Kaiser Permanente Southern California Researchers Join National Mental Health Research Network

PASADENA Calif. The Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation has 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 five other Kaiser Permanente research centers included in the network are located in Northern California, Oregon, Colorado, Georgia and Hawaii.

This is a big move towards true parity between physical and mental health treatment and research. Kaiser Permanente Southern California is critical to this network as we have the largest membership in the network and one of the most ethnically diverse, notes Karen J. Coleman, PhD, research scientist and lead for the Kaiser Permanente Department of Research and Evaluation, the Southern California MHRN site. We can contribute substantially to the understanding of mental health issues across different cultures and how best to treat mental illness in these diverse groups.

Utilizing the population-based medical information from the HMO Research Network, the MHRN 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.

Mental health disorders affect people of all ages, ethnic groups and socioeconomic status. Research to find the best approach to identify, treat and prevent mental health conditions will require large studies on diverse populations.

Kaiser Permanente participating research centers and researchers include:

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

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 the Kaiser Permanente Department of Research and Evaluation
The Department of Research and Evaluation (R&E) conducts high quality, innovative research into disease etiology, prevention, treatment and care delivery. Investigators conduct epidemiology, health sciences, and behavioral research as well as clinical trials. Areas of interest include diabetes and obesity, cancer, HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease, aging and cognition, pregnancy outcomes, women’s and children’s health, quality and safety, and pharmacoepidemiology. Located in Pasadena, Calif., the department focuses on translating research to practice quickly to benefit the health and lives of Kaiser Permanente Southern California members and the general population. Visit

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 8.6 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: