Leah Tuzzio, MPH

“Researchers continually generate new ways to improve health. But these advances don't make a difference unless people use them and systems implement them. My goal is to help people and communities use evidence to improve their lives.” 

Leah Tuzzio, MPH

Research Associate, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute


Leah Tuzzio, MPH’s research focuses on improving patient experience, reducing health care costs, and improving the health of populations. She is currently working with teams at KPWHRI’s MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation and the Center for Community Health and Evaluation on projects related to quality improvement in primary care, patient-centered care, community-based research, and translating evidence into practice.

One of her main projects is Healthy Hearts Northwest, an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality-funded project to implement and evaluate quality improvement approaches in primary care. In addition, she is working with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Collaboratory’s Health Care Systems Interactions core to report on lessons learned from implementing pragmatic trials.

Leah’s other projects include writing manuscripts from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded Learning from Effective Ambulatory Practices (LEAP) project, studying the primary care workforce and the role of lay health workers, providing technical assistance to the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute’s first Evidence-to-Action Network focused on asthma research, and studying the use and adaptation of the Decision-to-Implement toolkit funded by the University of Washington’s Institute of Translational Health Sciences. 

Leah has co-led Kaiser Permanente Washington's patient-centered care interest group since 2012, and she is a member of the Health Care Research Systems Network (HCSRN) Patient Engagement in Research Workgroup. She earned a Master of Public Health (MPH) at the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health in the Behavioral Sciences and Health Education program.  Her master’s thesis was about the quality of life of people with dementia and their caregiver’s burden. While at Emory she helped disseminate the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Days quality of life measure across the United States and edited consumer books at the American Cancer Society’s national office.

Research interests and experience

  • Behavior Change

    Health promotion; social/behavioral theories; smoking cessation

  • Chronic Illness Management

    Collaborative approaches to transforming health care systems; design of health care systems and teams; evaluation of health care systems; measurement of change in health care systems

  • Health Services & Economics

    Primary care organization and design; quality of primary care; implementation science; value-based health care; patient-centered care; team-based care 

  • Preventive Medicine

    Preventive care; evidence-based medicine; immunization

  • Healthy Communities

    Clinic-community linkages; preventive medicine; addressing social determinants of health

  • Patient-centered care

    Patient-centered medical home

Recent publications

Dillon EC, Tuzzio L, Madrid S, Olden H, Greenlee RT. Measuring the impact of patient-engaged research: how a methods workshop identified Critical Outcomes of Research Engagement (COREs). J Patient Cent Res Rev. 2017;4:237-46. doi: 10.17294/2330-0698.1458

Parchman M, Hsu C, Fagnan L, van Borkulo N, Tuzzio L. Building a learning health care organization: external facilitation tailors support to the learning capacity of primary care settings. J Patient Cent Res Rev. 2017;4:187.

Green BB, BlueSpruce J, Tuzzio L, Vernon SW, Shay A, Catz SL. Reasons for never and intermittent completion of colorectal cancer screening after receiving multiple rounds of mailed fecal tests. BMC Public Health. 2017 May 30;17(1):531. doi: 10.1186/s12889-017-4458-6. PubMed

Tuzzio L, Ludman EJ, Chang E, Palazzo L, Abbott T, Wagner EH, Reid RJ, Design and implementation of a physician coaching pilot to promote value-based referrals to specialty care. Perm J. 2017;21. doi: 10.7812/TPP/16-066. PubMed

Henrikson NB, Tuzzio L, Gilkey MB, McRee AL. "You're never really off time": healthcare providers' interpretations of optimal timing for HPV vaccination. Prev Med Rep.doi:10.1016/j.pmedr.2016.05.002. [Epub ahead of print].

Brandzel S, Chang E, Tuzzio L, Campbell C, Coronado N, Bowles EJ, Bradford SC, Buist DS. Latina and Black/African American women's perspectives on cancer screening and cancer screening reminders. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2016 Nov 18. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed


Preventive Medicine

How to boost rates of cancer screening among Latinas and Black women?

Group Health patients suggested several potential solutions to Susan Carol Bradford and colleagues.

Read our Healthy Findings blog article, published in Healthcare in America.

Healthy Communities

CCHE joins project to build local clinic capacity faster and better

A pilot program supported by Kaiser Permanente will boost clinical, operational, and financial performance of safety net clinics, with CCHE evaluating.

Read about it in News and Events.

healthy findings blog

Helping primary care practices decide whether to adopt proven programs

To be, or not to be, put into practice? Leah Tuzzio describes a decision-to-implement worksheet for evidence-based interventions.

Read it in Healthy Findings

Latest news

Healthy Hearts Northwest helps small and mid-sized practices

AHRQ funds Group Health, Qualis Health, and OHSU for partnership in Wash., Ore., and Idaho.

Read about it in News and Events.