Our team [View Image]

Our team

Candace Johnson, Ph.D., M.P.H., RN

Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Family and Community Health Nursing

Candace_Johnson [View Image]

1100 East Leigh Street, Room 3083
Box 980567
Richmond, VA 23298-0567

Phone: (804) 828-0707
Email: johnsoncm7@vcu.edu


I primarily teach Community Health Nursing (NURS 416) to accelerated and traditional baccalaureate nursing students. In addition to serving as course lead, I also teach a community-based clinical section in the Richmond’s Southside community.


My research focus is on metabolic syndrome, a bio-behavioral symptom cluster known to precede cardiometabolic diseases including atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes. With a concentration on African-American women, the group at highest risk for mortality related to diseases of the metabolic syndrome, I am investigating the biological, environmental, and social determinants of this condition and exploring innovative ways to prevent disease and disease progression. I am also examining the mediators of behaviors (e.g., diet & physical activity) that reduce metabolic syndrome risk including self-management/self-regulation of behaviors, stress reduction, and family- and community-based social support.

As a research fellow in the National Institute of Nursing Research, I explored the feasibility and acceptability of a novel intervention that combined the cardio-protective properties of yoga with the cultural relevance of West African cultural dance to determine if African-American women, a U.S. subpopulation with the highest rates of sedentary lifestyle, would be amenable to participating in more physical activity. Moving forward in my health promotion bio-behavioral research, I will be incorporating focus group and baseline data into a more comprehensive, community-based, lifestyle intervention.


I am a member of the Black Nurses Association, and the American Public Health Association.  I have served as an alternate member of the Faculty Senate and am currently a member of the VCU Service Learning Advisory Board.


  • B.A. University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
  • B.S. Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
  • MA Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
    Public Health
  • Ph.D. - University of Virginia (December 2013)


  • Featured, Urban Views Weekly article
  • Faculty Fellow, VCU ASPiRE, 2015-16
  • Featured, Richmond Times Dispatch article
  • “Nurses move beyond patient beside in research efforts” 2014
  • DataMark Instructor of Excellence Award, (Richmond, VA) 2012
  • Commonwealth of VA Nurse Educator's Scholarship, (Richmond, VA) 2010
  • UVA Vice President for Research Scholarship, (Charlottesville, VA) 2009
  • RN Excellence in Teaching Award, (Richmond, VA) 2009
  • St. Phillip's Alumnae Scholarship, (Richmond, VA) 2007
  • Lettie P. Whitehead Scholarship, (Richmond, VA) 2006


  • Johnson CC, Abrams, JA, Hagiwara, N. (in preparation). A Conceptual Framework of Chronic Stress, Inflammation, and Metabolic Syndrome in African-American Women: Potential Uses in Research on Mind-Body Therapies for Prevention of Cardio-Metabolic Disease. Submitted to J Black Psychology. R, D
  • Johnson CC,  Small, L., Thacker, L. (in preparation). Feasibility and Acceptability of a Culturally Tailored Behavioral Health Intervention for African American Women at Risk for Metabolic Syndrome. To be submitted to: Community Health Nursing. R
  • Johnson CC, Sheffield, K. (2018). Mind-body therapies for African-American women at risk for cardio-metabolic disease: A Systematic Review. Submitted to Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 1(1), e101-e111. 10.1155/2018/5123217  
  • Johnson CC, Taylor AG, Anderson JG, Jones RA, Whaley DE. (2014). Feasibility and Acceptability of an Internet-based, African Dance-Modified Yoga Program for African American Women with or at Risk for Metabolic Syndrome. J Yoga Phys Ther 4 (174). 10.4172/2157-7595.1000174. R, D
  • Johnson CC and Taylor AG. (2011). Researchers combine evidence to foster study enrollment: Perspectives on putting into practice what we know for studies involving Black women. Journal of Yoga and Physical Therapy, 1 (1),e101-e103. 10.4172/2157-7595.1000e101.


  • Johnson, C.C., Thacker, L.R. (March, 2018). Internet-based Technology to Recruit and Engage Community-based Women in a Multiple Risk Factor Health Behavior Intervention: Results of a Pilot Study of African American Women with Metabolic Syndrome. Podium Presentation at Southern Research Nursing Society, Atlanta, GA.
  • Johnson, C.C., (February, 2018). Meet Them Where They Are: Using Technology to Recruit and Engage High-Risk Community-based African-American Women in a Cardiovascular Health Behavior Intervention. Podium Presentation at Emswiller Conference, Richmond, VA.
  • Johnson, C.C. (June, 2017). Designing a Disaster Management Training Simulation Experience for Undergraduate Nursing Students: Lessons Learned from Formative Feedback. Podium presentation at Association of Community Health Nursing Educators conference, Baltimore, MD.
  • Johnson, C.C.,  (April, 2017).  Awareness, accountability and taking the time: Perceptions of barriers and facilitators to health promoting behaviors in African-American women. Poster presentation at VCU Institute for Women Health Research Day, Richmond, VA.
  • Johnson, C.C., Small, L. (February, 2017). Lessons Learned about Variables Assessed with Health Lifestyle Intervention Studies: BMI vs. Waist Circumference. Symposium presentation at Southern Research Nursing Society Conference, San Antonio, TX.
  • Johnson, C.C. (February, 2017). Activity Tracker Use in African-American Woman with and at risk for Metabolic Syndrome. Oral presentation at Southern Research Nursing Society Conference, San Antonio, TX.
  • Johnson, C.C. (February, 2016). A proposed Allostatic Model of Stress in African-American women: A mixed methods study of the Yogic Dance intervention. Poster presentation at Southern Research Society, Williamsburg, VA.
  • Johnson, C.C. (2016). A Proposed Model of Chronic Stress in African-American Women: Using Interdisciplinary Theories from the Biological and Social Sciences to Explain Cardio-metabolic Health Disparities. Southern Nursing Research Society, Williamsburg, VA.
  • Johnson, C.C. (2015). Social Determinants of Health: Focus on African-American Health Disparities. Four-part Lecture Series at ASPiRE Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.
  • Johnson, C.C. (2015). Stress and Social Determinants of Health in African-Americans Oral presentation at VCU Honors College (Berglund Seminar), Richmond, VA.  
  • Johnson, CC. (2015). A proposed Allostatic Model of Stress in African-American women: A mixed methods study of the Yogic Dance intervention
  • Johnson, CC. (2015). Community Health Nursing: Advancing Access to Care
  • Johnson, CC. (2015). Developing Yogic Dance: A Culturally Tailored Dance-modified Yoga Intervention for African-American Women At-risk for Chronic Diseases
  • Johnson, CC. (2014). Dance/Modified Yoga: A Health Strategy for African-American Women at risk for Chronic Disease. Poster presentation at the meeting of the Southern Nursing Research Society, San Antonio, TX.
  • Johnson, CC. (2013). Beliefs about yoga, ideal health status and the self in African-American
    women. Poster presentation at the meeting of the Southern Nursing Research Society, Little Rock, AR.
  • Johnson, CC. (2012). Beliefs about yoga, ideal health status and the self in African-American
    women. Oral presentation at the Huskey Poster Exhibition, University of Virginia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Charlottesville, VA.
  • Johnson, CC. (2010). Predicting Negative Affect in Post-Operative Women Receiving Massage
    and Vibration Therapy. Poster presentation at the UVA School of Nursing,
    Charlottesville, VA.
  • Johnson, CC. (2010). Margaret Gey and the HeLa immortal cell line: Cervical Cancer Care in
    African-Americans 1941-1951. Oral presentation at the UVA School of Nursing, Charlottesville, VA.
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