Assistant Professor, Division of Health Management and Policy
Core Investigator, Institute for Behavioral and Community Health (IBACH)
Phone: (619) 594-6439
- PhD, Health Services Research, University of Florida, 2014
- MPH, Epidemiology, University of South Florida, 2008
Healthcare Organization and Delivery Systems Science | Treatment pathways, patient-provider social networks, human-technology interactions (administrative, medical, mobile data, big data, etc.)
Cancer and Aging | Geriatric Assessment, cognitive impairment, dementia
Health Disparities | Care delivery to diverse, limited English proficient (LEP), and vulnerable older adults
Population Health | Social, environmental, and organizational context, GIS
Dr. Melody K Schiaffino is a bilingual, bi-cultural health services researcher and epidemiologist. Her primary research interests center around identifying disparities in the organization and delivery of health services to diverse older adults. Using systems science and big data approaches to identify care fragmentation her work leverages the benefits of information and technology to improve sub-optimal outcomes for minority aging populations. Her current work addresses treatment variation in timely care to diverse and older adults with cancer as well as the role of language and social and other demographic barriers in access to care and advanced care including the role telemedicine.
Dr. Schiaffino 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 developed a novel method to assess hospital service areas at a smaller neighborhood scale than the usual larger areas used by hospitals to identify mismatches in where services were needed versus where they were available. She also holds an MPH in Epidemiology with a focus on HPV and cancer epidemiology 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 the delivery of care to older adults. Her work is informed by cross-disciplinary theories including organizational, network, and geography theory 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) and multiple national and international conferences. 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. In 2017 Dr. Schiaffino started mentoring students for SDSU’s Faculty-Student Mentoring Program and is always looking for students interested in research from all fields especially public health, geography, MIS, statistics, sociology, computer science, and nursing.
- For an up to date publications list see Google Scholar.