Annual Reports

A better future for the communities we serve

In 2021, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) partnered with researchers, health systems, and communities to help improve health care and address health inequities.

Read the 2021 annual report.

Annual report ARCHIVE


Rising to the challenge of an extraordinary year

In 2020, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute successfully met unparalleled challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, drawing on experience and capabilities built over decades. Our society’s need for research like ours at this time is reflected in our operating budget, which grew more than 17% in 2020, topping $64 million. This includes more than $57 million in grants and contracts — a 25% increase over the previous year. Much of this growth comes from new work related to COVID-19, mental health, and finding safe alternatives to opioids for treatment of chronic pain. By leveraging our capabilities for research in large, real-world populations, we look forward to the challenges ahead.


Advancing our science in a time of transition

Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute expanded its operating budget in 2019, reaching more than $54 million. Federal grant and contract revenue totaled $38.8 millionand other sponsored revenue topped $9 million. At the same time, the Institute’s volume of active grants remained steady at 29 0 as our scientific published 348 articles in peer-reviewed journals. The Institute also welcomed new leadership in 2019. In August, Rita Mangione-Smith, MD, MPH, became Kaiser Permanente Washington’s new vice president for research and health care innovation and executive director of the Institute. Katie Coleman, MSPH, was named director of the Institute’s MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation in October.


New growth to meet our shared mission

Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute’s success in 2018 reflects growing recognition of the value of embedding research in real-world health care settings like Kaiser Permanente. Generalizable research such as ours improves care for health problems affecting millions—issues such as addiction, cancer, infectious disease, and chronic conditions like heart disease, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and more. A key 2018 initiative was our continued development of the Learning Health System Program. This effort leverages the Institute’s world-class research capabilities to create a culture of continuous learning based on partnerships among our scientists and Kaiser Permanente Washington’s operational leaders. Growing support for this and other Institute priorities demonstrates our regional leaders’ commitment to research as integral to Kaiser Permanente’s mission of improving health for our members and all people in the communities we serve.


Growth & new opportunities

2017 marked a unique milestone for Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, as we became the eighth research center in Kaiser Permanente’s national research network. This transition brought us a fresh opportunity to contribute to the Kaiser Permanente Washington operating plan, and we launched our new Learning Health System (LHS) Program—an effort the organization is funding to advance the use of our research capabilities to continually provide better care for our members. For the second year in a row, we welcomed new faculty and saw our total operating budget top $50 million. In 2018, we look forward to continued growth, with active faculty recruitment underway.


Steady growth & productivity in a time of transition

Group Health Research Institute (now known as Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute) reached a record-high $51.6 million in grants and contracts in 2016, while continuing to submit proposals and publish findings at a steady pace. We also prepared for Group Health’s 2017 acquisition by Kaiser Permanente, our long-time research partner, whose history, mission, and values closely align with ours. And we met our goal of diversifying funding beyond traditional federal sources. Following unexpected U.S. election results, we are pivoting to focus more closely on proposals to the National Institutes of Health, our greatest source of support.


Growing in grant revenue and influence

At Group Health Research Institute (GHRI), 2015 was a year of record-high grant and contract revenue: $46.3 million. GHRI also increased funding diversification and became more efficient at generating and maintaining our grant funding. In 2015, we produced more revenue while submitting slightly fewer grant applications than in the past. And we continue to publish a steady stream of research findings that are being widely disseminated to help people live healthier lives.


Growth in funding diversity, productivity, and reach

With the outlook for federal research funding uncertain in 2014, Group Health Research Institute (GHRI) made strides toward diversifying our sources of revenue. We also experienced growth in our number of peer-reviewed publications and active grants in 2014—publishing more papers and overseeing more grants than ever before.


Staying strong amid federal funding challenges

With sequestration and a government shutdown looming large, 2013 started with uncertainty for federally funded health care researchers nationwide. Despite this unpredictable funding environment, Group Health Research Institute (GHRI) closed the year with a strong, stable financial outlook.


Bridging the gap between research and patient care

Like building a bridge, conducting health research is an optimistic act. We start by identifying gaps that can stop progress in its tracks. Then we forge a solid and expanding base of knowledge that all stakeholders—patients, clinicians, purchasers, policymakers, and others—can use to reach their goals.

2011 was a good year for bridge building at GHRI. We made major strides in our evolution as a “learning health care system”—where research and practice are meaningfully integrated, and advances in science are designed to catalyze advances in care.

2011 was also a time of great uncertainty over federal funding for health care and research. Still, GHRI ended 2011 with annual grant revenue slightly higher than ever before and a stable outlook for the coming year. Today’s economic and political climate makes future resources tough to predict. But the U.S. health care system is rife with gaps in knowledge that GHRI and its partners aim to address.

Read the 2011 annual report stories:

To read more, download the 2011 annual report.


Advancing science. Accelerating progress. Together.

2010 may long be remembered for passage of a landmark federal health reform law and the continued debate over its future. As policymakers struggle to chart a new course for our country's health care system, many wonder where we're headed next. One thing is certain: Our nation needs health research that is more timely and more relevant.

Group Health Research Institute is meeting this challenge. After a year of dramatic growth, our diverse faculty is more than 60 members strong, with 2010 grant revenue at a record high. Our staff has never been more capable of responding nimbly to important research opportunities that address the needs of health care's key stakeholders: patients, providers, purchasers, and the public.

Moving health care forward

Our most influential findings of 2010 explored promising strategies for primary care redesign and shed light on the needs and experiences of patients and providers. We also kicked off exciting new projects evaluating value-based insurance design and community-based health improvement, which will help us better understand and meet the needs of cost-conscious health care purchasers and cash-strapped local communities.

Read the 2010 annual report stories:


Science to improve a changing health care system

With health reform at our nation’s doorstep, today’s policy makers, clinicians, and patients all want the same thing: trustworthy, timely evidence for making important decisions about health and health care. While the nation’s new health reform law holds tremendous promise, the challenges ahead are enormous. American health care ranks low among industrialized countries for quality and efficiency. Meanwhile, like other countries worldwide, we face the difficulty of caring for an aging population as costs of care continue to soar. At the same time, we must find ways to provide care and coverage for more than 30 million Americans who previously had no health insurance. The need for high performing health care systems has never been greater.

We're responding with unprecedented results to opportunities that address these needs. The Institute’s success in 2009 is evident in grant dollars awarded, new research projects launched, and academic papers published. Meanwhile, recognition is growing that Group Health’s research priorities are aligned to find pragmatic solutions to problems bearing down on our country’s health care system. This recognition comes in part from our Institute’s role within Group Health Cooperative, an integrated health plan that provides both care and coverage. Like our nation, Group Health must address problems holistically—balancing efforts to improve quality, lower cost, and sustain access for its population.

Read the 2009 annual report stories:


In 2008, the world began a severe economic downturn. As Americans lose jobs and health coverage, economists predict recovery hinges on reforming the nation’s broken health care system. There are no quick fixes. We need sustainable improvements to expand access while controlling cost. 

Much of Group Health research seeks to determine which care is effective—and which isn’t. We rigorously compare treatments and medications for chronic illness and cancer. We evaluate, refine, and share innovations like the Patient Centered Medical Home—a primary care model that builds on our research in prevention, disease management, and in health information technology. Read more in our 2008 annual report.


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