Kelly Palmer, M.S., Ph.D. 

Assistant Professor,  Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
El Rio Health Center Board of Directors

Kelly Palmer works to make health equity a reality in Southern Arizona and beyond. 

Palmer holds a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and natural science from University of Akron; a master’s degree in health sciences from Indiana University; and a doctorate in health behavior health promotion from UArizona. 

She served as assistant professor of the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health; associate director of the Center for Health Disparities Research; and assistant director of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility at UArizona Cancer Center.

She has extensive experience in research management for diabetes prevention and lifestyle modification interventions for cardiometabolic disease. 

“My research seeks to understand sociocultural influences of health behavior and to design and implement culturally-informed interventions to achieve health equity for vulnerable groups, particularly Black women,” Palmer said. “I want to better engage these populations in chronic disease screening, prevention interventions and research.” 

Palmer serves on the board for El Rio Health and Tucson’s African American Coalition for Health and Wellness. She received the 2023 Minority Outreach Award from the Sarver Heart Center.

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