San Diego State University

Melody Schiaffino, PhD, MPH

Melody Schiaffino

Melody Schiaffino

Assistant Professor, Division of Health Management and Policy
Core Investigator, Institute for Behavioral and Community Health (IBACH)

Phone: (619) 594-6439

Download CV (pdf)


  • PhD, Health Services Research, University of Florida, 2014
  • MPH, Epidemiology, University of South Florida, 2008

Scholarly Areas

  • Health Disparities – Language Services and LEP, Social Determinants
  • Healthcare Quality and Outcomes – Patient Experience, Patient-Provider Treatment Pathways, Social Networks, Cultural Competence, Hospitals (human/technology interaction and indoor-location based tracking for patient safety)
  • Population Health – GIS and Context, Organizational Theory, Health Systems


Dr. Schiaffino is a bilingual, bi-cultural health services researcher and epidemiologist specializing in health disparities as they relate to population health, care coordination, patient-provider networks, and quality outcomes, in particular cancer treatment outcomes.  She earned her PhD in health services research at the University of Florida (2014) where she studied the role of social-spatial context on disparities in the delivery of language services in hospitals. She also holds an MPH in Epidemiology with a focus on HPV and cancer from the University of South Florida (2008). Her research areas of interest are health system disparities, social-spatial context, and the role of care fragmentation on cancer quality and outcomes.

She is currently studying patient-provider networks to visualize and assess care delivery fragmentation and its effect on the timely colorectal cancer care using a large administrative data set. Her approach to addressing these questions integrates diverse data sources and formats, incorporates a spatial context, employees surveys, and ensures cultural competence to contextualize research that would normally occur in a single discipline or silo. Her work is informed by cross-disciplinary theories including organizational, network, and geography as well as systems science. Dr. Schiaffino’s work has been published in high-impact journals including Health Affairs and the Journal of Infectious Diseases and she has presented at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She is interested in collaborations both nationally and internationally, some organizations include the Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM), and Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (INSP). Dr. Schiaffino is also an Associate Member of Moores Cancer Center at UCSD and a visiting researcher in Radiation Oncology in Dr. Murphy’s Lab.