Dr. Fayron Epps is an Assistant Professor, tenure track, and joined the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing in August 2019. She has over 20 years of nursing experience. Dr. Epps completed her doctoral degree in Nursing from Southern University and A&M College. She has a Master’s of Science degree in Nursing (Health Care Systems Management) from Loyola University New Orleans and a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Tuskegee University. In 2015, she completed her postdoctoral fellowship with the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence. She is a 2018-2019 Tideswell Emerging Leaders in Aging Scholar. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Southern Gerontological Society, Alzheimer’s Association Georgia Chapter, and Meals on Wheels Atlanta. She also serves on the Leadership Core of the Public Health Center of Excellence in Dementia Caregiving at the University of Minnesota. Her career goal as a nurse scholar is to promote the quality of life for families affected by dementia through research, education, and service. Her program of research involves evidence-based practices for promoting quality of life for African Americans with dementia and their family caregivers. She is particularly interested in exploring ways religious activities and spiritual connectedness can promote meaningful engagement among persons with dementia. Dr. Epps oversees several faith-based and psychoeducation research projects, such as "Faith-HAT", "Dementia-Friendly Online Worship”, and "Caregiving while Black". Her research has been sponsored by federal and private funding agencies. Dr. Epps is also the founder of the only nurse-led dementia friendly congregation program, Alter. For this program, Dr. Epps and her interdisciplinary team partner with African American faith communities to provide them with the necessary tools and resources needed to support families facing dementia.
Areas of Expertise
Gore,J., Tolliver, J., Moore, M.A., Aycock, D., & Epps, F. (2022). Amixed-methods formative evaluation of a dementia-friendly congregation programfor Black churches. International Journal of Environmental Research and PublicHealth, 19(8). doi.org:10.3390/ijerph19084498
Oliver, S., Alexander, K., Bennett, S., Hepburn, K., Henry, J., Clevenger, C.,& Epps, F. (2022). Experiences of Black American dementia caregivers duringthe COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Family Nursing.doi.org:10.1177/10748407221102465
Gore, J., Brewster, G., Sainz, J., Ge, Y., James, T., Xie, J., & Epps, F.(2021). Using a multiple-case study design to explore the worship experiencesof Black families affected by dementia. Clinical Gerontologist.doi.org:10.1080/07317115.2021.2017378
Alexander, K., Oliver, S., Henry, J., Bennett, S., Clevenger, C., Hepburn, K.,& Epps, F. (2022). “Falling between the cracks”: Experiences of Blackdementia caregivers navigating U.S. health systems. Journal of AmericanGeriatrics Society, 70(2), 592-600. doi.org:10.1111/jgs.17636 (impact factor5.562)
Epps, F., Moore, M., Chester, M., Gore, J., Sainz, M., Adkins, A., Clevenger,C., & Aycock, D. (2021). The Alter Program: A nurse-led, dementia-friendlyprogram for African American faith communities and families living withdementia. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 46(1), 72-80.doi.org:10.1097/NAQ.0000000000000506
Epps, F., Wiley, Z., Tuenis, L., Johnson, T., Patzer, R., Ofotokun, I., & Franks, N. (2021). A framework for mobilizing health care to respond to the community within the COVID-19 pandemic. Preventing Chronic Disease,18:200572. doi.org:10.5888/pcd18.200572
Epps, F., Brewster, G., Phillips, J., Nash, R., Shah, R.C., & Hepburn, K. (2021, online). Using a warm hand-off approach to enroll African American caregivers in a multi-site clinical trial: The Handshake Protocol. Journal of Applied Gerontology. doi.org:10.1177/0733464821992920
Epps, F., Foster, K., Alexander, K., Brewster, G., Chester M., Thornton, J., & Aycock, D. (2021, online). Perceptions and attitudes toward dementia in predominantly African American congregants. Journal of Applied Gerontology. doi.org/10.1177/0733464820987350
Epps, F., Alexander, K., Brewster, G., Parker, L., Chester, M., Tomlinson, A., Adkins, A., Zingg, S., Thornton, J. (2020, online). Promoting Dementia Awareness in African American Faith Communities. Public Health Nursing. doi.org/10.1111/phn.12759
Epps, F., Choe, J., Alexander, K., & Brewster, G. (2020, online). Designing Worship Services to Support African American Persons Living with Dementia. Journal of Religion and Health. doi: 10.1007/s10943-020-00993-x
Epps, F., Heidbreder, V., Alexander, K., Tomlinson, A., Freeman, V., & Williams, N. (2020, online). A dementia-friendly church: How can the African American church support families affected by dementia. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice. doi:10.1177/1471301219900416
Epps, F., & Williams, I.C. (2020). The importance of religiosity to the well-being of African American older adults living with dementia. Journal of Applied Gerontology. doi: 10.1177/0733464818820773
Interview w/Dr. Epps about the Alter Program - https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dementia-in-black-and-white/id1557049608?i=1000527627252
Other Public Links
Faith Village Research Lab Website: https://scholarblogs.emory.edu/epps-faithvillage/home/
Alter Webpage: https://alterdementia.com/
Dr. Epps enjoys mentoring students in gerontology, research methods, and professional development.
Dr. Epps' program of research involves evidence-based practices for promoting quality of life for African American adults living with dementia and their family caregivers/care partners. Dr. Epps is currently working on a project with faith communities to develop dementia-friendly faith villages to support African American families living with dementia.
2021 Maude's Innovation inAlzheimer's Care Award
2021 National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence Claudia J.Beverly Innovation Award
2021 Award Recipient: 2021 Southern Gerontological Society Applied Gerontologist
2020 Award Recipient: Loan Repayment Program Award for Clinical Research through the National Institute on Aging (NIA).