Health Determinants Science

Within health determinants science, our faculty are generating knowledge to inform our understanding of health equity, special and vulnerable populations, healthful aging, health promotion behavioral change, and community and environmental factors that affect both individual and public health.

Health Determinants Marquee Background Wide

Determinants of health are multiple and complex, and fall into five broad categories. These are 1) social and economic environment (e.g., education, employment, social networks); 2) physical environment (e.g., natural and built environment); 3) health care behaviors (e.g., individual lifestyles, cultural practice, family/community beliefs); 4) genetics (e.g., genetics and epigenetics); and 5) the health care system (e.g., access, cost, quantity, and quality of health care services).

Our goal is to discover knowledge and implement programs that will improve the health and well-being of diverse individuals, families, communities, and populations across the lifespan.

Faculty

Terry A Badger

Terry A Badger

Terry A Badger , PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN

Professor
My research helps cancer survivors and their caregivers to reduce psychological distress and manage cancer symptoms during and after cancer treatment. I remove the barriers to receiving supportive care services by using the telephone to provide health education and counseling.
Accepting PhD Students

Tracy E Crane

Tracy E Crane

Tracy E Crane

Assistant Professor

Health Determinants Science

Health Equity, Health Promotion
Accepting PhD Students

Janice D Crist

Janice D Crist

Janice D Crist , PhD, RN, FNGNA, FAAN

Associate Professor

Health Determinants Science

Border Health, Health Equity, Healthy Aging
My interdisciplinary community-based participatory research (CBPR) matches the right community health system, with the right caregiving family, at the right time. With the ENCASA Community Advisory Council, we test culturally appropriate innovations; e.g., digital “graphic-novelas” to assist minority older adults to “age in place.”
Accepting PhD Students

Evangeline M Dowling

Evangeline M Dowling

Evangeline M Dowling , PhD, MSN/Ed, RN

Clinical Assistant Professor

Health Determinants Science

Health Promotion, Healthy Aging

Judith S Gordon

Judith S Gordon

Judith S Gordon , PhD

Professor, Nursing

Health Determinants Science

Health Equity, Health Promotion
I conduct research to help people engage in healthier lifestyle behaviors, primarily tobacco use cessation and prevention. Currently, I focus on reaching tobacco users in a variety of healthcare settings, and using integrative approaches and technology to reduce tobacco use.
Accepting PhD Students

Kathleen C Insel

Kathleen C Insel

Kathleen C Insel , PhD, RN

Professor

Health Determinants Science

Cognition, Healthy Aging
My area of research focuses on cognitive function and how cognition is influenced by age, illness, and treatment; this also informs how cognitive function influences self-management. Using cognitive theories, we developed an intervention to improve medication adherence. We are now translating this intervention to an App.
Accepting PhD Students

Michelle Kahn-John

Michelle Kahn-John

Michelle Kahn-John , PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC, GNP

Assistant Professor
My current research focuses on resilience and protective factors in American Indian culture, spirituality and ceremony. The foundation of my research is based on the concept of Hózhó, a Diné (Navajo) Wellness philosophy. Future research will explore ways in which American Indian cultural wisdom (as found in culture, spiritual practices and ceremony) may be implemented to elevate the physical, psychological, spiritual and social health of American Indians.
Accepting PhD Students

Mary S Koithan

Mary S Koithan

Mary S Koithan , PhD, RN, CNS-BC, FAAN

Associate Professor

Health Determinants Science

Health Promotion, Healthy Aging
I conduct research about whole person/whole systems wellbeing and health. My current work is focused on designing and evaluating healthcare delivery systems that employ the full spectrum of interventions to reduce symptom distress and improve individual and systems outcomes.
Accepting PhD Students

Lois J Loescher

Lois J Loescher

Lois J Loescher , PhD, RN, FAAN

Professor

Health Determinants Science

Border Health, Health Promotion, Healthy Aging
I conduct cancer prevention and control research, primarily targeting skin cancer. I focus on technology-based, theory-driven behavioral interventions to: reduce individual skin cancer risk, train healthcare and service providers to reduce skin cancer risk in their clients, and educate adolescents to improve sun safety behaviors.
Accepting PhD Students

Rene Allen Love

Rene Allen Love

Rene Allen Love , PhD, DNP, PMHNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP

Clinical Associate Professor
Accepting PhD Students

Marylyn M McEwen

Marylyn M McEwen

Marylyn M McEwen , PhD, PHCNS-BC, FAAN

Professor

Health Determinants Science

Border Health, Health Equity, Healthy Aging
I conduct research to decrease diabetes health disparities among adults of Mexican origin who reside in the AZ-Sonora border region. Specifically, I conduct community engaged, culturally tailored, family-based interventions targeting behavioral changes to improve type 2 diabetes self-management.

Thaddeus Wesley Warren Pace

Thaddeus Wesley Warren Pace

Thaddeus Wesley Warren Pace , PhD

Assistant Professor

Health Determinants Science

Health Equity, Health Promotion, Healthy Aging
I study mechanisms of stress-biological changes in cancer survivors who experience distress, fatigue and depression. Informed by this work, I also investigate effectiveness of novel integrative interventions for survivors designed to optimize psychosocial wellness. These include Cognitively-Based Compassion Training, a compassion meditation program, and curcumin.
Accepting PhD Students

Leslie S Ritter

Leslie S Ritter

Leslie S Ritter , PhD, RN, FAAN

Professor

Health Determinants Science

Health Promotion, Healthy Aging
My research focuses on community-based models to support those who are living with stroke as a chronic condition. I am focused on identifying inflammatory mechanisms in the microcirculation of the brain during reperfusion after ischemic stroke.
Accepting PhD Students

Jennifer Ruel

Jennifer Ruel , DNP, RN, FNP-BC, ENP-BC

Clinical Assistant Professor

Health Determinants Science

Health Equity, Health Promotion, Healthy Aging

Kimberly Denise Shea

Kimberly Denise Shea

Kimberly Denise Shea , PhD, RN, CHPN

Clinical Associate Professor

Health Determinants Science

Healthy Aging
I conduct research that combines serious illness care (palliative and hospice) and technology, primarily in residential settings. Currently, I am focusing on tele-palliative care that uses mobile device instant video conferencing to reduce stress and time to symptom reduction.
Accepting PhD Students

Laura A Szalacha

Laura A Szalacha

Laura A Szalacha

Instructor

Health Determinants Science

Health Equity, Health Promotion
I am an applied statistician, qualitative researcher, and methodologist. She has extensive experience in NIH-funded longitudinal studies of health disparities, working particularly with underserved minority populations. My developmental psychology work has a concentrated focus on adolescent development, particularly in marginalized groups, such as LGBT youth and immigrant children.

Ruth E Taylor-Piliae

Ruth E Taylor-Piliae

Ruth E Taylor-Piliae , PhD, RN, FAHA

Associate Professor

Health Determinants Science

Health Promotion, Healthy Aging
My research focuses on increasing physical activity among older adults, especially those with heart disease and stroke. I use innovative interventions such as Tai Chi, to help them improve their physical and cognitive function, reduce fall rates, ameliorate negative symptoms, and enhance quality of life.
Accepting PhD Students