Dr. Scott Walters
Regents Professor, Department of Health Behavior and Health Systems
Education & Experience:
I received my BA from Biola University, MA from San Diego State University, and PhD in clinical psychology from the University of New Mexico. I completed a clinical internship at the Boston Consortium in Clinical Psychology. Prior to joining UNT Health Science Center, I held positions as Assistant and Associate Professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health.
Teaching Areas & Public Health Interests:
I have been teaching college and graduate level courses for more than 25 years. At the graduate level, my courses have included addictive behavior, thesis preparation, theories of individual and community health, practice in health behavior change, motivational interviewing, and health communication. My classes often weave research and practice into course material, including important issues of equity, diversity and access to care. I have received teaching awards from the University of New Mexico, the UTHealth School of Public Health, and the University of North Texas Health Science Center, and a Consortium Research Fellowship with the US Army Research Institute starting in 2019.
Professional Activities & Awards:
I have led a number of initiatives to help providers, agencies and systems adopt evidence-based practices. This has included organizational and community assessments, practitioner tools and supports, and training in evidence-based practices. In this arena, I have conducted more than 250 trainings for criminal justice workers, counselors, social workers, and healthcare professionals in motivational and brief intervention strategies. I have published three books specifically for practitioners, written several op-eds and blogs, and helped to commercialize programs for a variety of health behaviors.
My research over the past 20 years has focused on developing better ways of helping people change. This has included developing, implementing and evaluating interventions for drug and alcohol abuse, mental health, interpersonal violence, cancer risk, and other health outcomes. Many of these projects have centered on health equity and improving health outcomes for underserved populations. My recent projects include: 1) development and evaluation of a “just-in-time” adaptive smartphone intervention to reduce drinking among adults experiencing homelessness; 2) development and evaluation of communication skills training for US Army operational units; 3) evaluation of online vocational training program for veterans with justice involvement; 4) dissemination and implementation of strategies to address pain, opioid use, and overdose deaths; and 5) development, dissemination and implementation of substance use interventions for adolescents, young adults, and people with developmental disabilities. I also serve as the Steering Committee Chair for the HEALing Communities Study, a large implementation science research study that is testing the impact of evidence-based practices across health care, behavioral health, justice, and other community-based settings on reducing opioid-related deaths in 67 highly-impacted communities. Finally, I am a member of the leadership board for the newly-funded HEAL Connections Research Dissemination and Engagement Center, which will disseminate the results of more than 1000 research studies in user-friendly and culturally appropriate ways to people most affected by the pain, opioid, and overdose crises.
Link to Dr. Walters’ Curriculum Vitae:
Link to Dr. Walters’ Research Profile: