Fayron Epps named inaugural Karen and Ronald Herrmann Distinguished Chair in Caregiver Research

The Florence Nightingale Statue on the School of Nursing campus.


Fayron Epps, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN, has been named the inaugural Karen and Ronald Hermann Distinguished Chair in Caregiver Research within The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio School of Nursing. The appointment, which takes effect January 2, 2024, was announced by Dean Sonya R. Hardin, PhD, RN, APRN, FAAN.

Dr. Fayron Epps smiles wearing a purple top and black-rimmed glasses.
Fayron Epps, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN

Karen and Ronald Herrmann gave $1 million to establish the endowment, which supports innovative research to develop and test new models of care clinical trials, intervention delivery and emerging technologies to address the needs of diverse caregiving families in South Texas.

Epps, an accomplished nurse scholar, brings a wealth of expertise and experience in caregiving, strongly focusing on improving the quality of life for families affected by dementia. She comes to UT Health San Antonio as an associate professor, tenured, from the Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, where she has been on faculty since August 2019. She is also a current Fellow in the Betty Irene Moore Program for Nurse Leaders and Innovators.

She earned her doctoral degree in nursing from Southern University and A&M College and completed her post-doctoral fellowship with the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence, showcasing her dedication to academic excellence. Epps holds a Master’s of Science degree in Nursing specializing in health care systems management from Loyola University New Orleans and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Tuskegee University.

Her primary career goal as a nurse scholar is to enhance the quality of life for families affected by dementia through a combination of research, education and service. Epps specializes in evidence-based practices that promote a higher quality of life for African Americans with dementia and their family caregivers. Her research is particularly focused on exploring how religious activities and spiritual connectedness can foster meaningful engagement among persons with dementia. She oversees several faith-based and psychoeducation research projects, including Faith-HAT, Dementia-Friendly Congregations and Caregiving while Black. These projects have received sponsorship from federal and private funding agencies.

Epps’ commitment to enhancing the lives of those affected by dementia extends beyond academia. She is the founder of the only nurse-led dementia-friendly congregation program, Alter. Through this program, Epps and her interdisciplinary team collaborate with African American faith communities, equipping them with the necessary tools and resources to support families facing dementia.

“The prospect of shaping the future of the science of caregiving and inspiring the next generation of nurse researchers fills me with boundless excitement and passion,” said Epps. “I look forward to contributing to the university’s academic legacy and the growth and success of the students and community while furthering the mission of UT Health San Antonio and the School of Nursing.”

“With her extensive knowledge and experience in caregiving, Dr. Epps is set to make a significant impact in her role as the Karen and Ron Hermann Distinguished Chair in Caregiver Research,” said Dean Hardin. “Her expertise in caregiver well-being, health disparities, neurocognitive diseases, Alzheimer’s, and her dedication to vulnerable populations and gerontology and elder health make her a vital asset to our UT Health San Antonio community.”

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