Dr. Averett earned a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Duke University and a Master of Health Policy and Management from the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Prior to joining the University of Kansas faculty in 2004, Dr. Averett was engaged in clinical practice and consulting. As a provider in the U.S. health care system, she practiced in a number of settings including private practice, a managed care group model HMO, state and private hospitals, a college counseling center and as a supervisor at a psychology internship training site.
In the Department of Health Policy and Management, Dr. Averett teaches in both the PhD and the MHSA programs. She teaches Ethics, Research Inquiry to Support Evidence-Based Practice, Health and Social Behavior, Instructional Methods in Health Services Education, and Health Care and Social Policies in Sweden and Finland.
Dr. Averett’s consulting and research interests include health communications, public health education and disease prevention, health-related behavior change, health system ethics, the impact of hospital ethics committees, training long-term care workers in communication and leadership skills, quality improvement methods in health care organizations and public health systems, and evaluation and survey research. Her publications have appeared in Emerging Infectious Diseases, American Journal of Health Behavior, and the Journal of Environmental Health. She is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Health Administration Education.
Dr. Averett serves on the boards of the Kansas Public Health Association and the Menorah Legacy Foundation. She is a member of the KU Hospital Ethics Committee. She has served as an examiner with the Kansas Award for Excellence, the Malcolm Baldrige-based quality award program for the State of Kansas. Her other memberships include Academy Health, American Society for Quality, and the American Public Health Association.