Rachel Willard-Grace, MPH

Assistant Professor,
Family Community Medicine
+1 628 206-6167

Rachel Willard-Grace is the Director of the Center for Excellence in Primary Care (CEPC). CEPC identifies, develops, tests, and disseminates promising innovations in primary care to improve the patient experience, enhance population health and health equity, reduce the cost of care, and restore joy and satisfaction in the practice of primary care.

Rachel's scholarly work with Dr. David Thom has advanced the growing field of health coaching by providing the first research evidence that medical assistants acting as health coaches could improve clinical indicators, medication adherence, and experience with the healthcare system for patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. She spearheaded work to understand how community health centers engage their patients as partners in quality improvement. She has contributed to policy discussions around primary care practice transformation, the well-being of primary care clinicians and staff, and the role of team-based care as a means to improve both quality of care delivered and the sustainability of the primary care workforce. She worked with Drs. Thomas Bodenheimer and Kevin Grumbach to develop the 10 Building Blocks model of high performing primary care that is now used as a practice improvement model across the United States.

Prior to joining the CEPC, Rachel was a medical assistant, pharmacy tech, interpreter, and subsequently the executive director of a free clinic. Throughout her career, she has worked in the safety net to partner with vulnerable populations and seek better ways of providing healthcare support.

Publications: 

Health Coaching Across the Stages of Vaccine Readiness and Action: A Practical Guide for Public Health Nurses.

American journal of public health

Harris OO, Taylor KD, Maher A, Willard-Grace R

Virtual Trainings Effectively Prepared the Public Health Workforce to Support Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic in California in 2021.

Journal of public health management and practice : JPHMP

Kiernan B, Alonis A, Diala JA, Willard-Grace R, Welty S, White K, Dorian A, Dunn C, Peare A, Westfall M, Shodahl S, Brickley DB

Establishment and Evaluation of a Large Contact-Tracing and Case Investigation Virtual Training Academy.

American journal of public health

Golston O, Prelip M, Brickley DB, Cass A, Chen L, Dorian A, Gandelman A, Keh C, Maher A, Myrick R, Reid MJA, White K, Willard-Grace R, Shafir S

California's COVID-19 Virtual Training Academy: Rapid Scale-Up of a Statewide Contact Tracing and Case Investigation Workforce Training Program.

Frontiers in public health

Brickley DB, Forster M, Alonis A, Antonyan E, Chen L, DiGiammarino A, Dorian A, Dunn C, Gandelman A, Grasso M, Kiureghian A, Maher AD, Malan H, Mejia P, Peare A, Prelip M, Shafir S, White K, Willard-Grace R, Reid M

Implementation and Impact of the Pulmonary Specialist Health Coach Consultation Model to Improve Care for Patients with COPD.

Joint Commission journal on quality and patient safety

Tsao S, Willard-Grace R, Wolf J, Chirinos C, De Vore D, Huang B, Su G, Thom DH

Primary Care Clinician Burnout and Engagement Association With Clinical Quality and Patient Experience.

Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine : JABFM

Willard-Grace R, Knox M, Huang B, Hammer H, Kivlahan C, Grumbach K

Pilot of Brief Health Coaching Intervention to Improve Adherence to Positive Airway Pressure Therapy.

Joint Commission journal on quality and patient safety

Willard-Grace R, Wolf J, Huang B, Lewis E, Su G

Team Configurations, Efficiency, and Family Physician Burnout.

Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine : JABFM

Dai M, Willard-Grace R, Knox M, Larson SA, Magill MK, Grumbach K, Peterson LE

Lay Health Coaching to Increase Appropriate Inhaler Use in COPD: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Annals of family medicine

Willard-Grace R, Chirinos C, Wolf J, DeVore D, Huang B, Hessler D, Tsao S, Su G, Thom DH

Capacity to Address Social Needs Affects Primary Care Clinician Burnout.

Annals of family medicine

Kung A, Cheung T, Knox M, Willard-Grace R, Halpern J, Olayiwola JN, Gottlieb L

A Longitudinal Study of Trends in Burnout During Primary Care Transformation.

Annals of family medicine

Grumbach K, Knox M, Huang B, Hammer H, Kivlahan C, Willard-Grace R

Strategies for recruitment and retention of underrepresented populations with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for a clinical trial.

BMC medical research methodology

Huang B, De Vore D, Chirinos C, Wolf J, Low D, Willard-Grace R, Tsao S, Garvey C, Donesky D, Su G, Thom DH

Burnout and Health Care Workforce Turnover.

Annals of family medicine

Willard-Grace R, Knox M, Huang B, Hammer H, Kivlahan C, Grumbach K

Physician Burnout and Higher Clinic Capacity to Address Patients' Social Needs.

Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine : JABFM

De Marchis E, Knox M, Hessler D, Willard-Grace R, Olayiwola JN, Peterson LE, Grumbach K, Gottlieb LM

Patient Engagement in Community Health Center Leadership: How Does it Happen?

Journal of community health

Sharma AE, Huang B, Knox M, Willard-Grace R, Potter MB

Randomized Controlled Trial of Health Coaching for Vulnerable Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

Annals of the American Thoracic Society

Thom DH, Willard-Grace R, Tsao S, Hessler D, Huang B, DeVore D, Chirinos C, Wolf J, Donesky D, Garvey C, Su G

How Is Family Medicine Engaging Patients at the Practice-Level?: A National Sample of Family Physicians.

Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine : JABFM

Sharma AE, Knox M, Peterson LE, Willard-Grace R, Grumbach K, Potter MB

Creating and Sustaining Care Teams in Primary Care: Perspectives From Innovative Patient-Centered Medical Homes.

Quality management in health care

Howard J, Miller WL, Willard-Grace R, Burger ES, Kelleher KJ, Nutting PA, Hahn KA, Crabtree BF

Higher Perceived Clinic Capacity to Address Patients' Social Needs Associated with Lower Burnout in Primary Care Providers.

Journal of health care for the poor and underserved

Olayiwola JN, Willard-Grace R, Dubé K, Hessler D, Shunk R, Grumbach K, Gottlieb L

Understanding the Potential for Patient Engagement in Electronic Consultation and Referral Systems: Lessons From One Safety Net System.

Health services research

Olayiwola JN, Knox M, Dubé K, Lu EC, Woldeyesus T, James IE, Willard-Grace R, Tuot D

Perspectives of low-income chronically ill patients on complex care management.

Families, systems & health : the journal of collaborative family healthcare

Mao AY, Willard-Grace R, Dubbin L, Aronson L, Fernandez A, Burke NJ, Finch J, Davis E

"How Can We Talk about Patient-centered Care without Patients at the Table?" Lessons Learned from Patient Advisory Councils.

Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine : JABFM

Sharma AE, Willard-Grace R, Willis A, Zieve O, Dubé K, Parker C, Potter MB

Engaging patients as partners in practice improvement: A survey of community health centers

J Clin Outcome Manag

Willard-Grace R, Sharma A, Parker C, Potter MB

What Happens After Health Coaching? Observational Study 1 Year Following a Randomized Controlled Trial.

Annals of family medicine

Sharma AE, Willard-Grace R, Hessler D, Bodenheimer T, Thom DH

Costs for a health coaching intervention for chronic care management.

The American journal of managed care

Wagner TH, Willard-Grace R, Chen E, Bodenheimer T, Thom DH

Strategies for Primary Care Stakeholders to Improve Electronic Health Records (EHRs).

Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine : JABFM

Olayiwola JN, Rubin A, Slomoff T, Woldeyesus T, Willard-Grace R

Teamlets in Primary Care: Enhancing the Patient and Clinician Experience.

Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine : JABFM

Bodenheimer T, Willard-Grace R

Clinician perspectives on working with health coaches: A mixed methods approach.

Families, systems & health : the journal of collaborative family healthcare

Dubé K, Willard-Grace R, O'Connell B, DeVore D, Prado C, Bodenheimer T, Hessler D, Thom DH

Panel management, team culture, and worklife experience.

Families, systems & health : the journal of collaborative family healthcare

Willard-Grace R, Dubé K, Hessler D, O'Brien B, Earnest G, Gupta R, Shunk R, Grumbach K

Health coaching by medical assistants to improve control of diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia in low-income patients: a randomized controlled trial.

Annals of family medicine

Willard-Grace R, Chen EH, Hessler D, DeVore D, Prado C, Bodenheimer T, Thom DH

The panel management questionnaire: a tool to measure panel management capability.

The Permanente journal

Rogers EA, Hessler D, Dube K, Willard-Grace R, Gupta R, Bodenheimer T, Grumbach K

The impact of health coaching on medication adherence in patients with poorly controlled diabetes, hypertension, and/or hyperlipidemia: a randomized controlled trial.

Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine : JABFM

Thom DH, Willard-Grace R, Hessler D, DeVore D, Prado C, Bodenheimer T, Chen E

Expanding the roles of medical assistants: who does what in primary care?

JAMA internal medicine

Bodenheimer T, Willard-Grace R, Ghorob A

Does health coaching change patients' trust in their primary care provider?

Patient education and counseling

Thom DH, Hessler D, Willard-Grace R, Bodenheimer T, Najmabadi A, Araujo C, Chen EH

Team structure and culture are associated with lower burnout in primary care.

Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine : JABFM

Willard-Grace R, Hessler D, Rogers E, Dubé K, Bodenheimer T, Grumbach K

The 10 building blocks of high-performing primary care.

Annals of family medicine

Bodenheimer T, Ghorob A, Willard-Grace R, Grumbach K

In search of joy in practice: a report of 23 high-functioning primary care practices.

Annals of family medicine

Sinsky CA, Willard-Grace R, Schutzbank AM, Sinsky TA, Margolius D, Bodenheimer T

Health coaching.

The virtual mentor : VM

Ghorob A, Willard-Grace R, Bodenheimer T

"I don't see myself as a medical assistant anymore": Learning to become a health coach, in our own voices

i.e., Inquiry in Education

Willard-Grace R, Najmabadi A, Araujo C, Canizalez D, DeVore D, Prado C, Ghorob A, Bodenheimer T

The building blocks of high performing primary care: Lessons from the field

The building blocks of high performing primary care: Lessons from the field

Willard R, Bodenheimer T