Kristin Ashford, Ph.D., WHNP-BC, FAAN

Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Health Policy and Good Samaritan Professor for Community Nursing
University of Kentucky

Fellowship Profile

Fellowship Year: 2021-2022
Fellowship Placement: House Committee on Energy and Commerce (Minority)
Sponsoring Institution: University of Kentucky College of Nursing


Kristin Ashford is a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing where she serves as the associate dean of Undergraduate Faculty and Interprofessional Education Affairs. As a fellow of the Center for Interdisciplinary Heath Education, she has led curricular transformation including integration of health policy competencies and instruction. Presently, as the Good Samaritan endowed chair of community nursing, she drives innovative, impactful state academic and community partnerships to transform health care for perinatal and parenting women. She has led the creation of two perinatal substance use treatment (SUD) programs, PATHways and Beyond Birth, that bridge gaps and advance healthcare in SUD treatment for perinatal women. Together, these community-based programs provide comprehensive treatment including wraparound services for pregnant and parenting women and their children using intentional linkages to proven local, telehealth, and community-based services.

As founder and director of the Perinatal Research and Wellness Center, Ashford leads an interprofessional team to translate research into practice while informing policy makers on maternal and child health issues. She has led prospective research studies funded by the National Institutes of Health, Center for Medicaid and Medicare Innovation, and the Alex and Rita Hillman Foundation Innovation in Care Program, determining the health effects of perinatal substance use, including tobacco, electronic cigarette, cannabis, and opioids, on immune response and birth outcomes. Through this transformational work coupled with her advocacy for nursing research as a Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research ambassador, Ashford was recognized as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

Ashford received her BS at Washburn University in Kansas and completed her training as a board certified women’s health nurse practitioner at the University of Louisville. She further completed her PhD and NIH postdoctoral fellowship, Building Interprofessional Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRWCH), at the University of Kentucky.