Kristen Choi, PhD, PMHNP-BC, FAAN is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and health services researcher. Dr. Choi studies health services and policy approaches to mental health, trauma, and health disparities among children and other vulnerable populations. Her current research projects include studies on adverse childhood experiences, trauma-informed care, autism and developmental disabilities, and the intersection of homelessness and serious mental illness. She is an Adjunct Investigator in the Department of Research & Evaluation at KPSC and an Associate Director of Nursing for the UCLA National Clinician Scholars Program. As a both a clinician and a scientist, Dr. Choi maintain a clinical practice as a PMHNP at a community psychiatric hospital in Los Angeles. She addresses child behavioral health from individual, family, system, and policy levels in her research and is committed to a creative, action-oriented program of research that will improve the health of vulnerable children and communities. 

Faculty Research and Clinical Expertise

Trauma; violence; stress; mental health; developmental disabilities; homelessness; children and adolescents; health services research; health policy


BSN, University of Michigan School of Nursing, Ann Arbor, MI
PhD, University of Michigan School of Nursing, Ann Arbor, MI
MS, Health Policy and Management, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Post-doctoral fellowship, UCLA National Clinician Scholars Program, Los Angeles, CA

Honors and Awards

2018    Fellow, Jonas Policy Scholars Program, American Academy of Nursing
2019     Fellow, National Institute of Mental Health, Child Intervention, Prevention, and Services (CHIPS) Research Training Institute
2020     Forbes ’30 Under 30’ Healthcare
2021     Fellow, American Academy of Nursing 
2021    Fellow, Health Policy and Media Fellowship, George Washington University Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement  
2022    Early Career Achievement Award, University of Michigan School of Nursing 


Full bibliography and publication highlights: 

Choi, K. R., Romero, R., Guha, P., Sixx, G., Rosen, A. D., Frederes, A., Beltran, J., Alvarado, J., Robie, B., Richard, L., Coleman, A., Rice, A., Rosales, M., Baez, A., Thomas, E., & Shover, C. (2022). Community Health Worker perspectives on engaging unhoused peer ambassadors for COVID-19 vaccine outreach in homeless encampments and shelters. Journal of General Internal Medicine. DOI: 10.1007/s11606-022-07563-9

Choi, K. R., Chang, J., Luo, Y. X., Lewin, B., Munoz-Plaza, C., Bronstein, D., Rondinelli, J., & Bruxvoort, K. (2022). “Still on the fence:” A mixed methods investigation of COVID-19 vaccine confidence among healthcare providers. Workplace Health & Safety. DOI: 10.1177/21650799211049811

Choi, K. R., Bhakta, B., Knight, E., Becerra-Culqui, T. A., Gahre, T., Zima, B. T., & Coleman, K. J. (2021). Patient outcomes after expansion of Applied Behavior Analysis for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000995

Choi, K. R., Castillo, E., Seamans, M., Grotts, J. H., Rab, S., Kalafonos, I., Mead, M., Walker, I., & Starks, S. (2021). Mental health conservatorship among people experiencing homelessness and serious mental illness in Los Angeles. Psychiatric Services. 

Choi, K. R. (2020). A nursing researcher's experience in a COVID-19 vaccine trial. JAMA Internal Medicine. DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.7087

Choi, K. R., Stewart, T., Fein, E., McCreary, M., Kenan, K., Davies, J., Naureckas, S., & Zima, B. (2020). The impact of attachment-disrupting adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on child behavioral health. Journal of Pediatrics, 221, 224-229. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2020.03.006

Jeffers, K. S., Siddiq, H., Martinez-Hollingsworth, A., Aronowitz, S. V., Sinko, L., Travers, J. L., Tolentino, D. A., Burns, J., Bell, S. A., Beck, D. C., Gutierrez, J. I., Bulgin, D., Manges, K., Mansfield, L., Bettencourt, A. P., Jun, J., Fauer, A. J., Lipsky, R. K., Adynski, G. I., & Choi, K. R. (2020). Nurses should oppose police violence and unjust policing in healthcare. International Journal of Nursing Studies. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2020.103735.

Choi, K. R., Knight, E. A., Stein, B. D., & Coleman, K. J. (2020). Autism insurance mandates in US states: Comparison of mandated commercial insurance benefits across states. Maternal and Child Health Journal. DOI: 10.1007/s10995-020-02950-2.

Choi, K. R., McCreary, M., Rahmanian, S. K., Ford, J. D., Kenan, K., & Zima, B. (2019). Validation of the Traumatic Events Screening Inventory for ACEs. Pediatrics, 143(4), e20182546.

Choi, K. R., Easterlin, M. C, & Szilagyi, M. A. (2019). The traumatogenic potential of federal policy in the lives of children. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 40(7), 555-7. DOI: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000716

Choi, K. R., Seng, J. S., Briggs-King, E., Munro-Kramer, M. L., Graham-Bermann, S. A., Lee, R. L., & Ford, J. D. (2017). The dissociative subtype of PTSD among adolescents: Co-occurring PTSD, depersonalization/derealization, and other dissociation symptoms. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 56(12), 1062-72. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2017.09.425

Choi, K. & Seng, J. S. (2014). Trauma-informed care with childhood maltreatment survivors: what do maternity professionals want to learn? International Journal of Childbirth, 4(3), 191-201. DOI: 10.1891/2156-5287.4.3.191