301 Pharmacy Lane, , , Chapel Hill, NC, 27599, , Beard Hall, , , Chapel Hill, NC, 27599
Scott Davis, Ph.D., joins the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy as a Research Assistant Professor in the Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy (DPOP). Davis just completed an NIH post-doc at UNC in implementation science and is an alumni of the DPOP program, having graduated with his Ph.D. in 2018. He received his Master of Arts in teaching from Boston University in 2005, and his Bachelor of Art in Computer Science and Russian Civilization from the University of Chicago in 2003.
In 2001, Davis studied at the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow, Russia. Davis’ work focuses on the development of interventions to teach improved patient communication and medication-taking across a range of conditions including conditions of the skin, diabetes, glaucoma and pediatric asthma. He published a book on Behavioral Economics for Healthcare Professionals and recently, he has begun work on pediatric mental health service use. In his new position, he will be positioned in Asheville, where he will work to advance research with colleagues at the UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC campus and the Eshelman School of Pharmacy.
Dr. Davis’s lab is focused on the following areas:
- Improving patients’ ability to take their medications correctly to improve their outcomes
Dr. Davis focuses on pragmatic clinical trials testing interventions to improve patients’ use of medications to achieve optimal real-world outcomes, as well as implementation and dissemination of these interventions. He works with providers and health systems to improve the quality of patient education about their medications in clinics and pharmacies, in ways that minimize unnecessary cost and time burden to providers and staff. By providing important educational material online, it may be possible to significantly improve patients’ ability to correctly use medications that are not as straightforward to use as oral medications, including eye drops, topical medications, or injected medications. These types of medications can easily be misapplied to the wrong location, in the wrong amount, or in ways that cause unexpected adverse effects such as eye infections. Therefore, it is critical to have easily understandable educational materials, written at appropriate health literacy levels, that are practical for busy clinicians to provide to every patient. It is also important to know how these educational tools can best be disseminated in a wide variety of settings that each face their own challenges.
- Implementing and evaluating the impact of quality improvement initiatives led by MAHEC, particularly in the area of maternal and child health
Dr. Davis works closely with Dr. Dan Frayne, President of Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC), to implement and evaluate new innovations in primary care practice. These include new screening practices to ensure that all women who might become pregnant are getting the care they need, including tobacco cessation counseling, depression treatment, initiation of prenatal vitamins, and education about family planning. By screening and providing needed services to mothers at 12- and 24-month well-child visits, there is potential to reduce adverse birth outcomes, especially in vulnerable Appalachian rural populations.
- Improving mental health services in North Carolina and reducing health disparities by reducing barriers to mental health care access and utilization
Dr. Davis works with Dr. Kathleen Thomas on mental health services research to understand and overcome barriers to receiving appropriate mental health care in North Carolina African American and Latino communities. This work includes addressing patient-provider communication through patient and parent activation interventions, which teach patients and parents to voice their concerns more effectively during visits to reap the benefits of greater shared decision making.