In the United States, older African Americans have some of the highest rates of cardiometabolic diseases (e.g., diabetes, hypertension, obesity) and their related complications compared to most racial/ethnic subgroups. Researchers have identified social and structural determinants of health that help explain these cardiometabolic disease disparities. Disentangling and disrupting the complex relationship between structural barriers (e.g., laws, policies, institutionalized racism) and the cardiometabolic health of African Americans using traditional and non-traditional scientific approaches is a central theme in my research program. This includes investigating the historical, intergenerational, and contemporary experiences African American older adults have had that contribute to their excess rates of preventable disease and premature death relative to their non-Black counterparts. In my research, I aim to: 1) identify ways structural barriers (e.g., structural racism) contribute to cardiometabolic health disparities among African Americans and ways to intervene on a structural level; 2) develop community-partnered interventions that protect against structural barriers and support health equity and social justice among African Americans and other marginalized populations; and, 3) use innovative approaches for health interventions and research dissemination, including theatre and media.   

Faculty Research and Clinical Expertise

Research: Structural racism and health, social determinants of health, health equity, aging, cardiometabolic disease prevention, diabetes self-management, community-based/partnered participatory research (CBPR/CPPR), research-based theatre interventions

Clinical: Faith Community Nursing, Community Nursing, Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME), Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP)


North Carolina A&T State University, BA, Broadcast Journalism

University of California, Los Angeles, MSN

University of California, Los Angeles, PhD

National Clinician Scholars Program at UCLA, Postdoctoral Fellowship

Honors and Awards

2008-2009 Recipient, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing Scholarship
2009 Inductee, Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursing
2009-2010 Young Scholar, UCLA School of Nursing Young Scholars Program
2010-2014 Recipient, Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship (four-year doctoral fellowship)
2012 Recipient, UCLA School of Nursing Annual Research Days Best Speaker Award
2014 Recipient, UCLA CTSI TL1 Translational Science Predoctoral Summer Training Fellowship
2014-2015 Recipient, Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program Scholarship
2015 Recipient, Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) Gerontological Society of America Pre-Conference Workshop Scholarship
2015-2016 Recipient, Kaiser Permanente/Deloras Jones RN Scholarship
2017 Recipient, Yale School of Nursing Summer Intensive Training
2017-2018 Recipient, UCLA/CDU Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research/Center for Health Improvement for Minority Elderly (RCMAR/CHIME) pilot award
2017-2019 Recipient, California Arts Council Research in the Arts award
2018-2019 Recipient, USC/UCLA Center for Biodemography & Population Health Scholar
2018-2019 Recipient, UCLA CTSI TL1 Translational Science Postdoctoral Training Fellowship


Skrine Jeffers, K., Cadogan, M., Heilemann, M.V., & Phillips, L.R. (2019). Assessing informal and formal diabetes knowledge in the care of older African Americans with uncontrolled diabetes. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 45(2), 35-41.

Bruce, M., Skrine Jeffers, K., King-Robinson, J., & Norris, K.C. (2018). Contemplative practices: A strategy to improve health and reduce disparities. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(10), E2253.  

Narain, K., Jeffers, KS, Bean-Mayberry, B., Canelo, I., Darling, J., & Yano, E. (2018). The association of food insufficiency with patient activation among women Veterans using Veterans Administration healthcare: A cross-sectional analysis. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 33(9), 1417-1418. 

Mango, J., Saks, E., Skrine Jeffers, K., Wells, M., Chung, B., Jones, L., Wells, K. (2018). Addressing mental health stigma through the arts: Development of a stakeholder-academic partnered program. The Behavior Therapist, 41(4), 200-208.

Phillips, LR., Salem, BE, Jeffers, KS, Kim, H, Ruiz, ME, Salem, N, & Woods, DL. (2015). Developing and proposing the Ethno-cultural Gerontological Nursing Model. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 26(2), 118-128.

Kim, H., Woods, DL, Phillips, LR, Ruiz, ME, Salem, B, Jeffers, K, Salem, N. (2015). Nursing assistants’ communication styles in Korean American older adults with dementia: A review of the literature. (2015). Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 26(2),185-192.

Book Chapters

Ford, C.L. & Skrine Jeffers, K. (in press). Critical Race Theory’s anti-racism approaches: Moving from the ivory tower to the frontlines of public health. In C.L. Ford, D.M. Griffith, M.A. Bruce, & K. Gilbert (Eds.) Racism: Science and Tools for the Public Health Professional. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association Press.