Alicia Best, PhD, MPH, CHES
Assistant Professor, Department of Community and Family Health
University of South Florida

Alicia Best is an assistant professor at the University of South Florida College of Public Health, Department of Community and Family Health. She is a sociobehavioral researcher and a certified health education specialist with academic training and experience in health education and promotion, health communications, and cancer-related health disparities. She earned an MPH in health education and health promotion from Morehouse School of Medicine as well as a PhD in health promotion, education, and behavior and a certificate of graduate study in health communications from the University of South Carolina, Arnold School of Public Health. She also received postdoctoral training from the American Cancer Society in behavioral research with a focus on cancer disparities.

Dr. Best conducts original research focusing on the role of culture in health cognitions and health behaviors and the use of communication strategies to better reach marginalized groups. Her research examines the role of spirituality, religiosity, social support, and other sociocultural factors in cancer prevention and screening behavior as well as the influence of these factors on the quality of life of cancer survivors. Her current research aims to clarify the demographic and sociocultural influences on the perceived social support and quality of life among individuals diagnosed with human papillomavirus-related cancers.

Dr. Best extensively collaborates with the Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute. She is an affiliate faculty member with the Florida Prevention Research Center (FPRC). FPRC and 25 other Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Centers across the country are funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In her position with FPRC, she assists with the dissemination of evidence-based research for sustained colorectal cancer prevention in the state of Florida. In addition to measuring health disparities, her research also focuses on the actual implementation and evaluation of interventions that are designed to improve the health of underserved communities.

Dr. Best previously served as Director of Research and Community Health at a Federally Qualified Health Center in one of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in the metropolitan Atlanta area. She has extensive experience in the implementation and evaluation of community health education, community-engaged research, and health promotion programs in underserved communities.