Kathryn Whetten

Associate Director for Community and Culture, Duke Global Health Institute

Professor, Public Policy, Nursing, Community and Family Medicine and Global Health

Director, Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research

Co-Director, Duke's Sexual and Gender Minority Health Program

Research Director, Hart Fellows Program

Kathryn Whetten

Associate Director for Community and Culture, Duke Global Health Institute

Professor, Public Policy, Nursing, Community and Family Medicine and Global Health

Director, Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research

Co-Director, Duke's Sexual and Gender Minority Health Program

Research Director, Hart Fellows Program

Kathryn Whetten is a Professor of Public Policy and Global Health with additional appointments in Community and Family Medicine and Nursing. They are the Director of the Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research which is part of the Duke Global Health Institute. Whetten is the Co-Director of Duke's Sexual and Gender Minority Health Program  Research Director of the Hart Fellows Program. Whetten's work focuses on the understanding of health disparities in the US and around the globe through deepening our understanding of life course events and social/environmental factors that influence health related behaviors and wellbeing. In addition, they use their research results to develop and test interventions that might improve wellbeing. The goal of their research is to provide empirical evidence to policy makers to improve systems of caring for marginalized populations.

Whetten's research examines the health behaviors and outcomes of disadvantaged communities and individuals. They seek to understand the interrelationships among individual and community psychosocial dynamics, health behaviors, health, provider characteristics and public policies. Whetten views these relationships as multidirectional. They examine and clarify underlying group characteristics that can be addressed to improve individual and community well-being. Whetten is one of a small group of researchers examining adult health outcomes as they relate to a life-course of events and influences starting with childhood experiences within families and communities and continuing through present-day conditions that may be manipulated through intervention. All of Whetten's research is grounded in the idea that public policies can make a difference in people's lives. Whetten has led more than 20 federally funded research grants and is the author of 3 books and over 100 peer reviewed articles.

Currently, Whetten and their intervention, service and research team have research projects that address issues surrounding sexual and gender diverse persons, mental health, substance abuse, being orphaned or abandoned, HIV/AIDS, social justice, and poverty in the US Deep South and in less wealthy nations. They and their team work with colleagues in: the US Deep South; Tanzania; Kenya; Ethiopia; India; Vietnam; Cambodia; and Brazil conducting research and interventions.

Publications