Thomas E. Kottke, MD, MSPH
Medical Director for Well-being, HealthPartners Health Plan
"The concept of well-being, widely-endorsed, is associated with positive outcomes for individuals, organizations, and populations. It is meaningful and measurable. As Atul Gawande observes in Being Mortal, it is about the reasons one wishes to be alive. It is my goal for all health and social policy."

Thomas E. Kottke, MD, MSPH, Medical Director for Well-Being at HealthPartners and Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota, is board certified in internal medicine and the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Kottke is also a health services researcher at the HealthPartners Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  He obtained his MD degree from the University of Minnesota and trained in internal medicine at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal. While a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, he trained at the North Carolina Memorial Hospital and also received an MSPH from the school of public health. Dr. Kottke is a member of the NCQA Cardiovascular Measure Advisory Panel (CV MAP). and has served on multiple National Quality Forum (NQF) committees including its Board of Directors. He has co-chaired both the NQF Consensus Standards Approval Committee (CSAC) and the NQF Cardiovascular Standing Committee. His research interests focus on improving health and well-being through community and clinical initiatives.

Conducting Institute research since 2004.

Current HealthPartners positions: 
Medical Director for Well-being, HealthPartners Health Plan
Senior Clinical Investigator, HealthPartners Institute
Professor (affiliated), Medicine, University of Minnesota

Education and training:

  • 1978-1981 Post-doctoral Fellow - Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene, School of  Public Health, Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
  • 1977-1978 MSPH, Epidemiology - School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
  • 1976-1978 Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar - Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
  • 1976-1977 Resident - Department of Medicine, North Carolina Memorial Hospital, Chapel Hill, NC
  • 1974-1976 Resident - Department of Medicine, Royal Victoria Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • 1970-1974 MD - University of Minnesota, School of Medicine, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • 1966-1970 BA, Anthropology - University of Minnesota

Affiliations/other offices held:
Since 2012 and currently active
2022-  Member, Community Preventive Services Task Force
2019   Member, Board of Directors, National Quality Forum
2019   Chair, National Quality Forum Consensus Standards Advisory Committee (CSAC)
2018   President, Twin Cities Medical Society
2016-2019  Member, National Quality Forum Consensus Standards Advisory Committee
2013-  Board Member, Twin Cities Medical Society
2012-2014  Chair, Twin Cities Obesity Prevention Coalition
2009- NCQA Cardiovascular Measurement Advisory Panel
2011-2013  National Quality Forum Multiple Chronic Conditions Measurement Framework project.
2010-2015  Member and Chair, Minnesota Medical Association Quality Committee
2010-2015  CDC Surveillance and Epidemiology Workgroup
2010-  National Quality Forum Cardiovascular Standing Committee, Member and Co-chair
2009-2022  Member, St. Paul-Ramsey County Statewide Health Improvement Program Steering Committee

Research interests include:
Community health and well-being, health promotion and disease prevention with a focus on reducing disparities in healthy pregnancy, early childhood experience, and adolescent homelessness

Current and recent research activities and funding:

The Interplay of ENDS and Tobacco Control Policy: Impact on the Population Harms of Tobacco (Maciosek)
Source: NCI/R01CA263542 
Role: Co-Investigator    07/01/2022-06/30/2027 

Achieving Co-Benefits at the FEW Nexus through Urban Food System Solutions: Developing a Convergence/Actionable Systems Science for Equity, Resource Efficiency, Health & Well-Being
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture/ NSF 18-545
Role: Site PI       09/15/2021-09/14/2022

Diabetes and Heart Disease & Stroke Prevent Programs – Improving the Health of Americans through Prevention and Management of Diabetes and Heart Disease and Stroke, CDC-RFA-DP18-1815 (Bishop)
Source: CDC/NU58DP006522
Role: Site PI       10/01/2019-11/30/2022

Examining the Relationship of Periodontal Treatment and Improved Health Outcomes for Coronary Heart Disease, Cerebrovascular Disease and Diabetes (Michalowicz)
Source: NIDCR/R03DE026797
Role: Co-Investigator        09/01/2018-08/31/2021

Pragmatic Trial Comparing Telehealth Care and Clinic-based Care for Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure (Hyperlink-3) (Margolis)
Source: PCORI
Role: Co-Investigator       07/01/2016-09/30/2021

Reducing CV Risk in Prediabetes Patients Using EHR-Based Decision Support (Desai)
Source: NHLBI/R01HL128614
Role: Other Significant Contributor            07/15/2015-06/30/2021

Evaluating System Change to Advance Learning and Take Evidence to Scale (ESCALATES) (Cohen)
Source: AHRQ/U01HS023940
Role: Co-Investigator        02/01/2015-04/30/2021

Can the CV Wizard Tool Impact Guideline-based CVD Care in the Safety Net? (Gold)
Source: NHLBI/R01HL133793
Role: Co-Investigator       09/01/2016-02/28/2022

Fish Consumption Dissemination Project (McCann)
Source: EPA
Role: Co-Investigator      09/01/2016-09/15/2021

A Clinic-Randomized Trial of a Clinical Decision Support System to Improve Dental Provider Delivery of Brief Tobacco Interventions and Quitline Referrals (Rindal/Spallek)
Source: NIDCR/U01DE026135
Role: Co-Investigator     08/01/2016-07/31/2021

Related websites:
Thomas KOTTKE | Medical Director for Well-being | Medical Directors (
‪Thomas E. Kottke - ‪Google Scholar

  • Senior Research Investigator, Community and population health 2004 -
  • Publications While At HealthPartners
    selected publications
    Journal Article
  • Introducing the Lifestyle Health Index in the American Nations
    Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention. 2024
  • Describing racial disparity in hypertension control in a large Minnesota outpatient practice
    Health services research and managerial epidemiology. 2023
  • Estimating the cardiovascular disease risk reduction of a quality improvement initiative in primary care: findings from EvidenceNOW
    Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. 2023
  • Inequalities in communicating about nutrition information during prenatal care: the after-visit summary
    American journal of health education. 2023
  • Periodontal treatment and subsequent clinical outcomes and medical care costs: a retrospective cohort study
    PloS One. 2023
  • Survey-based evaluation of a fish consumption information dissemination campaign within an integrated health system: learnings from ChooseYourFish
    Journal of Primary Care & Community Health. 2023
  • An email coaching option increases participant program utilization and coach productivity
    American Journal of Health Promotion. 2022
  • Association of an automated blood pressure measurement quality improvement program with terminal digit preference and recorded mean blood pressure in 11 clinics
    JAMA network open. 2022
  • Behaviors, beliefs, and recommendations to optimize promotion of safe fish consumption before and during pregnancy: a physician survey
    Journal of Primary Care & Community Health. 2022
  • Comparing pharmacist-led telehealth care and clinic-based care for uncontrolled high blood pressure: the Hyperlink 3 pragmatic cluster-randomized trial
    Hypertension (Dallas, Tex.. 2022
  • Findings and future directions from a smoking cessation trial utilizing a clinical decision support tool
    Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice. 2022
  • Gaing the upper hand
    MetroDoctors. 2022
  • Comparison of medical school financing plans among matriculating US medical students from 2017 to 2019
    JAMA network open. 2021
  • Cultural and structural features of zero-burnout primary care practices
    Health Affairs. 2021
  • Impact of demographic survey questions on response rate and measurement: a randomized experiment
    Survey Practice. 2021
  • It's important to hear and learn from youth experiencing homelessness in the Twin Cities
    MinnPost. 2021
  • It’s important to hear and learn from youth experiencing homelessness in the Twin Cities
    MinnPost. 2021
  • Promoting fish consumption messages: perspectives of hmong women of childbearing age
    American Journal of Health Behavior. 2021
  • Promoting the public's health with personal commitment and gun safety policies
    Creative Nursing. 2021
  • Using a brief tool to assess healthy school environments: a pilot study
    American Journal of Managed Care. 2021
  • A strategy to promote population-wide life satisfaction while advancing equity
    American Journal of Managed Care. 2020
  • Recognizing our local COVID-19 heroes
    MetroDoctors. 2020
  • A behavioural economics approach to improving healthy food selection among food pantry clients
    Public Health Nutrition. 2019
  • Responses to a social media campaign promoting safe fish consumption among women
    Preventing Chronic Disease. 2019
  • The health and well-being of an ACO population
    American Journal of Managed Care. 2019
  • The predicted impact of adopting health-promoting behaviors on disease burden in a commercially insured population
    Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2019
  • Validating a method to assess disease burden from insurance claims
    American Journal of Managed Care. 2019
  • Burnout among physicians, advanced practice clinicians and staff in smaller primary care practices
    Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2018
  • Healthy nutrition and dietary considerations for the workplace
    ACSMs Health Fitness J. 2018
  • Piquing their “Pinterest”: a qualitative study to format and deliver complex fish consumption guidelines to women who are or could become pregnant
  • Use and customization of risk scores for predicting cardiovascular events using electronic health record data
    Journal of the American Heart Association. 2017
  • "Well-Being in All Policies": promoting cross-sectoral collaboration to improve people's lives
    Preventing Chronic Disease. 2016
  • Concordance between life satisfaction and six elements of well-being among respondents to a health assessment survey, HealthPartners Employees, Minnesota, 2011
    Preventing Chronic Disease. 2016
  • Modeled health and economic impact of team-based care for hypertension
    American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2016
  • New summary measures of population health and well-being for implementation by health plans and accountable care organizations
    Preventing Chronic Disease. 2016
  • Proton pump inhibitor use by aspirin-treated coronary artery disease patients is not associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events
    European heart journal. Cardiovascular pharmacotherapy. 2016
  • The financial impact of team-based care on primary care
    American Journal of Managed Care. 2016
  • Using principles of complex adaptive systems to implement secondary prevention of coronary heart disease in primary care
    The Permanente journal. 2016
  • A qualitative study of processes used to implement evidence-based care in a primary care practice
    Family Practice. 2015
  • Persistence of smoking-cessation decision support use in a dental practice
    American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2015
  • Honoring choices Minnesota: preliminary data from a community-wide advance care planning model
    Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2014
  • Lipid abnormalities in foreign-born and US-born patients in a medical group
    Journal of Clinical Lipidology. 2014
  • An algorithm that identifies coronary and heart failure events in the electronic health record
    Preventing Chronic Disease. 2013
  • Leveraging lifestyle medicine and social policy to extend the triple aim from the clinic into the community
    American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. 2013
  • Meeting the million hearts goal
    Minnesota Medicine. 2013
  • Simple rules that reduce hospital readmission
    The Permanente journal. 2013
  • The effect of price reduction on salad bar purchases at a corporate cafeteria
    Preventing Chronic Disease. 2013
  • Accuracy of heart disease prevalence estimated from claims data compared with an electronic health record
    Preventing Chronic Disease. 2012
  • The simple health system rules that create value
    Preventing Chronic Disease. 2012
  • Adherence to optimal lifestyle behaviors is related to emotional health indicators among employees
    Population health management. 2011
  • Five payment models: the pros, the cons, the potential
    Minnesota Medicine. 2011
  • Identifying opportunities for a medical group to improve outcomes for patients with coronary artery disease and heart failure: an exploratory study
    The Permanente journal. 2011
  • The predicted impact of heart disease prevention and treatment initiatives on mortality in Lithuania, a middle-income country
    Preventing Chronic Disease. 2011
  • Measuring health care access and quality to improve health in populations
    Preventing Chronic Disease. 2010
  • Reasons for not meeting coronary artery disease targets of care in ambulatory practice
    The Permanente journal. 2010
  • Social determinants of health. A call to action for the employer community
    ACSMs Health Fitness J. 2010
  • The association between optimal lifestyle adherence and short-term incidence of chronic conditions among employees
    Population health management. 2010
  • Disease management strategies to optimize cardiovascular risk in type 2 diabetes mellitus
    Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports. 2009
  • Readiness of US health plans to manage cardiometabolic risk
    Preventing Chronic Disease. 2009
  • Taking on the social determinants of health: a framework for action
    Minnesota Medicine. 2009
  • Optimizing practice through research: a new perspective to solve an old problem
    Annals of Family Medicine. 2008
  • Partnering care delivery and research to optimize health
    Clinical Medicine & Research. 2008
  • Preventing chronic disease risk factors: rationale and feasibility
    Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania). 2008
  • Optimizing practice through research: a preventive services case study
    American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2007
  • CardioVision 2020: program acceptance and progress after 4 years
    American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2006
  • Physical activity optimizing practice through research
    American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2006
  • Preventing sudden death with n-3 (omega-3) fatty acids and defibrillators
    American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2006
  • Obesity: another wolf at the door?
    Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2004
  • Variation in clinical preventive services
    Effective Clinical Practice. 2001
  • Failure of a continuous quality improvement intervention to increase the delivery of preventive services. A randomized trial
    Effective Clinical Practice. 2000
  • Improving prevention is difficult
    Effective Clinical Practice. 2000
  • Lessons from experienced guideline implementers: attend to many factors and use multiple strategies
    Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement. 2000
  • Editorial Article
  • Failing cardiovascular health: a population code blue [editorial]
    Journal of the American College of Cardiology.  80. 2022
  • Gun laws: enough is enough [editorial]
  • Heart disease and stroke: down, but not out [editorial]
    Lancet Reg Health Eur.  7. 2021
  • Multiples of median income: a tool to call out drugs that are high cost and low value [editorial]
    The Permanente journal.  24. 2020
  • Access to affordable housing promotes health and well-being and reduces hospital visits [editorial]
    The Permanente journal.  22. 2018
  • Philanthropy and beyond: creating shared value to promote well-being for individuals in their communities [editorial]
    The Permanente journal.  21. 2017
  • Strategies to prioritize clinical options in primary care [editorial]
    Annals of Family Medicine.  15. 2017
  • Counterpoint: Teamwork is the best medicine, not "autonomy" [editorial]
  • Here's how we can end extortionate drug price increases. Runaway medication costs are the fastest-growing driver of health-care expenses [editorial]
  • A paradox of well-being [editorial]
  • A commentary on: "Comparative health systems research among Kaiser Permanente and other integrated delivery systems: a systematic literature review" [editorial]
    The Permanente journal.  18. 2014
  • Prevent the next generation of nicotine addiction [editorial]
  • The adoption of quality indicators [editorial]
    Health Affairs.  33. 2014
  • Four opportunities to prevent diabetes and coronary heart disease [editorial]
    Diabetes Spectrum.  26. 2013
  • Optimizing the health of mothers, infants, and communities through research [editorial]
    Mayo Clinic Proceedings.  88. 2013
  • Reversing the slide in US health outcomes and deteriorating health care economics [editorial]
    Mayo Clinic Proceedings.  88. 2013
  • Medicine is a social science in its very bone and marrow [editorial]
    Mayo Clinic Proceedings.  86. 2011
  • The lessons of COURAGE (Clinical Outcomes Utilizing Revascularization and Aggressive Drug Evaluation)
    Journal of the American College of Cardiology.  58. 2011
  • The need for social epidemiology: now as much as ever [editorial]
    Annals of Epidemiology.  21. 2011
  • Does prevention save money [editorial]?
    Health Affairs.  28. 2009
  • Health care reform? Don't forget the simple things that matter most [editorial]
  • Chapter
  • Case study: the power of community in population health: PowerUp for kids
    Population health: creating a culture of wellness. 2015
  • Causation of common cardiovascular problems
    AMA guides to the evaluation of diseases and injury causation. 2013
  • Health promotion in health systems
    Lifestyle medicine. 2013
  • Review
  • America's racial reckoning within perinatal communication: a rapid review using sociotechnical systems theory to compare publications before and after 2020 [review]
    Journal of Primary Care & Community Health. 2023
  • Economics of team-based care for blood pressure control: updated Community Guide Systematic Review [review]
    American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2023
  • Pharmacist interventions for medication adherence: Community Guide economic reviews for cardiovascular disease [review]
    American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2022
  • Obesity treatment at HealthPartners: adaptation of clinical guidelines into systems for practice operations [review]
    Current obesity reports. 2016
  • Clinical decision support systems and prevention: a Community Guide cardiovascular disease systematic review [review]
    American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2015
  • Economics of team-based care in controlling blood pressure: a Community Guide systematic review [review, systematic review]
    American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2015
  • Reducing medication costs to prevent cardiovascular disease: a community guide systematic review [review, systematic review]
    Preventing Chronic Disease. 2015
  • Team-based care and improved blood pressure control: a Community Guide systematic review [review, systematic review]
    American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2014
  • Physical activity promotion as a strategic corporate priority to improve worker health and business performance [review]
    Preventive Medicine. 2009
  • Preventing and managing cardiometabolic risk: the logic for intervention [review]
    International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2009
  • The comparative effectiveness of heart disease prevention and treatment strategies [review]
    American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2009
  • A clinical practice guideline for treating tobacco use and dependence: 2008 update. A U.S. Public Health Service report [meta-analysis]
    American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2008
  • Policy Briefs
    Audio-Visual Document
  • A nurse-led system to improve evidence-based cardiac care in primary care clinics [presentation]
  • BET-CI: a benefit estimating tool for cardiac interventions [presentation]
  • Choosing wisely [presentation]
  • Choosing wisely [presentation]
  • Cost and quality trade-offs in a well-being survey of HealthPartners patient members [presentation]
  • Cost and quality trade-offs in a well-being survey of HealthPartners patient members [presentation], American Association for Public Opinion Research 70th Annual Conference
  • Developing and deploying evidence-based clinical decision support (CDS) for aspirin use at the point-of-care [presentation], Minnesota Health Services Research 17th Annual Conference
  • History and future of community-based chronic disease prevention programs [presentation]
  • How to strengthen integrated prevention in health services [presentation]
  • Hyperlipidemia management [presentation]
  • Hyperlipidemia management [presentation]
  • Hypertension in the elderly [presentation]
  • Improving EHR functionality to increase Minnesota health score performance for vascular disease patients in a private practice [presentation]
  • Improving care for patients with high CV risk [presentation]
  • Lipid abnormalities among foreign and U.S. born patients in a medical group [presentation], Prehypertension and Cardiometabolic Syndrome 2nd International Conference
  • Medical knowledge behind integrated NCD (non-communicable diseases) prevention [presentation]
  • Optimal lifestyle adherence and two-year incidence of chronic conditions [presentation], HealthPartners Research Foundation Annual Conference
  • Practical tips to reduce heart disease risk in women [presentation]
  • Predicted health and economic impact from the elimination of industrially-produced trans fatty acids in the United States [presentation]
  • Proton pump inhibitor use and the risk of adverse cardiovascular events in aspirin-treated patients with coronary artery disease [presentation]
  • Social determinants of health [presentation]
  • Summary measures of health and well-being [presentation]
  • The association of optimal lifestyle adherence with emotional health indicators among active employees [presentation], HMO Research Network (HMORN) 16th Annual Conference: Emerging Frontiers in Healthcare Research and Delivery
  • Contact
    full name
  • Thomas E. Kottke, MD, MSPH
  • primary email
  • Thomas.E.Kottke@HealthPartners.Com
  • Quick Info
    Contact Information More Info