Explore UAB

November 2019

Matthew Fifolt, PhD mfifolt@uab.edu Assistant Professor, Health Care Organization and Policy

Broad research focus

Quality improvement, innovative pedagogy, and implementation science.

One exciting on-going project?

I am currently working with a multidisciplinary team in Health Professions on a study called Project COMPLETe, the goal of which is to systematically develop a toolkit that physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and occupational therapists can use to deliver exercise promotion to persons with multiple sclerosis (MS). The toolkit is being vetted by health care providers and patients using an iterative, quality improvement approach. The next step includes a clinical trial of this systems-based process from feasibility through efficacy and effectiveness in a comprehensive MS care center.

Most prized professional accomplishment?

Because service and public health practice are so inexorably intertwined, I was both honored and humbled to receive the 2019 Outstanding Public Health Faculty Service Award by the UAB School of Public Health.

Do you partner with any state or national groups?

One of my favorite endeavors is serving as the state CQI lead for the Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting Program. Through the national Home Visiting Collaborative and Innovation Network 2.0, a network of local, state and national partners, we seek to accelerate the adoption of best health practices by engaging primary caregivers in the home. Our current focus in this collaborative is maternal depression, and our goal is that women who access evidence-based services will experience symptom reduction. We are extremely encouraged by the results at the site level in achieving this aim.

Favorite (first-authored) paper?

My first manuscript. I worked with my methodologist to identify key findings from my dissertation and then shared them with a wider audience. The manuscript contributed novel insights into the characteristics of a mentoring relationship that might best attract and retain women and other students with diverse backgrounds in engineering.

Fifolt, M., & Abbott, G. (2008). Differential experiences of women and minority engineering students in a cooperative education program. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 14(3), 253-267.

What kind of research do you hope to do in the future?

Because my expertise is not specific to a certain health area, I hope to grow my collaborations within the SOPH. I look forward to contributing to the faculty's efforts to disseminate and implement the important research discoveries made in the School, as we continue to work towards translating our work to real public health impact. Additionally, through the Applied Evaluation and Assessment Center (now housed in HCOP), I am eager to help my colleagues meet their program/project evaluation needs.

If not academia, then...?

Before joining the SOPH faculty, I held five UAB staff positions over the course of 20 years. I cannot imagine being anywhere else!

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