Mary Hearst, PhD

Mary Hearst


Office Phone
Office Address

6-104 Weaver-Densford Hall
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States




PhD, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

MPH, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

BS, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities


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Biographical Summary

Dr. Hearst's research focuses on optimizing health and life chances for women and children, with an aim to elevate and interrupt the social and structural factors that result in health inequity, particularly for low-income or Black, Indigenous and Persons of Color (BIPOC) communities. She has contributed to research on childhood obesity prevention with an interest in food access and methodological processes that are inclusive and culturally tailored, and has led an interprofessional community intervention for children with disabilities in Lusaka, Zambia. She was named a Global Health Scholar and joined the Global Health Faculty Scholars’ Community of Practice. The program supports the advancement of global health through meaningful partnerships around the world.

Selected Publications

Baltaci, A., Laska, M. N., Horning, M., Hearst, M., Lee, J., & Fulkerson, J. A. (2023). Parent meal self-efficacy and practices in households with healthy home food environments in the face of economic hardship. Appetite, 190, 107029.

Hiestad, E., Godoy-Henderson, C., Schluter, E., Tacheny, J., Crusan, A., Olson, E., & Hearst, M. (2023). A campus-based community clinic and food-shelf join efforts to reduce food insecurity using a One Health approach toward building a vibrant living system. Journal of American College Health. 1-5.

Hearst, M. O., Yang, J., Friedrichsen, S., Lenk, K., Caspi, C., & Laska, M. N. (2021). The Availability of Culturally Preferred Fruits, Vegetables and Whole Grains in Corner Stores and Non-Traditional Food Stores. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(9). PubMed Central ID Number: PMC8126097 doi: 10.3390/ijerph18095030 

Hepperlen, R. A., Biggs, J., Mwandileya, W., Rabaey, P., Ngulube, E., & Hearst, M. O. (2021). Using community-based interventions to reduce public stigma of children with disabilities: A feasibility study. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, JARID, 34(6), 1499-1510. doi: 10.1111/jar.12894

Hearst, M. O., Adelli, R., Hepperlen, R., Biggs, J., DeGracia, D., Ngulube, E., Maluskiku-Mwewa, B., Johnson, D. E., Rabaey, P. (2022). Community-based intervention to reduce stigma for children with disabilities in Lusaka, Zambia: A pilot. Disability and Rehabilitation, 44(11), 2295-2304.

Harris, M., Henke, C., Hearst, M. O., Campbell, K. (2020). Future directions: Analyzing health disparities related to maternal hypertensive disorders. Journal of Pregnancy Vol 2020, Article ID 7864816.

Hepperlen, R.A., Rabaey, P., Ngulube, E., Biggs, J., DeGracia, D., Hearst, M.O. (2020). Aligning a training curriculum with local needs: Use of an advisory board. International Social Work, 65(6), 1264-1273. doi:10.1177/0020872820915267

Walsh, M.E., Adams, S.M., Ferguson, S., Hearst, M. O., Jones, J.-V., Wall, S., … Theodorakakis, M. (2020). Inquiry in action: Reflections on the implementation of best practices in child- and family-focused university–community partnerships. Journal of Education, 201(1), 42-53. 

Hepperlen, R. A., Rabaey, P., & Hearst, M. O. (2020). Evaluating the cross-cultural validity of three family quality of life sub-scales. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities: JARID, 33(5), 1049-1058.  doi: 10.1111/jar.12727 

Trofholz, A., Tate, A., Fulkerson, J. A., Hearst, M. O., Neumark-Sztainer, D., & Berge, J. M. (2019). Description of the home food environment in Black, White, Hmong, Latino, Native American and Somali homes with 5-7-year-old children. Public Health Nutrition, 22(5), 882-893. doi: 10.1017/S136898001800280X 

Grannon, K. Y., Nanney, M. S., Wang, Q., Larson, N., Hearst, M. O., Berge, J., & Caspi, C. E. (2020). Do high school students participate in second chance breakfast programs? The Journal of School Health, 90(2), 119-126. doi: 10.1111/josh.12857 

Hearst, M. O., Jimbo-Llapa, F., Grannon, K., Wang, Q., Nanney, M. S., & Caspi, C. E. (2019). Breakfast is brain food? The effect on gradepoint average of a rural group randomized program to promote school breakfast. The Journal of School Health, 89(9), 715-721. doi: 10.1111/josh.12810

Nanney, M. S., Leduc, R., Hearst, M., Shanafelt, A., Wang, Q., Schroeder, M., Grannon, K. Y., Kubik, M. Y., Caspi, C., Harnack, L. J. (2019). A group randomized intervention trial increases participation in the school breakfast program in 16 rural high schools in Minnesota. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 119(6), 915-922. doi:

Grants and Patents

Selected Grants

Award: Aging in the time of COVID: Racism, Isolation, and Meaning
Sponsoring Organization: National Institute on Aging
Award Dates: 8/13/2021 – 2/28/2022 

Award: Minnesota Department of Health Community Solutions for Healthy Child Development 
Sponsoring Organization: Minnesota Department of Health 
Award Dates: 7/1/2020 – 6/30/2022 

Award: Innovations in Measurement for Diet-Related Disease Research: Optimizing Utility and Reach to Reduce Health Disparities
Sponsoring Organization: National Institute of Health
Award Dates: 10/2020 – 3/31/2025 

Honors and Recognition

Honors and Recognition

  • Faculty mentor recognition by All-University Student Leadership Awardees, 2021
  • Bonnie Jean Kelly and Joan Kelly Faculty Excellence Award, 2019
  • Faculty mentor recognition by All-University Student Leadership Awardees, 2019
  • Nominated Sr. Amata Miller Catholic Mission in Action Award, Faculty mentor recognition, 2018
  • Faculty mentor recognition by All-University Student Leadership Awardees, Undergraduate Research and Teaching Excellence, 2017
  • Faculty mentor recognition by All-University Student Leadership Awardees, 2016
  • Faculty mentor recognition by All-University Student Leadership Awardees, 2015
  • Faculty mentor recognition by All-University Student Leadership Awardee, 2014