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Vanessa Duren-Winfield

Position: Assistant Professor and Director of Research Department: Healthcare Management

Contact Info

Office: 243 FL Atkins Phone: 336-750-8677


Dr. Vanessa Duren-Winfield is an Assistant Professor in the Healthcare Management Department (HCM) at Winston-Salem State University and serves as Director of Research for the School of Health Sciences. She received her Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership Studies from North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC, as well as her Masters of Science in Adult Education and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Her doctoral dissertation, Assessing the Acceptability of Computer-Assisted Instruction on Colorectal Cancer Screenings in Low Literacy Patients investigated the feasibility of using computer-assisted instruction in patients (n=256) of varying literacy levels by examining patients’ preferences for learning and their ability to use computer-based educational programs. Vanessa teaches in both the undergraduate Healthcare Management and Master of Healthcare Administration programs, and serves as Director of Research for the School of Health Sciences. As director of research she plans, directs and coordinate research activities with faculty, staff and students while demonstrating the roles of researcher, mentor, grant writer, publisher, and educational thought leader.

Her services extend throughout the university and at the local, state and national levels. She is a recipient of numerous awards and serves on several boards to include, the North Carolina AIDS Action Network, Journal of Best Practices in Health Professions Diversity, School of Health Sciences NC and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Center for AIDS Research Community Advisory Board.

For over two decades, her professional career has focused on health disparities with special emphasis addressing improved health for minority populations. Primary research interests include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, health literacy and HIV/AIDS and she has received research funding in these areas. Her expertise include management of large research clinical trials, development of research protocols, focus group methodology, program evaluation and intervention design. Vanessa was recently awarded a 3-year research grant (7/1/15 thru  8/31/18) totaling $351,185  from the NIH National Institute on Minority Health investigating the role of physical activity on cardiovascular disease among African-American college students at Winston-Salem State University. She has published both nationally and internationally in numerous peer-reviewed research journals.

Educational Background

  • PhD Leadership Studies, 2008, North Carolina A&T State University
  • MS Adult Education, 2000, North Carolina A&T State University
  • BS Business Administration, 1975 North Carolina A&T State University

Research and Project Interests

  • Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) prevention
  • Diabetes Prevention Among Minority Populations
  • HIV/AIDS Prevention Among AA College Students
  • Health Literacy Among Underserved Populations