Carolyn M Jenkins, DrPH, MSN, RD, LD, FAAN is the Ann Darlington Edwards Endowed Chair in Nursing and a Research 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 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 30-year career has been on working with communities throughout South Carolina to improve health outcomes related to diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, cardiovascular disease and their 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 Graduate Studies.
Major initiatives for Dr. Jenkins are the statewide South Carolina Diabetes Initiative where she served as the Director of Outreach and more recently, she is working with H3 Africa Stroke Investigative Research and Education Network to explore the genomic factors in stroke where she serves as a co-investigator and coordinator for community engagement for an NIH funded research project. She is also the Director of the Center for Community Health Partnerships and is Co-Director of Community Engagement for the South Carolina Translational Research Institute (SCTR), the NIH Clinical and Translational Research Award at the Medical University of South Carolina. Much of her research and practice initiatives incorporate a three-pronged approach of care delivery, research, and education in 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 has served as Director of a nurse managed interdisciplinary health clinic, an advanced practice nurse certified in advanced diabetes management, and a certified diabetes educator.
She has leveraged more than 12 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.
Current and future research efforts are focused on further improvements in diabetes, hypertension, stroke, and cardiovascular disease care and control, and identifying the contributions of multifactorial interventions in eliminating health disparities and in creating health equity, especially in rural and African American populations.