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 for Northwest Permanente, where he is also Regional Clinical Quality Lead for COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and Medical Director for Inpatient Respiratory Therapy. In July 2017, he became the Director of Research and Evaluation for Northwest Permanente.  In this role, he acts as a liaison between CHR and the KPNW delivery system, fostering collaboration between researchers, quality improvement teams, and clinicians as a key leader of its learning health system. 

Dr. Mularski is board certified in pulmonary, critical care, and palliative medicine. He has expertise in research methodology, 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. Over the last few years, he led an effort to build national infrastructure for patient-led research in COPD as the PI of the COPD Patient Powered Research Network, one of the entities funded by PCORI to build a national research infrastructure for patient-centered research (PCORnet). He is part of the leadership of three other PCORI-funded pragmatic trials—he serves as co-PI for a pragmatic comparative effectiveness research study of palliative care delivery, a study of comparative effectiveness of two pulmonary drugs for COPD, and a site-randomized comparative effectiveness trial for lung nodule follow-up.  Additionally, he leads implementation and evaluation work, serving the Northwest Kaiser region’s 600,000 members.  He is a PI and founding steering committee member for 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 recently began co-leading a study that is comparing tech-enabled home-based palliative care to standard  in-home palliative care. Dr. Mularski serves as site principal investigator on a number of clinical trials in COPD, including the ASPIRE AeriSeal and IBV Valve trials. 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 research training at UCLA and RAND Health and practical clinical training in hospice and palliative medicine, as well as training in health services research with the VA, before joining the Permanente Medical Group in 2006. Dr. Mularski is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at OHSU. He is a fellow of the American Thoracic Society and the American College of Chest Physicians. He was the inaugural chair of the American Thoracic Society’s Quality Improvement Committee and is currently President of the Oregon Thoracic Society.

Selected Publications

  • Weiss CH, Krishnan JA, Au DH, Bender BG, Carson SS, Cattamanchi A, Cloutier MM, Cooke CR, Erickson K, George M, Gerald JK, Gerald LB, Goss CH, Gould MK, Hyzy R, Kahn JM, Lederer DJ, Mittman BS, Moseson E, Mularski RA, Patel SR, Parthasarathy S, Rand CS, Redeker NS, Reiss TF, Riekert KA, Rubenfeld GD, Tate JA, Wiener RS, Wilson KC, Thomson CC. An Official American Thoracic Society Research Statement: Implementation Science in Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine.  American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 2016 October;194(8):1015-1025.
  • Come CE, Kramer M, Dransfield M, Abu-Hijleh M, Berkowitz D, Bezzi M, Bhatt S, Cases E, Chen AC, Cooper C, Flandes J, Gildea T, Gotfried M, Hogarth K, Kolandaivelu K, Leeds W, Liesching T, Marchetti N, Marquette C, Mularski RA, Pinto-Plata V, Pritchett MA, Rafeq S, Rubio E, Slebos D, Stratakos G, Sy A, Tsai LW, Wahidi M, Walsh J, Wells JM, Whitten P, Yusen R, Zulueta J, Criner GJ, Washko GR.  A randomised trial of lung sealant versus medical therapy for advanced emphysema.  Eur Respir J Sep 2015;46(3):651-662.
  • Guirguis-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.
  • Avillach P, Buelow J, Dewitt EM, Eichler F, Friedman S, Ginsberg S, Horn L, Kappleman M, Margolis P, McBurney R, Merkel PA, Mularski R, Natter M, Nierenberg AA, O’Boyle M, Peay H, Pletcher M, Redline S, Robinson B, Balfour-Sartor R, Schanberg L, Sullivan KE, Sutphen R, Terry SF, Walsh J, Daugherty S, Wahba S, Fleurence R. PCORI Patient-Powered Research Networks (PPRNs) building capacity for conducting patient-centered clinical outcomes research. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2014 Jul-Aug;21(4):583-6. doi: 10.1136/amiajnl-2014-002758. Epub 2014 May 12.
  • 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. 2014 Oct 16. [Epub 2014 Oct 16]

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