Preventive Medicine

“We want to help people stay healthy and prevent illness, so we’re seeking the best evidence and testing innovative new ways to make screening and health promotion part of everyday clinical practice.”

Nora Henrikson, PhD, MPH
Assistant Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Research overview

Research is often lauded for finding life-saving treatments for diseases like cancer or diabetes. But consider the impact of preventing such illnesses from developing in the first place. It’s hard to describe the value of stopping illness or injury from happening. Yet that’s the goal of research on preventive care.

Most Kaiser Permanente Washington scientists study prevention, whether their work focuses on promoting health by influencing individual behavior, building sound prevention services into everyday clinical care, designing smart health coverage, or all three. By conducting their research at Kaiser Permanente Washington—which combines care and coverage—our researchers have access to data from a large, stable population over time, allowing them to discover which approaches to prevention work best.

Examples include research in areas such as:

Evidence-based practice reviews

A team of researchers at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) produces reviews of scientific evidence that policymakers at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and others use in health care decision-making. We do this work as part of the Kaiser Permanente Research Affiliates Evidence-based Practice Center, one of 13 centers nationwide that are sponsored by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Immunization

We’re improving the safety and effectiveness of vaccines through clinical trials, and we’re monitoring how well each year’s new flu vaccines are working. In addition, we’re studying ways to better inform parents about the benefits and potential harms of childhood vaccines, to improve their uptake.

Drug safety

We’re working on several fronts to help ensure the safety of prescription drugs and other medical treatments. For example, we play a leading role in the Food and Drug Administration’s Sentinel program to monitor the safety of medical products through routinely collected electronic health care data. We’re exploring ways to improve the safety of prescribing opioid pain medications. And we often study the safety of drugs commonly used to prevent chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, and depression.

Screening

Prevention also includes screening to detect disease before symptoms appear, to identify and treat disease at an earlier stage. Our research is improving the effectiveness of cancer screening programs so people get the appropriate tests when needed based on their particular risks. Our research is also aimed at improving clinical screening for behavioral risks such as smoking, suicidal thoughts, alcohol use disorders, and poor eating and exercise habits.

Health promotion

Our research in areas such as smoking cessation, healthy diet, and chronic illness care finds new ways to encourage individuals to adopt and maintain healthier lifestyles. At the same time, we’re exploring ways to reach large populations through the use of phone-based programs, websites, and mobile technologies.

Recent publications on Preventive Medicine

Ormel J, VonKorff M. Debate: giving prevention a chance to prove its worth in lowering common mental disorder prevalence: how long will it take? Child Adolesc Ment Health. 2021 Jan 4. doi: 10.1111/camh.12445. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Lesser RP, Webber WRS, Miglioretti DL, Mizuno-Matsumoto Y, Muramatsu A, Yamamoto Y. Attention, not performance, correlates with afterdischarge termination during cortical stimulation. Front Hum Neurosci. 2021 Jan 22;14:609188. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2020.609188. eCollection 2020. PubMed

Sheppard JP, Tucker KL, Davison WJ, Stevens R, Aekplakorn W, Bosworth HB, Bove A, Earle K, Godwin M, Green BB, Hebert P, Heneghan C, Hill N, Hobbs FDR, Kantola I, Kerry SM, Leiva A, Magid DJ, Mant J, Margolis KL, McKinstry B, McLaughlin MA, McNamara K, Omboni S, Ogedegbe O, Parati G, Varis J, Verberk WJ, Wakefield BJ, McManus RJ. Self-monitoring of blood pressure in patients with hypertension related multi-morbidity: systematic review and individual patient data meta-analysis. Am J Hypertens. 2019 Nov 15. pii: hpz182. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpz182. [Epub ahead of print].

Bradley KA, Caldeiro RM, Hallgren KA, Kivlahan DR. Making measurement-based care for addictions a reality in primary care. Addiction. 2019 Apr 29. doi: 10.1111/add.14605. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Lynch BM, Nguyen NH, Moore MM, Reeves MM, Rosenberg DE, Boyle T, Vallance JK, Milton S, Friedenreich CM, English DR. A randomized controlled trial of a wearable technology-based intervention for increasing moderate to vigorous physical activity and reducing sedentary behavior in breast cancer survivors: the ACTIVATE Trial. Cancer. 2019 Apr 23. doi: 10.1002/cncr.32143. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Researchers in Preventive Medicine

David C. Grossman, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator, KPWHRI; National Senior Medical Director for Community Health at Kaiser Permanente; Physician, Pediatrics, Washington Permanente Medical Group
206-287-2948
David.C.Grossman@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Paula Lozano, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute;
206-287-2113
Paula.Lozano@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Diana S. Buist, PhD, MPH

Director of Research and Strategic Partnerships; Senior Investigator
206-287-2931
Diana.S.Buist@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Katharine A. Bradley, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator
206-287-2151
Katharine.A.Bradley@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Jessica Chubak, PhD, MBHL

Senior Investigator
206-287-2556
Jessica.Chubak@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Dori E. Rosenberg, PhD, MPH

Associate Investigator
206-287-2532
Dori.E.Rosenberg@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Karen Wernli, PhD

Associate Investigator
206-287-2934
Karen.J.Wernli@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Erin J. Bowles, MPH

Research Associate
206-287-2708
Erin.A.Bowles@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Nora Henrikson, PhD, MPH

Assistant Investigator
206-287-4675
Nora.B.Henrikson@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Aruna Kamineni, PhD, MPH

Assistant Investigator
206-287-2922
Aruna.S.Kamineni@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Melissa L. Anderson, MS

Biostatistician III
206-287-2647
Melissa.L.Anderson@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Paula R. Blasi, MPH

Research Associate
206-287-2094
Paula.R.Blasi@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Leah Tuzzio, MPH

Senior Research Associate
206-287-2109
Leah.Tuzzio@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Joseph E. Glass, PhD, MSW

Associate Investigator
206-287-4266
Joseph.E.Glass@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Amy K. Lee, MPH

Research Associate
206-287-2827
Amy.K.Lee@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Julie E. Richards, PhD, MPH

Research Associate II
206-287-2100
Julie.E.Richards@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)

Yu-Ru Su, PhD

Assistant Investigator
206-287-2948
yuru.su@kp.org

Curriculum vitae (CV)