Research Associate, Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy, Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine
Dr. Smith joined the Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy as a Research Associate in September of 2013. Dr. Smith has extensive research and clinical expertise in the area of physical and behavioral health. For over 15 years her work has focused on serving vulnerable populations with an emphasis on substance abuse disorders. Dr. Smith earned a BA degree in Criminology with a minor in Social Welfare Policy from the University of New Mexico (UNM) in 2000. Upon completion of her undergraduate studies, she worked at the Institute for Social Research (ISR), Center for Applied Research and Analysis at UNM were she worked on a variety of projects aimed at evaluating substance abuse and criminal justice programs including the National Institute of Justice Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Project, a statewide evaluation of juvenile drug courts, and an evaluation of New Mexico drunk driving initiatives. In 2002, she left ISR to pursue her graduate education at the University of Pittsburgh were she received a Masters (2004) and Doctorate (2009) in Social Work with a specialization in Gerontology. As a result of her work on substance use disorders among geriatric populations, Dr. Smith was awarded the John A. Hartford Foundation Doctoral Fellowship (2007 – 2009) administered by the Gerontological Society of America. Dr. Smith’s doctoral thesis examined the effects of the concurrent use of alcohol and medications on the physical and mental health of community-dwelling older adults. After receiving her Doctorate, Dr. Smith was an Advanced Fellow in Mental Health Research at the Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC), VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, where she focused on research with older Veterans with comorbid substance abuse disorders. She received additional post-doctoral training in health services research as a Fellow at the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP), VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. Dr. Smith is passionate about health, research and evaluation and continues to pursue her research agenda in her current position at the Cutler Institute.