Mary L. Durham, PhD

Senior Investigator
Director, The Center for Health Research
Vice President/Research
Kaiser Permanente
Mary Durham

Since 1995, Dr. Durham has served as CHR's director and Vice President/Research for Kaiser Permanente. In addition to her leadership roles, Dr. Durham conducts her own research on workplace health and translational research. She has designed and conducted research studies with employers as partners in the research, such as the Work, Family Health Network, and has over 20 years of hands-on content knowledge and experience in workplace policies and practices.

Dr. Durham is also the Associate Director of the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute, (OCTRI), one of the first 12 NIH Clinical and Translational Science Awards. In a unique partnership with Oregon Health & Science University, CHR’s role in OCTRI contributes to the science of translating research to practice and developing strong interactions between discovery and dissemination.

In tandem with her distinguished health research career, Dr. Durham has worked with state and federal lawmakers in crafting policy-level decisions across a wide range of topics, such as privacy, mental health law, genetics, research, and human subjects protection. She was a Commissioner for the State of Oregon’s Senate Commission for Health Care Access and Affordability. She has had diverse roles, from providing expert testimony to the President’s National Bioethics Advisory Commission to consulting to the World Health Organization. Dr. Durham has served on the boards of the Association for Health Services Research (Academy Health), Group Health Community Foundation, and Kaiser Permanente Health Care Alternatives. 

A professor in the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at the Oregon Health & Science University, Dr. Durham is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Sociology at Portland State University. She is a former commissioner of the American Bar Association, where she served on the ABA’s Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law.

Dr. Durham received her PhD in sociology from the University of Oklahoma in 1978, specializing in medical sociology. Before moving to Portland, she was deputy director of Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound’s Center for Health Studies and on the faculty at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health and Community Medicine, in the Department of Health Services.

E-mail: Mary.Durham@kpchr.org

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Recent Publications

King RB, Karuntzos GT, Casper LM, Moen P, Davis KD, Berkman L, Durham M & Kossek EE. “Work-Family Balance Issues and Work-Leave Policies.” In Handbook of Occupational Health and Wellness (editors Gatchel RJ & Schultz IZ). New York, NY: Springer, 2013, pp. 323-339.  
Durham ML. Supercharging research through KP HealthConnect. In Liang L (ed) Connected for health: Transforming care delivery at Kaiser Permanente. San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 2010, pp179-194.   
Durham M, England J. Research on child and adolescent mental health: NIMH's blueprint for change. The Permanente Journal Winter 2002; 6(1):10-13.  
Durham ML. How research will adapt to HIPAA: a view from within the healthcare delivery system. American Journal of Law & Medicine 2002; 28(4):491-502.    PubMed abstract
McGuire T, Wells KT, Bruce ML, Miranda J, Scheffler R, Durham ML, Ford DE, Lewis L. Burden of illness. Mental Health Services Research 2002 Dec; 4(4):179-85.    PubMed abstract
Scheffler R, Durham ML, McGuire T, Wells K. Policy intervention. Mental Health Services Research 2002 Dec; 4(4):215-22.    PubMed abstract
Wells K, Miranda J, Bauer MS, Bruce M, Durham M, Escobar J, Ford D, Gonzales J, Hoagwood K, Horowitz S, Lawson W, Lewis L, McGuire T, Pincus H, Scheffler R, Smith W, Unutzer J. Overcoming barriers to reducing the burden of affective disorders. Biological Psychiatry 2002; 52(6):655-675.   PubMed abstract
Durham, ML. A commentary on technology and the future of healthcare. The Permanente Journal 2000; 5(1):5-7.  
Durham ML. Managed care bashing - the not-for-profit sector: Is it deserved? In: Dickey B, Sederer L, eds. Achieving Quality in Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Practice. Washington DC: American Psychiatric Press, 2000.  
Durham ML. Managing care for the seriously mentally ill. Commentary In: Gervais G, Priester R, Vawter D, Otte K, Solberg M, eds. Ethical Challenges in Managed Care. Washington, DC:Georgetown University Press, 1999, pp. 276-284.  


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