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

2008-2009Recipient, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing Scholarship

2009Inductee, Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursing

2009-2010Young Scholar, UCLA School of Nursing Young Scholars Program

2010-2014Recipient, Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship (four-year doctoral fellowship)

2012Recipient, UCLA School of Nursing Annual Research Days Best Speaker Award

2014Recipient, UCLA CTSI TL1 Translational Science Predoctoral Summer Training Fellowship

2014-2015Recipient, Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program Scholarship

2015Recipient, Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) Gerontological Society of America Pre-Conference Workshop Scholarship

2015-2016Recipient, Kaiser Permanente/Deloras Jones RN Scholarship

2017Recipient, Yale School of Nursing Summer Intensive Training

2017-2018Recipient, UCLA/CDU Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research/Center for Health Improvement for Minority Elderly (RCMAR/CHIME) pilot award

2017-2019Recipient, California Arts Council Research in the Arts award

2018-2019Recipient, USC/UCLA Center for Biodemography & Population Health Scholar

2018-2019Recipient, 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.