Marlaine Figueroa Gray, PhD

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“Listening to patient experiences of health, illness, and medical care is a privilege, and my most important work.”

Marlaine Figueroa Gray, PhD

Assistant Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Biography

Marlaine Figueroa Gray, PhD, is a medical anthropologist with a passion for eliciting illness narratives and health care experiences from patients, family members, and medical professionals. She has researched how the intersection of creative practices and medical care provide insight into understanding the logic of biomedical care, what counts as evidence that a creative activity "works," and how arts activities can serve as a model of how to provide better, more patient- and family-centered care. She is particularly interested in how we attend to patient suffering, and in what types of care are possible when no medical treatments are available.

Her previous work includes examining education policy in sub-Saharan Africa and developing curricula for health education, specifically HIV/AIDS education in Kenya and Mozambique.

Dr. Figueroa Gray has extensive experience designing qualitative studies and analyzing qualitative data. At Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI), she uses this expertise to examine how patients, family members, and physicians make medical decisions when outcomes are uncertain and stakes are high, such as deciding whether or not to participate in an immunotherapy trial, or choosing which treatments to pursue as an adolescent or young adult with advanced cancer. She founded the KPWHRI Qualitative Research Interest Group, which supports outstanding qualitative research at the institute.

RESEARCH INTERESTS AND EXPERIENCE

  • Integrative Medicine and Arts in Healing Programs

    Participant experience; benefits; values and funding; legacy projects
  • Medical Education

    Use of the arts in medical education; history of medical education; medical school curriculum development
     
  • Global Health

    HIV/AIDS education; maternal and child health; sub-Saharan Africa

Recent publications

Tuzzio L, Berry AL, Gleason K, Barrow J, Bayliss EA, Gray MF, Delate T, Bermet Z, Uratsu C, Grant RW, Ralston JD. Aligning care with the personal values of patients with complex care needs. Health Serv Res. 2021 Aug 6. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.13862. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Henrikson NB, Blasi P, Figueroa Gray M, Tiffany BT, Scrol A, Ralston JD, Fullerton SM, Lim CY, Ewing J, Leppig KA. Patient and family preferences on health system-led direct contact for cascade screening. J Pers Med. 2021;11(6):538. doi: 10.3390/jpm11060538. PubMed

Gray SL, Elsisi Z, Phelan EA, Hanlon JT. Interventions to reduce fall-risk-increasing drug use to prevent falls: a narrative review of randomized trials. Drugs Aging. 2021 Feb 5. doi: 10.1007/s40266-021-00835-9. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Gray MF, Sweeney J, Nickel W, Minniti M, Coleman K, Johnson K, Mroz T, Forss B, Reid R, Frosch D, Hsu C. Function of the medical team quarterback: patient, family, and physician perspectives on team care coordination in patient- and family-centered primary care. Perm J. 2019; 23:18.147. doi: 10.7812/TPP/18.147. Epub 2019 Aug 26. 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. Health Expect. 2019 May 27. doi: 10.1111/hex.12909 [Epub ahead of print] PubMed

 

Healthy Findings Blog

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Young adults with cancer speak about balancing hope and risk

The first Clare Project study asked about values and care preferences. Project leaders are now building on that foundation.

Read about it in Healthy Findings.

clare project study

Clare-Project-paper_1col.jpg

Young adults with cancer speak about balancing hope and risk

The first Clare Project study asked about values and care preferences. Project leaders are now building on that foundation.

suicide prevention

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Patient perceptions shine light on preventing unexpected suicide attempts

Julie Richards, motivated by clinical practice needs and lived experience, is researching suicide-related care.