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Photo of Peters, Karen E.

Karen E. Peters, DrPH

Clinical Assistant Professor of Community Health Sciences

Program Director, Illinois Area Health Education Centers Network Program


Building & Room:

349 Westside Research Office Bldg.


1747 West Roosevelt Road Chicago, IL 60608

Office Phone:

(312) 413-4944


Dr. Karen Peters is a clinical assistant professor of community health sciences in the UIC School of Public Health and an assistant professor in the UIC Graduate College. She directs the Illinois Area Health Education Network. She helped develop the National Center for Rural Health Professions at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford, where she continues to serve as the assistant director for Research and Evaluation and as an adjunct assistant professor of family and community medicine. As a long-time investigator at the Institute for Health Research and Policy, she is recognized as an IHRP Fellow.

Dr. Peters has a broad background in community-based participatory research and evaluation, with specific training and research experience in community-engaged or -partnered research in both urban and rural areas inside and outside the United States. She is experienced in the design and conduct of evaluation studies, including data collection, synthesis, production and dissemination of evaluation results to community members that are tailored to their specific needs and interests.


Research Interests

Rural health professions education, community-based interventions, program evaluation, aging and public health

Selected Publications

Rahman R, Clark MD, Collins Z, Traore F, Dioukhane EM,… Dykens JA. Cervical cancer screening decentralized policy adaptation: an African rural-context-specific systematic literature review. Glob Health Action. 2019;12(1):1587894. doi: 10.1080/16549716.2019.1587894.

Prohaska TR, Peters KE. Impact of Natural Disasters on Health Outcomes and Cancer Among Older Adults. Gerontologist. 2019 May 17;59(Suppl 1):S50-S56. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnz018.

Demment MM, Peters K, Dykens JA, Dozier A, Nawaz H, McIntosh S, et al. Developing the evidence base to inform best practice: A scoping study of breast and cervical cancer reviews in low- and middle-income countries. PLoS One. 2015 Sep 1;10(9):e0134618. [See abstract.]

Hites LS, Sass MM, D’Ambrosio L, Brown LM, Wendelboe AM, Peters KE, Sobelson RK. The Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Centers: advancing standardized evaluation of public health preparedness and response trainings. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2014 Sep-Oct;20 Suppl 5:S17-23. [See abstract.]

Desai PM, Hughes SL, Peters KE, Mermelstein RJ. Impact of telephone reinforcement and negotiated contracts on behavioral predictors of exercise maintenance in older adults with osteoarthritis. Am J Health Behav. 2014 May;38(3):465-77. [See abstract.]

Meuser TM, Carr DB, Berg-Weger M, Irmiter C, Peters KE, Schwartzberg JG. The Instructional Impact of the American Medical Association’s Older Drivers Project Online Curriculum. Gerontol Geriatr Educ. 2014;35(1):64-85. [See abstract.]

Cristancho S, Peters K, Garces DM. Providing mental health services in rural areas. In: Buki LP, Piedra L, eds. Creating Infrastructures for Latino Mental Health. New York, NY: Springer; 2011.

Bryant LL, Chin NP, Cottrell LA, Duckles JM, Fernandez ID, Garces DM, et al. Perceptions of cardiovascular health in underserved communities. Prev Chronic Dis. 2010 Mar;7(2):A30. [See abstract.]

Sheridan SL, Viera AJ, Krantz MJ, Ice CL, Steinman LE, Peters KE, et al; for the Cardiovascular Health Intervention Research and Translation Network Work Group on Global Coronary Heart Disease Risk. The effect of giving global coronary risk information to adults: a systematic review. Arch Int Med. 2010;170(3):230-239.[See abstarct.]

MacDowell M, Glasser M, Fitts M, Fratzke M, Peters K. Perspectives on rural workforce issues: Illinois-Arkansas comparison. J Rural Health. 2009 Mar:25(2);135-140.[See abstract.]

Mistretta M, Peters K. Inequality, physician distribution and health in Illinois counties: A three-stage least squares model. Int J Glob Health Health Dispar. 2009;6(1):6-20.[See abstract.]

Peters KE, Cristancho S, Garces DM. Closing the gap in a generation: health equity through action on the social determinants of health. Education for Health. 2009;22(2):381. Book review.

Farris RP, Pearson T, Fogg T, Bryant L, Peters K, Keyserling T, Fitzpatrick A, Neal W. Building capacity for heart disease and stroke prevention research: The Cardiovascular Health Intervention Research and Translation Network. Health Promot Pract. 2008 Jul;9:220-227.[See abstract.]

Cristancho S, Garces DM, Peters KE, Mueller BC. Listening to rural Hispanic immigrants in the midwest: a community-based participatory assessment of major barriers to health care access and use. Qual Health Res. 2008 May;18(5):633-46.[See abstract.]

Peters KE, Gupta S, Stoller N, Mueller B. Implications of the aging process: opportunities for prevention in the farming community. J Agromedicine. 2008;13(2):111-8. [See abstract.]

Prohaska T, Peters KE. Physical activity and cognitive functioning: Translating research to practice using a public health approach. Alzheimers Dement. 2007;29(4):283-296.[See abstract.]

Glasser M, Peters K, MacDowell M. Rural Illinois hospital chief executive officers’ perceptions of provider shortages and issues in rural recruitment and retention. J Rural Health. 2006;22(1);59-62.[See abstract.]

Koerber A, Peters KE, Kaste LM, Lopez E, Noorullah K, Torres I, Crawford JM. The views of dentists, nurses and nutritionists on the association between diabetes and periodontal disease: a qualitative study in a Latino community. J Public Health Dent. 2006;66(3):212-215.[See abstract.]

Peters K, Baldyga W, Lampiris L, Janssen J, Koerber A, Kaste L, Levy S. Addressing rural health disparities in Illinois: Oral health. Public Health Pract Illinois. 2006;6(2):59-67.

Peters K, Henley E. Acting on synergies between clinic and community strategies to improve preventive medicine. J Family Pract. 2004;53(12):970-973.[See abstract.]


Other Titles

Assistant Professor, UIC Graduate College
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Family and Community Medicine, UI College of Medicine Rockford
Assistant Director, Research and Evaluation Division, National Center for Rural Health Professions, UI College of Medicine, Rockford


Notable Honors

IHRP Fellow
National Faculty Honors, Institute of Medicine of Chicago