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School of Health Research

Faculty Scholars

Shirley M. Timmons

Shirley M. Timmons, Ph.D., R.N., C.N.E.

Professor of Nursing
College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences
864-656-2160 or


Shirley Timmons is a professor in the School of Nursing. She is a certified nurse educator with research interests in minority health, health disparities, HIV/AIDS prevention, church-based health services, and health promotion. Dr. Timmons serves as Director of the South Carolina Public Health Preparedness Student Corps (SCPHPSC).

Visit Dr. Timmons' Department Profile or the SCPHPSC page.

How their research is transforming health care

Dr. Timmons has served as research team member on the PRISMA Health sponsored study, “Taking Care of Our Own: A Qualitative Exploration of the Perspectives and Experiences of African American and Latino Caregivers of Older Adults with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias.” The purpose of the research was to gain insight into the cultural perspectives and experiences of caregivers of persons who experience Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias within Upstate South Carolina. She also served as a multidisciplinary team member on the now published study “A Contribution to Measure Partnership Trust in Community-based Participatory Research and Interventions with Latinx Communities in the United States. That research aimed to develop a bilingual (i.e., English and Spanish)instrument to measure partnership trust as an outcome of CBPR using cross-cultural cognitive interview. Both novel projects complement her focus on addressing health disparities experienced by underserved, lower-resource communities. She currently serves as Project Director of a 4.8 million dollar CDC funded workforce development initiative that engages multidisciplined undergraduate students in health equity focused public health disaster management training in collaboration with five other SC academic institutions.

In addition to health professions workforce development, her contribution to science is refinement of knowledge about cultural factors that influence health disparities experienced by African Americans born in the United States compared to Caucasian counterparts. Since religion has played a critical role in quality of life of this population (pre and post-slavery) and church affiliation is a vital social, physical, and emotional support, my research identifies aspects of the African American-church dynamic that fosters “health.” For example, academic-community partnerships that target vulnerable African Americans must incorporate equity in decision-making about health outcome goals that include culturally relevant human resources (i.e., diverse African American workforces) and material/environmental resources (i.e., evidence-based, church-based health promotion interventions). My research uncovers and highlights the positive influence of equitable decision-making to weight-management, illicit drug use recovery, hypertension and cardiometabolic health, and HIV/AIDS among underserved African Americans. Her other research interests include health promotion factors (social support, self-efficacy, hope, self-esteem) and health behavior; racial/ethnicity related health disparities; HIV/AIDS prevention in ethnic minority populations (especially women); self-management support; health services workforce development; and the role of the church (faith-based) in disease prevention/health promotion. Teaching/Public Service: population health, research, and nursing education. Administrative/Managerial interests: health services program planning, implementation, and evaluation and federally qualified health center services.

Health Research Expertise Keywords

Faculty Scholar, Health Disparities, African-American Health, Faith-Based Health Programs, Population and Community Health, Health Services Workforce Development

College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences
College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences | 116 Edwards Hall