Each month, the Research Council Steering Committee features an APNA member. This month, we are featuring Dr. Kortney Floyd James!
I am Dr. Kortney Floyd James – a PhD trained nurse and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. I obtained my PhD in nursing from Georgia State University. I am currently a fellow in the National Clinician Scholars Program, a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California in Los Angeles committed to solving the most pressing societal challenges of our time.
But before the many credentials, I am a Black mother. After giving birth to my daughter, I experienced postpartum depression for about a year. I never told my Women’s Health NP or sought therapy because what I experienced was not “typical” signs of postpartum depression. Once I became a Pediatric NP, when caring for babies and their families, I spoke to Black women who experienced the same feelings and symptoms that I had. They also did not readily recognize their experiences as postpartum depression. Fortunately, I was able to refer them to mental health specialists with culturally appropriate methodologies for Black women experiencing depression or anxiety. My personal experiences with postpartum depression and interactions with other Black mothers motivated me to go back to school to earn my Doctorate degree in the Philosophy of Nursing.
I have learned that due to cultural influences and discrimination in healthcare, Black women experiencing postpartum depression are often undetected by clinicians. To improve the mental health of Black mothers, my long-term research goals are to: 1) develop culturally appropriate assessment tools that holistically identify those who may be experiencing postpartum depression; and 2) create interventions that provide clinicians with culturally relevant techniques to discuss postpartum depression with Black women.
To support my mental health, I enjoy all that Southern California has to offer - spending time outdoors with my husband and daughter, taking spin classes on the beach with my co-fellows, or brunching with friends.
Posted on behalf of the Research Council Steering Committee
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