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Kathleen O'Connor Duffany, PhD, MEd

Assistant Professor of Public Health (Social and Behavioral Sciences); Director of Research and Evaluation, Community Alliance for Research and Engagement (CARE); Co-director, Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center

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Kathleen O'Connor Duffany, PhD, MEd


Kathleen O’Connor Duffany, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Clinical Public Health in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department at the Yale School of Public Health, Director of Research and Evaluation for CARE (the Community Alliance for Research and Engagement), and Co-Director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center. Dr. O’Connor Duffany’s research and practie examines the social, biological, behavioral, and structural barriers to health equity. Her work included extensive interactions with community-based organizations, agencies, and community residents to improve health outcomes. From large scale multi-national projects, to local community-based programs, she has designed and collaborated on studies and evaluations assessing and addressing social factors influencing health with an interest in long-term structural and policy change. She works collaboratively with community partners to identify ways to improve health in the community at large and communicate findings in multiple formats to reach academicians, community residents, and policy makers – conducting ‘rigorous community research for practical benefit.

Dr. O'Connor Duffany’s expertise in evaluation extends over 25 years and includes the range of evaluation purposes and types. At YSPH, she teaches Community Health Program Evaluation to MPH and PhD students, engaging future researchers, evaluators, and practitioners in community-based participatory evaluation approaches focused on health equity, and mentoring students in developing evaluation plans for community organizations, health centers, and hospitals. To support ongoing workforce development trainings, she conducts annual trainings in Evidence Based Public Health for health department staff, hospital administrators, and CHWs across CT.

In her role at Y-G PRC/CARE and YSPH, she along with her well-established evaluation team provides evaluation technical assistance, capacity building, and full support for evaluations, with recent studies focused on equity across a range of topics including evaluation of Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Programs in CT and CA, Breastfeeding initiative needs assessments, Supporting Wellness in Pantries (SWAP) process and outcomes study, CHW-led community clinical linkages initiative process and outcomes study, implementation science guided study of a virtual Diabetes Prevention Program supported by CHWs, rapid community assessments for vaccines, evaluation of local health communications efforts, and formative and outcome evaluation of CARE leadership programs including Community Research Fellows, New Haven Health Leaders, and Vaccine Equity Fellows programs, to name a few. She also serves on several committees and leadership teams related to food security, nutrition, and population health. Lastly, she serves as Faculty Director of the newly formed Community Impact Lab that seeks to engage students in public health practice with local community organizations ensuring these ongoing partnerships are equitable, sustained, and impactful for the organization and the community they serve.

Education & Training

  • PhD
    Yale School of Public Health, Chronic Disease Epidemiology/Social and Behavioral Sciences (2015)
  • MEd
    Boston College, Elementary and Special Education (1995)
  • BA
    College of the Holly Cross, Psychology and English (1991)

Departments & Organizations