Jolene Smeltzer , MSN, RN, CNL, PHN »

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Jolene Smeltzer , MSN, RN, CNL, PHN

University of California-Los Angeles PhD
Home Torrance CA United States


Jolene Tan Smeltzer is a PhD in Nursing student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she also received her BS in Biology. She received her MSN and Clinical Nurse Leader training from Charles R. Drew University of Science and Medicine. Jolene’s long-term research interests are to investigate the underlying causes and course of the problem of dietary self-care management issues in chronic health conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM). Jolene is dedicated to advocating for marginalized and underserved communities through research, education, and community outreach work. In doing so, Jolene has been inducted as an Albert Schweitzer Fellow for Life (Los Angeles chapter) in 2017 for her partnership with community-based organizations to develop and implement projects that improved the postpartum health and well-being of minority women in South Los Angeles. Currently, Jolene is incorporating her clinical based knowledge as a Medical-Surgical/Neurological Intensive Care Unit Registered Nurse into her PhD research by utilizing advanced technology such as magnetic resonance imaging methodologies as a mechanistic approach to ascertain the link between brain tissue injury and poor dietary health behavior (food addiction and impulsivity) among T2DM patients. Ultimately, by studying the neurological mechanisms underlying dietary health behavior, she aims to explore ways to implement novel interventions in the future to help people effectively self-care for their chronic health conditions such as T2DM. Her past research experience largely revolves around investigating the neuro-psychological underpinnings in bio-behavioral health sciences among patients with multiple co-morbidities and chronic health conditions. She has developed research skills and knowledge in designing, implementing, and analyzing multi-center, multiple-method interventions involving a span of diverse subjects including gambling addicts, multi-diagnosed adults with history of incarceration and substance abuse, consumers of Los Angeles County mental health services, patients with metastatic cancer and multiple chronic co-morbidities in cancer clinical trials, and pediatric patients receiving palliative care along with siblings and parents in need of bereavement support.


Research/Clinical Practice Area: Jonas Scholar – Chronic Health
Dissertation title: Mind over Matter: Food Addiction, Impulsivity, and Brain Changes in Type 2 Diabetes