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Melissa Hladek, PhD, MSN, RN

Assistant Professor
Melissa Hladek
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Specialties and Expertise

  • Aging
  • Chronic Care
  • Disabilities
  • Gerontology
  • Health Behavior
  • Resilience/Stress Coping
  • Self Care


Melissa deCardi Hladek PhD, CRNP, FNP-BC is an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and a researcher-clinician focusing on how stress, self-efficacy, and sociocultural factors influence the biology of aging, chronic disease and frailty. Her research goals are to further understand the role of stress, coping and social determinants of health in aging and develop novel strengths-based, person-environment strategies and policies to mitigate these effects and center the patient's voice in modern healthcare. As such, Dr. Hladek’s current work focuses around: 1. biological underpinnings of self-efficacy and resilience, 2. adaptation of a person-environment patient-directed intervention to improve end stage renal disease-related outcomes and 3. dissemination of a structured approach to center patient goals in shared decision-making with older adults, especially older Latinos. As a FNP, Dr. Hladek has worked with vulnerable populations experiencing homelessness and incarceration in both rural and urban settings with primarily Spanish-speaking communities and is currently an FNP at Esperanza Center in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Hladek teaches and mentors PhD and DNP students. She is the President for the NAHN-DC Metro Chapter and advisor for the Latinx Health Advisory Group at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing.

Additional Resources

Below are selected resources. For more information, please see full CV.

  • Videos
  • Publications/Research

    *Thornton CP, Bandeen-Roche K, Dolinar M, Roberts Lavigne LC, George Lansey D, Jones R, Walston J, Varadhan R, Hladek MD & Imus P (co-last authors). Clinical trial participation predicts improved survival in older adults receiving allogeneic blood and marrow transplant. BMC Geriatr. 2023 Mar 4;23(1):120. doi: 10.1186/s12877-023-03803-7. PMID: 36869287; PMCID: PMC9985233.

    Taylor K, Umeukeje EM, Santos S, McNabb K, Crews D, Hladek MD (2022). Context Matters: A Qualitative Synthesis of Adherence Literature for People on Hemodialysis. Kidney360.

    Reynolds NR, Baker D, D'Aoust R, Docal M, Goldstein N, Grubb L, Hladek MD, Koirala B, Kverno K, Ling C, Lukkahatai N, McIltrot K, Pandian V, Regier NG, Sloand E, Tomori C, Wenzel J. COVID-19: Implications for Nursing and Health Care in the United States. J Nurs Scholarsh. 2023 Jan;55(1):187-201. doi: 10.1111/jnu.12853. PMID: 36583656; PMCID: PMC9847252.

    *Lee, J. W., Nersesian, P. V., Suen, J. J., Mensah Cudjoe, T. K., Gill, J., Szanton, S. L., & Hladek, M. D. (2023). Loneliness is Associated With Lower Coping Self-Efficacy Among Older Adults. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 42(2), 270–279.

    Taylor KS, Hladek MD, Elias SD, Jenkins E, Robinson KN, Smith OW, Szanton SL. Lessons from COVID-19: Time for shared decision making in nursing practice. J Adv Nurs. 2022 Nov;78(11):e147-e149. doi: 10.1111/jan.15395. Epub 2022 Jul 31. PMID: 35909088; PMCID: PMC9353426.

    *Hladek MD, Zhu J, Crews DC, McAdams-DeMarco MA, Buta B, Varadhan R, et al. Physical Resilience Phenotype Trajectories in Incident Hemodialysis: Characterization and Mortality Risk Assessment. Kidney Int Reports [Internet]. 2022

    *Samuel, L.J., Hladek, M.D., Tian, J., Roberts, L.C., LaFave, S.E., Szanton, S.L. Propensity score weighted associations between financial strain and subsequent inflammatory biomarkers of aging among a representative sample of U.S. older adults. BMC Geriatr 22, 467 (2022).

  • Awards/Honors

    2020  Butler Williams Fellow, National Institute of Aging, National Institute of Health

    2018  Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, Johns Hopkins University

    2017  Maryland Graduate Nurse Faculty Scholarship, State of Maryland

    2016  NIH/NCATS JHU School of Medicine, Pre-doctoral Fellow, Clinical and Translational Science (4TL1TR001078-04), Johns Hopkins University

    2016  Scholl Foundation Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University

    2014-2016  NIH Pre-doctoral Fellow, Cardiovascular Health Research (T32NR012704)

    2012  Women’s History Month Collaborative, Recognized as “Awesome Woman,” the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC

    2012  Volunteer of the Year, Miriam’s Kitchen Homeless Shelter, Washington, DC

    2007  Certificate of Appreciation, MESA at Mendocino College, Ukiah, CA

    2004  CAPSONA Scholar Award, Columbia University School of Nursing, New York, NY

    2002-2004  National Health Service Corps Scholarship Recipient

    1998  Wadleigh Scholarship Recipient, Scripps College, Claremont, CA

    1997  Outstanding Leadership Award, Chicano Latino Student Affairs, Scripps College, Claremont, CA