Leila C. Kahwati, MD, MPH

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Public Health Leadership Program


Leila C. Kahwati is a primary care physician, senior research scientist, and Fellow in RTI’s Translational Health Sciences Division. She brings more than 20 years of experience in government, community, and academic health care practice and research settings with a focus on evidence synthesis and evaluation to inform clinical program and policy development. She is currently Associate Director of the RTI-University of North Carolina Evidence-based Practice Center. Dr. Kahwati is board certified in family medicine and in general preventive medicine/public health and has additional training in epidemiology and health services research. She has conducted systematic reviews and mixed-methods studies, and she has experience with qualitative comparative analysis. Before joining RTI, Dr. Kahwati served as the Deputy Chief Consultant for Preventive Medicine in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), where she led efforts to implement comprehensive health promotion and disease prevention services throughout the VHA. Since joining RTI, she has served in various roles including project and associate project director, task lead, and senior scientific advisor on several research and evaluation projects for clients including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the State of Washington Health Care Authority. 

Key Publications

Screening for Vitamin D Deficiency in Adults: Updated Evidence Report and Systematic Review for the US Preventive Services Task Force. Kahwati LC, LeBlanc E, Weber RP, Giger K, Clark R, Suvada K, Guisinger A, Viswanathan M (1970). JAMA, 325(14), 1443-1463.

Making narrative statements to describe treatment effects. Murad, M. H., Fiordalisi, C., Pillay, J., Wilt, T. J., O'Connor, E., Kahwati, L., Hernandez, A. V., Rutter, C. M., Chou, R., Balk, E. M., Steele, D. W., Saldanha, I. J., Panagiotou, O. A., Chang, S., & Gerrity, M (2021). Journal of General Internal Medicine, 36(1), 196-199.

Screening for bacterial vaginosis in pregnant adolescents and women to prevent preterm delivery: Updated evidence report and systematic review for the US Preventive Services Task Force. Kahwati, L. C., Clark, R., Berkman, N., Urrutia, R., Patel S. V., Zeng, J., & Viswanathan, M (2020). Journal of the American Medical Association, 323(13), 1293-1309.

Universal screening for SARS‐CoV‐2 infection: A rapid review. Viswanathan, M., Kahwati, L., Jahn, B., Giger, K., Dobrescu, A. I., Hill, C., Klerings, I., Meixner, J., Persad, E., Teufer, B., & Gartlehner, G (2020). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 9.

Surgical management of lumbar radiculopathy: A systematic review. Clark, R., Weber, R. P., & Kahwati, L Journal of General Internal Medicine.