Heidi Kay White, MD

Professor of Medicine
Senior Fellow of the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development
Campus mail 2515 Hosp South, Durham, NC 27710
Phone (919) 660-7516
Email address white031@mc.duke.edu

Dr. White's clinical expertise involves the care of older adults, especially care transitions, long-term care, and post-acute care.  She services as the Vice-Chief of Clinical Affairs in the Geriatrics Division At Duke University.  She has worked with peer faculty to develop clinical programs including Peri-operative Optimization of Senior Health (POSH) and Health Optimization Program for Elders (HOPE) which is a transitional care program from the hospital to skilled nursing facilities.  She serves on the Duke Connected Care Operating Committee, a physician-lead accountable care organizarion.  She is the medical director of Croasdaile Village Retirement Community.  Her educational activities include bedside teaching in the hospital, clinic and nursing home with geriatrics fellows, residents, medical students and other professional students such as nurse practioner, and physicain assistant. She co-directs the Advanced Course in Long-Term Care for an interprofessional group of learners.  She is currently the immediate Past-President of AMDA The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.  She has worked to develop competencies for practioners in this environment and is developing online educational modules.  Dr. White’s research focuses on the general medical care of older adults with cognitive impairment. She has studied the nutritional decline and weight loss that often accompanies Alzheimer’s disease. In collaboration with Edward Levin, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, she has explored the cognitive effects of nicotine transdermal patches in older adults with varying degrees of cognitive impairment. Current work includes studying the effects of personalized music in older adults with dementia and implementing personalized music programs for pain and delirium relief in hospital and dementia care in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.  

keywords: cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease, weight loss, nutrition, nicotine

Education and Training

  • Geriatric Fellow, Medicine, Duke University, 1992 - 1994
  • Medical Resident, Medicine, Washington University in St. Louis, 1989 - 1992
  • M.D., Washington University in St. Louis, 1989


Bales, C. W., G. T. Buhr, V. H. Hawk, L. S. Evanko, and H. K. White. “Providing optimal nutrition in the assisted living environment.” In Geriatric Nutrition, 341–58, 2007.


Buhr, Gwendolen T., and Heidi K. White. “Quality improvement initiative for chronic pain assessment and management in the nursing home: a pilot study.” J Am Med Dir Assoc 7, no. 4 (May 2006): 246–53. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jamda.2005.11.002.

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Merriam, G. R., M. R. Blackman, A. R. Hoffman, R. Salvatori, J. Y. Wei, H. K. White, M. Kletke, A. E. Taylor, and W. Landschulz. “Effects of chronic treatment with an oral growth hormone (GH) secretagogue on nocturnal GH and IGF-I in older men and women.” In Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, 27:36–37. Elsevier BV, 2006. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yfrne.2006.03.074.

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White, Heidi K. “Nutrition in advanced Alzheimer's disease.” N C Med J 66, no. 4 (July 2005): 307–12.


White, H. K. “Promoting quality care in the nursing home.” Annals of Long Term Care 13, no. 4 (April 1, 2005): 26–33.


Hastings, S. N., and H. K. White. “Medication review in the nursing home: Can stopping one drug make all the difference?” Annals of Long Term Care 13, no. 2 (February 1, 2005): 33–35.


White, H. K. “Weight loss in advanced Alzheimer's disease part II: Interventions.” Annals of Long Term Care 12, no. 6 (June 1, 2004): 34–38.