Athena D. Ford, PhD(c), BSN, RN is a current PhD candidate at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Ford is a proud Ronald E. McNair Scholar, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar, and Nurse Faculty for the Future Fellow. She earned her bachelors in nursing science from the Valley Foundation School of Nursing at San Jose State University in 2015 and is a current PhD candidate in Nursing Science at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Ford’s clinical career focuses in providing end of life care throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, while her research endeavors focus at the intersection of health and experiences of violence for LGBTQ+ communities.
As a queer woman and survivor of violence herself, Ford seeks to use her nursing career to create a platform for LGBTQ+ survivors of violence to be heard and build a foundation of research to aid in improving care delivery and health outcomes for LGBTQ+ communities. Currently, her dissertation investigates the risk and protective influences of transgender community connection on mental health, help seeking, and engagement in care for Black/African American and Latina/Hispanic transgender women who have experienced violence.
Other research contributions include working with the following studies: (a) the ESSENCE Project (#R01HD077891) is a social epidemiological mixed methods study to evaluate the impact of neighborhood-level characteristics of the built and social environment on forced sex and elucidate how forced sex and physiological factors influence behavioral mechanisms that increase risk for HIV acquisition among at-risk, HIV-negative African American women; (b) the ACCELERATE Project, which is a program analysis of multiple community based organizations that focus on HIV prevention for young black men who have sex with men in Baltimore, MD and Jackson, MS; and (c) the Women with Women: A Study of Behavior in Relationships, which investigates trauma, substance use, and protective factors among women who have sex with women.
Ford has a growing family and splits her time between Baltimore, Maryland and the San Francisco Bay Area.