Linda D. Oakley, PhD, RN

Position title: Louis J. and Phyllis Clark Jacobs Professor in Mental Health


Phone: 608-263-5866

4171 Signe Skott Cooper Hall

Linda Oakley

Post-Doctoral, University of California-San Francisco in: RWJ Clinical Nurse Scholar, 1990
PhD, University of Washington; Nursing Science, 1985
MS, Boston University; Psychiatric Nursing, 1978
BS, California State University, Chico; Nursing, 1974

The aim of my health equity research is to inform health promotion strategies used with marginalized Black communities coping with chronic stress and high rates of morbidity and mortality associated with hypertension. If health equity means everyone can seek optimal health, health equity research requires authentic inquiry and community engagement. My research goal is to inform the “Heart Health” promotion strategies designed to promote wellbeing, psychological health, and social health in Black communities that must cope with marginalizing social structures and social systems and high rates of hypertension. Our “Nurses for Black Wellbeing (N4BW)” study seeks to authentically engage community nurses, nurse educators, and population health nurse researchers with marginalized communities through partnership. Our work is guided by research findings showing that the deficit model of health that links more community risk factors with poor individual outcomes does not promote health or health equity.

Research focus area

Health Equity

  • Aim: To improve health by promoting wellbeing
  • Population: Marginalized communities with high rates of despair, morbidity, mortality, and reduced life expectancy at birth
  • Model: The American Heart Association’s “Heart Health” model is designed to reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors by promoting psychological health and eight essentials for heart health. The epigenetic model of inflammatory mind-body stress responses to marginalizing social stressors. The interoceptive model of mindfulness that uses directed attention to promote wellbeing for healthy management of mind-body stress responses.
  • Current Research: We use surveys, health assessment, interviews, and community engagement methods to tailor the “Heart Health” essentials, wellbeing assessment, and psychological health factors for adult residents of a marginalized Black community with high rates of early onset hypertension.

Health Equity

Learn more about Dr. Oakley’s research

UW–Madison Experts DataBase Profile