Patrick J. O'Connor, MD, MA, MPH

Senior clinical investigator

HealthPartners Medical Group title

Family physician, assistant medical director

Other offices

Cofounder and codirector, HealthPartners Center for Chronic Care Innovation

Study section member, various National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality grant review committees since 1994; member and former chair of the Minnesota Diabetes Advisory Committee of the Minnesota Department of Health; coauthor of Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement clinical guidelines on treatment of diabetes, hypertension, lipid disorders, obesity, and lifestyle prevention of chronic disease; editorial board member of Diabetes Care, Annals of Family Medicine, and several other journals; coauthor of the American Diabetes Association's national Standards of Care for Diabetes for 5 years since 2002. Principal investigator of about a dozen large federal grants, 300 peer-reviewed papers, guidelines, abstracts and clinical monographs, some of which have been translated into Spanish and Japanese.

Joined the Institute



BS (theology and chemistry), Boston College; MD, Case Western Reserve University; MA (spirituality and health), University of St. Catherine; MPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Family Medicine Residency, Duke University Medical Center

Research highlights

After completing his family medicine residency training at Duke, Dr. O'Connor worked in a remote rural clinic on the Navajo Reservation, where some of the 50 patients he saw each day arrived on horseback. The clinic had no electricity or phone, and he needed a translator (who served as a Navajo "Code Talker" in World War II) for nearly all visits. Dr. O'Connor tried to learn a few things from several medicine men who were his patients. In the absence of timely lab results, it was a challenge to take care of his 25 patients with diabetes. His first research project was a study of whether his 25 diabetes patients did worse than the 600 diabetes patients at a local hospital clinic. The results showed no difference in quality of care at the two clinics. The paper reporting the findings was his first publication and won an award from the U.S. Public Health Service, presented by then-U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, MD.

Research interests/expertise

Chronic disease prevention and quality improvement in adults and children, clinical decision support for primary care providers and patients, and electronic medical records.

Current projects

NIH-funded projects:

  • Cardiovascular Benefits and Safety of Glucose-Lowering Therapies in Adults with Diabetes
  • A Randomized Clinical Trial to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk in Adults with Serious Mental Illness
  • Minnesota Medicaid Incentives for Prevention of Diabetes Demonstration
  • Prioritized Clinical Decision Support to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk
  • EHR-based Clinical Decision Support to Improve Blood Pressure Management in Adolescents
  • SUPREME-DM: Sustaining a Learning Research Network
  • Home Blood Pressure Telemonitoring and Case Management to Control Hypertension
  • HMORN UCSF Center for Diabetes Translational Research
  • Childhood Hypertension and Obesity: Diagnosis, Care and Costs


Contact information

Office: 952-967-5034

Curriculum Vitae