Barbara Grimes-Smith, MPH

Barb Grimes-Smith Program Director 
UMass Psychiatry Wellness Initiative

Ms. Grimes-Smith acquired her Master of Public Health degree at Indiana University and has twenty years experience engaging community members in a variety of public health interventions. She has extensive experience in conducting community needs and assets assessments; policy development; collaborating with community partners to develop, implement, and evaluate evidence-informed programs and activities; developing and implementing public health media campaigns; providing health education trainings on a variety of health topics to parents, youth and community members; and coordinating large scale (citywide) tobacco treatment and prevention initiatives in order to change community norms around tobacco use.

Clinical Activity

Ms. Grimes-Smith is Director of the UMass Department of Psychiatry Wellness Initiative. The Wellness Initiative incorporates wellness activities across the Department and all related clinical sites, to positively impact patient, faculty, staff, and student health. In her current position, Ms. Grimes-Smith is using her wide-ranging professional experience to lead projects that allow for effective implementation of wellness endeavors through careful evaluation of the needs of patients, providers, and staff, and from the perspective of policy changes.

Community Activity

Ms. Grimes-Smith’s interests include implementing population based strategies, such as organizational change initiatives, policy development, and social norms campaigns, in order to positively impact health and wellness. She is currently collaborating with the UMass Adult Inpatient Psychiatric Program on an organizational change project to increase the capacity of the program to integrate wellness into their routine work. Ms. Grimes-Smith also oversees a community capacity building program grant funded through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program that implements evidence-based strategies to decrease smoking prevalence and exposure to secondhand smoke in Central Massachusetts.

Research Interest

Ms. Grimes-Smith is also active in the UMass Food Addiction Research Program exploring means to decrease the nation’s growing obesity problems by considering obesity as a food addiction. Ms. Grimes-Smith partakes in many endeavors to address these interests, including through co-leadership of the Wellness and the Integrative Health Academic Interest Groups and presentations in clinical and community settings.