Fayron Epps, PhD, MSN

Dr. Fayron Epps is one of the nine 2020 WAM Research Grant Recipients, and one of four research studies WAM is funding as part of the Alzheimer’s Association RAPID program, designed by the Alzheimer’s Association to help accelerate research studies interrupted by Covid. Dr. Epps grew up in Louisiana, where she saw the central role played by the Church in many southern families and communities. Recognizing the power of the Church as a trusted source of information, Dr. Epps has taken her strong interest in health disparities and dementia care, and developed a faith-based research study using the Church and worship services as a central focus. Her research will expand access to dementia-friendly online worship services and address the needs of African American families facing dementia who are unable to physically attend church and connect with a religious community, especially during the pandemic.

While the study is not yet complete, preliminary results indicate that engaging those with dementia and their caregivers in meaningful, tailored faith practices helps manage anxiety and agitation for those living with the disease, and helps bring a sense of calmness to caregivers. We hope to have the final results of the study in August 2022.


More about Dr. Fayron Epps

Dr. Epps is an Assistant Professor at Emory University, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. Dr. Epps has been a nurse for over 20 years and served in many clinical and leadership roles in the hospital setting. She received her BSN from Tuskegee University, MSN from Loyola University New Orleans, and a PhD in Nursing from Southern University and A & M College. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship with the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence. Dr. Epps has devoted her career as a nurse leader to reducing health disparities for underserved populations through innovative, culturally relevant programs for the African American community. She works closely with an interdisciplinary team to promote quality of life for African Americans living with dementia and their family caregivers/care partners through self-care and meaningful activities. Dr. Epps is also the founder of The Alter Program, the only nurse-led dementia-friendly initiative to support the African American congregations. Dr. Epps oversees several faith-based research-related projects and is an active member in several local, regional, and national organizations. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Southern Gerontological Society, the Alzheimer’s Association Georgia Chapter, and Meals on Wheels Atlanta. Dr. Epps also enjoys mentoring students and cultivating their love for the field of gerontology. If you would like to learn more about Dr. Epps click HERE.