The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust is pleased to announce a new director of learning and impact, Dr. Kristen Naney, who currently works as a public health epidemiologist in the Population Health Division of the Durham County Health Department.
In this role, Kristen will be responsible for learning, measurement, and evaluation to help inform strategic planning and sound decision-making to maximize the Trust’s impact on the communities we serve. This position works at the intersection of strategy, planning, grantmaking, and evaluation in support of the mission and vision of the Trust to improve the health and quality of life of people with low incomes in Forsyth County and throughout North Carolina.
“Kristen brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in data, evaluation, public health, and epidemiology to the team,” said Dr. Laura Gerald, president of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. “Kristen’s expertise in evaluation and community engagement, and her commitment to equity will be huge assets to the Trust as we continue to work for thriving residents and communities, equitable access to care, and equitable health outcomes in Forsyth County and around the state.”
Currently, Kristen creates data briefs and reports for the team, develops study design and data collection methodology, meets with community members to identify needs, and evaluates various metrics to help the Durham County Health Department understand if their work is having the desired impact. Over the past year, she has maintained, analyzed, and updated critical surveillance data related to COVID-19 and population health for internal and external stakeholders.
Prior to joining the Durham County Health Department in 2020, Kristen worked as a research assistant professor for the Center for Outreach in Alzheimer’s Aging and Community Health at North Carolina A&T State University. In this role, she oversaw community outreach and engagement, managed the research team, published manuscripts, and presented at national scientific conferences. She also worked for ICF International, Inc., developing metrics and climate resilience indices for Charleston, South Carolina communities, as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Durham where she used her data and evaluation skills to focus on environmental justice issues with impacted communities.
“I was drawn to this position at the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust because I am passionate about health equity, and the Trust is using a community-driven approach and applying an equity lens to improve health outcomes for vulnerable groups,” said Kristen. “I look forward to helping the foundation evaluate the progress that has been made through its grantmaking. The numbers do not lie—the truest way to evaluate progress is to look at data and trends over time and determine if change has occurred in the communities you’re serving. I am excited to help the team use data to inform evidence-based strategies and change the systems that impact people’s day-to-day lives.”
Kristen’s research interests include cumulative risk assessment, community resilience, environmental justice, health and racial equity, decision science, exposure assessment, and chronic diseases. She is currently a member of the Environment and Epidemiology Section of the American Public Health Association. She has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and received multiple awards, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Connections Capstone Symposium Award in 2018. Kristen completed post-graduate fellowships in Epidemiology and Environment Health with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
She holds a Ph.D. in Toxicology with a focus on Environmental Health from the University of Maryland, a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Community-Based Health from Mercer University, and a bachelor’s degree in Biology from James Madison University. Kristen lives in Greensboro with her husband and two sons.