Researchers DeHaven and Kitzman-Ulrich join UNTHSC School of Public Health faculty


Published: September 19, 2011

dehavenandheather1Mark J. DeHaven, PhD, and Heather Kitzman-Ulrich, PhD, have joined the School of Public Health faculty, in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health, at the UNT Health Science Center (UNTHSC), Fort Worth, Texas.

In addition to his role as professor of Behavioral and Community Health, Dr. DeHaven is Executive Director of the Texas Prevention Institute (TPI) at UNTHSC, dedicated to translational prevention research through three component centers (the Texas Center for Health Disparities, Primary Care Research Center, and Center for Community Health) focused on community research, clinical research and basic science research.  The TPI conducts transformative, cutting-edge primary care prevention research to identify strategies and solutions to the nation’s most challenging health problems; seeks new approaches in high-risk communities to specifically test means for reducing the risk of preventable diseases; and develops collaborative partnerships for culturally appropriate and effective models of health improvements in lower socioeconomic communities and racial and ethnic minority groups.

Professor DeHaven is also Director of The GoodNEWS (Genes, Nutrition, Exercise, Wellness, and Spiritual Growth) Program, an NIH-funded partnership (RO1 HLO87768) of 25 Dallas-area African American church congregations and TPI investigators for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Additionally, he is a designated Health Institutes of Texas professor, holds a secondary appointment in the UNTHSC Department of Family Medicine and is a member of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences graduate faculty.

Dr. DeHaven is the recipient of numerous distinguished service awards and professional honors and is the author or co-author of 80 journal articles and abstracts and close to 40 invited keynote addresses and presentations. He has received more than 30 grant awards from the CDC, NIH and numerous foundations, most as principal investigator.  His board memberships have included the City of Irving, Texas, Board of Health; African American Tuberculosis Advisory Board of the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services Administration; and the City of Irving Board of Health Task Force on Childhood Obesity.

Dr. Kitzman-Ulrich received her doctorate in psychology from Southern Methodist University and has been involved in nearly 40 research projects, grants and contracts during her career. Her primary research focus is on improving health behaviors in low-income communities and families, specifically related to childhood obesity. Dr. Kitzman-Ulrich is an assistant professor in the School of Public Health, and is affiliated with the TPI.

Her most recent work has focused on developing community gardens in low-income communities to improve access to healthy foods. In addition, she is collaborating with The Cooper Institute on a project titled, “Don’t Weight: Working with Health Care Practitioners, Patients, and the Public to Make the Practice of Prevention a Priority,” which aims to provide continuing medical education to physicians on weight management.  She has also been involved with the Community Council of Greater Dallas to develop programs that increase access to physical activity in high-crime, urban communities.

She is the co-author on 11 journal articles, four books, and 39 abstracts and papers, and is a board member for both the Dallas and Irving Childhood Obesity Task Force initiatives and the Texas Research Consortium on Children and Families.