Dr. Melinda Forthofer is a Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences in the College of Health and Human Services at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. From 2016-2020, Dr. Forthofer served as Department Chair, leading the department through period of exponential growth through the addition of new programs and concentrations and recruitment of new faculty. Prior to joining UNC Charlotte, Dr. Forthofer was on the faculty at the University of South Florida (1996-2006) and at the University of South Carolina (2006-2016). For over 20 years, her work has focused on social factors related to health behavior change in diverse community settings, often via community-based research. Much of her current research is focused on the role of social factors in the promotion of health behaviors, particularly the role of social networks in physical activity. Her research has been supported by over $29 million in extramurally funded research grants, via awards from several federal agencies (CDC, HRSA, NIH), state health departments, local and national nonprofit organizations, and several private sector organizations.
Dual Ph.D – University of Michigan, 1996, Health Behavior/Health Education and Sociology
Predoctoral Fellow, NIMH Psychiatric Epidemiology Training Program, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan
Case Western Reserve University, 1992, Sociology and Gender Studies
Special Topics: MPH Capstone Pilot Course
Seminar in Health Services Research
HSMT 2101 – Introduction to Health Professions
Research Interests/Areas of Expertise
Community-based prevention research
Diffusion of innovation/translational science
Chronic disease-related health behaviors, especially physical activity
Awards & Honors
Delta Omega Honorary Society, Mu Chapter, University of South Carolina
Outstanding Teacher Award, University of South Florida Public Health Student Association (1999-2000 and 2003-2004)
* indicates co-author was a student when research was conducted
† indicates co-author was a community partner when research was conducted
- Miller, T.*, Paul, R., Forthofer, M., and Wurdeman, S.R. (2020). Impact of time to receipt of prosthesis on total healthcare costs 12 months post-amutation. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001473 [Epub published ahead of print].
- Solomon, C.A.*, Laditka, S., Forthofer, M. & Racine, E.F.(2019). Alcohol consumption among older women in the United States. Journal of Women & Aging. DOI: 1080/08952841.2019.1684176.
- Solomon, C. A.*, Laditka, S. B., Forthofer, M. & Racine, E. F.(2019). Black-white disparities in alcohol consumption trends among women in the United States, 1990–2015, Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, DOI: 1080/15332640.2019.1685049.
- Everson, T.M.*, Zhang, H., Lockett, G.A. et al.Epigenome-wide association study of asthma and wheeze characterizes loci within HK1. (2019). Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol, 15, doi:10.1186/s13223-019-0356-z.
- Lozano, P.*, Thrasher, J.T., Forthofer, M., Hardin, J., Reynales Shigematsu, L.M., Santillán, E.A. & Fleischer, N.L.(2019). The role of social norms and socioeconomic status in smoking-related stigma among smokers in Mexico and Uruguay. Critical Public Health, 29(2), 215-227, DOI: 1080/09581596.2018.1440070.
- Wilcox, S., Saunders, R.P., Kaczynski, A.T., Forthofer, M., Sharpe, P.A., Goodwin, C., Condrasky, M., Kennedy, Sr., V., Jake-Schoffman, D.E., Kinnard, D., Hutto, B. (2018). Faith, Activity, and Nutrition Randomized Dissemination and Implementation Study: Countywide adoption, reach, and effectiveness,American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 54(6), 776-785. org/10.1016/j.amepre.2018.02.018.
- Kaczynski, A.T., Jake-Schoffman, D., Peters, N.A., Dunn, C.G., Wilcox, S., Forthofer, M. (2018). Development and testing of the Church Environment Audit Tool for evaluating physical activity and healthy eating supports in faith-based settings. American Journal of Health Behavior, 42(3), 17-26. doi.org/10.5993/AJHB.42.3.2.
- Saunders, R.P., Wilcox, S., Jake-Schoffman, D.E., Kinard, D., Hutto, B., Forthofer, M., & Kaczynksi, A.T. (2018). The Faith, Activity, and Nutrition (FAN) Dissemination and Implementation Study, Phase 1: Implementation Monitoring Methods and Results. Health Education & Behavior. org/10.1177/1090198118818235.
- Collie-Akers, V.L., Schultz, J.A., Fawcett, S.B., Landry, S., Obermeier, S., Frongillo, E.A., Forthofer, M., Weinstein, N., Weber, S.A., Logan, A., Arteaga, S.S., Nebeling, L., Au, L.E., on behalf of the Healthy Communities Study Team. (2018). Measuring intensity of community programs and policies to prevent childhood obesity in a diverse sample of U.S. communities: The Healthy Communities Study. Pediatric Obesity, 13 (Supp 1), 56-63. Doi: 1111. ijpo.12423.
- Forthofer, M., Wilcox, S., Hutto, B., Kinnard, D., and Sharpe, P. (2018). Sumter County on the Move!: Evaluation of a Walking Group Intervention to Promote Physical Activity within Existing Social Networks. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 5, 1-7 [Epub ahead of print].
- Lozano, P.*, Thrasher, J.F., Forthofer, M., Hardin, J., Shigematsu, L.M.R., Santillán, E.A., Fleischer, N. (2018). Smoking-related stigma: A public health tool or damaging force?. Nicotine & Tobacco Research. [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1093/ntr/nty151.
- Reid, L.*, Dowda, M., Forthofer, M., Barr-Anderson, D., Saunders, R., & Pate, R. (2018). Parental support for physical activity in African-American girls. Grace Jordan Monograph Series. University of South Carolina Press. Columbia, SC.