Primary care improvement expert to lead MacColl Center

New director brings deep expertise from innovative work with community health centers and national delivery systems and networks.

October 8, 2019

Primary care improvement expert to lead MacColl Center

Photograph of Katie Coleman

New director brings deep expertise from innovative work with community health centers and national delivery systems and networks

Katie Coleman, MSPH, has been named the new director of the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) starting on October 13.

“Katie brings a tremendous vision and high level of commitment to this leadership position,” said Rita Mangione-Smith, MD, MPH, KPWHRI executive director and Kaiser Permanente Washington vice president for research and health care innovation. “She has the perfect background to support the MacColl Center’s next phase of development as a national leader in care innovation and implementation science.”

Ms. Coleman currently leads the Kaiser Permanente Washington Learning Health System Program, which connects KPWHRI researchers to delivery system needs and priorities. As program leader, she has been helping to guide collaborations between researchers and partners in the Kaiser Permanente delivery system to discover new ways to improve services and member health. Ms. Coleman is the Kaiser Permanente principal investigator for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Delta Center for a Thriving Safety Net initiative, a national collaboration to advance value-based payment and care. In addition, she led a project funded by the California Health Care Foundation that published a report on ways to help small health centers succeed under value-based payment. Her other work includes being part of the MacColl Center team on the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative, supported by the Commonwealth Fund to improve care in 65 community health centers in five states.

Ms. Coleman joined KPWHRI in 2006 as a research associate. She earned a bachelor’s degree in social policy, concentrating on health policy, from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in health policy and administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For five years, she coordinated and managed development at Access Community Health Network in Chicago, which is one of the nation’s largest network of community health centers. This work shaped Ms. Coleman’s approach to providing practical, research-based solutions to health care system challenges.

The MacColl Center was established in 1992 and is named for pioneering physician and leader William “Sandy” MacColl. Center researchers work with health systems and funding agencies to develop new models of health care. They specialize in research on complex system change, including providing training, facilitation, and technical assistance to implement evidence-based care improvements. More than 25 years ago, led by then director Ed Wagner, MD, MPH, MacColl Center investigators developed the Chronic Care Model that continues to influence care delivery around the world. Today, focus areas of the MacColl Center are chronic illness care, practice facilitation and coaching, transforming primary care, care coordination, and spreading the patient-centered medical home model. Ms. Coleman will take over leadership on October 13 from Interim Director Brian Austin.

“We are so fortunate to have Katie join the KPWHRI leadership team,” Dr. Mangione-Smith said. “She will be a great asset as we embark on developing our new mission, vision, and strategic plan and build new collaborations across the organization, throughout our region and nationally.”

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This story was originally published by Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute.