Kia Skrine Jeffers

Kia Skrine Jeffers, PhD, RN, PHN


PhD  Nursing, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA

Biography: Dr. Kia Skrine Jeffers, registered nurse and PhD, is engaged in research that generates community-partnered, evidence-based knowledge that informs policies aimed at systematically narrowing health and social disparities between racial groups. She is particularly interested in addressing diabetes self-management, structural racism, and other social factors that negatively impact African Americans’ health and health-related behaviors across their life courses.  As a Scholar, she built projects based on these interests and used her creativity and passion in the arts to create her portfolio of fellowship activities. Dr. Skrine Jeffers was approved to extend her NCSP fellowship for a third year.  

Dr. Skrine Jeffers’ main scholar research project is entitled “Implementing the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program in the Parish Nursing Program of a Safety Net Health System.”  The main goal of this project was to assess the feasibility of implementing the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) into an established, community-based nursing program that serves a large population of low income, racial/ethnic minority elders. She worked with a team of mentors including: Drs. Kenrik Duru, Gery Ryan, and Carol Mangione.  Her community partner was QueensCare Health & Faith Partnership. Using a mixed methods approach, this project leveraged access to data from a current, in-house randomized control trial to understand associations between self-reported patient activation and adherence to the DPP among racial/ethnic minorities with prediabetes.  She completed data analysis with her team and they developed a report called, “Association of Patient Activation with Uptake and Adherence to the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP): Results from the Prediabetes Informed Decisions and Education (PRIDE) Study.”  She presented this work at the American Public Health Association Annual meeting in November 2017, at the Society for General Internal Medicine Annual Meeting in April 2018 in Denver, CO and at the RCMAR Annual Investigators Meeting in April 2018 in Bethesda, MD and at the Academy Health Research meeting in June 2018 at the Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, Washington. 

Using a qualitative approach, the research team also assessed acceptability and capacity among key patient and provider stakeholders, and organizational leadership around implementing the DPP in the community-based nursing program.  The team generated a report with recommendations about implementing DPP into their program, using activation data to also inform the recommendations.  A unique opportunity was available to examine implementing the DPP into their program, and potentially reaching seniors for whom the DPP would otherwise remain inaccessible.  Dr. Skrine Jeffers was awarded a $20,000 pilot award to support this work from the UCLA Center for Health Improvement for Minority Elderly, which is an NIA Resource Center for Minority Aging Research.  The findings were published in an article “Assessing Informal and Formal Diabetes Knowledge in African American Older Adults with Uncontrolled Diabetes” (J Gerontol Nurs. 2019).  

Dr. Skrine Jeffers continued working on a project entitled, “Evaluating the Impact of a Research-based Play on Depression-related Stigma and Collective Self-Efficacy among African Americans.”  She collaborated with Felica Jones (successor to the late Loretta Jones), CEO of Healthy African American Families as well as Drs. Ken Wells and Beth Bromley at the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA. The purpose of this study is to understand the impact that research-based theater has on depression-related stigma and collective efficacy among South Los Angeles community members, service providers and clinicians who serve this community. The team used sequential mixed methods approach to answer two research questions: (1) Will exposure to a research-based play about African Americans’ experiences with depression impact depression-related stigma among participants? and (2) In what ways might the shared experience of theatre build collective efficacy around decreasing depression-related stigma among participants?  These research questions intersect with current research on using community-based approaches to decrease depression-related stigma. Research-based theater is an underused approach in interventions that target low-income, African American populations.  This project will contribute new knowledge in this area, and will use the arts as a way to engage the community around depression and depression-related stigma.  Dr. Skrine-Jeffers was awarded $40,000 from the CA Arts Council to develop, produce, and evaluate this work.  She and her team developed the script and evaluation materials and engaged focus group participants following the presentation of the play to each group in the spring of 2019. The team evaluated the impact of the play about African American women with depression on depression-related stigma and collective efficacy among participants and audiences. The team will continue work with the focus groups through the end of 2019.   

Dr. Skrine Jeffers also completed work on a project entitled, “Unfair Treatment within Employment, Criminal Justice, Education and Housing and Cardiometabolic Risk in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).”  Her mentors were Drs. Karol Watson and Teresa Seeman. The excessive rates of cardiometabolic conditions among African Americans compared to other race/ethnic subgroups is well documented, and a growing body of evidence has highlighted the role of racism and discrimination in those health disparities. This study centers on the associations between unfair treatment experienced by African Americans within select structural domains (employment, criminal justice, education, and housing) and their cardiometabolic risks.  This study aims to identify the structural domains that may be associated with the greatest cardiometabolic risks among African Americans, laying the groundwork for future studies to address cardiometabolic disparities from a structural perspective.  

Dr. Skrine Jeffers also collaborated with Drs. Bruce, King Robinson, and Norris to co-author an article titled “Contemplative Practices: A Strategy to Improve Health and Reduce Disparities” (Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018).  

In addition to her projects, Dr. Skrine Jeffers has also provided several guest lectures including: 1) Lecture in UCLA School of Nursing Course #N205C Advanced Qualitative Methodology II, entitled “From Data to Dissertation (and Beyond)” 2) Lecture in UCLA School of Nursing Course # N227 Ethnogeriatric Nursing, entitled “Ethnogerontology: Unique Cultural Experiences of Aging” and 3) Lecture in UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Course# CHS296 Critical Race Theory in Public Health, entitled “Art and Science: Blending my Diverse Orientations.” 

Dr. Skrine Jeffers is now an Assistant Professor in the UCLA School of Nursing.  Her research continues to focus on diabetes self-management, structural racism, and other social factors that negatively impact African Americans’ health and health-related behaviors across their life courses.