Professor Focuses on Health Inequities in Black Community
Schenita Randolph, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, is an associate professor at DUSON and the founding director and principal investigator of the HEEAT Lab, which addresses health disparities.
Randolph wants to normalize conversations about racial discrimination, racial socialization, racial identity, stigma and distrust – all factors that have a major impact on the health of Black individuals and communities.
As an associate professor at the Duke University School of Nursing and registered nurse for more than 25 years, she is advancing nursing science by addressing the root causes of sexual health inequities for Black male adolescents and women.
She is also the founding director and principal investigator of the HEEAT Lab, an interdisciplinary team of researchers, clinicians, business owners and community members who are dedicated to addressing disparities in sexual health and HIV through equity, engagement, advocacy, and trust.
“Health equity is important in all the work that we all do as nurse scientists,” Randolph said.
Randolph is also the principal investigator of UPDOs, a salon-based intervention to promote the awareness of PrEP medication (pre-exposure prophylaxis) among Black women living in the Southern U.S.
PrEP is a daily pill or long-acting injection that is up to 99% effective in preventing HIV. Although it is proven effective, less than 1% of eligible women actually use it. Black women make up about 12% of the female U.S. population but account for nearly 60% of new HIV cases among women.
Ranolph’s work has received national media attention and support from public and private funders. She is also an Inaugural Fellow in the Betty Irene Moore Fellowship where she developed The Talk, the first nurse-led, web-based application to address the co-occurrence of HIV transmission and racial discrimination among Black male adolescents and young adults.
“My goal is to address health inequities that exist for communities of color, specifically Black Americans, from health care access to the clinical encounter to the workforce,” she said.