Beth E. Waitzfelder, PhD


Beth Waitzfelder, PhD, is a sociologist with a research portfolio focusing on the organization and processes of health care delivery for groups of people defined by widely varying social and clinical characteristics. Her interests include health care organization and quality, health disparities, and epidemiology studies describing patterns of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, mental health, and associated health care utilization.

Dr. Waitzfelder has worked as a community-based investigator and within research departments of large general health and mental health care systems for more than 25 years. Throughout much of her career, she has addressed appropriate methods of inclusion and consideration of the broad and diverse population of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, and well-defined mixed race groups.

Before joining the Center for Health Research-Hawaii in 2010, Dr. Waitzfelder was the assistant director of research and evaluation at a psychiatric center in New York and an investigator at the Pacific Health Research Institute in Honolulu.

She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology from the State University of New York at Buffalo and her doctorate in sociology from the University of Hawaii.

Selected Publications

  • Ahmedani BK, Stewart C, Simon GE, Lynch F, Lu CY, Waitzfelder BE, Solberg LI, Owen-Smith AA, Beck A, Copeland LA, Hunkeler EM, Rossom RC, Williams K. Racial/ethnic differences in health care visits made before suicide attempt across the United States. Med Care. 2015 May;53(5):430-5. PMCID: PMC4397662
  • Nichols GA, Schroeder EB, Karter AJ, Gregg EW, Desai J, Lawrence JM, O'Connor PJ, Xu S, Newton KM, Raebel MA, Pathak RD, Waitzfelder B, Segal J, Lafata JE, Butler MG, Kirchner HL, Thomas A, Steiner JF; SUPREME-DM Study Group. Trends in diabetes incidence among 7 million insured adults, 2006-2011: the SUPREME-DM project. Am J Epidemiol. 2015 Jan 1;181(1):32-9. PMCID: PMC4288120
  • Simon GE, Stewart C, Beck A, Ahmedani BK, Coleman KJ, Whitebird RR, Lynch F, Owen-Smith AA, Waitzfelder BE, Soumerai SB, Hunkeler EM. National Prevalence of Receipt of Antidepressant Prescriptions by Persons Without a Psychiatric Diagnosis. Psychiatr Serv. 2014 May 1. PMCID: PMC4216631
  • Lu CY, Zhang F, Lakoma MD, Madden JM, Rusinak D, Penfold RB, Simon G, Ahmedani BK, Clarke G, Hunkeler EM, Waitzfelder B, Owen-Smith A, Raebel MA, Rossom R, Coleman KJ, Copeland LA, Soumerai SB. Changes in antidepressant use by young people and suicidal behavior after FDA warnings and media coverage: quasi-experimental study. BMJ. 2014 Jun 18;348: PMCID: PMC4062705
  • Waitzfelder B, Pihoker C, Klingensmith G, Case D, Anderson A, Bell RA, Lawrence JM, Mayer-Davis EJ, Imperatore G, Standiford D, Rodriguez BL, Dabelea D, Seid M; SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study Group. Adherence to guidelines for youths with diabetes mellitus. Pediatrics. 2011 Sep;128(3):531-8.
  • Waitzfelder B, Gerzoff RB, Karter AJ, Crystal S, Bair MJ, Ettner SL, Brown AF, Subramanian U, Lu SE, Marrero D, Herman WH, Selby JV, Dudley RA. Correlates of depression among people with diabetes: The Translating Research Into Action for Diabetes (TRIAD) study. Prim Care Diabetes. 2010 Dec;4(4):215-22. PMCID: PMC2743318
  • Selby JV, Swain BE, Gerzoff RB, Karter AJ, Waitzfelder BE, Brown AF, Ackermann RT, Duru OK, Ferrara A, Herman W, Marrero DG, Caputo D, Narayan KM; TRIAD Study Group. Understanding the gap between good processes of diabetes care and poor intermediate outcomes: Translating Research into Action for Diabetes (TRIAD). Med Care. 2007 Dec;45(12):1144-53.
  • Duru OK, Mangione CM, Steers NW, Herman WH, Karter AJ, Kountz D, Marrero DG, Safford MM, Waitzfelder B, Gerzoff RB, Huh S, Brown AF; TRIAD Study Group. The association between clinical care strategies and the attenuation of racial/ethnic disparities in diabetes care: the Translating Research Into Action for Diabetes (TRIAD) Study. Med Care. 2006 Dec;44(12):1121-8.
  • Brown AF, Gregg EW, Stevens MR, Karter AJ, Weinberger M, Safford MM, Gary TL, Caputo DA, Waitzfelder B, Kim C, Beckles GL. Race, ethnicity, socioeconomic position, and quality of care for adults with diabetes enrolled in managed care: the Translating Research Into Action for Diabetes (TRIAD) study. Diabetes Care. 2005 Dec;28(12):2864-70.
  • Waitzfelder BE, Engel Jr CC, Gilbert Jr FI. Substance Abuse in Hawaii: Perspectives of Key Local Human Service Organizations. Subst Abus. 1998 Mar;19(1):7-22.

Press Release