Rachel Willard-Grace, MPH

TitleAssistant Professor
SchoolUCSF School of Medicine
DepartmentFamily Community Medicine
Address1001 Potrero Ave
San Francisco CA 94110
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    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.

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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. Huang B, Willard-Grace R, De Vore D, Wolf J, Chirinos C, Tsao S, Hessler D, Su G, Thom DH. Health coaching to improve self-management and quality of life for low income patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): protocol for a randomized controlled trial. BMC Pulm Med. 2017 Jun 09; 17(1):90. PMID: 28599636.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Willard-Grace R, Sharma A, Parker C, Potter MB. Engaging patients as partners in practice improvement: A survey of community health centers. J Clin Outcome Manag. 2016; 23(7):311-319.
    3. Sharma AE, Willard-Grace R, Hessler D, Bodenheimer T, Thom DH. What Happens After Health Coaching? Observational Study 1 Year Following a Randomized Controlled Trial. Ann Fam Med. 2016 May; 14(3):200-7. PMID: 27184989; PMCID: PMC4868557 [Available on 11/01/16].
    4. Wagner TH, Willard-Grace R, Chen E, Bodenheimer T, Thom DH. Costs for a health coaching intervention for chronic care management. Am J Manag Care. 2016 Apr 01; 22(4):e141-6. PMID: 27143350.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Sharma AE, Willard-Grace R, Willis A, Zieve O, Dubé K, Parker C, Potter MB. "How Can We Talk about Patient-centered Care without Patients at the Table?" Lessons Learned from Patient Advisory Councils. J Am Board Fam Med. 2016 11/12; 29(6):775-784. PMID: 28076261.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Olayiwola JN, Rubin A, Slomoff T, Woldeyesus T, Willard-Grace R. Strategies for Primary Care Stakeholders to Improve Electronic Health Records (EHRs). J Am Board Fam Med. 2016 Jan-Feb; 29(1):126-34. PMID: 26769884.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Bodenheimer T, Willard-Grace R. Teamlets in Primary Care: Enhancing the Patient and Clinician Experience. J Am Board Fam Med. 2016 Jan-Feb; 29(1):135-8. PMID: 26769885.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Dubé K, Willard-Grace R, O'Connell B, DeVore D, Prado C, Bodenheimer T, Hessler D, Thom DH. Clinician perspectives on working with health coaches: A mixed methods approach. Fam Syst Health. 2015 Sep; 33(3):213-21. PMID: 25751177.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Willard-Grace R, Dubé K, Hessler D, O'Brien B, Earnest G, Gupta R, Shunk R, Grumbach K. Panel management, team culture, and worklife experience. Fam Syst Health. 2015 Sep; 33(3):231-41. PMID: 25730504.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Willard-Grace R, Chen EH, Hessler D, DeVore D, Prado C, Bodenheimer T, Thom DH. Health coaching by medical assistants to improve control of diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia in low-income patients: a randomized controlled trial. Ann Fam Med. 2015 Mar; 13(2):130-8. PMID: 25755034; PMCID: PMC4369595.
    11. Rogers EA, Hessler D, Dube K, Willard-Grace R, Gupta R, Bodenheimer T, Grumbach K. The panel management questionnaire: a tool to measure panel management capability. Perm J. 2015; 19(2):4-9. PMID: 25785637; PMCID: PMC4403574.
    12. Thom DH, Willard-Grace R, Hessler D, DeVore D, Prado C, Bodenheimer T, Chen E. The impact of health coaching on medication adherence in patients with poorly controlled diabetes, hypertension, and/or hyperlipidemia: a randomized controlled trial. J Am Board Fam Med. 2015 Jan-Feb; 28(1):38-45. PMID: 25567821.
      View in: PubMed
    13. Bodenheimer T, Willard-Grace R, Ghorob A. Expanding the roles of medical assistants: who does what in primary care? JAMA Intern Med. 2014 Jul; 174(7):1025-6. PMID: 24820220.
      View in: PubMed
    14. Thom DH, Hessler D, Willard-Grace R, Bodenheimer T, Najmabadi A, Araujo C, Chen EH. Does health coaching change patients' trust in their primary care provider? Patient Educ Couns. 2014 Jul; 96(1):135-8. PMID: 24776175.
      View in: PubMed
    15. Bodenheimer T, Ghorob A, Willard-Grace R, Grumbach K. The 10 building blocks of high-performing primary care. Ann Fam Med. 2014 Mar-Apr; 12(2):166-71. PMID: 24615313; PMCID: PMC3948764.
    16. Willard-Grace R, Hessler D, Rogers E, Dubé K, Bodenheimer T, Grumbach K. Team structure and culture are associated with lower burnout in primary care. J Am Board Fam Med. 2014 Mar-Apr; 27(2):229-38. PMID: 24610185.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Sinsky CA, Willard-Grace R, Schutzbank AM, Sinsky TA, Margolius D, Bodenheimer T. In search of joy in practice: a report of 23 high-functioning primary care practices. Ann Fam Med. 2013 May-Jun; 11(3):272-8. PMID: 23690328; PMCID: PMC3659145.
    18. Ghorob A, Willard-Grace R, Bodenheimer T. Health coaching. Virtual Mentor. 2013 Apr 01; 15(4):319-26. PMID: 23566781.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Willard-Grace R, DeVore D, Chen EH, Hessler D, Bodenheimer T, Thom DH. The effectiveness of medical assistant health coaching for low-income patients with uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia: protocol for a randomized controlled trial and baseline characteristics of the study population. BMC Fam Pract. 2013 Feb 23; 14:27. PMID: 23433349; PMCID: PMC3616979.
    20. Willard-Grace R, Najmabadi A, Araujo C, Canizalez D, DeVore D, Prado C, Ghorob A, 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. 2013; 2(4).
    21. Willard R, Bodenheimer T. The building blocks of high performing primary care: Lessons from the field. 2012.
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