Parent Page: Departments & Centers id: 26310 Active Page: Marianna Wetherillid:26317
Marianna Wetherill

George Kaiser Family Foundation Chair in Population Healthcare
Henry Zarrow Presidential Professor
Associate Professor

Marianna Wetherill, Ph.D., MPH, RDN/LD

Contact Information

Phone: (918) 660-3684

Office: The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

Schusterman Center

4502 E. 41st Street, Room 1A11

Tulsa, Oklahoma 74135-2512



Dr. Wetherill is an Associate Professor of Health Promotion Sciences at the Hudson College of Public Health (Tulsa campus). She is jointly appointed in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the OU-TU School of Community Medicine. She is also a Henry Zarrow Presidential Professor and the George Kaiser Family Foundation Chair in Population Healthcare. Dr. Wetherill has additional adjunct appointments in the OUHSC Department of Nutritional Sciences and OU School of Social Work due to the interdisciplinary nature of her research. She is a native Oklahoman who previously worked in the community setting as an administrator, developer, and evaluator for nutrition-related programs for patients living with chronic disease. Her research focuses on building healthy food access for people and communities affected by health disparities. Through her research, she has worked with various types of community partners, including food banks, social service organizations, medical clinics, and tribal communities, to identify feasible and sustainable strategies for improving the nutritional status of underserved populations.  Her teaching emphasizes the application of lifestyle medicine as an interprofessional discipline and nutrition research methods. 

Dr. Wetherill is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian who is board certified in lifestyle medicine by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. She has also completed training on Nutrition-Focused Physical Exams from the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. With a decade of dietetics practice experience including HIV/AIDS, cardiometabolic disease, and plant-based diets, Dr. Wetherill’s nutrition philosophy incorporates a functional medicine approach to personal healing and a passion for improving health outcomes among low-income populations and other vulnerable groups. She is a member of the Institute for Functional Medicine, Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine practice group, the American Society for Nutrition, and the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.




  • Graduate Certificate, Dietetics & Integrative Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, 2016
  • PhD, Health Promotion Sciences, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 2013
  • MPH, Health Administration and Policy, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 2009
  • BS, Nutrition Sciences, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 2004


  • Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Commission on Dietetics Registration, 2004-present
  • Board Certified Lifestyle Medicine Professional, American College of Lifestyle Medicine, 2019-present

Professional Training and Development

  • Mind-Body Medicine Advanced Practice Certification Training, Center for Mind Body Medicine
  • 6th International Course in Nutritional Epidemiology, London, UK, Imperial College London, England



  • Associate Professor, Hudson College of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion Sciences
  • Associate Professor, OU-TU School of Community Medicine, Department of Family Medicine
  • Adjunct Faculty, College of Allied Health, Department of Nutritional Sciences
  • Affiliate Instructor, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Social Work
  • Member, Harold Hamm Diabetes Center
  • Member, TSET Health Promotion Research Center


  • HPS 5673 Lifestyle Medicine in Public Health
  • HPS 6980 Research for Doctoral Dissertation
  • HPS 5213 Social & Behavioral Science in Public Health
  • HPS 5960 Directed Readings
  • HPS 5990 Special Studies
  • PAT 7193: Public Health Issues for the Physician Assistant
  • INDT 8162: Lifestyle Medicine & Health Promotion I
  • INDT 8163: Lifestyle Medicine & Health Promotion II


Research Interests:

  • “Food is medicine” interventions for limited resource populations
  • Charitable food systems and population health
  • Trauma-informed lifestyle medicine
  • Food insecurity and health behaviors
  • Insulin resistance and risk behaviors in HIV
  • Nutrition epidemiologic methods for vulnerable populations

Follow me on ResearchGate

Select Research Projects:

Nutrition to Optimize, Understand, and Restore Insulin Sensitivity in HIV for Oklahoma (NOURISH-OK)

Dates: 09/17/2020 – 08/31/2025

Sponsor: NIDDK | 1R01DK127464-01

Role: Principal Investigator 

In the News:

  • Tulsa Researcher Receives Federal Grant to Study Food as Medicine Intervention for People with HIV College of Medicine Magazine | Spring 2021
  • Tulsa CARES Partners with University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center for New Food as Medicine Study to Address Food Insecurity and other Root Causes of Insulin Resistance in HIV/AIDS Press Release
  • Researcher Studying the possibility of food being used as medicine for those with AIDS News Segment

Healthy Lifestyles, Healthy Communities

Dates: 11/1/2017-10/31/2022

Sponsors: Ardmore Institute of Health, Hille Family Foundation, Oxley Foundation, OU Foundation

Role: Co-Principal Investigator 

In the News:

Food as Medicine: Building Nutrition Equity for Iron Gate Guests

Sponsor: Morningcrest (sub-award)    

Dates: 09/01/2020-08/31/2021

Role: Principal Investigator  

In the News:

  • Iron Gate Awarded "Food as Medicine" Grant to Promote Nutrition Equity for Those Affected by Homelessness Press Release

Veggies for Life: Evaluation of a Culinary Medicine Workshop Series for Individuals with Physical Challenges

Sponsor: Internally Sponsored / Schweitzer Fellowship.

Dates: 08/01/2020-05/31/2021

Role: Principal Investigator and Faculty Advisor

In the News:

The Produce Drop              

Sponsor: College of Medicine Alumni Association             

Dates: 07/01/2019-05/30/2021

Role: Principal Investigator 

In the News: 

Food Independence, Security, and Health (FISH) Project: Phase II

Sponsor: Center for Integrated Research on Childhood Adversity 

Dates: 05/01/18-04/30/19

Role: Pilot Project PI

Food Resource Equity and Sustainability for Health “FRESH”

Sponsor: NIHMD | R01 MD011266 (PI: Jernigan)

Dates: 05/12/2016-12/31/2020

Role: Co-Investigator

Food banking Research to Enhance the Spread of Healthy Foods “FRESH-Foods”

Sponsor: CDC | 3U48DP004998-01S1 (Project PI: Seligman)          

Dates: 9/30/2015-9/29/2017

Role: Principal Investigator for Aim 1 of Study  

Diet Intervention for Hypertension: Adaptation and Dissemination to Native Communities

Sponsor: NIH/NHLBI | R01HL126578-01 (Project PI: Jernigan)       

Dates: 9/01/2015 – 5/31/2020  

Role: Co-Investigator 

Tribal Health and Resilience in Vulnerable Environments “THRIVE”

Sponsor: NHLBI | R01 HL117729 (PI: Jernigan)     

Dates: 8/15/2013 – 3/31/2018

Role: Co-Investigator 


Link to Dr. Wetherill's current publications

Select Publications:

*denotes student co-authors

  1. Wetherill, MS, Duncan, AR*, Bowman, H*, Collins, R*, Santa-Pinter, N*, Jackson, M*, Lynn, CM*, Prentice, K, Isaacson, M. Promoting nutrition equity for individuals with physical challenges: A systematic review of barriers and facilitators to healthy eating. Preventive Medicine. Available online 14 July 2021 at:
  2. Wetherill, MS, Whelan, L, Upton, L, Schumann, S, Davis, GC*, Carter, VP*, and Tollefson, M. Nutrition Prescriptions Made Simple. Journal of the Oklahoma State Medical Association. 2019 November; 112(10):370-377.  Available at:
  3. Whelan, L, Hartwell, M, Bell, SB Thomas, V*, Huff, D.* Wetherill, MS. Lifestyle Risk Factors and Chronic Disease in Oklahoma: A secondary analysis of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey 2017. Journal of the Oklahoma State Medical Association. 2019 October; 112(9): 349-356. Available at:
  4. Wetherill MS, Williams MB, White KC, Li J, Vidrine JI, Vidrine DJ. Food pantries as partners in population health: Assessing organizational and personnel readiness for delivering nutrition-informed charitable food assistance. J Hunger Environ. 2019;14(1-2):50-69.  Available at:
  5. Wetherill MS, Chancellor McIntosh H, Beachy C*, Shadid O.* Design and Implementation of a Clinic-Based Food Pharmacy for Food Insecure, Uninsured Patients to Support Chronic Disease Self-Management. Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior.  2018 Jul 28.  Available at: