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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Research Summary

Mary Hearst, PhD, 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.

Selected Publications

Hearst MO, Yang J, Friedrichsen S, Lenk K, Caspi C, Laska MN. 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. 2021; 18(9):5030.

Hepperlen RA, Biggs J, Mwandileya W, Rabaey P, Ngulube E, Hearst MO. Using community‐based interventions to reduce public stigma of children with disabilities: A feasibility study. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities. 2021 Jun 9.

Hearst MO, Adelli R, Hepperlen R, Biggs J, DeGracia D, Ngulube E, Maluskiku-Mwewa B, Johnson DE, Rabaey P. Community-based intervention to reduce stigma for children with disabilities in Lusaka, Zambia: A pilot. Disability and Rehabilitation. 2020 Oct 13:1-0.

Henke, C, Harris, M; Hearst, MO, Campbell, K. Analyzing health disparities related to maternal hypertensive disorders: A literature review. Journal of Pregnancy Vol2020, Article ID 7864816

Hepperlen RA, Rabaey P, Ngulube E, Biggs J, DeGracia D, Hearst MO. Aligning a training curriculum with local needs: Use of an advisory board. International Social Work. May 2020. 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. 

Hepperlen, RA,  Rabaey, P, Hearst, MO. Evaluating the cross‐cultural validity of three family quality of life sub‐scales. J Appl Res Intellect Disabil. 2020; 00: 1– 10. doi:

Amanda Trofholz; Allan Tate; Jayne A. Fulkerson; Mary O. Hearst; Dianne Neumark-Sztainer; Jerica M. Berge  Description of the Home Food Environment and Child Dietary Intake in Black, White, Hmong, Latino, Native American, and Somali Homes with 5-7 Year-Old Children  Public health nutrition(2019)  22 (5), 882-893

Grannon, K, Wang, Q, Larson, N, Hearst, MO, Berge, J, Nanney, MS, Caspi, C. Do high school students participate in second chance breakfast programs?. JOSH

Hearst MO, Jimbo-Llapa F, Grannon K, Wang Q, Nanney MS, Caspi CE. Breakfast is brain food? The effect on gradepoint average of a rural group randomized program to promote school breakfast. J Sch Health. 2019; 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

  • 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