The American Academy of Health Behavior

2019 Mentorship Awardee




Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, PhD, MPH, CHES, FAAHB, FGSA

Co-Director of the Texas A&M Center for Population Health and Aging and holds faculty positions in the Texas A&M School of Public Health and University of Georgia College of Public Health. 






Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, PhD, MPH, CHES, FAAHB, FGSA is the Co-Director of the Texas A&M Center for Population Health and Aging (CPHA). He is an Associate Professor in the Texas A&M School of Public Health and Adjunct Associate Professor in The University of Georgia College of Public Health. Dr. Smith serves as the Co-Lead of the Texas Active for Life® Coalition. He holds leadership roles in organizations including the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), American Public Health Association (APHA), and American Academy of Health Behavior (AAHB). Dr. Smith is a Fellow of AAHB and GSA, recipient of two Early Career Awards, recipient of a national leadership in aging award, and has received numerous innovative program and best paper awards.

Recognizing health status is influenced by a vast interconnected set of social, behavioral and environmental determinants, Dr. Smith 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). 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).

Dr. Smith has secured $4 million in extramural funding as a Principal Investigator and has been an investigator and/or lead evaluator for funded research projects totaling almost $35 million. Currently, he is a Principal Investigator for a five-year NIH-funded R01 project to examine the influence of Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) workshops specifically tailored to workplace settings on health outcomes, work performance, and productivity indicators. His other translational efforts have been applied to over 20 evidence-based programs including the Otago Exercise Program, A Matter of Balance, Fit & Strong!, EnhanceFitness, Stepping On, and the STEADI toolkit.

Dr. Smith has (co-) authored over 240 peer-reviewed publications in scholarly journals, received over 20 research-based awards, and delivered over 400 conference presentations and invited lectures. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Public Health Education and Masters of Public Health (MPH) from Indiana University-Bloomington and his PhD in Health Education from Texas.

What does this award mean to you?

“It is a true honor to receive this award. I appreciate being recognized for my mentorship efforts and work with the next generation of health behavior scholars. Receiving this award from the Academy is especially meaningful because of its productive members, many of whom I  consider my own personal mentors.”

Matthew Lee Smith, PhD, MPH, CHES, FAAHB, FGSA

Center for Population Health and Aging

Texas A&M University 


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