Stephanie L. Marhefka, Ph.D.
Office: LRC 212, MDC 56
Voice Mail: (813) 974-5810
Fax: (813) 974-5172
Education and History
Came to USF
B.Phl. Miami University, 1997
M.S. University of Florida, 1999
Ph.D. University of Florida, 2002
Psychology Intern University of Maryland, 2002
Post-Doctoral Fellowship University of Maryland, 2003
NIMH Post-Doctoral Fellowship Columbia University, 2007
Advanced Training Institute on Health Behavior Theory, 2008
National Institutes of Health Training Institute for Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health, 2015
Social & Behavioral Sciences
HIV/AIDS Prevention, Care and Services
Adolescent Sexual Health
Adherence to Medical Regimens
Intervention Research Behavioral Translational Science
Dissemination and Implementation Science
As a behavioral scientist trained in clinical and health psychology as well as in dissemination and implementation science, Dr. Marhefka’s mixed-methods research has focused primarily on two areas: 1) improving care and services for people living with HIV; and 2) supporting positive child health outcomes through breastfeeding promotion. She has also been involved in one National Institute of Child Health and Development training grant (Haiti; R24HD077946; PIs: Lescano, C., and Rahill, G.) and served as faculty for two Fogarty International programs designed to train HIV researchers (Nigeria, D43TW001041, PI: Blattner, W.; and India, D43TW006793, PI: Emmanuel, P.). Additional information about her research areas follows:
1: Improving care and services for people
living with HIV.
Since 1999, her research has focused on various concerns affecting this disadvantaged population, including: 1) Assessing and understanding adherence to HIV-related medication regimens; 2) Understanding and the addressing the psychosocial, behavioral, and sexual health needs of youth and adults living with and at-risk for HIV infection; and 3) Using technology—especially group-based video-conferencing—to expand access to effective behavioral interventions for people living with HIV. Her research has been grant funded by the National Institute of Mental health. One example is a wait-list controlled randomized trial to determine the acceptability and feasibility of video-group delivery of a CDC-designation High Impact Prevention intervention (R34MH092207). She and colleagues have also recently completed grant-funded pilot work testing a group-based video-conferencing program to help people living with HIV stop smoking—an important outcome considering that tobacco-related illnesses are currently the #1 killer of people living with HIV. Related to that work, she is currently exploring mobile technology use and capacity among people living with HIV to determine to what extent and for whom mobile technology might be used to expand access to effective behavioral and supportive interventions (R21MH108468). An important theme throughout her work has been understanding how ehealth programs tested by researchers could be disseminated and implemented in the “real world.”
2: Supporting positive child health outcomes through breastfeeding promotion.
Dr. Marhefka began working in this area when asked to lead a project exploring mothers’ interests in video-chat lactation consultation. That experience led to funded projects focused on improving breastfeeding promotion in hospital neonatal intensive care units and on breastfeeding support in childcare facilities. Current work in this area is focused on developing an evidence base around breastfeeding friendly childcare initiatives.