Kathryn Pitkin Derose

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Senior Policy Researcher; Professor of Health Policy, Pardee RAND Graduate School
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Ph.D. in health services, University of California, Los Angeles; 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 senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, professor of health policy at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, and regular member of RAND's Human Subjects Protection Committee. She also leads the RAND Health Research Staff Advisory Council. Her research focuses on understanding and addressing health disparities. She has particular expertise regarding faith-based organizations and community-based participatory research. Derose has served as principal investigator of several NIH-funded studies that developed multi-component interventions to address health disparities, such as church-based efforts to reduce HIV-related stigma and promote HIV testing and address obesity. Currently, she is testing an integrated urban gardens and peer nutritional counseling intervention to improve adherence to antiretroviral therapy among people living with HIV in the Dominican Republic. Derose also examines Latino immigrants' health care access and quality in the United States and park-based interventions to increase physical activity. 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 is 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
  • Improving ART Adherence through Urban Gardening and Peer Nutritional Counseling in the Dominican Republic
  • Linking Churches with Parks to Increase Physical Activity among Latinos

Selected Publications

Derose KP, Han B, Willamson S, Cohen DA, "Gender Disparities in Park Use and Physical Activity among Residents of High-Poverty Neighborhoods in Los Angeles," Women's Health Issues, 2018

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., "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), 2009

Derose et al., "Immigrants and Health Care: Sources of Vulnerability," Health Affairs, 26(5), 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
  • Mentor of the Year 2014, RAND




  • A doctor talks to a girl whose arm is in a sling

    A Threat to Immigrant Health Care with Potential Consequences for All

    The proposed changes to the “public charge” rule could jeopardize decades of progress towards improved health care access and health for immigrants and U.S. citizens. Negative effects may include worse health outcomes, increased use of emergency rooms, and increased prevalence of communicable diseases.

    Oct 12, 2018 The Hill