Senior Behavioral Scientist
Dr. Lisa Meredith's research touches on a wide variety of health issues. In her position at the RAND Corporation, she conducts research on health provider attitudes and behaviors, mental health services, the doctor-patient relationship, psychological factors in health and health behavior, and the psychological consequences of terrorism and other public health disasters. She has also worked in many other areas including environmental risk perception, smoking cessation, racial/ethnic disparities in health care, and military quality of life. She says that "One of the wonderful aspects about working in a non-profit research organization like RAND is the opportunity to apply my skills as a human behavior expert across a number of different contexts, content areas, and to work with a diverse team of colleagues from both my own and other disciplinary backgrounds."
Even as an undergraduate, Lisa knew that she wanted a career in psychology doing research applied to solving real-world problems of public policy. RAND was a perfect setting for her, and she began her career there as a Research Assistant after she earned her Masters in General Experimental Psychology. She continued to move up through the ranks at RAND as she worked on her Ph.D. in Applied Social Psychology at Claremont Graduate University.
Lisa says, "The coursework that I found most useful for my career includes everything I learned about the scientific method, which I find is an advantage that other social scientists do not share with us. I also benefited from learning a variety of different analytic methods. The ability to combine a theoretically driven foundation to a practical problem is what I have found to be most valuable in my day-to-day life."
Lisa condenses her advice to students into a single word: "perseverance." She says, "If you have a sense of what you want to do later in life, then it might take a while to get there and seem a bit challenging, but stick with it. In my experience, even when I deviated slightly from tradition, it always worked out smashingly when 'I did it my way.' Of course, that is not to say that teamwork is unimportant, but I believe that everyone should follow his or her convictions."
She is currently Principal Investigator on an NIMH-funded study of how primary care clinicians identify and manage patients who present with post-traumatic stress disorder, including trauma resulting from terrorism. She is also leading a collaborative study with staff from the County of Los Angeles Departments of Health Services / Mental Health and the Emergency Medical Services Agency to assess hospital and clinic mental health needs resulting from a terrorist incident or other public health emergency, and to develop training curricula and tools for hospitals and clinics to use in providing such care. Other current research includes a study of optimal treatment for depression among adolescents seen in primary care settings where she is leading the work on barriers to care and the clinician evaluation for that study. She is also Co-PI on a NIDA-funded study of adolescents in primary care settings to evaluate the effectiveness of a brief intervention to prevent substance abuse.
Dr. Meredith is a member of the advisory board for the NIMH-funded UCLA/RAND Research Center for Research on Managed Mental Health Care (Kenneth Wells, M.D. M.P.H., Director) and also Co-PI of a Center study to evaluation incentives to improve the delivery of appropriate care for depression in a managed behavioral healthcare organization. Lisa is an affiliated faculty member of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, and a Research Associate at the VA/UCLA/RAND Center of Excellence for the study of Health Care Provider Behavior, a VA HSR&D Field Program.