Cheryl A. Vamos, PhD, MPH
Director, Center of
Excellence in Maternal and Child Health Education, Science and Practice
Fellow, Chiles Center for Women, Children and Families
Office: LRC 218
Voice Mail: (813) 974-7515
Fax: (813) 974-5172
Education and History
Came to USF
BSc, Honours University of Guelph, 2003
MPH, University of South Florida, 2005
Grad.Cert. in Interdisciplinary Women’s Health, University of South Florida, 2005
PhD, University of South Florida, 2009
Maternal and Child Health
MCH Oral Health
Implementation Science / Quality Improvement
BiographyDr. Cheryl Vamos is an Associate Professor and a Fellow with the Chiles Center for Women, Children and Families. She is also a Core Faculty member of the Collaborative for Research Understanding Sexual Health (CRUSH). The overall goal of Dr. Vamos’ research is to facilitate the translation of maternal and child health (MCH) evidence into practice for patients, providers, and women at-large. Within the broad field of MCH, the majority of projects focus on women’s health, reproductive health and MCH oral health, and employ health literacy, implementation science, and technology approaches to ensure that women (and providers) have the knowledge, skills and resources needed to be empowered and make informed health decisions. Together, this research seeks to (1) identify the system-level factors influencing health behaviors/outcomes and (2) develop and test innovative solutions to improve women’s health. Dr. Vamos is also committed to contributing to a competent, diverse workforce through her leadership training roles in the MCHB/HRSA funded (1) MCH Pipeline Program (“MCH Train-A-Bull”) (Project Director) and the Center of Excellence in MCH Education, Science and Practice (Co-Investigator). Further, she serves as the MCH Concentration Chair and Director of the Graduate Certificate in MCH.
Dr. Vamos’ current research is guided by theoretical frameworks, employs various quantitative/ qualitative methodologies, includes primary and secondary data sources, and comprises interdisciplinary team members (e.g., public health, medicine, dentistry, community partners, and small business company). She is also passionate about and values having undergraduate/graduate students and postdoctoral scholars on her research teams.
Select research foci to highlight this work are provided below:
- Prenatal Oral Health Guidelines. Aims to address (1) barriers to guideline implementation among prenatal/oral health providers; and (2) oral health literacy needs among providers and pregnant women. Funding has included two National Institutes of Health awards (1R41DE023723-01A1; R03DE024633-02), USF New Researcher Award, and USF Health’s Women’s Health Collaborative.
- HPV-Related Primary and Secondary Prevention. Aims to address (1) health literacy needs among oral health providers with regards to preventing HPV-associated morbidity and mortality; (2) health literacy assets/needs among rural Hispanic women who received an abnormal Pap result; and (3) system-level barriers to HPV vaccination among children residing predominantly in a farmworker community. Funding has included National Institutes of Health (5R21DE024272-02), American Cancer Society (ACS 60-16318-99-22-G1), and the Tampa Bay Community Cancer Network, Moffitt Cancer Center (a National Cancer Institute Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities Community Network Program Center - 5U54 CA153509).
- MCH Quality Improvement (QI). Coordinated by the Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative, projects include: (1) promoting access to long-acting reversible contraception among women in the immediate post-partum period; (2) examining cultural and contextual issues influencing the high cesarean delivery rates among low-risk, first-time moms; and (3) evaluating the implementation of the Obstetric Hemorrhage Initiative. Funding has included the Florida Department of Health.
research has involved behavioral and psychosocial health issues in the areas of
reproductive cancers, HPV in women and men, patterns of contraception use,
chronic diseases in marginalized female populations, state- and county-level
needs assessments of women’s health, and family planning policy.
Previously, Dr. Vamos was a Program Manager / Director at the Brant County Health Unit (BCHU) in Ontario, Canada, where she was responsible for overseeing epidemiological, research and evaluation activities. Example projects at the BCHU included: application of health literacy to MCH oral health programming; social determinants of health and family health; the development of ‘healthy community’ policies; and an examination of the effectiveness and feasibility of text messaging in improving compliance rates among sexual health clients. In addition to supervising a range of public health professionals at the Health Unit, Dr. Vamos also served as a preceptor for public health students completing their field placements.
Dr. Vamos has taught various undergraduate and graduate courses at USF and is actively engaged in presenting professional development activities to the workforce. Dr. Vamos has also published a variety of articles in peer-reviewed journals, including empirical research (quantitative and qualitative), in-depth analyses of controversial public health issues, and teaching ideas. She has also disseminated her work at numerous international, national, provincial/state and local conferences. Furthermore, she is active in professional service, including serving as a Co-Chair for the Perinatal and Women’s Health Committee, MCH Section, American Public Health Association (national); Health Literacy Advisory Board member, Hillsborough County Health Department, Tampa, Florida (county); and reviewer for various journals (e.g., American Journal of Public Health; MCH Journal; American Journal of Health Education; Health Promotion International; Journal of Women’s Health; Journal of the American Dental Association).