Medical anthropologist Clarissa Hsu, PhD, has been doing Kaiser Permanente research since 2001, and became an official member of the faculty in 2011. She conducts research using a holistic approach that unites the cultural, social, and political factors that shape health and health care. Dr. Hsu was one of the first researchers to receive funding from the national Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), which supports studies on issues that are a high priority for patients, caregivers, and clinicians. PCORI-funded research follows an innovative model, including patient input at all steps in the research process. Dr. Hsu and her team christened her PCORI project LINCC: Learning to Integrate Neighborhoods and Clinical Care.
The LINCC project designed, piloted, and evaluated a new primary care role: connecting patients to community resources. This new community resource specialist role was spread throughout Kaiser Permanente Washington, with a robust evaluation and implementation support co-led by Dr. Hsu through KPWHRI’s Center for Accelerating Care Transformation. LINCC also resulted in the creation of valuable health care resources, including an article on having patients as co-investigators, as well as a guide and set of care-design templates for engaging a cohort of patients in co-designing care.
Dr. Hsu is also at the forefront of other prevalent health issues, working to document, design, evaluate, and disseminate new approaches and best practices. She seeks to help chronic pain patients taper off and find alternatives to opioids. She also works to improve how care delivery systems interact with patients and family members around sensitive and complex topics such as dementia diagnoses, use of antipsychotics in youth, blood pressure diagnosis and control, cannabis use, and childhood vaccinations.
Dr. Hsu is an affiliate professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health.
Patient experiences with complementary and alternative medicine
Clinic-community linkages; preventive medicine; addressing social determinants of health
Prevention and treatment
Morton CH, Hsu C. Contemporary dilemmas in American childbirth education: findings from a comparative ethnographic study. J Perinat Educ. 2007;16(4):25-37. PubMed
Placzek H, Cruz S, Chapdelaine M, Carl M, Levin S, Hsu C. Intersecting systemic and personal barriers to accessing social services: qualitative interviews in northern California. BMC Public Health. 2021 Oct 24;21(1):1933. doi: 10.1186/s12889-021-11981-5. PubMed
Green BB, Anderson ML, Ehrlich K, Hall YN, Hansell LD, Hsu C, Joseph D, Margolis KL, McClure JB, Munson SA, Thompson MJ. Blood pressure checks for diagnosing hypertension: health professionals' knowledge, beliefs, and practices. J Am Board Fam Med. 2022;35(2):310-319. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2022.02.210318. PubMed
Use in pregnancy and screening in primary care studied by KPWHRI’s Kiel, Matson, and Lapham.
Study ends but benefits for Kaiser Permanente members continue — thanks to a new support role in the regions’ clinics, writes Dr. Clarissa Hsu.
Partnering with Patients as Equals in Co-Designing Primary Care: Examples and Tools from the LINCC Project
Clarissa Hsu, PhD, asked parents why they decline or delay vaccinating their children to explore ways to overcome barriers to getting vaccinated.
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute plans to award $4.75 million to compare ways to raise COVID-19 immunization rates.
Healthcare Innovation, July 25, 2022