Karen E. Lasser, MD, MPH
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
General Internal Medicine

MD, Cornell University Medical College
MPH, Harvard School of Public Health
AB, Harvard University

Dr. Lasser is a primary care internist, certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, and a health services researcher. She is a Senior Editor at JAMA.

Her primary areas of expertise and research are quality of care, interventions to reduce health disparities, health policy, smoking cessation, and primary care practice-based research.

She is the author of over 80 peer-reviewed publications, was the former Director of Ambulatory Quality Improvement for the Department of Medicine at Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School, and has held several quality leadership roles at Boston Medical Center. Her research has been supported by NIDA, NHLBI, AHRQ, CDC, and the American Cancer Society.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility

Activities Promoting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Uniqueness:

I started my internship at Boston City Hospital in 1995 with a deep commitment to serve structurally disadvantaged and minoritized communities. I am proud to work at a hospital (Boston City Hospital, now called Boston Medical Center) that promotes exceptional care without exception.

As a health equity researcher, I have recognized the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout my whole career. Virtually all of my mentees have been women and/or individuals from historically underrepresented groups. As Interim Associate Chief of GIM, in response to glaring racial disparities in the proportion of faculty members promoted to the rank of Associate Professor and Professor at BUSM, I focused on supporting and mentoring faculty historically underrepresented in medicine in the promotions process.

More recently, I have been working with BUSM’s Dean’s Office to undertake a cluster hire of faculty underrepresented in medicine. I have developed a Recruitment Search Protocol to mitigate bias and encourage the recruitment and hiring of faculty identified as women and/or being from underrepresented groups. In developing our recruitment search protocol, I performed a literature review and identified best practices from institutions successful in diversifying their faculty. I also developed a plan to ensure BU’s faculty development programs promote thriving and belonging to ensure retention of new faculty cohort hires. I identified best practices and strategies by reviewing case studies of best practices proven effective at peer institutions; conducting a literature review of barriers to faculty retention; examining faculty experiences at BU; and identifying best practices across BU.

I have also supported diversity, equity, and inclusion nationally, through the Society of General Internal Medicine. I have been a member of the Health Equity Task Force for many years, and have served as the Chair of the Editorial Board of the Journal of General Internal Medicine (JGIM) since May 2021. As Chair, I have initiated discussions with the Editors and Editorial Board about how to make JGIM an anti-racist journal. We have brainstormed about how to diversify the Journal at all levels: authors, Associate Editors, Editorial Board Members, and Editorial team. In my role as Chair, I will lead the Search Committee to identify the next Editorial Team of JGIM. I intend to implement a Recruitment Search Protocol to mitigate bias in the process, and ultimately to hire a more diverse Editorial team.

Academic medicine can be challenging to navigate, particularly for women and individuals from underrepresented groups. With regard to my background, my late father grew up in Bogota, Colombia and was a native Spanish speaker, and much of my family now lives in Peru. Given my background, I am a particularly strong mentor for women and LatinX faculty.

Please see my list of publications for examples of my research in health equity.

Boston University School of Public Health
Community Health Sciences

Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
Clinical Addiction Research and Education Unit

Boston University
Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research

Boston Medical Center

SHIFT-Care Challenge, Track 1
01/04/2019 - 12/31/2021 (PI)
Massachusetts Health Policy Commission

Advanced risk adjusters and predictive formulas for ICD-10 based risk adjustment
09/04/2018 - 06/30/2021 (PI)
Trustees of Boston University DHHS

Patient Navigation and Financial Incentives to Promote Smoking Cessation
07/01/2014 - 06/30/2019 (PI)
American Cancer Soc

Implementing Opioid Risk Reduction Strategies into Primary Care Practice
07/15/2012 - 06/30/2018 (PI)
4R01 DA034252-05

Implementing Opioid Risk Reduction Strategies into Primary Care Practice
07/15/2012 - 06/30/2018 (PI)
5R01 DA034252-04

A Patient Expansion of the Diabetes Research Center's Pilot & Feasibility Program
02/01/2015 - 06/30/2016 (PI)
Trustees of Boston University NIH

Implementation of a Hepatitis C Treatment Program in Primary Care at an Urban Safety-net Hospital…
12/01/2015 - 04/30/2016 (PI)
Cornell University NIH-NIDA

The Effects of Massachusetts Healthcare Reform on Access to Care & Disparities
11/01/2011 - 10/31/2013 (PI)
Rx Foundation

Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Detection in Community Health Centers
10/26/2009 - 12/31/2010 (PI)
American Cancer Soc


Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

iCite Analysis       Copy PMIDs To Clipboard

  1. Borden CG, Ashe EM, Buitron de la Vega P, Gast V, Saint-Phard T, Brody-Fialkin J, Power J, Wang N, Lasser KE. A novel pharmacy liaison program to address health-related social needs at an urban safety-net hospital. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2023 Aug 04; 80(16):1071-1081. PMID: 37210728
  2. Shusterman S, Villarreal-Calderon R, Gunawan A, Gallardo Foreman A, O'Donnell C, Wakeman C, Javeed H, Keteyian J, Howard J, Bulekova K, de Silva S, Campbell T, Lasser K, Kathuria H. A Financial Incentives Program to Promote Smoking Cessation Among Recently Hospitalized Individuals: Feasibility and Acceptability Study. JMIR Form Res. 2023 May 29; 7:e44979.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37247216; PMCID: PMC10262029; DOI: 10.2196/44979;
  3. Hanchate AD, Strackman BW, Lin M, Paasche-Orlow MK, Lasser KE, Cole MB. Medicaid expansion associated with no change in emergency department use across racial and ethnic groups. Health Serv Res. 2023 Oct; 58(5):1014-1023.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37202905
  4. Buitron de la Vega P, Ashe EM, Xuan Z, Gast V, Saint-Phard T, Brody-Fialkin J, Okonkwo F, Power J, Wang N, Lyons C, Silverstein M, Lasser KE. A Pharmacy Liaison-Patient Navigation Intervention to Reduce Inpatient and Emergency Department Utilization Among Primary Care Patients in a Medicaid Accountable Care Organization: A Nonrandomized Controlled Trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2023 Jan 03; 6(1):e2250004.View Related Profiles. PMID: 36622674; PMCID: PMC9856667; DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.50004;
  5. Carroll JJ, Cushman PA, Lira MC, Colasanti JA, Del Rio C, Lasser KE, Parker V, Roy PJ, Samet JH, Liebschutz JM. Evidence-Based Interventions to Improve Opioid Prescribing in Primary Care: a Qualitative Assessment of Implementation in Two Studies. J Gen Intern Med. 2023 Jun; 38(8):1794-1801.View Related Profiles. PMID: 36396881; PMCID: PMC10271994; DOI: 10.1007/s11606-022-07909-3;
  6. Kathuria H, Gunawan A, Spring M, Aijaz S, Cobb V, Fitzgerald C, Wakeman C, Howard J, Clancy M, Foreman AG, Truong V, Wong C, Steiling K, Lasser KE, Bulekova K, Wiener RS. Hospitalization as an opportunity to engage underserved individuals in shared decision-making for lung cancer screening: results from two randomized pilot trials. Cancer Causes Control. 2022 Nov; 33(11):1373-1380.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35997854; DOI: 10.1007/s10552-022-01620-8;
  7. Jirmanus LZ, Ranker L, Touw S, Mahmood R, Kimball SL, Hanchate A, Lasser KE. Impact of United States 2017 Immigration Policy changes on missed appointments at two Massachusetts Safety-Net Hospitals. J Immigr Minor Health. 2022 Aug; 24(4):807-818.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35624394; DOI: 10.1007/s10903-022-01341-9;
  8. Lasser KE, Ilori TO, Dedier JJ. Kidney Disease Mortality in the USA: a Call for Eliminating Inequities. J Gen Intern Med. 2022 May; 37(6):1349-1350.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35266126; PMCID: PMC9085980; DOI: 10.1007/s11606-022-07470-z;
  9. Ellis RP, Hsu HE, Siracuse JJ, Walkey AJ, Lasser KE, Jacobson BC, Andriola C, Hoagland A, Liu Y, Song C, Kuo TC, Ash AS. Development and Assessment of a New Framework for Disease Surveillance, Prediction, and Risk Adjustment: The Diagnostic Items Classification System. JAMA Health Forum. 2022 Mar; 3(3):e220276.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35977291; PMCID: PMC8956982; DOI: 10.1001/jamahealthforum.2022.0276;
  10. Hanchate AD, Qi D, Paasche-Orlow MK, Lasser KE, Liu Z, Lin M, Lewis KH. Examination of Elective Bariatric Surgery Rates Before and After US Affordable Care Act Medicaid Expansion. JAMA Health Forum. 2021 Oct; 2(10):e213083.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35977157; PMCID: PMC8727038; DOI: 10.1001/jamahealthforum.2021.3083;
Showing 10 of 95 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 95 publications over 22 distinct years, with a maximum of 8 publications in 2008 and 2018 and 2020


2010 Society of General Internal Medicine, Distinguished Professor Program: Best Oral Presentation
2010 Johns Hopkins School of Medicine: Honorable Mention for Research Achievement in Health Services and Outcomes Research
2009 Johns Hopkins School of Medicine: Daniel Ford Award for Research Achievement in Health Services and Outcomes Research
2009 Boston University School of Medicine: Honorable Mention for Best Poster, Evans Department of Medicine Research Days
2004 Harvard Medical School: Scholars in Medicine Award
2003-2012 Who’s Who in Health Care and Medicine
2003-2012 Who’s Who in Executives and Professionals
1998 Boston Medical Center: R. Knight Steele Award for Excellence in Geriatric Clinical Medicine
1998-2001 Harvard Medical School: HRSA Institutional National Research Service Award
1995 American Medical Student Association: International Medicine Fellowship
1995 Cornell University Medical College: Milton A. Rosenbluth International Medicine Fellowship
In addition to these self-described keywords below, a list of MeSH based concepts is available here.

Health Care Disparities
Hepatitis C
Prescription opioid use
Quality of Care
Smoking cessation

I am available to serve as a career and/or research mentor to trainees at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate levels.

Available to Mentor as: (Review Mentor Role Definitions):
  • Advisor
  • Career Mentor
  • Co-Mentor or Peer Mentor
  • Project Mentor
  • Research / Scholarly Mentor
  • Work / Life Integration Mentor
Contact for Mentoring:

801 Massachusetts Ave Crosstown Center
Boston MA 02118
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