Patients and health care systems worldwide have benefited from Ed Wagner, MD, MPH's commitment to transforming health care. Best known for innovations in chronic illness care, Dr. Wagner's work spans a range of topics in health services research and produces results that consistently enhance our nation’s capacity for health systems change.
Translating evidence-based methods of improving care into practice is the tie that binds Dr. Wagner's investigations in preventive medicine, geriatrics, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Another common thread is collaboration—between researchers and health care teams, between health care teams and patients, and between researchers at different health care organizations. Under his leadership, several projects, initiatives, and organizations aimed at improving care have sprung up and flourished.
Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute's founding director, Dr. Wagner established its MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation in 1992, launching a new effort to move advances in quality improvement research into practice. He and his team developed and disseminated the Chronic Care Model (CCM), an evidence-based framework for health care that delivers safe, effective, and collaborative care to patients.
The CCM is widely recognized for its capacity to guide health care teams in caring for chronically ill patients. Funded as a national program by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and led by Dr. Wagner, Improving Chronic Illness Care (ICIC) introduced the Chronic Care Model to a wide spectrum of organizations, with a particular focus on safety net practices. Over the past two decades, he and his colleagues at the MacColl Center have focused on promoting such efforts in quality improvement research to organizations serving safety net populations. Dr. Wagner also served for many years as principal investigator for the Cancer Research Network CRN, a National Cancer Institute-funded consortium of health-plan-based research organizations. The CRN is part of the Health Care System Research Network (formerly called the HMO Research Network), a larger alliance of health care delivery organizations with sophisticated research capabilities that he helped establish in 1996.
Dr. Wagner's professional service is extensive. Locally, he served as co-chair of the task force that led to the creation of the Washington Health Alliance, a regional multi-stakeholder collaboration committed to improving health care quality and reducing costs in the Pacific Northwest.
In 2007, Dr. Wagner received the Health Quality Award from the National Committee for Quality Insurance (NCQA) and was elected into the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine, now National Academy of Medicine. A longstanding champion of patient-centered care, he was also honored in 2007 with the Picker Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Patient-Centered Care—for advocating that respecting patients' values and preferences be central to chronic illness care. He received the William B. Graham Prize for Health Services Research in 2011, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Community Health Centers in 2012. Dr. Wagner has authored two books and more than 300 publications. He is also professor emeritus of health services at the University of Washington School of Public Health.
Dr. Wagner retired in June 2017.
Jones SW, Parchman ML, Hsu CW, Austin B, Flinter M, Cromp D, Wagner E, McDonald S. Measuring attributes of team functioning in primary care settings: development of the TEAMS tool. J Interprof Care. 2020 May-Jun;34(3):407-413. doi: 10.1080/13561820.2019.1670628. Epub 2019 Oct 1. PubMed
Wagner EH. Organizing care for patients with chronic illness revisited. Milbank Q. 2019 Sep;97(3):659-664. doi: 10.1111/1468-0009.12416. Epub 2019 Aug 19. PubMed
Coleman K, Wagner EH, Ladden MD, Flinter M, Cromp D, Hsu C, Crabtree BF, McDonald S. Developing emerging leaders to support team-based primary care. J Ambul Care Manage. 2019 Jun 4. doi: 10.1097/JAC.0000000000000277. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Blasi PR, Cromp D, McDonald S, Hsu C, Coleman K, Flinter M, Wagner EH. Approaches to behavioral health integration at high performing primary care practices. J Am Board Fam Med. 2018;31(5):691-701. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2018.05.170468. PubMed
Meyers D, LeRoy L, Bailit M, Schaefer J, Wagner E, Zhan C. Workforce configurations to provide high-quality, comprehensive primary care: a mixed-method exploration of staffing for four types of primary care practices. J Gen Intern Med. 2018 Jul 3. pii: 10.1007/s11606-018-4530-7. doi: 10.1007/s11606-018-4530-7. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Wagner EH, LeRoy L, Schaefer J, Bailit M, Coleman K, Zhan C, Meyers D. How do innovative primary care practices achieve the quadruple aim? J Ambul Care Manage. 2018 Oct/Dec;41(4):288-297. doi: 10.1097/JAC.0000000000000249. PubMed
Hartzler AL, Tuzzio L, Hsu C, Wagner EH. Roles and functions of community health workers in primary care. Ann Fam Med. 2018 May;16(3):240-245. doi: 10.1370/afm.2208. PubMed
Lim CY, Berry ABL, Hirsch T, Hartzler AL, Wagner EH, Ludman EJ, Ralston JD. Understanding what is most important to individuals with multiple chronic conditions: a qualitative study of patient's perspectives. J Gen Intern Med. 2017 Aug 28. doi: 10.1007/s11606-017-4154-3. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Berry A, Lim C, Hartzler AL, Hirsch T, Ludman E, Wagner EH, Ralston J. Creating conditions for patients’ values to emerge in clinical conversations: perspectives of health care team members. DIS (Des Interact Syst Conf). 2017 Jun;2017:1165-1174. doi: 10.1145/3064663.3064669. 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
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