Biography and Books

Rita Watson

ritawatson [at]

Rita Watson is a journalist, editor, and policy specialist.  A columnist on relationships and health, she has  been a guest on numerous radio and television programs, including two appearances on the NBC Today Show and London Talk Radio 97.3 FM.

Her career began at The New York Times.  She blogs weekly for and is a relationship columnist for the Providence Journal. 



Yale years, Medicine and Law:

During her 10 years with The Times she  attended Yale where she received her MPH from the School of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health.  Her focus was patient advocacy.

Informed Consent: While studying public health she also attended the Yale Law School for graduate work with Dean Guido Calabresi (currently  US Circuit Court Judge)  Yale Law School | Guido Calabresi and the late ethics scholar Dr. Jay Katz physician and a professor who tackled the issues and boundaries between law, medicine, psychology, and ethics.

Policy specialist: Ms. Watson remained at Yale as a public policy advocate for children and families.  She was Spokesperson for child care legislation through Yale’s Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy and later Director of Policy and Education for the Department of Psychiatry.

There she worked on issues of family health, housing, child care,  and both media and community relations through their Substance Abuse Treatment Unit with the Connecticut Mental Health Center.

Lecturer and Associate Fellow: At Yale, she was  a lecturer for the School of Management and edited Yale’s first book for the department:  Cases in Health Policy and Management.  She later taught grant writing for the Fogarty International Scholars Program focusing on grants for AIDS work and served as the Bass Writing Tutor at Ezra Stiles.

Rita Watson has been an associate fellow of Yale’s Ezra Stiles College since 1989.  Here are two of her favorite Yale Commencement stories.  Paul McCartney, Rita, Dr Ruth ‘She Loves Me’ Photo and Paul Newman: He Introduced Himself to me as “Paul.” 

Landmark legislation/ state and national: Ms. Watson was one of the architects of landmark state legislation that provided for childcare services at treatment centers and a continuum of care model that was adapted nationally.

She was a member of the State Commission on Children and was the only State appointee to the special North American Commission for the Child Welfare League of America.

Through her office at Yale she worked with many Connecticut legislators including Senator Chris Dodd and Governor Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. to set policies for children and families.

The TACT® Strategies: Designer of The TACT® Strategies, she has taught decision-making and coping skills to men and women in business in high stress positions.  These are discussed more fully in two of her books:  Sisterhood Betrayed and The Art of Decision-Making.

Consortium of Harvard teaching hospitals:  Ms. Watson was the Director of Communications and manager of the Annual Briefing event from December 2002 to August 2006 for CIMIT,  Center for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technologies.  CIMIT is a multidisciplinary collaborative of leading Harvard teaching hospitals with industry and government, where she set up the first media office that resulted in national coverage including the New Yorker magazine.

The group focused on biodefense, nanotechnology, neurotechnology, simulation, and tissue engineering. Through this group she handled press relations for a Biodefense Initiative with Mass General Hospital physicians, the State Department, and the Department of Defense.

Senior editor,

She left to join an award winning on-line medical magazine at the invitation of a physician and program leader at CIMIT.  She become Senior Editor of and Director of Education for their parent group working on outreach and a PBS film., with its 200,000 unique visitors and one million page views per month, is approximately 6,000 pages deep. The group focused on two distinct audiences, patients and physicians, and received the 2007  Silver E-Healthcare Award.

Rita Watson’s Published Books:

Infidelity and Marriage: Deal Breaker or Wake-up Call?  Rita Watson, MPH, and Bill Mitchell, PR.  This is an e-book to be published this fall by Eagle Nest Press.

— Reaching In, Reaching Out: Treating HIV/AIDS in the Correctional Community, editors: Frederick Altice, MD, Peter Selywn, MD, MPH, and Rita Watson, MPH; NCCHC and Kaiser Family Foundation, 2002. A policy guide outlining treatment in prison as a practical community approach

— A Serenity Journal, Rita Esposito Watson, Paulist Press, December 2000,  (As of December 2011, it will become an E-book ) A simple guide to a peaceful day A Serenity Journal: 52 Weeks of Prayer and Gratitude.l

— The Art of Decision-Making, Rita E Watson, Lowell House, Los Angeles, 1994; Professional to personal decision-making based on The TACT® Strategies

— Sisterhood Betrayed: Women in the Workplace, Jill Barber and Rita E. Watson, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1990; Professional working relationships between men and women

— Cases in Health Policy and Management, Yale University, editors, Richard Smithy and Rita E. Watson, Richard D. Irwin Press, Homewood, Ill, 1985; Case studies in health care management and the DRGs

— New Choices, New Chances, A Woman’s Guide to Conquering Cancer, Rita Esposito Watson and Robert C. Wallach, MD, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1983; A lay person’s guide, the  New England Journal of Medicine published a very favorable review of this book.

Here is what they are saying about: “A Serenity Journal: 52 Weeks of Prayer and Gratitude” by Rita Esposito Watson.

No matter where you are on your spiritual path — a clear, elegant guide for beginner and veteran alike.
— Jac Campbell, CSP, International Director of Landings

In a hectic world, this is a simple guide to some serenity.
— William Carely, the Wall Street Journal

Finally, a journal for those who are busy and searching for serenity. A beautiful way to refresh your soul. Rita Watson teaches us to nurture our souls in five minutes a day.
— Rose Offner, author of Journal of the Soul”

Serenity and gratitude may well be the added benefit to medicine and science. This book shows how to attain it.
— Frederick Altice, MD, Yale School of Medicine, Recipient of the 1999 Young Investigator Award from National Institutes of Health

This amazing little book tells you how to get started on the road to serenity and the life you always wanted but eluded you before.
— Lorraine Dusky, author, Still Unequal: The Shameful Truth about Women and Justice in America

Rita Watson provides a practical way to live at peace with the inner self, effective both for the active, productive individual as well as for those suffering with significant emotional or physical disability.
— E. James Stanley, MD, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, Irving.

Share This