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    Laura Schmidt

    TitleProfessor
    SchoolUCSF School of Medicine
    DepartmentIHPS (Health Policy Studies)
    Address3333 Calif. St,Laurel Heights
    San Francisco CA 94143
    Phone415-476-0440

       Overview 
       Overview
      Laura A. Schmidt, PhD, is a Professor of Health Policy in the School of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco. She holds a joint appointment in the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and the Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine. Dr. Schmidt is also Co-Director of the Community Engagement and Health Policy Program for UCSF’s Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. She received her PhD training in sociology at UC Berkeley and while there, completed doctoral coursework in public health, and also holds a masters degree in clinical social work.

      Dr. Schmidt's central goal is to bridge the worlds of biomedical research, clinical practice and population health in ways that help us better understand some of the most pressing issues in health and health care today: the widening of health disparities, health system fragmentation, the vast burden of substance use and abuse on human health, disparities in access to health care and the failure to translate evidenced-based treatments into routine clinical practice. Substantive areas of her research include addiction, poverty and health, childhood obesity and disparities in access to primary and specialty care—all burdens that are profoundly influenced by the organization of care and the social environment. A hallmark of her research is blended methodologies: she incorporates historical-archival, ethnographic and quantitative methods into most of her studies as a way to cross-validate findings and better interpret their meaning. Since its inception, her research program has been stably funded through awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in combination with funding from private foundations, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), Commonwealth Fund, Atlantic Philanthropies and the Laura & John Arnold Foundation.

      Dr. Schmidt's work on health and systems of care spans domestic and international collaborations. On the domestic front, from 1999-2006, she served as Principal Investigator for the Welfare Client Longitudinal Study (WCLS) that links five annual waves of survey data on the health of 718 California welfare recipients with qualitative data on the changing organizations that serve them. The WCLS team, which has included 22 scientific staff of wide-ranging ranks and disciplines, has collectively produced over 90 scientific presentations and publications, 3 dissertations, and 6 funded spin-off studies focusing on homelessness, poverty and violence, child welfare, and the intergovernmental dynamics of welfare reform policies affecting health. In a related line of NIH-funded research she has used large national surveys to tease apart how the financing and organization of care give rise to the significant under-utilization of addiction treatment that we see today, as well as to study disparities in addiction treatment and the impacts of medical marijuana policies on youth.

      At the national level, her investigations have focused on health reform and health disparities, from both population-based and institutional perspectives. Understanding how our current problems came about puts us in a better position guide health care systems in how to do better. Dr. Schmidt's collaborations with UCSF’s Diane Rittenhouse, MD in Family and Community Medicine have sought to understand how best to strategically rebuild the healthcare safety net in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans along health reform’s model of the patient-centered medical home. Dr. Schmidt's work with UCSF’s Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) Community Engagement & Health Policy Program pursues organizational and financial levers to promote the adoption of evidence-based medical practices and public policies in San Francisco and beyond. Her efforts in the San Francisco Health Improvement Partnership (SFHIP) have made possible her service as a scientific advisor to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in their efforts to craft evidence-based policies on childhood obesity via sugary beverage control, and to help the Health Department address homelessness citywide. Dr. Schmidt's work with the RWJF’s national quality improvement initiative, Advancing Recovery, is developing new organizational models for partnerships between service providers and government funders to promote evidence-based addiction treatment.

      At the international level, Dr. Schmidt's research program began in the late-90s when she collaborated in the World Health Organization (WHO)/NIH Joint Project on Diagnosis and Classification of Mental Disorders, a multinational research effort to cross-culturally study and validate diagnostic criteria proposed for the International Classification of Diseases, Version 10 (ICD-10). Several publications from this work demonstrated pronounced cross-cultural variation in conceptions of addictive disorders and their management, particularly between developing and developed countries. Next, she collaborated with international colleagues from four countries on studies of alcohol and development, and service to the Priority Public Health Conditions Knowledge Network (PPHC-KN) of the UN/WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health. The PPHC-KN seeks to develop novel, pragmatic ways to better social conditions for health worldwide, thereby moving us closer to the UN-chartered Millennium Development Goals. As lead author on the Alcohol Programme Node, she helped bring together what they already know about effective policies for reducing the alcohol-attributable global burden of disease with new thinking about novel, untried interventions.

      Dr. Schmidt have carried experiences with WHO and the Social Determinants Commission into her current work on the growing worldwide epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Increasingly, her work focuses on evidence-based policy solutions via governmental and trade regulations that focus on the main preventable risk factors in NCDs, including alcohol, tobacco and unhealthy diet. This has led to new collaborations with UCSF’s Dr. Robert Lustig (pediatric endocrinology) on sugar and its links to alcohol, with Dr. Allyn Taylor from the Georgetown University Law School on building global regulatory systems to foster public health regulations on processed foods and beverages, with Dr. Gavin Yamey and others leading the UCSF Global Health Group on evidence-based policies targeting between-society health inequality, as well as collaborations with law school faculty in Hastings/UCSF Consortium on related issues. Dr. Schmidt's work in this area increasingly focuses on translational approaches that create a direct dialogue between scientists and public around sugar, obesity and chronic disease. She recently initiated a new research program to demonstrate this new strategy for translational medicine called SugarScience.org, funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.


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      Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
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      1. Afshin A, Micha R, Khatibzadeh S, Laura A. Schmidt, Mozaffarian D. . The Handbook of Global Health Policy. Ch. 9: Dietary Policies to Reduce Non-communicable Diseases. 2014; 177-193.
      2. Schmidt LA. The equal right to drink. Drug Alcohol Rev. 2014 Oct 10.
        View in: PubMed
      3. Mulia N, Tam TW, Schmidt LA. Disparities in the use and quality of alcohol treatment services and some proposed solutions to narrow the gap. Psychiatr Serv. 2014 May 1; 65(5):626-33.
        View in: PubMed
      4. Schmidt LA. New unsweetened truths about sugar. JAMA Intern Med. 2014 Apr 1; 174(4):525-6.
        View in: PubMed
      5. Tam TW, Mulia N, Schmidt LA. Applicability of Type A/B alcohol dependence in the general population. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2014 May 1; 138:169-76.
        View in: PubMed
      6. Rittenhouse DR, Schmidt LA, Wu KJ, Wiley J. Incentivizing primary care providers to innovate: building medical homes in the post-katrina new orleans safety net. Health Serv Res. 2014 Feb; 49(1):75-92.
        View in: PubMed
      7. Rittenhouse DR, Schmidt L, Wu K, Wiley J. Contrasting trajectories of change in primary care clinics: lessons from New Orleans safety net. Ann Fam Med. 2013 May-Jun; 11 Suppl 1:S60-7.
        View in: PubMed
      8. Tomoaia-Cotisel A, Scammon DL, Waitzman NJ, Cronholm PF, Halladay JR, Driscoll DL, Solberg LI, Hsu C, Tai-Seale M, Hiratsuka V, Shih SC, Fetters MD, Wise CG, Alexander JA, Hauser D, McMullen CK, Scholle SH, Tirodkar MA, Schmidt L, Donahue KE, Parchman ML, Stange KC. Context matters: the experience of 14 research teams in systematically reporting contextual factors important for practice change. Ann Fam Med. 2013 May-Jun; 11 Suppl 1:S115-23.
        View in: PubMed
      9. Schmidt LA, Rittenhouse DR, Wu KJ, Wiley JA. Transforming primary care in the New Orleans safety-net: the patient experience. Med Care. 2013 Feb; 51(2):158-64.
        View in: PubMed
      10. Moskowitz D, Vittinghoff E, Schmidt L. Reconsidering the effects of poverty and social support on health: a 5-year longitudinal test of the stress-buffering hypothesis. J Urban Health. 2013 Feb; 90(1):175-84.
        View in: PubMed
      11. Zemore SE, Mulia N, Jones-Webb RJ, Liu H, Schmidt L. The 2008-2009 recession and alcohol outcomes: differential exposure and vulnerability for Black and Latino populations. J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2013 Jan; 74(1):9-20.
        View in: PubMed
      12. Schmidt LA. Commentary on Steingrimsson et?al. (2012): an equal right to addiction. Addiction. 2012 Nov; 107(11):1963-4.
        View in: PubMed
      13. Ackerman SL, Tebb K, Stein JC, Frazee BW, Hendey GW, Schmidt LA, Gonzales R. Benefit or burden? A sociotechnical analysis of diagnostic computer kiosks in four California hospital emergency departments. Soc Sci Med. 2012 Dec; 75(12):2378-85.
        View in: PubMed
      14. Ye Y, Bond JC, Schmidt LA, Mulia N, Tam TW. Toward a better understanding of when to apply propensity scoring: a comparison with conventional regression in ethnic disparities research. Ann Epidemiol. 2012 Oct; 22(10):691-7.
        View in: PubMed
      15. Rittenhouse DR, Schmidt LA, Wu KJ, Wiley J. The post-Katrina conversion of clinics in New Orleans to medical homes shows change is possible, but hard to sustain. Health Aff (Millwood). 2012 Aug; 31(8):1729-38.
        View in: PubMed
      16. Schmidt LA, Rieckmann T, Abraham A, Molfenter T, Capoccia V, Roman P, Gustafson DH, McCarty D. Advancing recovery: implementing evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders at the systems level. J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2012 May; 73(3):413-22.
        View in: PubMed
      17. Lustig RH, Schmidt LA, Brindis CD. Public health: The toxic truth about sugar. Nature. 2012 Feb 2; 482(7383):27-9.
        View in: PubMed
      18. Schmidt LA, Tam TW, Larson MJ. Sources of biased inference in alcohol and drug services research: an instrumental variable approach. J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2012 Jan; 73(1):144-53.
        View in: PubMed
      19. Mulia N, Schmidt LA, Ye Y, Greenfield TK. Preventing disparities in alcohol screening and brief intervention: the need to move beyond primary care. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2011 Sep; 35(9):1557-60.
        View in: PubMed
      20. Crabtree BF, Chase SM, Wise CG, Schiff GD, Schmidt LA, Goyzueta JR, Malouin RA, Payne SM, Quinn MT, Nutting PA, Miller WL, Jaén CR. Evaluation of patient centered medical home practice transformation initiatives. Med Care. 2011 Jan; 49(1):10-6.
        View in: PubMed
      21. Schmidt LA, Zabkiewicz D, Henderson S, Jacobs L, Wiley J. On the declining health status of welfare caseloads: emerging dilemmas for serving the poor. Soc Work Public Health. 2011; 26(2):189-211.
        View in: PubMed
      22. Schmidt LA, Mäkelä P, Rehm J, Room R. Alcohol: Equity and Social Determinants. In: Eric Blas and Anand Sivasankara Kurup (eds). Equity, Social Determinants and Public Health Programmes. Priority Public Health Conditions Knowledge Network (PPHC-KN) of the WHO/UN Commission on Social Determinants of Health, Geneva: World Health Organization. Winner of the British Medical Association's "Best Book in Public Health" for 2011. ISBN-13 9789241563970. 2011; 11-30.
      23. McCarty D, McConnell KJ, Schmidt LA. Priorities for policy research on treatments for alcohol and drug use disorders. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2010 Sep; 39(2):87-95.
        View in: PubMed
      24. Odierna DH, Schmidt LA. The effects of failing to include hard-to-reach respondents in longitudinal surveys. Am J Public Health. 2009 Aug; 99(8):1515-21.
        View in: PubMed
      25. Room R, Schmidt L, Rehm J, Mäkelä P. International regulation of alcohol. BMJ. 2008; 337:a2364.
        View in: PubMed
      26. Zabkiewicz D, Schmidt LA. The mental health benefits of work: do they apply to welfare mothers with a drinking problem? J Behav Health Serv Res. 2009 Jan; 36(1):96-110.
        View in: PubMed
      27. Mulia N, Schmidt L, Bond J, Jacobs L, Korcha R. Stress, social support and problem drinking among women in poverty. Addiction. 2008 Aug; 103(8):1283-93.
        View in: PubMed
      28. Zabkiewicz D, Schmidt LA. Behavioral health problems as barriers to work: results from a 6-year panel study of welfare recipients. J Behav Health Serv Res. 2007 Apr; 34(2):168-85.
        View in: PubMed
      29. Schmidt LA, Ye Y, Greenfield TK, Bond J. Ethnic disparities in clinical severity and services for alcohol problems: results from the National Alcohol Survey. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2007 Jan; 31(1):48-56.
        View in: PubMed
      30. Schmidt L, Zabkiewicz D, Jacobs L, Wiley J. Substance abuse and employment among welfare mothers: from welfare to work and back again? Subst Use Misuse. 2007; 42(7):1069-87.
        View in: PubMed
      31. Schmidt LA, Wiley J, Dohan D, Zabkiewicz D, Jacobs LM, Henderson S, Zivot M. Changing patterns of addiction and public aid receipt: tracking the unintended consequences of welfare reform. J Health Polit Policy Law. 2006 Oct; 31(5):945-80.
        View in: PubMed
      32. Lown EA, Schmidt LA, Wiley J. Interpersonal violence among women seeking welfare: unraveling lives. Am J Public Health. 2006 Aug; 96(8):1409-15.
        View in: PubMed
      33. Schmidt L, Greenfield T, Mulia N. Unequal treatment: racial and ethnic disparities in alcoholism treatment services. Alcohol Res Health. 2006; 29(1):49-54.
        View in: PubMed
      34. Schmidt LA, Weisner CM. Private insurance and the utilization of chemical dependency treatment. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2005 Jan; 28(1):67-76.
        View in: PubMed
      35. Weisner C, Delucchi K, Matzger H, Schmidt L. The role of community services and informal support on five-year drinking trajectories of alcohol dependent and problem drinkers. J Stud Alcohol. 2003 Nov; 64(6):862-73.
        View in: PubMed
      36. Weisner C, Matzger H, Tam T, Schmidt L. Who goes to alcohol and drug treatment? Understanding utilization within the context of insurance. J Stud Alcohol. 2002 Nov; 63(6):673-82.
        View in: PubMed
      37. Kaskutas LA, Schmidt LA, Weisner C, Greenfield TK. Methods for evaluating policy changes in alcohol services. Addiction. 2000 Nov; 95 Suppl 3:S329-45.
        View in: PubMed
      38. Schmidt LA, McCarty D. Welfare reform and the changing landscape of substance abuse services for low-income women. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2000 Aug; 24(8):1298-311.
        View in: PubMed
      39. Weisner C, McCarty D, Schmidt L. New directions in alcohol and drug treatment under managed care. Am J Manag Care. 1999 Jun 25; 5 Spec No:SP57-69.
        View in: PubMed
      40. Tamm, Tammy. test. test. 1999; 91:657-669.
      41. Schmidt L, Weisner C, Wiley J. Substance abuse and the course of welfare dependency. Am J Public Health. 1998 Nov; 88(11):1616-22.
        View in: PubMed
      42. Tam TW, Schmidt L, Weisner C. Patterns in the institutional encounters of problem drinkers in a community human services network. Addiction. 1996 May; 91(5):657-69.
        View in: PubMed
      43. Weisner C, Schmidt LA. Expanding the frame of health services research in the drug abuse field. Health Serv Res. 1995 Dec; 30(5):707-26.
        View in: PubMed
      44. Weisner C, Schmidt L. The Community Epidemiology Laboratory: studying alcohol problems in community and agency-based populations. Addiction. 1995 Mar; 90(3):329-41.
        View in: PubMed
      45. Weisner C, Schmidt L, Tam T. Assessing bias in community-based prevalence estimates: towards an unduplicated count of problem drinkers and drug users. Addiction. 1995 Mar; 90(3):391-405.
        View in: PubMed
      46. Schmidt L, Weisner C. The emergence of problem-drinking women as a special population in need of treatment. Recent Dev Alcohol. 1995; 12:309-34.
        View in: PubMed
      47. Weisner C, Schmidt L. Alcohol and drug problems among diverse health and social service populations. Am J Public Health. 1993 Jun; 83(6):824-9.
        View in: PubMed
      48. Schmidt, Laura. Developments in Alcohol Treatment Systems: A Ten Year Review.” In: Marc Galanter (ed.). Plenum Press, New York. Recent Developments in Alcoholism. 1993; 11:369-396.
      49. Schmidt, Laura. A Profile of Problem Drinkers in Public Mental Health Services. Hospital and Community Psychiatry. 1992; 43:245-250.
      50. Schmidt, Laura. Gender Disparities in Treatment for Alcohol Problems. Journal of the American Medical Association. 1992; 268:1872-1876.
      51. Schmdit, Laura. Specialization in Alcoholism and Mental Health Treatment: The 'Dual Diagnosis' Problem. Journal of Drug Issues. 1991; (21):859-874.
      52. Schmidt, Laura. Problem Drinkers and the Welfare Bureaucracy. Social Service Review. 1990; (64):390-406.
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