David Grembowski

faculty photo
In health services research, we want to understand better how our complex health care system works, ultimately to improve its performance and create a system that we can be proud of.
Professor, Health Services
Professor, Oral Health Sciences
Adjunct Professor, Sociology


PhD   University of Washington, 1982   (Urban Planning)
MA   Washington State University, 1975   (Sociology)
BA   Washington State University, 1973   (Sociology)

Contact Info

email:   grem@uw.edu

office:   H-670H, Health Sciences Building

University of Washington
1959 NE Pacific Street
Seattle, WA 98195-7660

campus box:   357660
voice:   206-616-2921
fax:   206-543-3964


David Grembowski serves as Director of the PhD Program in Health Services. Professor Grembowski's evaluation interests address prevention and the performance of health care systems, as well as the social determinants of population health and health inequalities. His studies have examined health care for adults with chronic conditions, efforts to improve quality by increasing access to care in integrated delivery systems; managed care and physician referrals; managed care and patient-physician relationships; cost-effectiveness of preventive services for older adults; fluoridation effects on oral health and dental demand; financial incentives and dentist adoption of preventive technologies; effects of dental insurance on dental demand, and the link between mother and child access to dental care.

Design and performance of health care systems; prevention; technology diffusion; program evaluation; survey research

Riedy CA, Weinstein P, Mancl L, Garson G, Huebner CE, Milgrom P, Grembowski D, Shepherd-Banigan M, Smolen D, Sutherland M. Dental attendance among low-income women and their children following a brief motivational counseling intervention: A community randomized trial. Soc Sci Med. 2015 Sep 8;144:9-18. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.09.005. [Epub ahead of print]  PMID: 26372934    PMCID: PMC4610142

Koshy RA, Conrad DA, Grembowski D. Lessons from Washington State's Medical Home Payment Pilot: What It Will Take to Change American Health Care. Popul Health Manag. 2015 Aug;18(4):237-45. doi: 10.1089/pop.2014.0117. Epub 2015 Jan 21.  PMID: 25606742

Kneeshaw-Price SH, Saelens BE, Sallis JF, Frank LD, Grembowski DE, Hannon PA, Smith NL, Chan KC. Neighborhood Crime-Related Safety and Its Relation to Children's Physical Activity. J Urban Health. 2015 Jun;92(3):472-89. doi: 10.1007/s11524-015-9949-0.  PMID: 25801486    PMCID: PMC4456478

Park M, Unützer J, Grembowski D. Ethnic and gender variations in the associations between family cohesion, family conflict, and depression in older Asian and Latino adults. J Immigr Minor Health. 2014 Dec;16(6):1103-10. doi: 10.1007/s10903-013-9926-1.  PMID: 24129849

Grembowski D, Ralston JD, Anderson ML. Hemoglobin A1c, comorbid conditions and all-cause mortality in older patients with diabetes: a retrospective 9-year cohort study. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2014 Nov;106(2):373-82. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2014.07.017. Epub 2014 Jul 29.  PMID: 25151226

view books/publications in WorldCat

Chair, dissertation committee for Alison Brenner
Development and assessment of algorithms for tailoring or targeting patient decision support in two disease models

Chair, dissertation committee for Charles Cange
A post-conflict assessment of chronic disease in Kuwait

Member, thesis committee for Tia Farrell
An Evaluation of the Mongolian Red Cross Society's HIV/AIDS Response Program

Chair, thesis committee for Glen Felias-Christensen
Transition of care: Evaluating the Harborview Medical Center diabetes recent discharge clinic

Chair, thesis committee for Molly Melbye
Children in foster care in the State of Washington: Dental care utilization and expenditures

Member, thesis committee for Dimitry Davydow
The association of comorbid depression with intensive care unit admission in patients with diabetes

Chair, dissertation committee for Meredith Fort
Evaluation of a primary health care demonstration project in rural Guatemala: Quality, coverage, utilization and impact

WWAMI Practice Transformation Network
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
PI:   Flum           Dates:    5/1/2015 - 4/30/2019

Northwest Roybal Center: Improving Healthcare for Cognitively Impaired Elders and their Caregivers (NRC)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
PI:   Teri           Dates:    10/1/2014 - 9/30/2019

Developing a national system to support Public Health Activities and Services Tracking—The PHAST Study
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
PI:   Bekemeier           Dates:    1/1/2014 - 12/31/2015

Value-Based Payment Reform: Phase II in State and Regional Innovation
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
PI:   Conrad           Dates:    11/1/2013 - 10/31/2015

Abridged Topic Development of PCORI Research Topics: Improving Health Systems
Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU)
PI:   Carlson           Dates:    9/6/2013 - 9/5/2014

Unhealthy Drinking in Older Adults: 30-day Readmissions and Emergency Care
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
PI:   Grembowski           Dates:    9/1/2013 - 8/31/2014

Data De-identification Services
King County Executive
PI:   Grembowski           Dates:    2/1/2013 - 1/31/2015

Data De-identification Services
King County Executive
PI:   Grembowski           Dates:    2/1/2012 - 1/31/2013

Budget cuts and health outcomes: Examining a natural experiment
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
PI:   Bekemeier           Dates:    12/1/2011 - 11/30/2013

Health Care Payment Reform: Lessons from Regional Innovation
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
PI:   Conrad           Dates:    5/1/2011 - 10/31/2013

Payment Reform Evaluation Project: Lessons from State and Regional Payment Reform

This project, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Douglas Conrad, PI; David Grembowski, Co-PI), will perform cross-cutting evaluation of eight payment reform efforts designed to promote high-value health care outcomes through leveraging existing market knowledge, partnerships and resources in different states and regions of the United States.

Physician Networks and Children with Chronic Conditions

Funded by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality. For children with asthma or diabetes, the purposes of this study are to examine whether out-of-network benefits and cost-sharing of managed health plans are associated with the likelihood of seeing an in-network vs. out-of-network physician, and secondly, to examine whether health quality and expenditures are similar or different for children seeing in-network vs. out-of-network physicians.

Linking Mother and Child Access to Dental Care

In Washington state's Medicaid population of children aged 3-6 years old, the aim is to determine whether having a mother with a regular source of dental care is associated with greater utilization of dental care and oral health in children in four racial/ethnic groups: White (non-Hispanic), Hispanic, African American, and other groups. Funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Caries Prevention Study

Although new, effective technologies have emerged for controlling caries in children, only a minority of dentists have adopted them. A randomized trial is being conducted to determine whether financial incentives and provider education can increase dentist adoption of these technologies, and in turn, whether adoption results in reduced caries incidence and restorative services among at risk children with capitation dental insurance. Funded by NIDCR and Washington Dental Service.

Improving Access to Improve Quality: Evaluation of an Organizational Innovation

Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the study is an evaluation of Group Health Cooperative's "Access Initiative." This innovation includes offering patients same-day appointments to primary care physicians, allowing them direct access to most specialists, and providing physicians with a $40 million clinical information system that offers up-to-the-minute patient health information. The study will determine how the initiative affects factors such as cost, utilization of services, quality of care, member enrollment, and patient and provider satisfaction.