Kelly Whitaker, MPA, PhD

Senior Research Associate, (ETR) Associates
School-Based Health & Wellness, Education, Training, & Research Division
(510) 858-6013
Box 354920
  • Biography
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Kelly Whitaker, PhD, is a Senior Research Associate in the School-Based Health & Wellness division at Education, Training, & Research (ETR) Associates in Oakland, CA. Dr. Whitaker’s program of research in child and adolescent behavioral health focuses on developing, implementing, and evaluating integrated behavioral health interventions in school settings. She was a former postdoctoral fellow at the SMART Center and continues to lead the Public Health Seattle & King County school-based health center (SBHC) evaluation. She works with several community-based behavioral health organizations, departments of public health, and school districts in California and Washington State to develop and evaluate school-based behavioral health programs and systems through a community-engaged partnership process.

(Training & Technical Assistance) As a key component of this mission, UW SMART has developed strategies and related infrastructure for providing training and technical assistance to state and local education agencies as well as individual school districts. The SMART Center’s “TACore” provides: 1) Training and consultation/coaching focused on developing workforce capacity (among school staff and community partners) to deliver research-based strategies, policies, and practice models relevant to the education context, 2) Technical assistance focused on building evidence-based, multi-tiered systems of school-based behavioral health, using collaborative decision-making processes guided by local data as well as research evidence, and 3) Program evaluation focused on collecting and analyzing existing (e.g., administrative datasets) and novel (e.g., surveys, focus groups) quantitative and qualitative data to determine the impact of new or existing programs, practices, and policies.
Academic, psychosocial, and demographic correlates of school-based health center utilization: Patterns by service type(2019)Child & Youth Care Forum48(4):545-562.
How do school mental health services vary across contexts and provider types? Lessons learned from two efforts to implement a research-based strategy(2018)School Mental Health10(1):134-146.
Predictors of disparities in access and retention in school-based mental health services(2018)School Mental Health10(1):1-11.
The impact of Inter-Organizational Alignment (IOA) on implementation outcomes: Evaluating unique and shared organizational influences in education sector mental health(2018)Implementation Science13(1):13-24.
Collaborative care in schools: Enhancing integration and impact in youth mental health.(2016)Advances in School Mental Health Promotion9(3-4):148-168.