Heather Elizabeth Whitson, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine
Associate Professor in Ophthalmology
Deputy Director of the Duke 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.H.S., Duke University, 2009
  • M.D., Cornell University, 2000

Publications

Bowling, C Barrett, Heather E. Whitson, and Theodore M. Johnson. “The 5Ts: Preliminary Development of a Framework to Support Inclusion of Older Adults in Research..” J Am Geriatr Soc 67, no. 2 (February 2019): 342–46. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.15785.

PMID
30693952
Full Text

Lee, Moon Jeong, Varshini Varadaraj, Pradeep Y. Ramulu, Heather E. Whitson, Jennifer A. Deal, and Bonnielin K. Swenor. “Memory and Confusion Complaints in Visually Impaired Older Adults: An Understudied Aspect of Well-Being..” Gerontol Geriatr Med 5 (January 2019). https://doi.org/10.1177/2333721418818944.

PMID
30671493
Full Text

Whitson, Heather E., Alice Cronin-Golomb, Karen J. Cruickshanks, Grover C. Gilmore, Cynthia Owsley, Jonathan E. Peelle, Gregg Recanzone, et al. “American Geriatrics Society and National Institute on Aging Bench-to-Bedside Conference: Sensory Impairment and Cognitive Decline in Older Adults..” J Am Geriatr Soc 66, no. 11 (November 2018): 2052–58. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.15506.

PMID
30248173
Full Text

Matchar, D. B., J. P. Ansah, V. Koh, and H. E. Whitson. “Trajectories of functional ability over the life course: a conceptual model of the interaction of stressor-induced functional loss and resilience.” System Dynamics Review 34, no. 4 (October 1, 2018): 481–502. https://doi.org/10.1002/sdr.1611.

Full Text

Whitson, Heather E., Harvey J. Cohen, Kenneth E. Schmader, Miriam C. Morey, George Kuchel, and Cathleen S. Colon-Emeric. “Physical Resilience: Not Simply the Opposite of Frailty..” J Am Geriatr Soc 66, no. 8 (August 2018): 1459–61. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.15233.

PMID
29577234
Full Text

Lee, Moon Jeong, Varshini Varadaraj, Pradeep Y. Ramulu, Heather Whitson, Jennifer A. Deal, and Bonnielin K. Swenor. “Subjective Memory Complaints in the Visually Impaired: An NHANES Analysis.” In Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, Vol. 59. ASSOC RESEARCH VISION OPHTHALMOLOGY INC, 2018.

Scholars@Duke

Hadley, Evan C., George A. Kuchel, Anne B. Newman, Heather G. Allore, Jenna M. Bartley, Cindy S. Bergeman, Michael L. Blinov, et al. “Corrigendum to: Report: NIA Workshop on Measures of Physiologic Resiliencies in Human Aging..” J Gerontol a Biol Sci Med Sci 73, no. 7 (June 14, 2018). https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glx172.

PMID
29788088
Full Text

Garg, Tullika, Kathryn Anzuoni, Valentina Landyn, Alexandra Hajduk, Stephen Waring, Leah R. Hanson, and Heather E. Whitson. “The AGING Initiative experience: a call for sustained support for team science networks..” Health Res Policy Syst 16, no. 1 (May 18, 2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12961-018-0324-y.

PMID
29776412
Full Text

McDonald, Shelley R., Mitchell T. Heflin, Heather E. Whitson, Thomas O. Dalton, Michael E. Lidsky, Phillip Liu, Cornelia M. Poer, et al. “Association of Integrated Care Coordination With Postsurgical Outcomes in High-Risk Older Adults: The Perioperative Optimization of Senior Health (POSH) Initiative..” Jama Surg 153, no. 5 (May 1, 2018): 454–62. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamasurg.2017.5513.

PMID
29299599
Full Text

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