Karen Patricia Williams

Karen Patricia Williams
First Name
Karen Patricia
Last Name
Nursing Distinguished Professor of Women's Health
Inaugural Executive Director, Martha S. Pitzer Center for Women, Children and Youth
200L Heminger Hall
Address (Line 2)
1577 Neil Avenue
Zip Code

Karen Patricia Williams, PhD, is the Nursing Distinguished Professor of Women’s Health (tenured) and inaugural executive director for the Martha S. Pitzer Center for Women, Children and Youth in The Ohio State University College of Nursing. Her formal training is in applied sociology and health services research. Her expertise is in community-based research and women’s health policy. She has been involved in the evolution of women’s health research from its fragmentation to its transition of bench to bedside to barrio (community) through the use of mixed methodology, quantitative and qualitative to address health equity. Williams designed a breast and cervical cancer prevention intervention – Kin KeeperSM. Kin KeeperSM is also a health equity theoretical model for underserved populations.

By defining functional cancer literacy, Williams’ research made a significant contribution to the literature. Breast and cervical cancer literacy is a woman’s functional understanding of her personal and familial risk of the disease, including how to minimize her risk and the risk to her family through preventive early detection screenings and lifestyle changes and how to access the health care system and engage providers to minimize her risk and the risk to her family. She developed psychometrically sound cancer literacy assessment tools in English, Spanish and Arabic that are used internationally.

Currently, her program of research, Black Women’s Health Across the Diaspora is transdisciplinary. Her team consisting of researchers, clinicians and public health practitioners are using mechanistic and multilevel pathways of resilience with the goal of identifying the predictive factors of allostatic load that impact cardiovascular disease risk among African American women across the lifespan with varying social and economic status.

Her leadership has included service on civic boards and community-based organizations. She is a graduate of Temple University and Michigan State University.


February 22, 2024

College ranks 6th among public institutions

For the first time in its history, The Ohio State University College of Nursing vaulted into the nation’s top 10 colleges of nursing in funding support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

February 21, 2024

by Dr. Mary Beth Happ and Dr. Karen Rose

Claire* contacted the College of Nursing looking for help. Her husband’s dementia had progressed to the point where he could not be left alone, and she was his primary caregiver.