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Benissa E. Salem, PhD, RN, MSN, PHN, CNL
Assistant Adjunct Professor
School of Nursing, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

You are invited to join us for a lecture: Advancing Innovative Intervention Research Tailored for Middle-Aged and Older Homeless Women – A Community-Based, Trauma-Informed, Chronic Disease Self-Management Approach

Date: Monday, March 2, 2020
Time: 9:00am – 10:00am
Location: 250 Berk Hall


Benissa E. Salem, PhD, RN, MSN, PHN, CNL

Assistant Adjunct Professor
School of Nursing, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Dr. Benissa Salem is an Assistant Adjunct Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Nursing.  As an early stage investigator and nurse scientist, she has had a commitment, passion and drive to reduce health disparities among homeless populations – a notable grand challenge.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Studies from the University of Southern California, Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science from UCLA and is a recipient of numerous awards and scholarships (e.g., UCLA Dissertation Year Fellowship award, UCLA School of Nursing Dissertation award, and UCLA Emerging Leader Award).

As a community-engaged, nurse scientist, her most recent research focused on the development of a trauma-informed, chronic disease self-management intervention for middle-aged and older homeless women.  Utilizing a data-driven approach, she formed a community advisory board, inclusive of community and academic stakeholders, and obtained preliminary feasibility and acceptability of the program tailored for this vulnerable population.  During this time, she also enrolled 120 middle-aged, older women homeless women in a cross sectional design and has explored factors associated with tripartite frailty, and correlates of alcohol and substance misuse.

Dr. Salem previously completed a National Institute of Nursing Research T32 health disparities pre-and-post doctoral fellowship.  During her pre-and post-doctoral research, she was the first scholar to develop a theoretical model to understand frailty among vulnerable populations, test a frailty model and examine correlates of frailty among this population.  She has utilized community-based participatory research approaches and qualitative methods to understand the experience of prefrail and frail, middle-aged and older homeless women, and perspectives of homeless service providers working with homeless women to design culturally sensitive interventions among this under-resourced population.  Extending this further, she has also pilot tested a two-arm, randomized controlled trial which compared the effectiveness of a Frailty Intervention versus a Health Promotion program among prefrail and frail, middle-aged and older homeless women.

Dr. Salem has also served as a Co-Investigator (Co-I) on several NIH-funded, CBPR-informed, RCT studies delivered by a nurse/community health worker dyad to 1) reduce drug use and recidivism among formerly incarcerated, homeless women exiting California jails and prisons and 2) improve medication adherence among homeless populations with latent tuberculosis infection.  She has a track record of collaboration and scholarship in which she has first-authored 13 papers and coauthored 31 papers with additional first-authored papers under review.  As a faculty member, Dr. Salem has experience teaching, mentoring and guest lecturing across Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD levels, and is actively involved in professional scholarship and community-based research.  The focus of her presentation is, “Advancing Innovative Intervention Research Tailored for Middle-Aged and Older Homeless Women A Community-Based, Trauma-Informed, Chronic Disease Self-Management Approach.”