Kari Hartwig, DrPH

Assistant Professor



Kari Hartwig’s public health training has focused on health disparities both globally and locally often with a focus on health systems and organizational structure that affect health equity. She obtained her master’s degree in International Development and Social Change from Clark University. Dr. Hartwig conducted Fulbright research in Tanzania for her master’s thesis conducting a gender analysis of HIV and AIDS education strategies. Between her masters and doctorate, she worked on an international HIV/AIDS project with Family Health International providing support to programs in more than 35 countries. For three years, she served in a regional office in Bangkok, Thailand.

For her doctorate in public health, she attended The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Health Education and Behavior. She returned to Tanzania for her doctoral research to study organizational and government responses to the AIDS epidemic.

She has taught at a number of public and private universities and joined St. Kate’s in 2013. Her primary appointment is in the Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) program where she teaches a research and evidence-based medicine series. She also teaches part-time in the Masters of Global Public Health program.

Common threads throughout my research have been health disparities, vulnerable populations (e.g., women, orphans and vulnerable children, people of color in the U.S., immigrants & refugees), and community-based participatory methods. Given the impact that institutional structures, policies and systems have on our health, I often ask structural questions to identify opportunities for constructive change and engagement in order to reduce health disparities and strengthen systems for improved population health. Recently, I have expanded my research into physician assistant (PA) education and PA burnout.

  • Refugee and immigrant health and community gardens
  • Evaluation of community based programs for health promotion, health systems strengthening and capacity building
  • Global AIDS epidemic and vulnerable populations
  • Physician assistant education and research capacity building

Doctor of Public Health, Health Education & Health Behavior
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 2001

Master of Arts, International Development & Social Change
Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, 1991

Bachelor of Arts, Religion / Cross-cultural studies
St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota, Cum laude, 1985

Fulbright Research fellowship. (1990). Conducted master's research in Tanzania: The Politics of AIDS in Tanzania: Gender Perceptions and the Challenges for Educational Strategies

St. Catherine University, Academic Professional Development Committee (APDC) Mini-Grant, 2016

Physician Assistant Education Association Don Pederson grant – co-investigator, with Heather Bidinger, MMS, PA-c as PI, 2016–2017

St. Catherine University, Academic Professional Development Committee (APDC) Grant, 2014–2015.

HLTH 6040 Global Health Policy and Governance
PA 8010 Research I
PA 8015 Research II
PA 8025 Research III
PA 7250 Community Clinical Quality Improvement

Assistant Professor, St. Catherine University, 2013–Present

Part-time faculty, Walden University, 2012–2013

Director, Whole Village Project, University of Minnesota, 2009–2011

Assistant Clinical Professor, Yale University, 2002–2008

Assistant Professor, Southern Connecticut State University, 2001–2002

Program Officer - Asia Regional Office, Family Health International - Asia Regional Office, BKK, Thailand, 1994–1997

Program Officer - LAC & Asia, Family Health International, 1992–1994

Selected Publications

Hartwig, K.A. and Mason, M. 2016. Community gardens for Refugee and Immigrant Communities as a Means of Health Promotion. Journal of Community Health. Published on-line April 16, 2016. DOI 10.1007/s10900-016-0195-5

Hartwig, K.N., Dean, M., de Vries, E., Hartwig, K.A, Mmbando, P., and R. Sayed. (2014). Where there is no morphine: The challenge and hope of palliative care delivery in Tanzania. African Journal of Primary Health Care and Family Medicine, 6 (1), Art. #549, 8 pages. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/ phcfm.v6i1.549

Hartwig, K.N., Hartwig, K.A., DiSorbo, P., Hofgren, B., Motz-Storey, L., Mmbando, P, Msurri, M., Mwangi-Powell, F., Powell, T., Smith, S. and Jacobson, M. (2010). Scaling up a community-based palliative care program among faith-based hospitals in Tanzania. Journal of Palliative Care; 26 (3), 194-201.

Shamos, S., Hartwig, K. and Zindela, N. (2010). Men’s and women’s experiences with HIV and stigma in Swaziland. Qualitative Health Research, 19 (12), 1678-1689.

Ucheaga, D. and Hartwig, K. (2010). Religious leaders' response to AIDS in Nigeria. Global Public Health, 5(6), 611-625. doi:10.1080/17441690903463619

Hartwig, K., Pashman, J., Cherlin, E., Dale, M., Callaway, M., Czaplinski, C., Wood, E., Abebe, Y., Dentry, T., and Bradley, E.H. (2008). Hospital Management in the Context of Health Sector Reform: A Planning Model in Ethiopia. International Journal of Health Planning and Management, 23: 203-218.

Hartwig, K., Humphries, D., and Matebeni, Z. (2008). Building Capacity for AIDS NGOs in southern Africa: Evaluation of a Pilot Initiative. Health Promotion International, September, 23:251-259.

Selected Conference Presentations

Hartwig, K and Mason, M. 2017. Gardens, refugees, and churches: Opportunities for renewed health and social connection in an urban environment. Poster presentation at the 14th International Conference on Urban Health, Coimbra, Portugal.

Bidinger, H. & Hartwig, K. 2016. Organizational Facilitators in Precepting Students. Oral presentation at Physician Assistant Education Association Conference, Minneapolis, MN.

Hartwig, K, Parvez, M, Burks, L, Phung, B, and Bidinger, H. 2016. Cultures of clinical education that ensure the primary care workforce. Oral presentation at American Public Health Association Conference, Denver, CO.

Hartwig, K and Mason, M. 2016. Converting Lawns To Gardens: Improving Health And Food Security For New Refugees In The U.S. Oral presentation at EcoHealth Conference, Melbourne, Australia.

Hartwig, K, Loo, TD, Poudel, R, and Mason, M. 2015. Practicing faith and improving community health through church gardens. Poster presentation at the American Public Health Association Conference, Chicago, IL.

Mason, M and Hartwig, K. 2015. Improving refugee health and social connectedness through church gardens. American Public Health Association Conference, Chicago, IL.

Hartwig, K. 2015. Assessing the Health and Social Benefits of a Refugee Church Gardening Project. Poster presented at the North American Refugee Health Conference, Toronto, Canada.