• Adjunct Professor, Global Health
  • Professor, School of Social Work
  • Associate Dean, School of Social Work
Karina Walters

University of Washington School of Social Work
4101 15th Ave. NE
Seattle, WA 98105
United States

Phone Number: 
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Dr. Karina L. Walters (MSW, Ph.D) is an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, is a Katherine Hall Chambers University Professor at the University of Washington School of Social Work, an adjunct Professor in the Department of Global Health, School of Public Health, and the Co-Director of the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI) at the University of Washington. Dr. Walters has over 25 years of experience in social epidemiological research on the social determinants of Native American health well as expertise in designing culturally derived chronic disease prevention studies (substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, obesity, and diabetes prevention). She has written landmark papers in the field of traumatic stress and health, historical and intergenerational trauma, and developed the Indigenist Stress-Coping model. Methodologically, she has expertise in Indigenist methodologies and in designing community and land-based interventions. Dr. Walters has served as Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on over 34 NIH studies (22 as PI) from diverse NIH institutes.

  • PhD (University of California Los Angeles)
  • MSW (University of California Los Angeles)
  • BA (University of California Los Angeles)
Country Affiliations 
Health Topics 
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Environmental Health (incl. Climate Change)
  • Epidemiology
  • Gender
  • Health Disparities
  • Health Interventions
  • Injury, Violence, Trauma and Domestic Violence
  • Mental Health
  • Mobile Health (mHealth)
  • Obesity
  • Prevention
  • Race
  • Sexuality
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Social Justice and Human Rights
  • Social Work
  • Storytelling
  • Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drug Use
  • Transgender Health
DGH Centers, Programs and Initiatives and Affiliated Organizations 

Global indigenous health and health policy; American Indian and Alaska Native health, HIV prevention, mental health, and substance abuse; culturally relevant psychometric measurement and sampling methodology development; traumatic stress, historical trauma, discrimination stress and psychological wellness; social work multicultural and cross-cultural practice competencies


Walters, K. L., Mohammed, S.A., Evans-Campbell, T., Beltrán, R. E., Chae, D. H., & Duran, B. (2011).
Bodies don’t just tell stories, they tell histories: Embodiment of historical trauma among American Indians and Alaska Natives. Dubois Review, 8 (1): 179-189. PMID: 29805469. ISSN: 1742-058X.

Walters, K. L., & Simoni, J. M. (2002). Reconceptualizing Native women’s health: An “indigenist” stress-coping model. American Journal of Public Health, 92(4), 520-524. PMID: 11919043. ISSN: 0090-0036.

Walters, K.L., Johnson-Jennings, M., Stroud, S. Rasmus, S., Charles, B., John, S., Allen, J., Koholokula, J.K., Look, M.A., de Silva, M., Lowe, J., Baldwin, J.A., Lawrence, G., Brooks, J., Noonan, C.W., Belcourt, A., Quintana, E., Semmens, E.O., Boulafentis, J. (2020). Growing from our roots: Strategies for developing culturally grounded health promotion interventions in American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities. Prevention Science, 21 (Suppl 1), 54-64. PMID: 30397737. ISSN: 1573-6695.

Schultz, K., Walters, K. L., Beltrán, R., Stroud, S., & Johnson-Jennings, M. (2016). “I’m stronger
than I thought”: Native women reconnecting to body, health, and place. Health and Place, 40, 21-28. PMID: 2716432. ISSN: 1873-2054. DOI information: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2016.05.001.

Cassels, S., Pearson, C. R., Walters, K. L., Simoni, J. M., & Morris, M. (2010). Sexual partner concurrency and sexual risk among gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender American Indian/Alaska Natives. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 12, 1-7. PMID: 20051930. ISSN: 1537-4521.