Alicia Best, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Office: LRC 210, MDC 56
Voice Mail: (813) 974-5290
Fax: (813) 974-5172
Education and History
Came to USF
B.S. Alabama State University, 2007
M.P.H. Morehouse School of Medicine, 2009
Ph.D. University of South Carolina, 2012
Health Education and Promotion
Cancer prevention & control
Health inequity and social justice
Religiosity, spirituality & health
Dr. Alicia Best is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community and Family Health in the College of Public Health. She is a socio-behavioral researcher and certified health education specialist (CHES) with academic training and experience in health education and promotion, health communications, and cancer-related health disparities. Dr. Best earned an MPH in Health Education and Health Promotion from Morehouse School of Medicine, as well as a PhD in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior and a Certificate of Graduate Study in Health Communications from the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health. She also received postdoctoral training in behavioral research with a focus on cancer disparities at the American Cancer Society.
Dr. Best conducts original research focused on identifying, understanding, and contextualizing social and cultural factors influencing disparities across the cancer continuum, and the use of communication strategies to better reach marginalized groups. Her previous work has focused on mechanisms through which spirituality impacts the effectiveness of breast cancer screening messages among African American women, as well as the role of spirituality on quality of life among of African American cancer survivors. Her current research is focused on interpersonal communication (e.g. cancer disclosure) and social support among individuals diagnosed with HPV-associated cancers, and further exploring the role of religion and spirituality in coping with these cancers.
Dr. Best’s research extends beyond measuring health disparities to the actual implementation and evaluation of interventions designed to improve the health of under-served communities. Prior to joining the Department of Community and Family Health, Dr. Best served as Director of Research and Community Health at a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in one of Metropolitan Atlanta’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. She has extensive experience in community health education, community-engaged research, and health promotion program implementation and evaluation within under-served communities. In addition to her research, Dr. Best teaches graduate-level courses in health disparities, social marketing, and socio-behavioral science. She also developed and supervises a large undergraduate course on health disparities and social determinants of health.