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


Joe 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.

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

  • Why do so few people receive help for their unhealthy drinking and drug use?
  • How can we change this?
  • How can health systems make better use of effective treatments?
  • In what ways could our current treatments for addiction be improved?

His research also seeks 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. For instance, 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 studies how the intersections of race, poverty, and stress influence whether and where people seek help, and why the consequences of drinking vary across racial/ethnic groups. This descriptive research aims to understand how to improve public health interventions that reduce drinking.

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

Goldberg SB, Simpson TL, Lehavot K, Katon JG, Chen JA, Glass JE, Schnurr PP, Sayer NA, Fortney JC. Mental health treatment delay: a comparison among civilians and veterans of different service eras. Psychiatr Serv. 2019 Mar 7:appips201800444. doi: 10.1176/ [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Bensley KM, Fortney J, Chan G, Dombrowski JC, Ornelas I, Rubinsky AD, Lapham GT, Glass JE, Williams EC. Differences in receipt of alcohol-related care across rurality among VA patients living with HIV with unhealthy alcohol use. J Rural Health. 2019 Jan 31. doi: 10.1111/jrh.12345. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Glass JE, Bobb JF, Lee AK, Richards JE, Lapham GT, Ludman E, Achtmeyer C, Caldeiro RM, Parrish R, Williams EC, Lozano P, Bradley KA. Study protocol: a cluster-randomized trial implementing Sustained Patient-centered Alcohol-related Care (SPARC trial). Implement Sci. 2018;13(1):108. doi: 10.1186/s13012-018-0795-9. PubMed

Lapham GT, Lee AK, Caldeiro RM, Glass JE, Carrell DS, Richards JE, Bradley KA. Prevalence of behavioral health conditions across frequency of cannabis use among adult primary care patients in Washington state. J Gen Intern Med. 2018 Jul 10. pii: 10.1007/s11606-018-4558-8. doi: 10.1007/s11606-018-4558-8. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed


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