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School of Public Health
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Emily C. Williams

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Associate Professor, Health Services


PhD   University of Washington, 2009   (Health Services)
MPH   Boston University, 2003   (Health Policy, Health Law)
BA   Lewis And Clark College, 1998   (Political Science)

Contact Info


VA Puget Sound Health Care System
1660 S Columbian Way (S-152)
Seattle, WA 98108

campus box:   358280 (152)
voice:   206-277-6133
fax:   206-764-2935


Emily Williams is a health services researcher and implementation scientist with 15 years of experience in research related to prevention and management of unhealthy alcohol use in medical settings. She is a core investigator at the Denver-Seattle Center of Innovation for Veteran-Centered Value-Driven Care at VA Puget Sound Health Services Research & Development (HSR&D) and an Associate Professor of Health Services and the Associate Director of the Doctoral Program in Health Services at the University of Washington. Her interests are in health behavior and mechanisms and systems of care that can help drive behavior change, as well as vulnerable populations, stigma and health and healthcare disparities. She has applied these interests and expertise to a 15-year research career focused on ensuring that patients with unhealthy alcohol use and alcohol use disorders receive the care they need to help with their drinking. For 13 of these years, her work has been focused on Veterans receiving VA care. Her primary contributions include: 1) development and pilot testing of clinical informatics tools to implement alcohol-related care; 2) mixed-methods implementation science focused on understanding and addressing gaps in care and care quality for Veterans with unhealthy alcohol use; 3) clinical epidemiology focused on predicting alcohol-related medical risks using routine alcohol screening scores; 4) disparities research focused on understanding differences in alcohol use and related care across demographic and clinical sub-groups to identify patient populations that may be particularly vulnerable; and 5) health services research focused on effects of and interventions for unhealthy alcohol use among patients with HIV and Hepatitis C.

Implementing evidence-based management of unhealthy alcohol use in medical settings; decision-making in health and health care (patient, provider, and system-level decision making); stigmatized chronic conditions (e.g., unhealthy alcohol use, HIV); social and cultural determinants of health and healthcare
  • HSERV 514
    Social Determinants of Population Health and Health Disparities

Seelig AD, Rivera AC, Powell TM, Williams EC, Peterson AV, Littman AJ, Maynard C, Street AE, Bricker JB, Boyko EJ. Patterns of Smoking and Unhealthy Alcohol Use Following Sexual Trauma Among U.S. Service Members. J Trauma Stress. 2017 Sep 14. doi: 10.1002/jts.22214. [Epub ahead of print]  PMID: 28906037

Williams EC, Lapham GT, Rubinsky AD, Chavez LJ, Berger D, Bradley KA. Influence of a targeted performance measure for brief intervention on gender differences in receipt of brief intervention among patients with unhealthy alcohol use in the Veterans Health Administration. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2017 Oct;81:11-16. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2017.07.009. Epub 2017 Jul 19.  PMID: 28847450

Lehavot K, Blosnich JR, Glass JE, Williams EC. Alcohol use and receipt of alcohol screening and brief intervention in a representative sample of sexual minority and heterosexual adults receiving health care. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2017 Oct 1;179:240-246. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.07.003. Epub 2017 Aug 2.  PMID: 28810195

Williams EC, Gupta S, Rubinsky AD, Glass JE, Jones-Webb R, Bensley KM, Harris AHS. Variation in receipt of pharmacotherapy for alcohol use disorders across racial/ethnic groups: A national study in the U.S. Veterans Health Administration. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2017 Jul 11;178:527-533. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.06.011. [Epub ahead of print]  PMID: 28728114

Takahashi T, Lapham G, Chavez LJ, Lee AK, Williams EC, Richards JE, Greenberg D, Rubinsky A, Berger D, Hawkins EJ, Merrill JO, Bradley KA. Comparison of DSM-IV and DSM-5 criteria for alcohol use disorders in VA primary care patients with frequent heavy drinking enrolled in a trial. Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2017 Jul 18;12(1):17. doi: 10.1186/s13722-017-0082-0.  PMID: 28716049    PMCID: PMC5514480
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