Christina R. Whitehouse, PhD

Assistant Professor of Nursing

Christina R. Whitehouse, PhD

Christina R. Whitehouse ’04, ’16 PhD, AGPCNP-BC, CDCES, FADCES, is esteemed nationally and internationally as a nurse scientist, adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner and a certified diabetes care and education specialist. Her work has improved access to care and supported patient engagement for individuals living with diabetes, especially in the geriatric population.

Publishing extensively in peer-reviewed journals and presenting at international conferences, Dr. Whitehouse, an assistant professor at the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, has earned numerous accolades as a practitioner, educator and scholar. She was named a 2022 Fellow of the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists for her outstanding contributions to diabetes care and education through clinical practice and research. And in 2021, the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence—which represents the gold standard in gerontology—recognized her leadership in the field as a Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing.

With an estimated 29.2 percent of adults over the age of 65 living with diabetes, the necessity for Dr. Whitehouse’s research is significant and immediate. Her work focuses on addressing the needs of older adults during transitions in care, specifically in diabetes. “Transitional care bridges the gap in helping patients get the resources—the medicine, the education, the food, the support—that they need to prevent another hospital stay,” explains Dr. Whitehouse.

To better prepare those in the position to provide earlier detection, the American Diabetes Association enlisted Dr. Whitehouse to teach primary care providers about transitions in care for patients living with diabetes. More than 6,800 health care providers worldwide have registered for this online learning module since its launch in August 2022 as part of Diabetes Is Primary, a continuing education program.

“We really need to instruct providers on how to manage patients at home— that’s where you get to the root of the health inequities that you can’t always see inside the hospital,” she says.

Partners in Promoting Local Health

In July, the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists awarded Dr. Whitehouse and colleagues in the MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education at the College of Nursing a grant to provide diabetes self-management education and support to clients of Martha’s Choice Marketplace in Norristown, Pa.

“My prior research showed that some patients were struggling more because of their lack of access to nutritious food, so now I’m partnering with individuals and groups from other specialties who can really help address that,” says Dr. Whitehouse. “It’s an interprofessional effort.”

Over the course of the 12-week project, Ӱԭ Nursing students, registered dietitian nutritionists and diabetes care and education specialists from the University will facilitate education in both English and Spanish that includes videos about diabetes as well as monthly group sessions and peer mentorship. Study participants will receive nutritious food that is consistent with dietary guidelines for diabetes from Martha’s Choice, a community-based emergency food market that serves more than 6,000 food-insecure families.