Kathleen MacVarish, MS

Clinical Assistant Professor, Environmental Health
Kathleen MacVarish
(617) 638-5032kmacvar@bu.edu
Talbot – T223E
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Kathleen MacVarish directs the community and workforce development programs in the Office of Public Health Practice (PHP) and has an appointment in the environmental health department. Kathleen teaches MPH courses that focus on environmental health, community engagement, and public health preparedness. Major PHP programs under her direction include: Urban Actions, Local Public Health Institute of MA, MA Public Health Regionalization Project and the related Practice Based Research Network, and the New England Public Health Training Center. A number of workforce development programs have received state and national recognition for innovation and best practices. Kathleen was a local Board of Health Agent in Massachusetts for 15 years and also directed local tobacco control programs and worked as a Sanitarian/Inspector in California and New York. She has been a Registered Sanitarian since 1986 and currently holds national (Registered Environmental Health Specialist) and state (Registered Sanitarian) credentials. She received a B.S. in Food Science from Cornell University and an M.S. in Environmental Studies from UMass Lowell. In 2012 she graduated from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute. Her professional activities have included a variety of appointed and elected positions in national and state associations. She serves by Governor appointment as chair of the MA Board of Registration of Sanitarians. She is a past-president of the Massachusetts Health Officers Association and currently serves as co-chair of their education committee. She is a former executive board member of the Massachusetts Environmental Health Association (MEHA) and an active member of MEHA and its parent organization, the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA). Kathleen serves as a site visitor for the Council on Education for Public Health and peer reviewer for the Journal of Environmental Health. She also served on a workgroup and a think tank for the Public Health Accreditation Board and on a NEHA and International Food Protection Training Institute committee to develop the retail food curriculum within the Food and Drug Administration framework for professional food safety education.


  • University of Massachusetts - Lowell, MS
  • Cornell University, BS

Classes Taught

  • SPHPH712


  • Published on 3/15/2014

    Worden Kenefick, Hope MSW, PhD; Ravid Sharon MPH; MacVarish, Kathleen REHS/RS, MS; Tsoi, Jennifer MPH; Weill, Kenny MS; Faye, Elizabeth BS; Fidler, Anne MS, ScD. On Your Time: Online Training for the Public Health Workforce. Health Promotion Practice. 2014; Suppl 1(15):48S - 55S.

    Read at: Custom
  • Published on 3/1/2014

    Kenefick HW, Ravid S, MacVarish K, Tsoi J, Weill K, Faye E, Fidler A. On your time: online training for the public health workforce. Health Promot Pract. 2014 Mar; 15(1 Suppl):48S-55S. PMID: 24578365.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/1/2012

    Hyde J, Arsenault L, Waggett J, Mills B, Cox H, MacVarish K, Fried L. Structural and organizational characteristics associated with performance of essential public health services in small jurisdictions: findings from a statewide study in Massachusetts. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2012 Nov; 18(6):585-94. PMID: 23023284.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/1/2010

    MacVarish K, Moultrup D, Ward SJ. Meeting the environmental health training challenges of the local public health workforce in Massachusetts. J Environ Health. 2010 Jan-Feb; 72(6):50-2. PMID: 20104835.

    Read at: PubMed