Kenneth B. Wells

Affiliated Adjunct Researcher
Santa Monica Office


M.D., University of California, San Francisco; M.P.H., UCLA School of Public Health


Kenneth B. Wells is an affiliated adjunct researcher at the RAND Corporation. He is also the Director of the Center for Health Services and Co-Director of the California Behavioral Health Center of Excellence at the UCLA Semel Institute. He is also a Co-Director of the UCLA Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program. Wells is the David Weil Endowed Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and professor of health policy and management in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. His research focuses on improving mental health outcomes and mental health policy with a primary focus on community engagement and partnership in science and services programs. Wells is a recipient of the American Psychiatric Association's Research Prize, both Junior and Senior Investigator Awards of Academy Health and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. He is academic principal investigator of Community Partners in Care, funded by NIMH, RWJF, PCORI, and NIMHD among others. Community Partners in Care is a group-level randomized trial of community engagement compared to technical assistance to improve outcomes for depressed clients across health and social/community-based agencies in under-resourced communities in Los Angeles. The community-academic leaders of Community Partners in Care received the Association of Clinical and Translational Science 2014 Team Science Award, the 2014 APHA Community-based Public Sector Thomas Bruce Award, the 2015 Campus-Community Partnership for Health Annual Award and the 2015 UCLA Landmark Community Award. Wells earned his M.D. from the University of California, San Francisco.

Recent Projects

  • Improving care for depression
  • Patterns of outpatient mental care and services
  • Mental care for children in the United States
  • Medication management of depression


  • women helping a senior man in a library

    Using the Power of Communities to Beat Depression

    Under-resourced communities of color have limited access to programs that could improve recognition and treatment of depression. RAND and UCLA investigators applied an engagement model to determine how to better serve these communities.

    Aug 27, 2013 The RAND Blog

  • Healing Storm Victims' Mental Health

    Published commentary by RAND staff: Healing Storm Victims' Mental Health in Newsday.

    Oct 3, 2005 Newsday