Laura P Richardson, MD, MPH

Laura P Richardson, MD, MPH


"My passion is developing systems that support the health and well-being of all adolescents through the integration of behavioral supports with medical care. Specific areas of research include development of behavioral health and risk behavior screening protocols, collaborative treatment protocols for anxious and depressed teens seen in medical settings, and evaluation of the impact of mental health on medical outcomes."
  • Biography

    Laura P. Richardson, MD, MPH, is Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine and an Investigator at the Seattle Children's Research Institute Center for Child Health, Behavior, and Development.

    She earned her MD and completed a combined Pediatrics/Internal Medicine residency at the University of Michigan. She also completed an Adolescent Medicine Fellowship and a Master's of Public Health in Epidemiology at the University of Washington. She is the Director of the University of Washington Leadership Education in Adolescent Health training program. Dr. Richardson is studying links between mental and physical health problems in adolescents and is developing innovative interventions to improve the treatment of mental health conditions for adolescents in medical settings.

    Board Certification(s)

    Adolescent Medicine


    University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI
    University of Washington School of Public Health, Seattle, WA


    University of Michigan-Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor, MI


    University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA

    Clinical Interests

    My research focuses on better understanding interactions between mental and physical health in adolescents and on improving detection and management of adolescent mental health concerns and health risk behaviors in primary care and other medical settings. Key research areas include: 1) the assessment of the impact of mental health comorbidity on chronic health outcomes such as obesity, asthma, diabetes, and chronic pain; 2) evaluation of service utilization patterns for behavioral health conditions including quality of care, factors associated with the receipt of treatment, and disparities in care; 3) effective strategies for behavioral health screening in medical settings; and 4) intervention design to improve behavioral health integration in primary care settings including collaborative care for depressed adolescents. In my role as the Director of the UW Leadership Education and Adolescent Health training program, I work with a team of multidisciplinary faculty to cultivate leadership in adolescent health across disciplines in the areas of clinical programs, quality improvement, research, advocacy, and policy.

    Research Description

    My research focuses on better understanding interactions between mental and physical health in adolescents, and on improving detection and management of child and adolescent depression in primary care settings. Prior research projects include assessing the longitudinal association between depression and obesity in adolescence, and evaluating racial and ethnic differences in depression diagnosis and treatment for Medicaid-covered youth. My most recent work involves evaluating quality of follow-up care for depressed youth and designing health system interventions to improve the delivery of evidence-based care and health outcomes for depressed adolescents in primary care settings.

    Research Focus Area

    Behavioral / Mental Health, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

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