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nursing faculty contacts

"MUSC Nurses Change Lives"

College of Nursing Faculty

Carolyn M Jenkins, DrPH, APRN, BC-ADM, RD, LD, FAAN

Medical University of South Carolina
College of Nursing
99 Jonathan Lucas Street
MSC 160
Charleston, SC 29425-1600

Telephone: (843) 792-4625
Fax: (843) 792-1741

Carolyn M Jenkins, DrPH, RD, CDE, APRN-BC-ADM, FAAN is a Professor at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. She received her Master of Science in Nursing from the Medical University of South Carolina, a Master of Science in Nutrition from the University of Georgia and her Doctor of Public Health from the University of South Carolina. She is an advanced practice nurse and is certified by the American Nurses Association in advanced diabetes management, a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, a member of Sigma Theta Tau, and currently chairs the Outreach Council of the state legislated Diabetes Initiative of South Carolina. Her 25-year career has been on working with communities throughout South Carolina to improve health outcomes related to diabetes and its complications, especially for the state's underserved African Americans. The focus of her work is reducing racial disparities, and creating effective academic community partnerships.

Dr. Jenkins has been at the Medical University since 1979 and is involved in undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in the College of Nursing, and has a joint appointment with the College of Health Professions and the College of Graduate Studies.

Two major initiatives for Dr. Jenkins are the statewide South Carolina Diabetes Initiative where she served as the Director of Outreach and Charleston's Enterprise/MUSC Neighborhood Health Program that she founded in 1995. Both initiatives have included a three pronged approach of care delivery, research, and education, and are community driven models of care. Each involves players from the highest levels of state or local government to professionals and students to grass roots community residents. She served as Director of a nurse managed interdisciplinary health clinic. All programs have included a service-learning component for students.

She has leveraged more than 10 million dollars to improve community health. In collaboration with others, she has co-led negotiations for annual funding of the Diabetes Initiative by the South Carolina State Legislature and has influenced the passage of a statewide bill that establishes a minimal level of care for persons with diabetes and provides reimbursement for diabetes education.

Currently, Dr. Jenkins is the principal investigator for a REACH grant focused on reducing disparities and improving care for 12,000 African Americans with diabetes. Following 24 months of implementation, disparities for African Americans in A1c testing (initially at 21%), lipid profile (initially at 15%), kidney testing (initially at 28%), eye exams (initially at 22%), and blood pressure control (initially at 11%)have been eliminated, while no significant changes occurred for A1c control and aspirin therapy. Although significantly lower initially, after two years, overall testing compares favorably with percentages nationally for Medicare patients with diabetes and also for those enrolled in community plans. Current and future research efforts are focused on further improvements in diabetes care and control, and identifying the contributions of each of the multifactorial interventions in eliminating disparities for diabetes care and control.


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