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Kimberly A. Van Orden, Ph.D.

(Pronouns: she/her/hers)

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 275-5176

Fax: (585) 276-2065

URMFGA member of the University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group

groupAn Accountable Health Partner

assignmentNot Accepting New Patients

Research Labs

Faculty Appointments



My goal as a researcher is to increase our understanding of how to address the significant public health problem of social isolation in later life. My colleagues and I conduct studies to better understand the different ways isolation (both perceived and 'objective') is expressed and experienced in later life, from restricted social networks, to loneliness, to low social support, to feeling as if one does not belong. We also strive to understand how to reduce isolation and promote connectedness using behavioral interventions. The strong associations between isolation and poor health, as well as the strong associations between social connectedness and good health and well-being, suggests that promoting social connectedness--positive interactions and relationships with others--should in turn positively influence trajectories of health and well-being. However, there are few studies that provide compelling evidence of strategies to increase connectedness. My lab --the HOPE (Helping Older People Engage) Lab is focused on developing new interventions to increase connectedness, as well as testing existing interventions that have promise for increasing connectedness, but have not been tested. Social isolation (in its many forms) is also strongly linked to suicide across the lifespan. Another focus of my work is theory testing to promote understanding of suicide and illuminate mechanisms that can serve as intervention targets. I have contributed to the formulation, refinement, and evaluation of the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide. Much of my work in interventions is informed by this theory and what it suggests may be effective strategies for helping individuals connect and contribute in ways that are meaningful for them. I can be reached at:



PHD | Florida State University College of Medicine

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

07/01/2009 - 06/30/2010
Fellowship in Psychology at University of Rochester School of Medicine GME

07/01/2008 - 06/30/2009
Internship in Psychology at Montefiore Medical Center-North Division/Wakefield


Edwin S. Shneidman Award for outstanding contributions in research in the field of suicidology
Sponsor: American Association of Suicidology

2008 - 2009
P.E.O Scholar Award

Melissa Institute Belfer-Aptman Dissertation Research Award

American Association of Suicidology Student Research Award

Florida State University Dissertation Research Grant

Phi Beta Kappa

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Journal Articles

Van Orden KA. "Suicide Risk in Caregivers." International psychogeriatrics. 2023 Sep 5; :1-6. Epub 2023 Sep 05.

Quiñones MM, Silva C, Ross C, Sörensen S, Serrano R, Van Orden K, Heffner K. "Recruiting Socially Disconnected Latinos Caring for a Person with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons Learned." Clinical gerontologist.. 2023 Apr 2; :1-14. Epub 2023 Apr 02.

Van Orden KA, Bower E, Lutz J, Silva C. "Engage coaching for caregivers: a pilot trial to reduce loneliness in dementia caregivers." Aging & mental health.. 2023 Mar 10; :1-8. Epub 2023 Mar 10.

Books & Chapters

Book Title: The Interpersonal Theory of Suicide: Guidance for Working with Suicidal Clients
Author List: Thomas E. Joiner, Kimberly A. Van Orden, Tracy K. Witte, M. David Rudd
Published By: American Psychological Association 2009