Assistant Program Director
Dr. Stephen Fortmann is an internist and epidemiologist who conducts research on heart disease prevention. He has conducted both population- and individual-level studies of cardiovascular risk factors and disease rates, smoking cessation, health education through the mass media, and exercise and diet change. He is also an expert on the clinical management of lipid disorders.
Since coming to the Center for Health Research in 2010, Dr. Fortmann has focused on community-based research. He is a co-investigator on a study of diabetes incidence, treatment, and complications in South Asians, Chinese, and other Asian ethnic subgroups in California and a study of diabetes disparities in Asian and Pacific Islander populations in Hawaii. He is a co-investigator on the Community Health Applied Research Network Data Coordinating Center (CHARN), the data hub for a network of federally qualified health centers and their university partners established to facilitate research among underserved populations. He is also a co-investigator on a study examining whether the Oregon Medicaid “lottery” differentially affected established community health center patients, and how insurance coverage is associated with receipt of preventive services among these patients.
He serves as principal investigator of the scientific coordinating center for the federal Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERTs) program, funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The CERTs program draws together six research centers across the U.S. that conduct research on therapeutics.
Dr. Fortmann has extensive experience leading interdisciplinary research, beginning with his work on the Stanford Five-City Project, a community cardiovascular disease prevention study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. He also helped to initiate the World Health Organization’s MONICA Project, an international study of trends in heart disease rates. Most of his past work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program.
Dr. Fortmann has more than 30 years of experience directing community and clinical trials, and he has published more than 160 peer-reviewed journal articles.
Dr. Fortmann came to CHR from Stanford University Medical School, where he was a faculty member and director of the Stanford Prevention Research Center and the Stanford Preventive Cardiology Clinic. He is now the C. F. Rehnborg Professor in Disease Prevention (Emeritus) at Stanford. In 2005, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science. Dr. Fortmann received his MD from the University of California, San Francisco, and postdoctoral training in cardiovascular disease prevention at Stanford University.