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Seattle-Denver Center of Innovation (COIN)


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COIN Investigator

COIN Staff


Rachel Johnson-Koenke, PhD, LCSW
Title: Clinical Core Lead
Health Science Specialist
Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, University of Colorado
Location: Denver
See Dr. Johnson's Dimensions profile that includes: publications, grants, datasets, patents and clinical trials

My research interest is around the use of narratives to help people living with chronic illness. I research narratives at the VA at the community level in rural Veteran suicide prevention programs across the United States. I also mentor, supervise and support clinician researchers and interdisciplinary healthcare students to conduct research from their unique and insightful disciplinary lens.

My life was changed by a social worker and I am dedicated to giving back to the discipline of social work. I was raised in a small town in Kansas and love working with Veterans living in rural communities. I love working to give back to our nation’s Veterans who gave so much.

My work will hopefully impact our understanding of how stories can be used to help Veterans living with chronic illness. I want to find new and innovative ways to help people with chronic illness to live better.

The following images visualize Dr. Johnson-Koenke's work. The word cloud is drawn from publication titles. The research collaboration map shows research relationships (click the image to enlarge):

Dr. Johnson-Koenke's publication titles indicate his primary work is care of Veterans
Word cloud from pub titles
Dr. Johnson-Koenke's collaborations are primarily from the University of Washington
Research collaboration map
The following research fields have been used to summarize Dr. Johnson-Koenke's publications and grants. The categories are based on 16 publications and no grants.
Clinical Research
Health Services
Behavioral and Social Science
Heart Disease
Mental Health
Pain Research
Emergency Care

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Research Activities

Caregiver Support Program: Equine Assisted Therapy program evaluation

Role: Co-Investigator and Qualitative Methodologist (Michael Ho, PI)
Funder: Veterans Administration & VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System Research and Development

VA Department of Defense ALS Home Spirometry Study

Role: Co-Investigator and Qualitative Methodologist (Matthew Griffith, PI)
Funder: Veterans Administration & Department of Defense

Together with Veterans

Role: Co-Investigator and Qualitative Methodologist (Nathaniel Mohatt, PI)
Funder: Veterans Administration & VA Office of Rural Health and the Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

Graduate Student Expressive Writing Program Evaluation

Role: Investigator

DEI Training Evaluation

Role: Investigator

Illness Narratives of People Living with COVID19

Role: Investigator

Stories of the Heart: Illness narratives of veterans living with heart failure

Role: Investigator

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Recent Publications



Weiss CR, Johnson-Koenke R. Narrative Inquiry as a Caring and Relational Research Approach: Adopting an Evolving Paradigm. Qual Health Res. 2023 Feb 21:10497323231158619. doi: 10.1177/10497323231158619. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36803213
Learn more about this publication at Dimensions

Sasson C, Dieujuste N, Klocko R, Basrai Z, Celedon M, Hsiao J, Himstreet J, Hoffman J, Pfaff C, Malmstrom R, Smith J, Holstein A, Johnson-Koenke R. Barriers and facilitators to implementing Medication for Opioid Use Disorder and naloxone distribution in VA emergency departments. Acad Emerg Med. 2023 Feb 9. doi: 10.1111/acem.14683. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36757683
Learn more about this publication at Dimensions



Clark, C., & Johnson-Koenke, R. (2022). Nursing Leadership in Social and Political Determinants of Health. In Nurse-Led Visionary Leadership in Healthcare: Excellence in Practice, Policy, and Ethics. Sigma Theta Tau International.

Johnson-Koenke R, Horton-Deutsch S, Pratt-Hopp F, Jones J, Oman K. (2022). “Love Is Love”: Unitary Caring Science Principles in Veteran’s Illness Narratives of Living With Heart Failure in Stories of the Heart Research Study. International Journal for Human Caring, 26, 2. DOI: 10.20467/HumanCaring-D-21-00005.

Johnson-Koenke R, Horton-Deutsch S, Pratt-Hopp F, Jones J, Oman KS. Stories of the Heart: Illness Narratives of Veterans Living With Heart Failure. Fed Pract. 2022 May;39(5):237-243. doi: 10.12788/fp.0260. Epub 2022 May 10. PMCID: PMC9351735. PMID: 35935926.

Boulos PK, Burgin G, Johnson-Koenke R, Flint KM. "My Amazing Heart": A Patient's Simple Request to Change Outdated Heart Failure Labels. Circ Heart Fail. 2022 Jan 14:CIRCHEARTFAILURE121008679. doi: 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.121.008679. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35026958.



Dieujuste N, Johnson-Koenke R, Celedon M, Basrai Z, Christopher M, Smith J, Sasson C. (2021). Provider Perceptions of Opioid Safety Measures in VHA Emergency Departments and Urgent Care Centers. Fed Pract. 2021 September;38(9):412-419. DOI:10.12788/fp.0179.



Wyte-Lake T, Der-Martirosian C, Chu K, Johnson-Koenke R, Dobalian A. Preparedness and response activities of the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) home-based primary care program around the fall 2017 hurricane season. BMC Public Health. 2020 Nov 26;20(1):1796. doi: 10.1186/s12889-020-09888-8. PMCID: PMC7690102. PMID: 33243229.

Plys E, Johnson-Koenke R. Perceived Social Standing in Assisted Living Communities: A Mixed-Methods Study of Social Hierarchies Among Residents. Res Aging. 2021 Jan;43(1):47-57. doi: 10.1177/0164027520932823. Epub 2020 Jun 10. PMID: 32519589.

Martin B, Jones J, Miller M, Johnson-Koenke R. Health Care Professionals' Perceptions of Pay-for-Performance in Practice: A Qualitative Metasynthesis. Inquiry. 2020 Jan-Dec;57:46958020917491. doi: 10.1177/0046958020917491. PMCID: PMC7249558. PMID: 32448014.

Dieujuste N, Johnson-Koenke R, Christopher M, Gunzburger EC, Emmendorfer T, Kessler C, Haukoos J, Smith J, Sasson C. Feasibility Study of a Quasi-experimental Regional Opioid Safety Prescribing Program in Veterans Health Administration Emergency Departments. Acad Emerg Med. 2020 Aug;27(8):734-741. doi: 10.1111/acem.13980. Epub 2020 May 12. PMID: 32239558.

Wyte-Lake T, Claver M, Johnson-Koenke R, Davis D, Dobalian A. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria: Exploring the Role of Home-Based Care Programs. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2020 Feb;14(1):119-124. doi: 10.1017/dmp.2019.158. PMCID: PMC7064407. PMID: 32014082.



Wyte-Lake T, Claver M, Johnson-Koenke R, Davis D, Dobalian A. Role of Home-Based Care Programs During Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2019 Aug;67(8):1754-1756. doi: 10.1111/jgs.16010. Epub 2019 Jun 5. PMID: 31166603.

Wyte-Lake T, Claver M, Johnson-Koenke R, Dobalian A. Home-Based Primary Care's Role in Supporting the Older Old During Wildfires. J Prim Care Community Health. 2019 Jan-Dec;10:2150132719846773. doi: 10.1177/2150132719846773. PMID: 31088255; PMCID: PMC6537241. PMID: 31088255.

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American Journal of Nursing 2022 Book of the Year Award:
Visionary Leadership in Healthcare: Excellence in Practice, Policy, and Ethics

Dr. Johnson-Koenke co-authored a chapter with Carey S. Clark in this 1st-place finishing book edited by Holly Wei and Sara Horton-Deutsch. The chapter is titled, "Nursing Leadership in Social and Political Determinants of Health".

Learn more