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Faculty Profile

Dave Grembowski

Dave Grembowski

On a fundamental level, David Grembowski's work is about better understanding how the relationship between a single physician and patient can impact care. It is about understanding how a physician's satisfaction with his or her field can ultimately affect patients. It is about analyzing the impact of established systems such as physician networks on the care of a child with asthma or diabetes. His work, simply put, is about helping systems to help people.

Grembowski's professional history is one that has long been concerned with understanding and serving the needs of community. His passion for research and for making a difference propelled him to earn bachelor's and master's degrees in sociology from Washington State University in Pullman, and these same drives fueled his move to the University of Washington's Urban Planning Department, where he earned a doctorate in evaluation methods.

His focus since then has been on developing sound methods for evaluating health care systems. It is an approach that reflects a humanistic and community-minded view of medicine. Through Grembowski's teaching career, active research, and extensive list of publications, health professionals have been given the insights to improve disease prevention, widen public access to quality medical care, and better evaluate the programs currently in place.

Prior to receiving his doctorate in 1982, Grembowski became an instructor in what was then the University of Washington's Community Dentistry Program. Since then, he has held faculty appointments in the Departments of Sociology, Health Services, Dental Public Health Sciences, and the School of Public Health and Community Medicine. His courses in methods of evaluating health programs and survey research are staples of the public health graduate curriculum, and his experience in teaching has extended to authoring the textbook The Practice of Health Program Evaluation.

In addition to ensuring that the researchers of tomorrow have a keen eye and sound methods when investigating health care effectiveness, Grembowski's own pursuits in research have found him at the helm of and as co-primary investigator in studies funded by the Agency for Health care Research and Quality, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The resulting studies have produced an extensive list of publications in an array of national and international journals, such as the Journal of the American Medical Association, Journal of General Internal Medicine, Journal of the American Board of Family Practice, Health Services Research, and Social Science & Medicine.

Grembowski's work takes an approach that is at once minutely detailed and entirely holistic. It spans a variety of medical fields dentistry, internal medicine, gerontology, mental health and it examines seemingly every quantifiable aspect of health care systems. Preventive care programs. Public and private insurance systems. Dissemination of information and technology. Managed care services. These topics and more have all been the focus of his study.

Whether looking at the link between mother and child with regard to dental care access, how cost dictates a person's health care decisions, or how such factors as ethnicity and socioeconomic status impact preventive health care choices, David Grembowski's goal is to improve the cost-effectiveness, accessibility, quality, and the ultimate outcomes of health care.