Faculty, Institute for Child Health Policy
University of Florida
2004 Mowry Road, Room 2238
PO Box 100177
Gainesville, FL 32610-0177
- Ph.D., Epidemiology, Emory University
- M.S.P.H., Epidemiology, Emory University
- B.S., Mathematics and Biology, Bucknell University
Dr. Stephanie Staras, M.S.P.H., Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Outcomes and Policy within the College of Medicine and a faculty member of the Institute for Child Health Policy at the University of Florida.
Dr. Staras’ research program focuses on preventing sexually transmitted infections and related diseases. A main focus of her work is reducing human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancer cases and disparities by studying risk factors and designing parent- and provider-targeted interventions to improve HPV vaccination rates. She currently has an NCI-funded R21 to: (1) enhance a health information technology (HIT) system to encourage provider and clinic use, and (2) test the feasibility of real-world implementation within six clinics selected from the OneFlorida Cancer Control Network: a Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network Partner (PCORnet). The R21 project builds on a Society of Adolescent Medicine-funded feasibility test of a multi-component intervention to improve HPV vaccination rates using a parent-targeted postcard campaign and the original in-clinic HIT system. Both components were offered in English and Spanish and data collection efforts included six clinics, 60 providers, and nearly 6,000 adolescents. Dr. Staras also led data collection for the formative work of the intervention by examining predictors of HPV vaccine initiation with mail- and phone-based behavioral surveys among Florida Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program populations including approximately 7,500 parents of adolescents, 3,000 adolescents, and 900 Medicaid providers.
Additionally, Dr. Staras’ research has increased the understanding of partner and alcohol factors important for sexual risk-taking and sexually transmitted disease prevention among adolescents. She confirmed the importance of various partners’ characteristics on condom use and on the relationship between substance use and STIs. A major contribution of her collective work was building evidence that simultaneous consideration of partner characteristics rather than considering each characteristic alone is more predictive of adolescent STI risk-taking. Based on this work, Dr. Staras developed and tested the feasibility of an interactive 9-week group course for teen girls at last-chance schools.
- HPV vaccine implementation
- Sexually transmitted infections (STI)
- Racial/ethnic disparities