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Six Kaiser Permanente Research Centers Join National Mental Health Research Network


OAKLAND Calif. — Six Kaiser Permanente research centers have been selected for inclusion in the 10-center Mental Health Research Network, recently funded with a $10.5 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. The Kaiser Permanente research centers included in the MHRN are located in Southern California, Northern California, Oregon, Colorado, Georgia and Hawaii.

“This is a big move toward true parity between physical and mental health treatment and research. Kaiser Permanente research centers are critical to this network as we have a large, ethnically diverse membership,” notes Karen J. Coleman, PhD, research scientist and lead for the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation.

Using the population-based medical information from the HMO Research Network, the Mental Health Research Network will develop a diverse national resource for mental health researchers that will make prevention, diagnosis, treatment and dissemination of mental health research findings more efficient and robust. This effort has the potential to include 10 million people across 12 states.

“The Mental Health Research Network will enable us to coordinate data from our 10 organizations in order to compare the effectiveness and costs of different mental health treatments across the large and diverse populations they serve,” said Arne Beck, PhD, research investigator and lead for the Kaiser Permanente Colorado Institute for Health Research.

Mental health disorders such as autism, suicide and depression affect people of all ages, ethnic groups and socioeconomic status. “Research to find the best approach to identify, treat and prevent these conditions and other mental health disorders will require large studies on diverse populations,” said Enid Hunkeler, senior research scientist and lead investigator for the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research.

“This 10-center network is an essential resource for advancing those important, large studies,” adds Lisa Croen, PhD, senior research scientist and director of the Autism Research Program at the Kaiser Permanente NCDR.
Kaiser Permanente participating research centers and researchers include:

* Department of Research & Evaluation at Kaiser Permanente Southern California in Pasadena: Karen J. Coleman, PhD, and Virginia Quinn, PhD
* Division of Research at Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland: Enid Hunkeler, MA, Lisa Croen, PhD, and Bruce Fireman, MA
* Center for Health Research at Kaiser Permanente Northwest in Portland, Ore.: Frances Lynch, PhD, and Greg Clarke, PhD
* Institute for Health Research at Kaiser Permanente Colorado in Denver: Arne Beck, PhD, David Price, MD, and Marsha Raebel, PharmD
* Center for Health Research at Kaiser Permanente Georgia in Atlanta: Robert Davis, MD, MPH, Ashli Owen-Smith, PhD, and Lynne Padgett, PhD
* Center for Health Research at Kaiser Permanente Hawaii in Honolulu: Ameena Ahmed, MD, MPH, and Beth Waitzfelder, MA, PhD

The Mental Health Research Network is led by Gregory Simon, MD, MPH, at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle. Other research sites include Center for Health Services at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit; HealthPartners Research Foundation in Minneapolis; and the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in Boston.

Some of the funding for the Mental Health Research Network is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or ARRA, commonly known as the 2009 stimulus package or recovery act.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 8.7 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to:


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