Julie Richards, MPH

“My hope is that ‘mental health’ becomes less about ‘mental’ and more about ‘health’ as we continue to learn how to integrate care for depression, alcohol and drug use into routine health care.”

Julie Richards, MPH

Research Associate, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Areas of focus:

  • Suicide Prevention
  • Alcohol and Drug Use
  • Mental Health
  • Implementation Research


Julie Richards, MPH, has a particular interest in research designed to improve care for stigmatized conditions. She has applied these interests in a broad range of research projects related to

  • sexually transmitted disease,
  • depression,
  • smoking cessation, and
  • suicide and substance use.

Julie is also currently enrolled in the University of Washington Health Services PhD program, concentrating in Health Systems Research, and planning to complete the program in 2018.

Julie is currently engaged in research projects on suicide prevention as well as alcohol use, funded by NIMH, NIAAA, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. She is a co-investigator on a project seeking to understand suicide attempts following patient reports of no ideation (SRG-0-150-13), and she helps manage Dr. Greg Simon’s large pragmatic trial of population-based programs to prevent suicide attempt (UH3 MH092201). She also manages Dr. Katharine Bradley’s recently completed trial of a collaborative care intervention for primary care patients with alcohol use disorders in the VA (R01 AA018702).

Julie is also involved in a large-scale project evaluating the implementation of routine annual screening for depression, alcohol, marijuana and drug use across all 25 Kaiser Permanente Washington primary care clinics (funded in part by AHRQ R18 HS023173-01) and data analyses evaluating whether clinical alcohol screening can be used to monitor drinking outcomes in HIV+ patients (R21 AA022866-012015).

Research interests and experience

  • Behavior Change

    Alcohol and drug misuse; tobacco cessation

  • Mental Health

    Depression; alcohol and drug use disorders; suicide prevention; self-management

  • Preventive Medicine

    Public and population health; screening effectiveness and uptake; evidence-based practice recommendations


Recent Publications

Williams EC, Achtmeyer CE, Young JP, Berger D, Curran G, Bradley KA, Richards J, Siegel MB, Ludman EJ, Lapham GT, Forehand M, Harris AHS. Barriers to and facilitators of alcohol use disorder pharmacotherapy in primary care: a qualitative study in five VA clinics. J Gen Intern Med. 2017 Oct 30. doi: 10.1007/s11606-017-4202-z. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Bobb JF, Lee AK, Lapham GT, Oliver M, Ludman E, Achtmeyer C, Parrish R, Caldeiro RM, Lozano P, Richards JE, Bradley KA. Evaluation of a pilot implementation to integrate alcohol-related care within primary care. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 Sep 8;14(9). pii: E1030. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14091030. PubMed

Takahashi T, Lapham G, Chavez LJ, Lee AK, Williams EC, Richards JE, Greenberg D, Rubinsky A, Berger D, Hawkins EJ, Merrill JO, Bradley KA. Comparison of DSM-IV and DSM-5 criteria for alcohol use disorders in VA primary care patients with frequent heavy drinking enrolled in a trial. Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2017;12(1):17. doi: 10.1186/s13722-017-0082-0. PubMed

Bradley KA, Ludman EJ, Chavez LJ, Bobb JF, Ruedebusch SJ, Achtmeyer CE, Merrill JO, Saxon AJ, Caldeiro RM, Greenberg DM, Lee AK, Richards JE, Thomas RM, Matson TE, Williams EC, Hawkins E, Lapham G, Kivlahan DR. Patient-centered primary care for adults at high risk for AUDs: the Choosing Healthier Drinking Options In primary CarE (CHOICE) trial. Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2017 May 17;12(1):15. doi: 10.1186/s13722-017-0080-2. PubMed

Williams EC, Lapham GT, Shortreed SM, Rubinsky AD, Bobb JF, Bensley KM, Catz SL, Richards JE, Bradley KA. Among patients with unhealthy alcohol use, those with HIV are less likely than those without to receive evidence-based alcohol-related care: a national VA study. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2017 May 1;174:113-120. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.01.018. Epub 2017 Mar 6. PubMed


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