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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

Bachrach RL, Blosnich JR, Williams EC. Alcohol screening and brief intervention in a representative sample of veterans receiving primary care services. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2018 Dec;95:18-25. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2018.09.003. Epub 2018 Sep 8.  PMID: 30352666    PMCID: PMC6211809
PubMed Central

Lipira L, Williams EC, Huh D, Kemp CG, Nevin PE, Greene P, Unger JM, Heagerty P, French AL, Cohn SE, Turan JM, Mugavero MJ, Simoni JM, Andrasik MP, Rao D. HIV-Related Stigma and Viral Suppression Among African-American Women: Exploring the Mediating Roles of Depression and ART Nonadherence. AIDS Behav. 2018 Oct 20. doi: 10.1007/s10461-018-2301-4. [Epub ahead of print]  PMID: 30343422

Bensley KM, McGinnis KA, Fortney J, Chan KCG, Dombrowski JC, Ornelas I, Edelman EJ, Goulet JL, Satre DD, Justice AC, Fiellin DA, Williams EC. Patterns of Alcohol Use Among Patients Living With HIV in Urban, Large Rural, and Small Rural Areas. J Rural Health. 2018 Oct 19. doi: 10.1111/jrh.12326. [Epub ahead of print]  PMID: 30339740

Matson TE, Mcginnis KA, Rubinsky AD, Frost MC, Czarnogorski M, Bryant KJ, Edelman EJ, Satre DD, Catz SL, Bensley KM, Fiellin DA, Justice AC, Williams EC. Gender and alcohol use: influences on HIV care continuum in a national cohort of patients with HIV. AIDS. 2018 Jul 12. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000001946. [Epub ahead of print]  PMID: 30005010    PMCID: PMC6136970
PubMed Central

Young JP, Achtmeyer CE, Bensley KM, Hawkins EJ, Williams EC. Differences in Perceptions of and Practices Regarding Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorders Among VA Primary Care Providers in Urban and Rural Clinics. J Rural Health. 2018 Jan 23. doi: 10.1111/jrh.12293. [Epub ahead of print]  PMID: 29363176

Chair, dissertation committee for Kara Bensley
Racial/Ethnic and Rural Differences in Alcohol Use, Care and Related Outcomes among VA Patients Living with HIV

Member, thesis committee for Madeline Frost
Factors associated with interest in drug treatment among syringe exchange clients who use opioids

Member, thesis committee for Clara Hill
Help Wanted: Social and Economic Stressors and Mental Health among Latino Day Laborers

Chair, thesis committee for Vanessa McMahan
Alcohol use and HIV risk in the iPrEx study

Member, thesis committee for Anna McConnell
Mental health and substance use disorder outcomes across socio-demographic subgroups among a King County Jail alternative program

Chair, thesis committee for Joseph Simonetti
The association between receipt of brief alcohol intervention and quality of care among veteran outpatients with unhealthy alcohol use

Patterns of Alcohol Use and Alcohol-Related Care Among Transgender Persons
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
PI:   Williams           Dates:    4/1/2018 - 3/31/2020