Dr. Kelly McDermott, School of Nursing and Health Professions, USF

Kelly McDermott

Adjunct Professor

Part-Time Faculty


Dr. McDermott is an Assistant Professor in the Population Health Sciences Department. She received a BA in Religious Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University, an MA in Health Policy and Bioethics from George Washington University and a PhD in Health Services Research from University of Washington. Dr. McDermott also completed postdoctoral training in Integrative Medicine Research at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, University of California, San Francisco. Dr. McDermott has worked at a range of public and private institutions including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Department of Veterans Affairs and Omada Health, Inc., a San Francisco based company focusing on digital health solutions for obesity related chronic illness. Her interests are in development and diffusion of nonpharmacological approaches to health and increasing access in underserved populations.

Dr. McDermott's Teaching Philosophy: 

There are three central and interrelated themes that I try to reflect in my teaching: connection, love of learning, and the whole person. At the most basic level, the success of the class depends on connections. Personal connections to material and to each other facilitate deep learning for everyone. A love of learning leads to the self-motivation that is essential for success in academics and beyond. I believe it is our nature to investigate and create, but we all get distracted by self doubt and perfectionism. By being vulnerable and candid about my own struggles, I have the opportunity to model growth focused strategies. Reframing failures as opportunities is a powerful way to realign with our creative nature and fuel our natural love of learning. The final essential theme of my teaching is focusing on the wholeness of each of us. Not only do we each represent an individual experiencing the world, we each represent the world experiencing an individual. That our experiences are unique yet the same provides a place for true connection and creativity.


  • Research Methods
  • Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease,
  • Integrative Medicine
  • Mindfulness-Based Interventions
  • Digital Health Tools and Interventions


  • Assistant Professor; Co-Director of the Health Policy Leadership Concentration, Sacramento


  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Integrative Medicine Research, University of California, San Francisco, CA
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Health Services Research, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • Master of Arts in Philosophy and Social Policy Emphasis in Health Policy and Bioethics, George Washington University, Washington, DC
  • Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, minor Philosophy, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

Prior Experience

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Health, Dominican University of California, San Rafael, CA
  • Clinical Research Scientist, Omada Health, Inc., San Francisco, CA
  • Research Health Science Specialist, Department of Veterans Affairs, Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA
  • Medical Writer, Spectrum Research, Inc., Tacoma, WA
  • Program Analyst, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Rockville, MD

Selected Publications

  • Sepah, S Jiang L, Ellis R, McDermott K, Peters A. Engagement and Outcomes in a Digital Diabetes Prevention Program: 3-Year Update. BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care 2017 Sept, 5(1).
  • Donesky, D, Selman L, McDermott K, Citron T, Howie-Esquivel J. Evaluation of the Feasibility of a Home-Based TeleYoga Intervention in Participants with Both Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Heart Failure. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2017 Sept; 23(9): 713–21.
  • Fontil V, McDermott K, Tieu L, Rios C, Gibson E, Sweet C, Payne M, Lyles CR, Adaptation and Feasibility Study of a Digital Health Program to Prevent Diabetes among Low-Income Patients: Results from a Partnership between a Digital Health Company and an Academic Research Team, Journal of Diabetes Research. 2016, Article ID 8472391
  • McDermott K, Kumar D, Goldman V, Feng H, Mehling W, Souza RB, Moskowitz J, Hecht FM. Training in ChiRunning to reduce blood pressure: A randomized controlled pilot study. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2015 Oct 15; 15(1):368.
  • Kumar D, McDermott K, Feng H, Goldman V, Luke A, Souza RB, Hecht FM. Effects of ChiRunning training on running biomechanics: A pilot randomized trial in untrained individuals. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2015 Aug;7(8):814-22.
  • Selman LE, McDermott K, Donesky D, Citron T, Howie-Esquivel J. Appropriateness and acceptability of a Tele-yoga intervention for people with heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Qualitative findings from a controlled pilot study. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2015 Feb 7;15:21.
  • McDermott K, Raghavendra RM, Murphy EJ, Burke A, Nagendra RH, Hecht FM. A yoga intervention for diabetes risk reduction: A pilot randomized controlled trial. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2014 Jul 1;14(1):212.
  • McDermott K, Maynard C, Trivedi R, Lowy E, Fihn SD. Factors associated with presenting >12 hours after symptom onset of acute myocardial infarction among Veteran men. BMC Cardiovascular Disorder. 2012 Sep 28; 12(1):82.
  • Kearney DJ, McDermott K, Malte C, Martinez M, Simpson TL. Effects of Participation in a Mindfulness Program for Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study. J Clin Psychol. 2012 Aug 28.
  • McDermott, K, Helfrich C, Sales A, Rumsfeld J, Ho M, Fihn S. Review of Strategies to Improve Timely Reperfusion for Patients with ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction. J Gen Intern Med. 2008 Aug;23(8):1246-56.