Cassandra Ford

Associate Professor


  • PhD, Nursing Science, The University of Illinois at Chicago, 2007
  • MSN, Masters of Science in Nursing, Case Management, The University of Alabama, 2004
  • MBA, Business Administration, The University of Alabama, 2004
  • BSN, Bachelor Science in Nursing, Alcorn State University, 2001


Dr. Ford earned a BSN from Alcorn State University, an MSN and MBA from The University of Alabama, and a PhD in Nursing Science from The University of Illinois at Chicago. Throughout her career, she has worked extensively with rural and underserved populations. Her research examines health disparities related to cardiovascular disease, particularly among minority, rural populations. Dr. Ford completed the Health Disparities Research Training Program at UAB, the UAB Geriatric Education Center’s Faculty Scholars Program, and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Diversity Leadership Institute. Dr. Ford has published over 25 articles and several book chapters, authored several presentations and been the recipient of federal and intramural grants.  She has had a continuous research program focused on community-engaged research and improving health outcomes for rural populations for over 10 years.  Dr. Ford mentors undergraduate and graduate students as well as tenure track faculty in health disparities and educational research.

Dr. Ford has completed the Quality Matters (QM) Teaching Online Certificate. Dr. Ford has used your expertise in evidence-based practice to create the honors evidence-based practice course for traditional nursing students as well as develop, lead, and teach courses in the traditional, RN to BSN, and graduate programs.

Dr. Ford is a charter member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Tau Eta Chapter and is a dual member of the Epsilon Omega Chapter. She is also a member of numerous professional organizations including the American Nurses Association, American Association of Critical Care Nurses, Association of Black Nursing Faculty (ABNF), National Black Nurses Association, Southern Nursing Research Society, American Heart Association and the Gerontological Society of America (GSA). Dr. Ford serves as a Board Member-at-Large for ABNF, co-convener for the Rural Aging Interest Group of GSA and as a member of the Deep South Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) Scholar Scientist Advisory Group.   Dr. Ford serves as a grant reviewer for the American Heart Association, as a reviewer for several journals, and serves on various research and service-based committees at the local, state, regional, national, and international levels. Dr. Ford is a Fellow of the American Heart Association (FAHA) and the Gerontological Society of America (FGSA).

Her primary research interest is cardiovascular disease in rural, southern African American women focusing on older adults as well as health disparities in rural populations.

Honors and Awards

  • Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award, CCN Board of Visitors, 2019
  • Awarded Fellow status for the Gerontological Society of America (FGSA), 2018
  • Alabama League of Nursing Lamplighter Award, 2015
  • Elected a Fellow of the American Heart Association (FAHA), 2014
  • Outstanding Content Expert. College of Continuing Studies (UA), 2013

Areas of Interest

  • Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities
  • Rural Health
  • Minority Health
  • Cardiovascular Health