Title: Senior clinical investigator
HealthPartners Medical Group title: Family physician, assistant medical director
- Cofounder and codirector, HealthPartners Center for Chronic Care Innovation
- Consultant, Noncommunicable Diseases, World Health Organization
- 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 the American Diabetes Association’s National Standards of Care for Diabetes (two terms). 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 numerous other journals
- Principal investigator or coinvestigator on 35 large NIH, AHRQ, CMS or PCORI grants since 1999; more than 400 peer-reviewed papers, guidelines, abstracts and clinical monographs, some of which have been translated into Spanish and Japanese.
Joined the Institute: 1993
Education and training: 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
Overview/research interests: 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. Dr. O’Connor’s major research interests now include (a) chronic disease prevention and care improvement for adults and children, (b) clinical decision support for primary care providers and patients, (c) shared decision-making and (d) patient-centered care.
Current research activities and funding:
NIH-funded projects (from 35 total):
- Improving Care of Opioid Use Disorder Using Clinical Decision Support in Primary Care
- Chronic Kidney Disease Care Improvement Using Point-of-Care Prioritized Decision Support
- Does Information on Medication Adherence Improve Primary Care Management of Chronic Diseases?
- 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
- Prioritized Clinical Decision Support to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk
- EHR-based Clinical Decision Support to Improve Blood Pressure Management in Adolescents
- Home Blood Pressure Telemonitoring and Case Management to Control Hypertension
- HMORN UCSF Center for Diabetes Translational Research