Kathryn Pitkin Derose

Kathryn Pitkin Derose
Senior Policy Researcher; Professor of Health Policy, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in health services, M.P.H. in population and family health, University of California, Los Angeles; B.A. in comparative area studies-Latin America, Duke University

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Kathryn Pitkin Derose is a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation and a professor of health policy at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Derose's research focuses on understanding health care disparities. She has particular expertise regarding faith-based organizations and community-based participatory research. Derose is principal investigator of a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development–funded study of urban religious congregations' capacity HIV prevention and care, which used qualitative and quantitative methods and developed and tested a church-based intervention to reduce HIV stigma and increase HIV testing. She has conducted research on faith-based organizations' role in HIV prevention and care in Central America, and has led the development of a collaborative effort between the UN's World Food Program and RAND to develop pilot projects in various Latin American countries to address the food insecurity of people living with HIV. Derose also examines Latino immigrants' health care access and quality in the United States. Derose is bilingual (English-Spanish), having lived and worked in Latin America for six years before seeking graduate education in public health. She is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent career, and a former Fulbright Scholar to Ecuador. Derose received her B.A. in comparative area studies, Latin America from Duke University and her Ph.D. in health services research and M.P.H. in population and family health from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Recent Projects

  • Urban Congregations' Capacity for HIV Prevention and Care
  • Multi-Ethnic Faith and Health Partnership to Reduce Health Disparities in South Los Angeles
  • Promoting Physical Activity in High Poverty Neighborhoods
  • Developing Latin American & Caribbean Specific Evidence on Food, Nutrition, and Livelihood Strategies with ART Services
  • The Recognition and Referral of Mental Disorders within Religious Congregations

Selected Publications

Derose et al., "Effects of a pilot church-based intervention to reduce HIV stigma and promote HIV testing among African Americans and Latinos," AIDS and Behavior (forthcoming)

Derose et al., "A pre-post pilot study of peer nutritional counseling and food insecurity and nutritional outcomes among antiretroviral therapy (ART) patients in Honduras.," BMC Nutrition, 2015

Derose et al., "Racial-ethnic variation in park use and physical activity in the City of Los Angeles," Journal of Urban Health, 2015

Derose et al., "Involving community stakeholders to increase park use and physical activity," Preventive Medicine, 2014

Derose et al., "Religious congregations' involvement in HIV: A case study approach.," AIDS and Behavior, 2011

Derose et al., "Understanding disparities in health care access - and reducing them - through a focus on public health," Health Affairs, 2011

Derose and Varda, "Social Capital and Health Care Access: A Systematic Review," Medical Care Research and Review, 66(3):272-306, 2009

Derose et al., "Immigrants and Health Care: Sources of Vulnerability," Health Affairs, 26(5):1258-1268, 2007

Honors & Awards

  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, 2005, NIH
  • Best paper of the year for 2009, Medical Care Research and Review