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Karen Vanderzanden, PhD - Bio Sketch

Karen Vanderzanden is a research analyst at the Center for Rural Health (CRH) at the University of North Dakota School (UND) of Medicine & Health Sciences in Grand Forks.

Karen coordinates and facilitates data collection and data analysis, prepares written reports of data findings, collaborates with statewide partners, and disseminates information to rural health stakeholders. Projects she is working on include Behavioral Health Workforce Development and Evaluation of the North Dakota State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis.

Prior to her current position, Karen was a graduate research assistant at the CRH and a graduate teaching assistant for the Psychology Department at UND. She also is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.

Originally from Maplewood, Minnesota, Karen earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Creighton University and a master's and PhD in experimental psychology from UND.


Established in 1980, the CRH is one of the nation’s most experienced rural health organizations. It has developed a full complement of programs to assist researchers, educators, policymakers, healthcare providers, and most important, rural residents to address changing rural environments by identifying and researching rural health issues, analyzing health policy, strengthening local capabilities, developing community-based alternatives, and advocating for rural concerns.