Karen O'Rourke

Karen O'Rourke is the Deputy Director for Program Development at UNE's Center for Community and Public Health on the Portland campus.  Karen coordinates the Maine-Harvard Prevention Research Center (MHPRC), an obesity related research and research translation program in partnership with the Harvard Prevention Research Center and the state health department.  She also works on several other initiatives of the Center for Community and Public Health. 

Karen is also an adjunct professor and Outreach Coordinator for the Graduate Programs in Public Health where she works with MPH students to identify field placement opportunities.  

Prior to coming to UNE in 2010, Karen spent 25 years in various public health agencies and organizations including a public health institute, state and local health departments and a national voluntary health organization.  Her special interest is in public health policy where she has held leadership positions in efforts to increase tobacco tax, restrict smoking in public buildings, eliminate soda and junk food in schools, prohibit advertising of junk food on school grounds, fluoridate community water supplies, and require menu labeling at chain restaurants.  Karen received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley and her Masters in Public Health from San Jose State University.

Clinical Affiliations



Public Health Policy


Public Health Systems

Karen O'Rourke



Director, Training and Practice, School of Community and Population Health; Director, Maine AHEC Network

Linnell Hall


(207) 221-4620