Rita Kukafka, DrPH

  • Professor, Sociomedical Sciences and Biomedical Informatics at the Columbia University Medical Center
Profile Headshot


Dr. Kukafka is interested in developing informatics tools to support patient and community engagement, risk communication, and the integration of shared decision making interventions into clinical workflow. Her projects include developing patient and provider decision aids for integration into electronic and patient health records, portals for community engagement, requirement and usability evaluation, and mixed-method approaches to studying implementation and outcomes. Dr. Kukafka is director of the Health Communication and Informatics Laboratory at DBMI and certificate lead for Public Health Informatics. She has a long track record of leadership roles at the national level to influence the growth and direction of public health informatics. Serving on the IOM study Who Will Keep the Public Healthy?, she was instrumental in bringing informatics as a critical area in public health education. She is a member of the Meaningful Use Consumer Empowerment Workgroup of HSS Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, and is an active contributor to the American Medical Informatics Association, serving two-terms on its Board of Directors, and Chair of the Consumer Health Informatics Workgroup. She is an elected fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics, the New York Academy of Medicine, and has authored over 100 articles, chapters and books in the field of biomedical informatics.

Academic Appointments

  • Professor, Sociomedical Sciences and Biomedical Informatics at the Columbia University Medical Center

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BA, 1978 Brooklyn College
  • MA, 1980 New York University
  • DrPH, 1993 Columbia University
  • MA, 2000 Columbia University

Editorial Boards

Journal of Biomedical Informatics

Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association

Honors & Awards

National Library of Medicine, Postdoctoral Fellowship in Medical Informatics

Fellow, American College of Medical Informatics

Fellow, New York Academy of Medicine

Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research Fellow Award, Columbia University Medical Center


Research Interests

  • Biostatistical Methods
  • Chronic disease
  • Community Health
  • Genetics
  • Public Health Education

Selected Publications

Kukafka R, Ancker JS, Chan C, Chelico J, Khan S, Mortoti S, Natarajan K, Presley K, Stephens K. Redesigning electronic health record systems to support public health. J Biomed Inform. 2007 Aug;40(4):398-409.

Ancker JS, Weber EU, Kukafka R. Effects of game-like interactive graphics on risk perceptions and decisions. Med Decis Making. 2011 Jan-Feb;31(1):130-42.

Collins SA, Vawdrey DK, Kukafka R, Kuperman GJ. Policies for patient access to clinical data via PHRS: current state and recommendations. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2011 Dec;18 Suppl 1:i2-7. Epub 2011 Sep 7.

Messeri P, Khan S, Millery M, Campbell A, Merrill J, Shih S, Kukafka R. An information systems model of the determinants of electronic health record use. Appl Clin Inform. 2013 Apr 17;4(2):185-200

Kukafka R, Allegrante JP, Khan S, Bigger JT, Johnson SB. Understanding facilitators and barriers to reengineering the clinical research enterprise in community-based practice settings. Contemp Clin Trials. 2013 Sep;36(1):166-74.

Lewis D, Eysenbach G, Kukafka R, Jimison H, Stavri Z (Eds.): Consumer Health Informatics. Springer New York, Inc. 2005.

Kukafka R, Linfante A, Johnson S, Allegrante JP Grounding a new information technology implementation framework in behavioral science: a systematic analysis of literature on IT usage. Journal of Biomedical Informatics 36 218-27 2003

Yasnoff WA, Overhage JM, Humphreys B, LaVenture M, Goodman K, Gatewood L, Reid J, Hammond E, Dwyer D, Huff S, Gotham I, Kukafka R, Loonsk J, Wagner M A national agenda for public health informatics J of Public Health Manag Pract 7 1-21 2001

Kukafka R, Lussier YA, Patel, VL, Cimino JJ Web-based tailoring and its effect on self-efficacy: results from the MI-HEART Randomized Controlled Trial American of the Medical Informatics Association 9(suppl) 410-414 2002

Chang B, Bakken S, Brown S, Houston T, Kreps G, Kukafka R, Safran C, Stavri Z Bridging the digital divide: reaching vulnerable populations J American Medical Informatics Association In press

Urban Health Activities

Primary Care Information Project (PCIP): Dr. Kukafka provides consultation to the PCIP to conduct an information technology assessment and evaluate the technical capacity of Community Health Centers in New York City and establish a way for them to provide electronic patient encounter data to the Department of Health on a regular basis.