Assistant Professor, Health Disparities Research
Department of Allied Health Sciences
Dr. Kristen Cooksey Stowers is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Allied Health Sciences and previous postdoctoral fellow at the Rudd Center. She has a strong interdisciplinary background in health equity, agricultural economics, public policy, and medical sociology. Her program of research focuses on reducing inequities in diet-related health outcomes by improving macro- and micro-level food environments through sustainable policy solutions. She conducts community-engaged and mixed methods research to examine: (a) the impact of food swamp environments on racial, geographic and socioeconomic disparities in diet-related health outcomes; (b) the potential of inclusive public policy processes (e.g., zoning) to prevent disparities in diet-related health status regardless of racial/ethnic minority and citizenship status; and (c) the influence of micro-level food environments (e.g., food pantries, family child care homes) on health risks in food-insecure populations, communities of color, and other historically marginalized groups.
Dr. Cooksey Stowers’ research has been funded by NIH (i.e., NIA, NHLBI), the USDA, the Food Trust Center for Healthy Food Access, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Reinvestment Fund. Her leadership experience includes service with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and an appointment as a Public Service Leader Scholar with the USDA in Washington, D.C. Since coming to Connecticut in 2016, she has worked with community partners and residents aiming to improve grocery store access in the North Hartford Promise Zone. She also serves as a board member of the Connecticut Food Bank advising on their Hunger to Health initiative with health care organizations throughout the state. She mentors both undergraduate and graduate students.