The MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation

The MacColl Center  for Health Care Innovation at the Group Health Research Institute is the home of Improving Chronic Illness Care.  Named for a Group Health Cooperative founder and pioneering physician, W.A. MacColl, the Center was created in 1992. Ed Wagner, MD, MPH, is a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute, ICIC's director, and the founding director of the MacColl Institute.  Changed in 2011, the original name for the Center was The MacColl Institute for Healthcare Innovation.

The mission of the MacColl Center is to bridge the worlds of research and clinical care, both within Group Health and nationally. Its goal is to develop, evaluate, and disseminate innovations in healthcare delivery.

Since its inception, MacColl has worked to guide improvement at the practice level by directly working with care teams, leading improvement efforts and providing tools and trainings to providers.  At the same time, MacColl has also been active at higher organizational levels, including work with healthcare organizations, states, and even entire state health systems in other countries.  A constant throughout our history has been a commitment to work especially closely with safety net institutions.|

At the local level, MacColl has provided leadership and faculty support for all of the improvement collaborative undertaken by Washington State’s Department of Health since their inception in 2000.  It has worked with Seattle/King County Senior Services and the Area Agency on Aging on several senior fitness projects.  It has provided trainings through organizations such as the Washington Association of Community and Migrant Health Centers, NeighborCare Health, Sea Mar Community Health Centers and King County's Health Care for the Homeless Network.

As part of Improving Chronic Illness Care, the MacColl team has assisted more than 1,500 practices nationwide with their chronic disease improvement collaboratives.  As many as half of these were through the Bureau of Primary Health Care’s Health Disparities initiative, which was organized upon the Chronic Care Model.

At the health system and community level MacColl has supported regional improvement efforts since 2001, including directly funding improvement collaboratives in seven states and working actively in an equal number.  It has also provided assistance to large health systems that serve safety net populations such as the New York Health and Hospitals Corporation, the largest municipal hospital and health care system in theUnited States.  MacColl’s work with the Indian Health Service (IHS) led them to formally adopt the CCM at their Professional Groups Joint Council Meeting, and MacColl has collaborated with IHS to develop plans for improving management of chronic illness.

MacColl has also partnered with numerous organizations that influence how states organize their care for the chronically ill, with a special emphasis on their Medicaid populations.  Collaborators have included the National Governor’s Association Chronic Disease Policy Academy, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers, and the National Conference of State Legislators.  MacColl staff have guided a wide range of national professional and accrediting organizations in embedding the core tenets of the CCM into their work, including the National Committee for Quality Assurance and the American Academy of Family Practice, and the Health Resources and Service Administration.

Our work has spread beyond U.S. borders:  for many years, our team has been involved in efforts to improve health care around the globe.  In addition to our work with the Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization, we have collaborated with providers, health systems and governmental agencies in the United Kingdom, Canada, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Germany, The Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand.

Current MacColl projects include Aligning Forces for Quality, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s signature effort to lift the overall quality of health care in targeted communities, reduce racial and ethnic disparities and provide models for national reform.  In 2011, The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announced it will be supporting three Research Centers for Excellence in Clinical Preventive Services focusing on health equity, patient safety, and health systems implementation.  The MacColl team, with Abt Associates, is providing support to the Centers and evaluating their impact.

Beginning in 2012, Ed Wagner and Margaret Flinter, PhD, APRN, began co-directing The Primary Care Team: Learning from Effective Ambulatory Practices (the LEAP Project) with the MacColl team serving as its national program office.  In 2012, Michael Parchman, MD MPH became the new director of the MacColl Center.