Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, associate professor at the Texas A&M School of Public Health, has been named the recipient of the 2018 Phillip G. Weiler Award for Leadership in Aging and Public Health. This award is given annually by the Aging and Public Health Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA). It is presented to an outstanding person or organization that has made significant contributions to the field through policy, research, education or service and has contributed to the section through leadership activities or funding and policy initiatives.
[Photo: Dr. Matthew Lee Smith]
Recognizing health status is influenced by a vast interconnected set of social, behavioral and environmental determinants, Dr. Smith, who is co-director of the Texas A&M Center for Population Health and Aging, has devoted his career to create synergistic partnerships and initiatives to encourage positive lifestyles and reduce rates of preventable morbidity and mortality. His research and evaluation efforts investigate socio-ecological impacts on health risk behaviors across the life -course, with a specific emphasis on evidence-based programming for older adults (e.g., fall prevention, disease self-management). With over 240 peer-reviewed publications, Dr. Smith has established expertise in evaluation, measurement, and survey research methodology pertaining to an array of public health issues.
Dr. Smith’s research and evaluation foci surround the reach, adoption, implementation, effectiveness, and maintenance of evidence-based programs and policies. His efforts examine the feasibility of delivering evidence-based programs in diverse settings as well as their implementation with fidelity, scalability, and sustainability. Dr. Smith’s ability to form interdisciplinary collaborations affords him opportunities to apply his translational research and evaluation experience to bridge research and practice issues among the healthcare sector, aging services network, and public health system. His research efforts have been funded by organizations including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Administration on Aging (AoA), National Council on Aging (NCOA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).