Heather Elizabeth Whitson, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine
Associate Professor in Ophthalmology
Senior Fellow in the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development
Campus mail Dept of Medicine, Durham, NC 27710
Phone (919) 660-7514
Email address heather.whitson@duke.edu

Dr. Whitson's research is focused on improving care and health outcomes for people with multiple chronic conditions.  In particular, she has interest and expertise related to the link between changes in the eye and brain (e.g., Why do cognitive and brain changes occur in the context of late-life vision loss?  Is Alzheimer's Disease associated with distinctive changes in the retina, and could such changes help diagnose Alzheimer's early in its course?).  Dr. Whitson is also interested in improving care delivery systems and intervention programs to better serve medically complex patients.  Within the Duke Aging Center, she leads research efforts aimed at promoting resilience to late-life stressors (e.g., surgery, sensory loss).  She has developed a novel rehabilitation model for people with co-existing vision and cognitive deficits, and she is part of a inter-disciplinary team seeking to improve peri-operative outcomes for frail or at-risk seniors who must undergo surgery.

Education and Training

  • Fellow in Geriatrics, Medicine, Duke University, 2005 - 2006
  • Fellow in Geriatrics, Medicine, Duke University, 2003 - 2004
  • Medical Resident, Medicine, Duke University, 2000 - 2003
  • M.D., Cornell University, 2000

Publications

Lin, FR, and Whitson, HE. "The Common Sense of Considering the Senses in Patient Communication." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 65, no. 8 (August 2017): 1659-1660.

PMID
28436020
Full Text

Tisminetzky, M, Bayliss, EA, Magaziner, JS, Allore, HG, Anzuoni, K, Boyd, CM, Gill, TM, Go, AS, Greenspan, SL, Hanson, LR, Hornbrook, MC, Kitzman, DW, Larson, EB, Naylor, MD, Shirley, BE, Tai-Seale, M, Teri, L, Tinetti, ME, Whitson, HE, and Gurwitz, JH. "Research Priorities to Advance the Health and Health Care of Older Adults with Multiple Chronic Conditions." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 65, no. 7 (July 2017): 1549-1553.

PMID
28555750
Full Text

Lekan, DA, Wallace, DC, McCoy, TP, Hu, J, Silva, SG, and Whitson, HE. "Frailty Assessment in Hospitalized Older Adults Using the Electronic Health Record." Biological research for nursing 19, no. 2 (March 2017): 213-228.

PMID
27913742
Full Text

Chou, Y-H, Sundman, M, Whitson, HE, Gaur, P, Chu, M-L, Weingarten, CP, Madden, DJ, Wang, L, Kirste, I, Joliot, M, Diaz, MT, Li, Y-J, Song, AW, and Chen, N-K. "Maintenance and Representation of Mind Wandering during Resting-State fMRI." Scientific reports 7 (January 12, 2017): 40722-.

PMID
28079189
Full Text

Whitson, HE, Duan-Porter, W, Schmader, K, Morey, M, Cohen, HJ, and Colón-Emeric, C. "Response to Letter From De Alfieri et al.: Biological Resilience of Elderly Hospitalized Patients." The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences 72, no. 1 (January 2017): 142-. (Letter)

PMID
27811154
Full Text

Polans, J, Keller, B, Carrasco-Zevallos, OM, LaRocca, F, Cole, E, Whitson, HE, Lad, EM, Farsiu, S, and Izatt, JA. "Wide-field retinal optical coherence tomography with wavefront sensorless adaptive optics for enhanced imaging of targeted regions." Biomedical optics express 8, no. 1 (January 2017): 16-37.

PMID
28101398
Full Text

Whitson, HE, Duan-Porter, W, Schmader, K, Morey, M, Cohen, HJ, and Colón-Emeric, C. "Response to Ukraintseva et al. Letter: Resilience Versus Robustness in Aging." The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences 71, no. 11 (November 2016): 1535-1536. (Letter)

PMID
27445404
Full Text

"THINGS THAT MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY: THE ROLE OF SENSORY HEALTH IN PERCEPTIONS ABOUT SUBJECTIVE WELL-BEING." The Gerontologist 56, no. Suppl_3 (November 2016): 63-63.

Full Text

Annweiler, C, Milea, D, Whitson, HE, Cheng, C-Y, Wong, T-Y, Ikram, MK, Lamoureux, EL, and Sabanayagam, C. "Vitamin D insufficiency and cognitive impairment in Asians: a multi-ethnic population-based study and meta-analysis." Journal of internal medicine 280, no. 3 (September 2016): 300-311.

PMID
27037788
Full Text

Whitson, H, Farsiu, S, Stinnett, SS, Kwark, L, Potter, G, Burke, J, Cousins, SW, and Lad, EM. "Retinal Biomarkers of Alzheimer's Disease." September 2016.

Scholars@Duke

Pages