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Rae K. Walker

Associate Professor & Associate Director of CPHM

Our lab investigates person-driven, clinically-translatable solutions for promoting well-being, capability, and dignity while aging with cancer and other forms of chronic illness. Our research involves modifying personal environments to fit the unique symptoms, physical abilities, and sensory characteristics of individuals so they can feel better and stay physically active and engaged in valued activities. This work incorporates universal person-centered and environmental assessments, making changes to home or work spaces, and the use of personalized health monitoring devices and other technologies. Our multidisciplinary team incorporates expertise from community members, patients and advocates, nursing and medicine, kinesiology, psychology, gerontology, occupational therapy, and the social and behavioral sciences.

Academic Background

  • BA University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
  • BSN Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD
  • PhD Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD
  • Postdoc Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing Center for Innovative Care in Aging & Institute for Clinical and Translational Research
  • Certificate-Health Disparities & Inequalities, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Certificate-Nurse Educator, Office of Teaching Excellence, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing
  • Certificate-Chemotherapy & Biotherapy Provider, Oncology Nursing Society


  • First nurse named an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) – Lemelson Foundation Invention Ambassador.
Walker, R. K., Hickey, A., & Freedson, P. S. (2016). Advantages and accuracy of wearable activity trackers: Considerations for patients and clinicians. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 20(6), 606-610. Doi: 10.1188/16.CJON.606-610.
Walker, R. K., Szanton, S. L., & Wenzel, J. (2015). Supporting working for normalcy post-treatment: guidance from a qualitative study of breast and prostate cancer survivors. Oncology Nursing Forum. 42(6), E358-367. Doi: 10.1188/15.ONF.E358-367
Szanton , S. L., Walker, R. K., Lim, J., Fisher, L., Zhan, A., Gitlin, L., Thorpe, R., & Terzis, A. (in press). Development of an ‘exergame’ for urban-dwelling older adults with functional limitations: results and lessons learned. Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action.
Szanton, S. L., Roth, J., Nkimberg, M., Savage, J. & Klimmek, R. (2014). Improving unsafe environments to support aging independence with limited resources. Nursing Clinics of North America, 49(2), 133-45. DOI: 10.1016/j.cnur.2014.02.002. Epub 2014 Mar 27.
Klimmek, R. & Wenzel, J. (2012). Adaptation of the Illness Trajectory Theory to Describe the Work of Transitional Cancer Survivorship. Oncology Nursing Forum 39(6), E499-E510.
Klimmek, R., Noyes, E., Edington-Saunders, K., Logue, C., Jones, R., & Wenzel, J. (2012). Training of community health workers to deliver cancer patient navigation to rural African American seniors. Progress in Community Health Partnerships 6(2), 167-174. 

Contact Info

College of Nursing
Skinner 122
651 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003

(413) 545-0250