Kathryn Whetten has served as the Research Director of the Hart Fellows Program since 2001.  Professor Whetten is a Professor of Public Policy and Community and Family Medicine; and Director of the Center for Health Policy.  She is also Director of the Health Inequities Program, and a Senior Research Fellow in the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development.

Whetten’s research focuses on evaluating and creating models of health care for chronically ill individuals. The target audience for her research is health policy analysts and decision makers, administrators and clinicians. Whetten’s area of study involves the identification of barriers to care, the creation of models of care that reduce barriers to care in a changing financial environment, the evaluation of such models, and engaging in the policy debate. Evaluation includes econometric models examining cost, health outcomes, utilization of health and human services, and satisfaction on the part of the patient and the provider.

Much of Whetten’s current research focuses on two of the most difficult populations to serve: those who are rural-living and those who are HIV- positive. Health Care systems that are able to serve these two hard-to-reach populations should be generalizable to other diseases and geographically dispersed populations. Whetten’s future plan includes widening the research to models of care and evaluation for other chronic diseases, particularly in rural areas.

Whetten received her doctorate in health policy research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.