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Kristen Leighton, MA - Bio Sketch

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

In this position, Kristen coordinates and facilitates data collection, prepares written reports of data findings, collaborates with statewide partners, and disseminates information to rural health stakeholders.

Previously, Kristen was a graduate research assistant for the CRH. Prior to joining the CRH, she was a graduate teaching assistant for the Psychology Department.

Originally from Reedsport, Oregon, Kristen attended the University of Minnesota—Morris, Argosy University, and UND. She earned a master's degree in forensic psychology from Argosy University and a master's in 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.