• Henry Olaisen, PhD, MPH, Named Research Director of Robert Graham Center

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, September 1, 2021

    Media Contact:
    Janelle Davis
    (913) 912-0377

    WASHINGTON—The American Academy of Family Physicians is pleased to announce that Henry Olaisen, PhD, MPH, has joined the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care as research director. In this position, he will establish research priorities, direct the research work of RGC staff and collaborate and engage with multiple stakeholders to advance the foundational value of family medicine and primary care.

    “Throughout his career, Henry has leveraged data analysis to inform health policy aimed at improving the nation’s health,” said Jack Westfall, director of the Robert Graham Center. “His methodological dexterity, strategic acumen and leadership skills will be instrumental as we seek to expand our research portfolio, which focuses on improving individual and population health through the enhanced delivery of primary care.”

    Olaisen will assume his new role on October 1, replacing Stephen Petterson, PhD, who had served as research director since 2005.

    Previously, Olaisen served as a senior survey statistician for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSA), where he specialized in secondary data analysis to inform health policy.

    Olaisen earned his doctorate in epidemiology and biostatistics from Case Western Reserve University and his Master of Public Health degree from San Jose State University. In addition, he completed post-doctoral training as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) fellow with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


    About the Robert Graham Center 
    The Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care works to improve individual and population health by enhancing the delivery of primary care. The Center staff generates and analyzes evidence that brings a family medicine and primary care perspective to health policy deliberations at local, state, and national levels. 

    Founded in 1999, the Robert Graham Center is an editorially independent research unit within the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). The information and opinions contained in research from the Center do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the AAFP. Learn more about the Robert Graham Center.