Kevin Ahmaad Jenkins


Kevin Ahmaad


Vice-Provost Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Pennsylvania

Professional Bio

Dr. Kevin Ahmaad Jenkins is a dynamic speaker, author, and scholar who serves as a Vice-Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate Fellow within The Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. He is appointed in the School of Social Policy and Practice and serves as a lecturer in the Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences within the School of Nursing. Jenkins serves as the director of the Interpreting Attitudes toward Minorities in Medicine (I AM) Research Group.

Recognized as a thought-leader in medicine, Dr. Jenkins was named a 2017 National Quality Forum’s 40 Under 40 Leader in Health. After obtaining his bachelor’s from North Carolina Central University and master’s degrees from Florida A&M University focused in medical and legal history, Dr. Jenkins earned a Ph.D. in Sociology and Criminology & Law from the University of Florida. Jenkins is also a columnist for the number one African American health news resource

This two-time national journalism award winner examines the influence of race, racism, and psychosocial stress within medicine. Dr. Jenkins serves as principal investigator on three currently funded studies that focus on the embodiment of racism among patients living with chronic kidney disease. Legendary rapper and radio personality, Chubb Rock, has teamed up with Dr. Jenkins to explore issues of health equity in a groundbreaking forthcoming documentary featuring celebrities battling chronic diseases. As an author, Jenkins is currently working on the book, Hue Process: The Quantitative Measurement of Racism in Medicine, and serves as co-editor of the forthcoming book Contemporary African America (New York University Press).

Project Description

Black people overwhelmingly shoulder the burden of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Preventable renal replacement therapies within vulnerable populations cost the United States over $15 billion dollars annually. Incidence of end-stage renal disease among blacks (924 per million) dwarfed whites (275 per million) in 2011. From diagnosis to death, many patients struggle with poor mental health due to crippling demands of CKD management. Psychosocial stress and subsequent psychosis have been infinitesimally explored in CKD patients. Moreover, some research suggests racial inequity caused by racism contributes to the many unfavorable CKD outcomes experienced by black patients. Kidneys are a major filter of stress in the human body. Racism and psychosocial stress have been linked with other chronic diseases, but research rarely connects these concepts within chronic kidney disease. This study explores the role of race, racism, and mental health among chronic kidney disease patients.

Why did you apply to New Connections

New Connections gives burgeoning scholars opportunities for professional development and national exposure within the field health equity. My academic path traversed many disciplines, and New Connections professional development, specifically, proved to be a chance to galvanize my research interests. I applied to this highly competitive program because I knew that my scholarship would exponentially change because of the hands-on approach of RWJF.

Research Interests

Dr. Jenkins’ research interests engage critical methodological approaches to the measurement of race and racism in medicine. From medical education to practice, racism integrally shapes how, where, and by whom people receive healthcare. His work contributes to biomedical and social science research by interpreting how, where, and when racism is infused during a medical encounter.


Brushwood, DB, Knox, C, Liu, W, Jenkins, KA. (2013). “Evaluating Promotional Claims as False or Misleading.” American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy.

Jackson, JL, Barnes, RJD, Jenkins, KA. (forthcoming) Contemporary African America.  New York University Press.

Jenkins, KA. (forthcoming) “A Son of Health Disparities.”  Annals of Internal Medicine

Weech-Maldonado, R., Hall, A, Bryant, T, Jenkins, KA, Elliott, MN. (2012). “The Relationship Between Perceived Discrimination and Patient Experiences with Health Care.” Medical Care .

The Details
  • New Connections Status: Junior Investigator
  • Award Year: 2018
  • RWJF Team/Portfolio: Creating Healthier, More Equitable Communities
  • Project Name: Examining the impact of racism in contributing to unfavorable physical and mental health outcomes experienced by blacks with chronic kidney disease

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