. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Bensley KM, Harris AH, Gupta S, Rubinsky AD, Jones-Webb R, Glass JE, Williams EC. Racial/ethnic differences in initiation of and engagement with addictions treatment among patients with alcohol use disorders in the Veterans Health Administration. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2017;73:27-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2016.11.001. Epub 2016 Nov 11. PubMed

Williams EC, Joo YS, Lipira L, Glass JE. Psychosocial stressors and alcohol use, severity, and treatment receipt across HIV status in a nationally representative sample of U.S. residents. Subst Abus. 2016 Dec 7:0. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Mares ML, Gustafson DH, Glass JE, Quanbeck A, McDowell H, McTavish F, Atwood AK, Marsch LA, Thomas C, Shah D, Brown R, Isham A, Nealon MJ, Ward V. Implementing an mHealth system for substance use disorders in primary care: a mixed methods study of clinicians' initial expectations and first year experiences. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2016;16(1):126. PubMed


healthy findings blog

Joe Glass, addictions and health disparities researcher, joins GHRI

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