Lisa V. Smith

Dr. Smith has extensive experience teaching applied research skills. Since joining the UCLA faculty in 2001, she has co-taught several popular courses designed to enhance students’ skills in public health research including EPIDEM 411: Research Resources in Epidemiology and EPIDEM 230: Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention and Control. She currently teaches EPIDEM M403: Computer Management and Analysis of Health Data Using SAS (Fall/Winter) and EPIDEM 404: Advanced SAS Techniques for the Management and Analysis of Epidemiologic Data (Spring). Dr. Smith consistently receives high marks on her evaluations from her students and is often nominated for various teaching awards. In fact, the UCLA Public Health Student Association presented her with the “Faculty of the Year” award in 2006 as well as the “Best Faculty Member, Epidemiology” award in 2014 and "Favorite Professor, Epidemiology" in 2019. She has also taught courses at California State University, Dominguez Hills; California State University, Los Angeles; and University of Southern California.

In addition to Dr. Smith’s current faculty appointment, she is a Supervising Epidemiologist at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) where she directs the Rapid Assessment, Training and Evaluation (RATE) Unit. RATE designs and implements rapid assessment surveys (2-3 pages; 1,000+ respondents; high response rates) on emergent public health issues that necessitate quick feedback.

Rapid assessment surveys have included

  • Attitudes toward Menu-labeling among Patients attending Public Health Centers (2007-2008)
  • Artificial Trans Fat Reduction Survey (2008)
  • Vaccine Survey of Public Health Clinic Patients (2010)
  • Distracted Driving Practices among LACDPH Clinics Patients (2010)
  • Los Angeles Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (LA HANES) (2011-2012)
  • Satisfaction with Flu Outreach in Service Planning Area (SPA) 6 (2011-12)
  • Vaginal and Rectal Douching Behaviors among Male and Female Clinic Patients (2011)
  • Customer Satisfaction with Los Angeles Public Health Center Service (2012-present)
  • Assessment of Health Insurance Status among LACDPH Clinic Patients (2012-2017)
  • Tap Water Consumption and Public Health Clinic Patients (2013)
  • Asian Pacific Islander Health Survey (2014)
  • Native American Clinic Survey (2016)
  • Los Angeles County Health Agency Consumer Survey (2016-2017)
  • Exide Community Neighborhood Survey (2017)
  • Satisfaction with Flu Outreach Clinics in Los Angeles County (2018-2019)
  • West Nile Virus Outreach (2018, 2019)
  • Flea-borne Typhus Outreach (2018)
  • Los Angeles County Employee Recognition Survey (2018)
  • Typhus Community Outreaches (2018)
  • DPH Employee Wellness Survey (2019)
  • Community Household Heat Preparedness Survey (2019)
  • Lead Contamination Survey in Service Planning Area 3 (2019)

Additionally, she facilitates training sessions to enhance and maintain the data skills of the LACDPH workforce (including leading the LACDPH SAS Users Group and hosting data management workshops); serves as Managing Editor of the department’s MyEpiNews newsletter; provides technical assistance to various infectious and chronic disease programs; and coordinates internships and training programs for graduate epidemiology students.

During her tenure at LACDPH, Dr. Smith has held the positions of Director for the Epidemiology Unit at the Sexually Transmitted Disease Program and Chief for the Surveillance, Epidemiology and Evaluation Unit within the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention. She also served as a Subject Material Expert (SME), supplying LACDPH Human Resources with an updated classification for the Epidemiology Analyst Exam Unit to assist in identifying qualified applicants. In 2012, Dr. Smith received both the LACDPH “Leadership” and “Outstanding Employee” awards in recognition of her commitment and dedication to training current and future public health professionals. In 2018, RATE authored one of the top ten manuscripts in LACDPH.


  • SAS Certified Base Programmer for SAS 9, SAS Institute, Cary, NC
  • UC President’s Postdoc Fellow, University of California, Los Angeles, Fielding School of Public Health, CA
  • DrPH, Epidemiology, University of California, Los Angeles, Fielding School of Public Health, CA
  • MPH, Epidemiology, University of California, Los Angeles, Fielding School of Public Health, CA
  • MS, Biology, California State University Los Angeles, CA
  • BS, Biology, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA

Areas of Interest

  • Data management using SAS programming
  • Rapid surveys
  • Project evaluation

Committee Participation

  • Diversity Committee
  • Evaluation Committee
  • Faculty, Public Health Scholars Program

Selected Courses

  • Epidem M403: Computer Management and Analysis of Health Data Using SAS
  • Epidem 404: Advanced SAS Techniques for the Management and Analysis of Epidemiologic Data

Selected Publications

  • Shafir SC, Sorvillo F, Smith, LV. Trichomoniasis, HIV and African-Americans: Current Issues and Considerations, Clinical Microbiology Reviews; 22(1):37-45, 2009.
  • Redelings MD, Piron J, Smith LV, Dela Cruz HS, Takeshita S, Tremaine J, Kuo T. Readiness and perceived barriers to removing artificial trans-fat from restaurant menus. Journal of Public Health Policy; 30(1):3-16, 2009.*
  • Piron J, Smith LV, Simon P, Cummings PL, Kuo T. Knowledge, attitudes and potential response to menu labeling in an urban public health clinic population. Public Health Nutrition; 13(4):550-5, 2010.*
  • Kuo T, Dela Cruz H, Redelings M, Smith LV, Reporter R, Simon PA, Fielding JE, Teutsch S. Use of a self-assessment questionnaire for food safety education in the home kitchen: Los Angeles County, California, 2006-2008, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report; 59(34):1098-1101, 2010.
  • Redelings MD, Piron J, Smith LV, Chan A, Heinzerling J, Sanchez KM, Bedair D, Ponce M, Kuo T. Knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about seasonal influenza and H1N1 vaccinations in a low-income, public health clinic population. Vaccine; 20:454-458, 2012.*
  • Redelings MD, Sorvillo F, Smith LV, and Greenland S. Why Confidence Intervals Should be Used in Reporting Studies of Complete Populations, The Open Public Health Journal; 5:52-54, 2012.
  • Javanbakht M, Stirland A, Stahlman S, Smith LV, Chien M, Torres R, Guerry S. Prevalence and factors associated with Trichomonas vaginalis infection among high-risk women in Los Angeles. Sexually Transmitted Disease; 40(10):804-7, 2013.
  • Smith LV, Sorvillo F, Kuo T. Implications of Trichomonas vaginalis nucleic acid amplification testing on medical training and practice. Journal of Clinical Microbiology; 51(5):1650, 2013.*
  • Tarleton HP, Smith LV, Zhang ZF, Kuo T. Utility of anthropometric measures in a multiethnic population: their association with prevalent diabetes, hypertension and other chronic disease comorbidities. Journal of Community Health; 39(3):471-9, 2014.*
  • Robles B, Smith LV, Ponce M, Piron J, Kuo T. The influence of gender and self-efficacy on healthy eating in a low-income urban population affected by structural changes to the food environment. Journal of Obesity; 2014:908391. doi: 10.1155/2014/908391.*
  • Javanbakht M, Boudov M, Anderson, LJ, Malek M, Smith LV, Chien M, Guerry S. Sexually transmitted infections among incarcerated women: Findings from a decade of screening in a Los Angeles County Jail, 2002–2012. American Journal of Public Health; 2014: e1–e7. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302186.
  • Gase LN, DeFosset AR, Smith LV, Kuo T. The association between self-reported grocery store access, fruit and vegetable intake, sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, and obesity in a racially diverse, low-income population. Frontiers in Public Health. 2014: 229. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2014.00229.
  • Nianogo RA, Kuo T, Smith LV, Arah OA. Associations between self-perception of weight, food choice intentions, and consumer response to calorie information: a retrospective investigation of public health center clients in Los Angeles County before the implementation of menu-labeling regulation. BMC Public Health; 2016. doi:10.1186/s12889-016-2714-9.*
  • Barragan NC, Moschetti K, Smith LV, Sorvillo F, Kuo T. Differential declines in syphilis-related mortality in the United States, 2000-2014. Am J Infect Control. 2016;45(4):417-420. doi:10.1016/j.ajic.2016.11.003.
  • Lyu C, Jewell MP, Piron J, Ehnert K, Beeler E, Swanson A, Smith LV, Kuo T. Burden of bites by dogs and other animals in Los Angeles County, California, 2009-2011. Public Health Rep. 2016; 131(6):800-808. doi:10.1177/0033354916675148.**