Rachel Gold, PhD, MPH


Rachel Gold, PhD, MPH, is an epidemiologist and health services researcher. Her work focuses on the use of health information technology to address health disparities and improve care quality in safety net clinics, and the implementation methods needed to support adoption of such technologies. Dr. Gold has worked with the OCHIN practice-based research network since 2005; she now has a joint appointment at the Center for Health Research and OCHIN, where she is the Lead Research Scientist.

Dr. Gold has led several studies in Health Information Technology-based strategies for improving cardiovascular care and outcomes in community clinics. One study assessed how to translate an initiative that improved cardiovascular disease and diabetes care in Kaiser Permanente into community health centers; a subsequent study assessed the implementation support strategies needed to help community clinics adopt this initiative. She is currently studying the impact of an innovative, point-of-care cardiovascular (CVD) risk assessment tool on CVD outcomes in community clinics.

Dr. Gold also studies how to integrate data on social determinants of health (SDH) into community clinics’ electronic health records (EHRs), and how such data can be used by care teams: She developed and pilot-tested EHR-based tools for collecting and acting on patient-reported social determinants of health data, and is now studying how to support adoption of SDH documentation and referral-making in these care settings. She is an expert on practice improvement and implementation in community health centers.

Past efforts include analyzing the impact of state insurance policy changes on care quality in safety net clinics, and the relationship between continuous insurance coverage and receipt of guideline-concordant care in these clinics. Dr. Gold earned her MPH from Temple University and her PhD in epidemiology from the University of Washington.

Selected Publications

  • Gold R, et al. Developing EHR-based tools for identifying and acting on community health center patients' social determinants of health through a pilot process. J Am Board Fam Med. 2017 Jul-Aug;30(4):428-447.
  • Gold R, et al. Cardiovascular care guideline implementation in community health centers in Oregon: a mixed-methods analysis of real-world barriers and challenges. BMC Health Serv Res. 2017 Apr 5;17(1):253. PMID: 28381249
  • Gold R, et al. Reporting on the Strategies Needed to Implement Proven Interventions: An Example From a "Real-World" Cross-Setting Implementation Study. Mayo Clin Proc. 2016 Aug;91(8):1074-83. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2016.03.014. Epub 2016 Apr 23. PMID: 27113199
  • DeVoe JE, Bazemore AW, Cottrell EK, Likumahuwa-Ackman S, Grandmont J, Spach N, Gold R. Perspectives in primary care: A conceptual framework and path for integrating social determinants of health into primary care practice. Ann Fam Med. 2016; 14(2):104-8. PMID: 26951584
  • Felcher A, Gold R, et al.  Decrease in unnecessary vitamin D testing using clinical decision support tools: making it harder to do the wrong thing.  J Am Med Inform Assoc (2017) 24 (4): 776-780
  • LaForge, Kate MPH; Gold, Rachel PhD, MPH; Cottrell, Erika PhD, MPP; Bunce, Arwen E. MA; Proser, Michelle PhD, MPP; Hollombe, Celine MPH; Dambrun, Katie MPH; Cohen, Deborah J; Clark, Khaya D. How 6 Organizations Developed Tools and Processes for Social Determinants of Health Screening in Primary Care: An Overview. Journal of Ambulatory Care Management. 2017. doi: 10.1097/JAC.000000000000022
  • Gold R, Nelson C, Cowburn S, Bunce A, Hollombe C, Davis J, Muench J, Hill C, Mital M, Puro J, Perrin N, Nichols G. Feasibility and impact of implementing a private care system's diabetes quality improvement intervention in the safety net: A cluster-randomized trial. Implement Sci 2015 Jun 10; 10:83. PMCID: PMC446190
  • Gold R, Bailey SR, O'Malley JP, Hoopes MJ, Cowburn S, Marino M, Heintzman J, Nelson C, Fortmann SP, Devoe JE. Estimating demand for care after a Medicaid expansion: Lessons from Oregon. J Ambul Care Manage 2014 Oct-Dec; 37(4):282-92. PMCID: PMC4172441
  • Gold R, Muench J, Hill C, Turner A, Mital M, Milano C, Shah A, Nelson C, DeVoe J, Nichols G. Collaborative development of a randomized study to translate a diabetes quality improvement initiative into safety net clinic.J Health Care Poor Underserved 2012 Aug; 23(3 Suppl):236-46.
  • DeVoe JE, Marino M, Angier H, O'Malley JP, Crawford C, Nelson C, Tillotson CJ, Bailey SR, Gallia C, Gold R. Effect of expanding Medicaid for parents on children's health insurance coverage: Lessons from the Oregon experiment. JAMA Pediatr 2015 Jan; 169(1):e143145. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.3145.

Press Release

Kaiser Permanente Helps Community Health Centers Implement New Medication Protocol Aimed at Reducing Heart Attack and Stroke Risk

Prescriptions for a medication regimen to reduce heart attacks and strokes in patients with diabetes increased by nearly 40 percent after community health centers implemented Kaiser Permanente’s “ALL” quality improvement protocol, according to a new study published today in Implementation Science, an open access journal promoting the uptake of research findings into clinical practice.

Jun 10 2015

Press Release

Continuous Health Coverage Essential for Patients Managing Diabetes

When patients with diabetes experience interruptions in health- insurance coverage, they are less likely to receive the screening tests and vaccines they need to protect their health.

Jan 04, 2012