Judith Schaefer, MPH


Former Research Associate

Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute


Judith Schaefer, MPH, retired in 2018 from Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute.

Her research examined how providers and patients can become better partners in managing chronic illness. She has worked with patients and health care teams to understand changing behaviors: both personal health behaviors and changes in how health care is delivered.

She has extensive experience in ambulatory care team practice improvement, with specific expertise in care coordination, care for people with multiple chronic conditions, team-based care, and patient self-management support. She was responsible for directing learning networks for Primary Care Transformation–Learning from Effective Ambulatory Practices, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program, and for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Multiple Chronic Conditions Research Network, where she led the development of a conceptual framework on care. She also provided guidance for AHRQ’s Team-Based Care Measures development project, the RWJF Aligning Forces for Quality initiative, the Commonwealth Fund Safety Net Medical Home Initiative, and CoachMedicalHome.

She is the author of “Partnering in Self-Management Support: A Toolkit for Clinicians,” for the Self-Management Support Learning Community for New Health Partnerships, a RWJF funded program at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Previously, she co-chaired the Self-Management Workgroup for the Bureau of Primary Health Care’s Health Disparities Collaboratives.




Honoring Judith Schaefer: Patient champion and champion patient

Looking back on a career that reshaped how health systems tune in to patient perspectives.