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Kathy Karsting: Building a Culture of Health in Nebraska

Discussion of how the health care system is changing.  Describe how knowledge of population health is changing, resulting in new understanding of health as a social and environmental outcome.  Description of new models to create health in populations, particularly the Culture of Health model of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  Identification and discussion of the use of drivers, particularly community engagement and the social determinants of health.



1. Describe the ways the Affordable Care Act has influenced attention to population health and the social determinants of health.

2. Discuss the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation model called the Culture of Health Action Framework, and World Health Organization's models for addressing the social determinants of health and health disparities, and their applicability to Nebraska.

3. Demonstrate how these models are useful for leading innovation and engagement in order to collaboratively address important public health issues.


About the Speaker

Name: Kathy Karsting, RN, MPH

Title: Maternal Child Adolescent Health Program Manager

Agency/Division: DHHS Division of Public Health


Kathy Karsting is a public health nurse and program manager for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services in the Division of Public Health.  Kathy leads a talented team in the Maternal Child Adolescent Health Program, with the purpose of identifying and addressing public health priorities with life course significance in the maternal, infant, child, and adolescent populations of Nebraska.


Kathy has been with the state of Nebraska since 2006, first serving as Nebraska’s state school nurse consultant and program manager for the MCAH team since 2011. Kathy’s career in public health spans Peace Corps Service, local and regional public health in rural communities, HIV/AIDS care and prevention, serving as school health supervisor for the Lincoln NE Public Schools, and now state public health.  Kathy holds a Master’s degree in public health from the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, and a Bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University.  In 2015, Kathy was named a national public health nurse leader by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Kathy is also a founding board member of the Nebraska Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaborative.


Kathy is a frequent speaker and author about nursing practice, maternal child health issues in the population of life course significance, health equity, and health care systems transformation.

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