Kathleen Potempa, BA, MS, Ph.D., RN

Dean Emerita
Department of Systems, Populations and Leadership
Room 4170 NURS1

University of Michigan School of Nursing 
400 North Ingalls Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5482

Fax: (734) 764-7186


  • Population Health
  • Global research capacity building
  • Gerontology research and practice

Dr. Potempa’s research program has focused on fatigue, exercise, and cardiovascular fitness in physically impaired populations.   for which she has received funding support from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Fogarty International Center at the NIH, the U.S. Health Resource and Services Administration, the U.S. Administration on Aging, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and several pharmaceutical companies for phase IV efficacy studies. She is currently funded by NIH/Fogarty to train post-doctoral fellows in non-communicable disease research in Thailand, by the Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services and the Michigan Health Endowment Fund for studies in healthy aging.

She has over 120 scientific publications, more than 100 national and international scientific and professional presentations.  Dr. Potempa has served on national and international expert panels and committees on research, including NIH review panels; she serviced as a member of the National Advisory Council for Nursing Research at the NIH from 2009-2012, an appointment made by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Current Research Grants and Programs

  • Michigan Health Endowment Fund (Under review 2020; 1/1/2021-12/30/2022). Living at Home: Building Resilience to Age in Place – A Cohort Study. ($489,493). Role: Principal Investigator
  • Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services/MDHHS (Med-Match Award 1/1/2020 – 9/30/2021). Healthy Lifetime: Building Resilience to Age in Place – A Randomized Trial. ($656,302). Role: Principal Investigator.
  • HHS, NIH/Fogarty International Center 2D43 TW009883 (Funded 06/01/2019-05/31/2024). D43 Competitive Renewal: Expansion of NCD Research Capacity in Thailand with Outreach to Indonesia. ($1,337,902). Role: Principal Investigator.
  • HHS, NIH/National Institute on Aging (Funded 2017-2021). NIH/NIA R01AG056102-01. Web-enabled social interaction to delay cognitive decline among seniors with MCI: Phase 1, ($1,697,854). Role: Multisite Investigators: Dodge, Hampstead, Potempa, Struble. UM Site PI: Potempa/Struble.


Currently offering a virtual health coaching program to nurses who care for older adults in any health setting. The program is six modules offered over a flexible period of time and prepared clinicians to improve the health and independence of older adults with/without chronic health problems. Also mentors post doctoral fellows.  

Affiliations / Service

  • Invited member, the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research, Chair, Research Award Committee, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020-2021, co-chair current
  • Invited member, The Wall Street Journal Expert Panel – Health Care: Reports to the public on matters of health and health care, 2013-2021
  • Board of Directors, National Clinical Scholars Program 2018-2021

Notable Awards / Honors

  • Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, 1994
  • Elected to the National Academy of Medicine, 2014
  • Awarded Doctor of Nursing Science, honoris causa, from Mahidol University, 2015
  • Awarded Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from State University of New York, 2010


  • Ph.D., Rush University, Chicago, IL, 1986
  • MS, Rush University, Chicago, IL, 1978
  • BA, University of Detroit, Detroit, MI 1974

Publication Highlights

  • Kahle, E. M., Stephenson, R., Singha-dong, N., Rajataramya, B. & Potempa, K. (Under review) International postdoctoral training during COVID-19: Lessons learned for post-pandemic sustainability. Academic Medicine

  • Yu, K., Wild, K., Potempa, K., Hampstead, B., Lichtenberg, P. Struble, L, Pruitt, P., Kaye, J., Silbert, L., Dodge, H. H. (submitted May, 2021). The internet-based conversational engagement clinical trial (I-CONECT) in socially isolated adults 75+ years old: Randomized controlled trial protocol and COVID-19 related study modifications. Frontier (Special Issue: Digital Biomarkers).

  • Potempa, K., Rajataramya, B., Singhadong, N., Furspan, P., Kahle, E. & Stephenson, R. (submitted March 2021). Addressing the Challenges of Non-Communicable Disease in Aging Populations: The Case of Thailand.  International Journal of Health Planning and Management

  • Potempa, K., Rajataramya, B., Barton, D., Singha-Dong, N., Stephenson, R., Smith, E., Davis, M., Dinov, I., Hampstead, B. M., Aiken, J. E., Saslow, L., Furspan, P., Sarakshetrin, A., and Pupjain, S.  (2019). Impact of Using a Broad-based Multi-institutional Approach to Build Capacity for Non-Communicable Disease Research in Thailand, Health Research Policy and Systems, 17, 62-68.

  • Yaowapanon, J., Buddhirakkul, P, Srisuphan, W., Senaratana, W., Potempa, K., and Chontawan, R. (2018). Situation Analysis: Community Care for Stroke Survivors and Suggestions for Improving the Provision of Care. Pacific Rim International Journal of Nursing Research, 22 (4), 372-385.

  • Potempa, K., Furspan, P.B., Rajataramya, B., Barton, D., and Singha-Dong, N. (2018). Strengthening Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Research Capacity in Thailand: Leveraging PhD Nurses and other Health Professionals. Pacific Rim International Journal of Nursing Research, 22 (2), 177-185.

  • Kaufman, N., Rajataramya, B., Tanomsingh, S., Ronis, D. L., & Potempa, K. (2012).  Nurse preparedness for the non-communicable disease escalation in Thailand: A cross-sectional survey of nurses in Thailand, Nursing and Health Sciences, 14, 32-37. Doi:10.1111/j.1442-2018.2011.00657.x. PMID: 22304737.

  • Potempa, K. (2011).  The DNP services the public good, Nursing Outlook, 59, 123-125. Doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2011.03.001. PMID: 21565579.

  • Kaufman N., Chasombat S., Tanomsingh S., Rajataramya B., Potempa K. (2011). Public health in Thailand: Emerging focus on non-communicable diseases, International Journal of Health Planning and Management, 25, 1–16. Doi: 10.1002/hpm.1078. PMID: 21796679.

  • Ross, A., M., Hurn, P, Perrin, N., Wood, L., Carlini, W., & Potempa, K. (2007).  Evidence of the peripheral inflammatory response in patients with transient ischemic attack, Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases, 16(5), 203-207. PMID: 17845917.

  • Potempa, K., Butterworth, S., Flaherty-Robb, M., Gaynor, W. (2010). The healthy ageing model: Health behavior change for older adults, Collegian, 17(2), 51-55. PMID: 20738056.

  • Perry, C. K., Rosenfeld, A. G., Bennett, J. A., & Potempa, K. (2007).  Heart-to-Heart: Promoting walking in rural women through motivational interviewing and group support, Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 22(4), July/August, 304-312. PMID: 17589283.

  • Jones, K.D., Burkchardt, C.S., Clark, S.R., Bennett, R.M. & Potempa, K. (2002). A randomized, controlled trial of muscle strengthening versus flexibility training in fibromyalgia, Journal of Rheumatology, 29, 1041-1048. PMID: 12022321.

  • Bennett, J.A., Perrin, N.A., Hanson, G., Bennett, D., Gaynor, W., Flaherty-Robb, M., Joseph, C., Butterworth, S., & Potempa, K. (2005). The Healthy Aging Demonstration Project: Nurse coaching for behavior change in older adults, Research in Nursing & Health, 28(3), 187-197. PMID: 15884026.

  • Potempa, K., Lopez, M., Braun, L., Szidon, P., Fogg, L. & Tincknell, T. (1995). Physiologic outcomes of aerobic training in hemiparetic stroke patients, Stroke, 26, 101-105

Download CV