Health Disparities

The Institute for Health Research conducts studies to identify health disparities and interventions to reduce them for Kaiser Permanente members and the broader community in several areas of prevention and chronic disease treatment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines health disparities as ‚Äúpreventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations‚ÄĚ.

Ongoing studies include:

  • Multiple studies to improve the identification of disparities in basic resource needs such as housing, food, and transportation among Kaiser Permanente members and develop strategies to help members address those needs
  • An NIH-funded study to examine the social determinants of drug use risk behavior and overdose
  • A systematic review of research on disparities in opioid use disorder treatment access, retention, and outcomes
  • A study examining the risk of opioid overdose among people with a felony conviction


Recent Publications

Health Disparities Researchers

  • John F. Steiner, MD, MPH
    Senior Clinician Investigator

Featured Projects

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    Improving Hypertension Care of American Indians and Alaska Natives through Interactive Voice Response Technology

    Investigators: John F. Steiner, MD, MPH
    The goal of this project is to improve care for patients with hypertension at the First Nations Community HealthSource, an Urban Indian Health Organization in Albuquerque New Mexico. A hypertension registry will be developed, and information from that registry will be used to support a randomized, controlled trial of interactive voice-response outreach to patients with hypertension, with the goal of improving blood pressure control through reducing missed clinic appointments and improving medication adherence.
    Funder: American Heart Association
    Study End Date: 6/30/2019
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    Diversity Supplement to: The Safety and Impact of Expanded Access to Naloxone in Health Systems

    Investigators: Ingrid A. Binswanger, MD, MPH, MS and Jason Glanz, PhD and Anh Nguyen, PhD
    The diversity supplement to the parent Naloxone trial aims to: 1) augment the parent trial database of EHR and survey data with social and environmental determinants of health 2) determine the predictive validity of risk behavior survey measures by examining associations between survey responses and measures of risk behavior from the EHR and 3) identify predictors of opioid risk behavior in trial eligible patients. It also supports post-doctoral training and career development of a research fellow.
    Funder: National Institute on Drug Abuse
    Study End Date: 2020