ResearchOur PeopleRichard Mularski

Richard A. Mularski, MD, MSHS, MCR

Meet Richard Mularski

As a practicing ICU physician, Richard Mularski knows the challenges of treating critically ill patients while also communicating with their families. Through his research, he has developed palliative care tools to improve treatment and help families cope with the death of their loved ones.

Richard Mularski, MD, MSHS, MCR, is an academic physician who leads research at CHR and practices pulmonary and critical care medicine at Northwest Permanente (NWP). He has expertise in research methodology, clinical trials, real-world comparative effectiveness research (CER), quality measurement and improvement, translating research into practice, and implementing evidence-based medicine in obstructive lung disease, dyspnea, palliative care, and end-of-life care.

Dr. Mularski serves as KPNW site principal investigator on a number of clinical trials in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including the ASPIRE AeriSeal and IBV Valve trials, as well as the pragmatic comparative effectiveness trial RELIANCE, comparing azithromycin with roflumilast. He led an effort to build a national infrastructure for patient-led research in COPD as a co-PI and medical director of the COPD Patient Powered Research Network, an entity funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to build a national research infrastructure for patient-centered research (PCORnet). He is a leader in three other PCORI-funded pragmatic trials and recently served as co-PI for a pragmatic comparative effectiveness research study of palliative care delivery.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Mularski has led multiple hospital and outpatient COVID-19 trials and participated in vaccine phase III studies and CDC population research. He is a PI and founding steering committee member of a multi-center collaboration of investigators (COPD Outcomes-based Network for Clinical Effectiveness & Research Translation or CONCERT) whose mission is to employ effectiveness and translational research methodologies to improve care and outcomes for patients with COPD.

Dr. Mularski has held numerous leadership roles at NWP, including director of research and evaluation, where he served as a liaison between CHR and the NWP/KPNW delivery system and fostered collaboration among researchers, quality improvement teams, and clinicians. He is board certified in pulmonary, critical care, and palliative medicine. He has performed evidence-based reviews and performance measure development for multiple pulmonary and palliative projects and previously served KP nationally as a methodologist for the KP National Guideline Program with the Care Management Institute. He led the RAND Health pulmonary quality review for the QA Tools project and was lead author on a consensus statement describing 18 quality measures for palliative and end-of-life care for critically ill, hospitalized patients.

Dr. Mularski graduated from the University of Arizona College of Medicine. He completed clinical and research training at OHSU and subsequently at UCLA and RAND Health, where he led health services research within the VA before joining the Permanente Medical Group in 2006He is a clinical professor of medicine and senior scholar of ethics at Oregon Health & Science University and professor of health systems science at the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine. He is a fellow of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), was the inaugural chair of the ATS’ Quality Improvement Committee and is a past president of the Oregon Thoracic Society. He is a past recipient of the College of Palliative Care Research Scholar Award (American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine) and the Roger C. Bone Award for Advances in End-of-Life Care (ACCP) and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the ATS (BSHSR Assembly) in 2020. When he’s not working you can find him riding centuries on his bike, camping, hiking, fishing, and generally traveling the Pacific NW and beyond.

Selected Current Studies

  • Prospective Observational Cohort Study to Assess SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Effectiveness—CASCADIA (CDC)
  • A Phase 3 Study to Evaluate the Efficacy, Immunogenicity, and Safety of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Prefusion F Subunit Vaccine in Adults (Pfizer)
  • A Phase 1/2, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized, Observer-Blind, Dose-Finding Study to Describe the Safety, Tolerability, Immunogenicity, and Potential Efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 RNA Vaccine Candidates Against COVID-19 in Healthy Adults (Pfizer)
  • A Multicenter, Adaptive, Randomized Blinded Controlled Trial of the Safety and Efficacy of Investigational Therapeutics for the Treatment of COVID-19 in Hospitalized Adults (NIAID)
  • Roflumilast or Azithromycin to prevent COPD Exacerbations—RELIANCE (PCORI)

Selected Publications

  • Kalil AC, Patterson TF, Mehta AK, Tomashek KM, Wolfe CR, Ghazaryan V, Marconi VC, Ruiz-Palacios GM, Hsieh L, Kline S, Tapson V, Iovine NM, Jain MK, Sweeney DA, El Sahly HM, Branche AR, Regalado Pineda J, Lye DC, Sandkovsky U, Luetkemeyer AF, Cohen SH, Finberg RW, Jackson PEH, Taiwo B, Paules CI, Arguinchona H, Erdmann N, Ahuja N, Frank M, Oh MD, Kim ES, Tan SY, Mularski RA, et. al. for ACTT-2 Study Group Members. Baricitinib plus Remdesivir for Hospitalized Adults with Covid-19. New England Journal of Medicine 2021 Mar; 384(9):795-807.
  • Feemster LC, Saft H, Bartlett SJ, Parthasarathy S, Barnes T, Calverley P, Curtis JR, Hickam D, Mularski RA, Au DH, Chlan LL, Reinke LF, Cooke CR, Cox CE, Krishnan JA, Rubin E, Shah S, Sullivan DR, Kross EK on behalf of the Behavioral Sciences and Health Services Research Assembly and Nursing Assembly. Patient-centered outcomes research in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine: An official American Thoracic Society workshop report. Annals of the American Thoracic Society 2018 Sep; 15(9):1005-1015.
  • Criner GJ, Delage A, Voelker K, Hogarth DK, Majid A, Zgoda M, Lazarus DR, Casal R, Benzaquen SB, Holladay RC, Wellikoff A, Calero K, Rumbak MJ, Branca PR, Abu-Hijleh M, Maella JM, Kalhan R, Sachdeva A, Kinsey CW, Lamb CR, Reed MF, Abouzgheib WB, Kaplan PV, Marrujo GX, Johnstone DW, Gaspari MG, Meade AA, Hergott CA, Reddy C, Mularski RA, Case AH, Makani SS, Shepherd RW, Chen B, Holt GE, Martel S, for the EMPROVE Study Group. Improving lung function in severe heterogenous emphysema with the Spiration Valve System (EMPROVE). A multicenter, open-label randomized controlled clinical trial. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 2019 December; 200(11):1354-1362Guirguis-Blake JM, Senger CA, Webber EM, Mularski RA, Whitlock EP. Screening for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Evidence report and systematic review for the US Preventative Services Task Force. Journal of the American Medical Association 2016 Apr; 315(13):1378-93.
  • Press VG, Au DH, Bourbeau J, Dransfield MT, Gershon AS, Krishnan JA, Mularski RA, Sciurba FC, Sullivan J, Feemster LC on behalf of the American Thoracic Society Behavioral Science and Health Services Research, Clinical Problems, and Nursing Assemblies. Reducing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease hospital readmissions: An official American Thoracic Society Workshop Report. Annals of the American Thoracic Society 2019 Feb; 16(2):161–170. Mularski RA, Reinke LF, Carrieri-Kohlman V, Fischer MD, Campbell ML, Rocker G, Schneidman A, Jacobs SS, Arnold R, Benditt JO, Booth S, Byock I, Chan GK, Curtis JR, Donesky D, Hansen-Flaschen J, Heffner J, Klein R, Limberg TM, Manning HL, Morrison RS, Ries AL, Schmidt GA, Selecky PA, Truog RD, Wang ACC, White DB for the ATS Crisis Dyspnea Ad Hoc Committee. An Official American Thoracic Society Workshop Report: Assessment and Palliative Management of Dyspnea Crisis.  Annals of the American Thoracic Society 2013 Oct;10(5):S98–S106.
  • Criner GJ, Bourbeau J, Diekemper RL, Ouellette DR, Goodridge D, Hernandez P, Curren K, Balter MS, Bhutani M, Camp PG, Celli BR, Dechman G, Dransfield MT, Fiel SB, Foreman MG, Hanania NA, Ireland BK, Marchetti N, Marciniuk DD, Mularski RA, Ornelas J, Road JD, Stickland MK. Prevention of Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: American College of Chest Physicians and Canadian Thoracic Society Guideline. Chest 2015 Apr; 147(4):894-942.

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