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The Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research

Maria E. Fernandez, PhD

Photo of Maria E. Fernandez, PhD

Lorne Bain Distinguished Professor in Public Health and Medicine
Director
Maria.E.Fernandez@uth.tmc.edu

Department

Lorne Bain Distinguished Professor in Health and Medicine

Professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences

Director, Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health

Education

PhD in Health Education
University of Maryland

MA in Health Education
University of Maryland

BS in Biology (Physiology)
University of Maryland

BA in Spanish
University of Maryland

National Cancer Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship
UTHealth School of Public Health

Teaching Interests

Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences
Health Promotion planning and implementation using Intervention Mapping
Dissemination and Implementation

Research Interests

Dissemination and Implementation Research
Health Promotion Planning; Intervention Mapping
Health Equity / Health Disparities
Cancer Control
Hispanic and other underserved populations
Health Promotion  Program Evaluation
Technology in Health Promotion
Primary Care
Health Communications

Biography

Dr. Maria E. Fernández is Professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health, and Director of the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research (CHPPR). She has extensive experience developing and evaluating health promotion interventions, and conducts research to improve dissemination and implementation of effective programs. Dr. Fernández recently co-authored two books, the 4th edition of Planning Health Promotion Programs: An Intervention Mapping Approach (2016) including a new chapter on using the intervention mapping approach for program adaptation, and Handbook of Community-based Participatory Research (2017).

Her research has focused on cancer prevention and control among underserved populations. She has conducted both qualitative and quantitative studies that range from the identification and description of basic behavioral conceptual models of cancer screening and vaccination to the development and evaluation of new interventions to increase cancer control that have resulted in over 100 peer reviewed publications. Dr. Fernández has a large portfolio of federally and state-funded research and extensive experience in developing, evaluating, and disseminating breast and cervical cancer screening interventions. She is an expert in dissemination and implementation research and conducts studies to understand and intervene to accelerate the use of evidence-based cancer control interventions in real-world settings.

Contact

Maria.E.Fernandez@uth.tmc.edu
Office: +1 (713) 500-9626
Fax: +1 (713) 500-0369

Current Projects

Adolescent Vaccination Project: Multi-Component Interventions for Patients and Providers to Increase HPV Vaccination in a Network of Pediatric Clinics

The Adolescent Vaccination Project is a collaboration between the UTHealth School of Public Health, Baylor College of Medicine, and Texas Children's Pediatrics (TCP). The primary goal of this initiative is to increase initiation and completion of HPV vaccination among male and female patients at TCP, a network of over 50 clinics in the greater Houston area.

Recent News

UTHealth’s Maria E. Fernandez, Ph.D., named distinguished alumna by alma mater

Thumbnail image for UTHealth’s Maria E. Fernandez, Ph.D., named distinguished alumna by alma mater

HOUSTON – Maria E. Fernandez, Ph.D., professor and director of the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research at UTHealth School of Public Health, recently received the Distinguished Alumni Award from her alma mater, the University of Maryland School of Public Health.

UTHealth’s Fernandez named director of Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research

Thumbnail image for UTHealth’s Fernandez named director of Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research

Maria E. Fernandez, Ph.D., was recently named director of the Center of Health Promotion and Prevention Research (CHPPR) at UTHealth School of Public Health. She follows Susan Tortolero Emery, Ph.D., who stepped down when she was appointed as senior associate dean of the school. Fernandez served as associate director of the center for five years.

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