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College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences

Faculty and Staff Profile

Sarah Griffin

Professor, Interim Department Chair

Office: 510A Edwards Hall

Phone: 864-656-1622

Fax: 864-656-6227

Educational Background

PhD Public Health
University of South Carolina 2001

MPH Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior
University of South Carolina 1993

BS Biology
Winthrop University 1988

Courses Taught

Qualitative and Mixed Methods (HLTH 8220)
Foundations of Evaluation in Health (HLTH 8410)
Community Health Promotion (HLTH 4800)
Health Promotion Program Planning (HLTH 3400)
Applied Health Behavior (HLTH 4500)
Determinants of Health Behavior (HLTH 2400)
Introduction to Public Health (HLTH 2020)


Dr. Griffin has over twenty years of experience in public health with a specific interest in eliminating health disparities. Within this experience, assessing the efficacy and effectiveness of community and/or school-based child health intervention is her primary focus. Dr. Griffin has extensive experience implementing and evaluating complex health interventions in a wide variety of settings and is an expert in evaluation design, mixed methods research, and qualitative research. Currently, Dr. Griffin serves as Principal Investigator of the Greenville Health System (GHS) School-Based Health Center implementation study for OnTrack Greenville. She is also Co-Principal Investigator for a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention obesity prevention initiative with rural health extension. Dr. Griffin is also a Co-Investigator on a Department of Defense funded project to assess mobile health technology for chronic disease management Dr. Griffin is an ardent volunteer and supporter for the United Way of Anderson County and serves on the evaluation advisory team for SCALE Down, South Carolina's obesity prevention plan.

Research Interests

Dr. Griffin's research is focused on eliminating health disparities by researching the efficacy and effectiveness of complex interventions to improve health. Most of this work is related to preventing obesity and other chronic diseases among those at highest risk. Dr. Griffin is the Co-Principal Investigator of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded rural healthy extension obesity prevention initiative in three SC counties. She is also the Principal Investigator for evaluating the Bradshaw Institute School Health program. Dr. Griffin has served as the Principal Investigator of a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) funded Rural Health initiative and Co-Investigator on four different National Institutes of Health funded research projects adding health equity in South Carolina (SC). Two of these projects focused on obesity prevention, one was to examine medical and nursing students’ readiness to treat Latino patients in cancer care settings and one focused to reducing HIV/AIDS and HPV in racial and ethnic minority communities. She also served as a Co-Investigator for the Active for Life® evaluation, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative to increase physical activity in older adults. She has published numerous national/international peer-reviewed articles related to improving health and serves on the editorial review committee for several leading national health journals.

Research Publications

Baxter, S.L.K., Corbie, G, Griffin, S.F. (2023) Contextualizing physical activity in rural adults: Do relationships between income inequality, neighborhood environments, and physical activity exist? Health Services Research. 1-10

Heavner S, Stuenkel M, Russ Sellers R, McCallus R, Dean K, Wilson C, Shuffler M, Britt TW, Stark Taylor S, Benedum M, Munk N, Mayo R, Cartmell KB, Griffin S, Kennedy AB. (2023) “’I don’t want to go to work’: a mixed-methods analysis of health-care worker experiences from the front- and side-lines of COVID-19.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health Special Issue "One Year into the COVID-19 Crisis: Mental Health, Burnout, Trauma and Resilience. " 20(11)

Baxter, S. L., Koob, C., Hossfeld, C. M., Mobley, C., Hossfeld, L. H., & Griffin, S. F. (2023). Food insecurity, the food environment, and COVID-19 in rural South Carolina. Family & Community Health. 46(2), 128-135

Koob, C., Luo, Y., Mobley, C., Baxter, S., Griffin, S. F., Hossfeld, C., & Hossfeld, L. (2023). Food insecurity and stress among rural residents in South Carolina: The moderating influences of household characteristics, neighborhood social environment and food environment. Journal of Community Health. 1-14.

Baxter, S. L. K., Jackson, E., Onufrak, S., Parisi, M. A., & Griffin, S. F. (2022). Differences in Rural Built Environment Perceptions Across Demographic and Social Environment Characteristics. Health Promotion Practice, 23(1_suppl), 44S–54S.

Luo, Y., Mobley, C., Hossfeld, L., Koob, C., Hossfeld, C., Baxter, S. L. K., & Griffin, S. F. (2022). The Association between Food Insecurity and Making Hunger-Coping Trade-Offs during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Role of Sources of Food and Easiness in Food Access. Nutrients, 14(21), 4616.

Frieson A, Hurley, RA, Kimmel, RM, Griffin, S., Bridges, Wl., Roth, G., Kessler, SJ. (2022) The role of package design typicality on a hand sanitizer purchase. Packaging Technology and Science. 35 (10): 737-751.

Rolke, L., Griffin, SF, Hamilton, J., Mayo R., Williams, J., (2022) Parent/Guardian Experiences with the Healthcare System and Community Supports for Pediatric Asthma Management. Journal of Patient Experience. 9: 1-8

Howard, K., Griffin SF., Rolke, L., Sease K (2021) Factors Related to Youth Self-Efficacy for Injury Prevention Bicycle Skills. Journal of Safety Research. 79: 94-99.

Pyle, A, Garst B, Mobely, C, Griffin SF, Eichinger M, Hossfeld L. (2021) Disease and Disaster: Navigating food insecurity in a community affected by tornados during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Agriculture, Food System, and Community. 10(3). 1-18.

Garst, B. A., Clanton, T., White, D., Dickes, L., Griffin, S., & Gagnon, R. (2021). Benchmarking South Carolina recreation providers' role in addressing summertime food insecurity. Recreation, Parks, & Tourism in Public Health. 5-38 doi: 10.2979/rptph.5.1.02

Sease, K.K, Rolke, L.J, Forrester, J.E, Griffin, S.F. (2021) Feedback Following a Family-Focused Pediatric Weight Management Intervention: Experiences from the New Impact Program. Journal of Patient Experience. 9

Woo. M.J., Prabodh Mishra, P., Lin, J., Kar, S., Deas,N., Linduff, C., Niu, S., Yang, U., McClendon, J., Hudson Smith, D., Shelton, SL, Gainey, CE., Gerard, WC., Smith, MC, Griffin, S.F., Gimbel, R., Wang, K.C. (2021). Complete and Resilient Documentation of Operational Medical Environments Leveraging Mobile Hands-free Technology in a Systems Approach: Experimental Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research (9) 10: e32301

Vanderpool, L.E., Trilik, J.L., Griffin, S.F., Condrasky, M.D. (2021) Culinary Medicine: An Evaluation to Assess the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and confidence of first-year medical students in a culinary medicine teaching kitchen. Topics in Clinical Nutrition 35(4) pp 351-360.

Gimbel, R. Rennert, L., Crawford, P., Little, J., Truong, K., Williams, J.E., Griffin, S.F., Shi. L., Chen L, Zhang, L., Moss, J.B., Marshall. R.C., Edwards, K.W., Crawford, K.J., Hing, M.., Schmelz, A., Lumsden, B., Ashby, M., Haas, E., Palazzo, K. (2020) Enhancing patient activation and self-management activities in patients with type 2 diabetes using the US Department of Defense mobile health care environment: Feasibility study. Journal of Medical Internet Research 22(5).

Francis, E., Johnstone, M.B., Covington-Kolb, S., Witrick, B., Griffin, S., Sun, X., Crockett, A., Chen, L. (2019) Group Prenatal Care Attendance and Women’s Characteristics Associated with Low Attendance: Results from Centering and Racial Disparities (CRADLE Study) Maternal and Child Health 23(10) pp 1371-1381

Schmalz, D.L., Griffin, S.F., Blomquist, K.K., Reeves, C.B., Sease, K.K. (2019). New Impact: The value of recreation health partnerships in treating childhood obesity. Recreation, Parks, and Tourism in Public Health, 3, 47-66. doi: 10.2979/rptph.3.1.05

Helsel B, Liang J, Williams JE, Griffin SF, Spitler H. (2019) Family and friend influence on fruit and vegetable intake in elementary aged children. Journal of Community Health 44(5) 932-940.

Harris B, Schmalz D, Larson, L., Fernandez M. Griffin SF. (2019) Contested spaces: Intimate segregation and environmental gentrification on Chicago’s 606 trail. City & Community

Rice J, Hurley RA, Griffin SF, Dawson P, Whiteside W. (2018) Influence of visual attention on the likelihood of choice through regression analysis. Journal of Applied Packaging Sciences. 10(5) pp 12-24.

Torrence C., Griffin SF, Rolke LJ, Kenison K, Marvin, A. (2018) Faithful Families Cooking and Eating Smart and Moving to Health: Evaluation of a Community Driven Intervention. International Journal of Environment and Public Health 15(9), 1991;

Blomquist KK, Griffin SF, Hayes EL, Schmalz D, Sease K, Reeves CB. (2018) Behavioral and psychological predictors of BMI reduction in children seeking treatment at a hospital clinic’s family-based pediatric weight management program. Journal of Childhood Obesity 3(2):10.

Condrasky, M, Weeks A., Darby D., Sharpe J, Griffin SF. Research Study on an Applied Interdisciplinary Product Development Course for College Sophomores. (2018) Journal of Food Science Education. 17(2), 66-71.

Williams JE, Helsel B, Griffin SF, Liang J. (2017) Associations between parental BMI and the family nutrition and physical activity environment in a community sample. Journal of Community Health 42(6): 1233-1239.

Shi, L, Feng C, Griffin, SF, Williams J, Crandall L, Truong K. (2017) Does Awareness of the Affordable Care Act reduce adverse selection? A study of the Long-Term Uninsured in South Carolina. Inquiry 54: 1-7.

Gimbel R, Shi L, Williams JE, Dye CJ, Chen L, Crawford P, Shry EA, Griffin SF, Jones KO, Sherrill WW, Truong K, Little JR, Edwards KW, Hing M, Moss JB. (2017). Enhancing mHealth technology in the patient centered medical home environment to activate patients with Type 2 diabetes: A multisite feasibility study protocol. JMIR Research Protocols ;6(3):e38. DOI: 10.2196/resprot.6993.

Mayo R, Griffin SF, Pribonic AP (2016) The Reality of the Affordable Care Act Implementation among the Chronically Uninsured: a Qualitative Study Journal of Diversity and Equality in HealthCare 13 (3): 251-256

Griffin SF, Mayo RM, Pribonics AP. (2015) They treat you different, it is a different kind of care” Stigmatization and discrimination perceptions among the uninsured. International Journal Health Sciences 3(4), pp. 33-42

Wilson DK, Van Horn L, Kugler K, Siceloff RS, Alia KA, St. George SM, Lawman HG, Trumpeter N, Coulon S, Griffin SF, Wandersman A, Egan B, Colabianchi N, Forthorfer M, Gadson B. (2014) The Results of the "Positive Action for Today's Health" (PATH) Trial for Increasing Walking and Physical Activity in Underserved African American, Annals of Behavioral Medicine

Schmalz D., Hallo JC, Griffin SF, Kusch M, Arce M. (2013) Development of a Healthy Parks Healthy People strategic action plan for Hot Springs National Park. Park Science 30 (2) pp. 37-43.

Katz J, Wandersman A, Goodman R Griffin SF, Wilson DK, Shilliac M. (2013) Updating the FORECAST formative evaluation approach and some implications for ameliorating theory failure, implementation failure, and evaluation failure. Evaluation and Program Planning. 39. Pp 42-50.

Hernandez-GarbonGarbonzo Y, Griffin SF, Cason K, Loberger G., Williams J, ., Baker S., Coffee A., Linton B, Hall T, Hayden V, (2013) A content analysis of nutrition education curricula used with low-income audiences: Implications for questionnaire development. Health Promotion Practice. 4(4) pp 534-542

Wilson DK, St George S, Trumpeter N, Coulon S, Griffin S. Wandersman A, Forthofor L, Gadson B, Brown P. (2013) Qualitative developmental research among lowing income African American adults to inform social marketing campaign for walking. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 10:33.

Mayo R, Sherrill W, Griffin SF, Parker VG, (2012) Content, Placement, and Acquisition of Cancer Education for Latino Patient Care: A Qualitative Study of Medical and Nursing Students. Journal of Cancer Education 27 (4) pp 618-624

Coulon SM, Wilson DK, Griffin S, St. George S, Kugler K, Trumpeter N, Wandersman A, Forthofer M, Robinson S, Gadson B. (2012) Formative Process Evaluation for Implementing a Social Marketing Intervention to Increase Walking in African Americans in the PATH Trial. American Journal of Public Health. 102(12) pp2315-2321

Condrasky M, Williams J, Catalalano PM, Griffin SF. (2011) Development of psychosocial scales for evaluating the impact of a culinary nutrition education program on cooking and healthy eating. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 43(6) pp511-516.

Williams, J., Kabukuru A., Mayo R., Griffin SF, (2011) Commentary: A social-ecological perspective on obesity among latinos. Ethnicity and Disease. 21 pp 467 – 472.

Wilson DK, Van Horn, L, Kitzaman-Ulreigh H, Saunders R, Pate R, Lawman HG, Hutto B, Griffin SF, Zarratte N, Addy C, Mansard L, Mixon G, Brown PV (2011) Results of the Active by Choice Today (ACT) Randomized trial for increasing physical activity in low-income and minority adolescents. Health Psychology 30(4) pp 463-471.

Griffin SF, Williams JE, Hickman P, Kirchner A, Spitler H. (2011) A university, community coalition and town partnership to promote walking. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. 17(4) pp 293-295.

Estabrooks PA, Smith-Ray R, Dzewaltowski DA, Dowdy D, Lattimore D, Rheaume C, Ory MG, Bazzarre T, Griffin SF, Wilcox S. (2011) Sustainability of evidence-based community-based physical activity programs for older adults: lessons from Active for Life. Translational Behavioral Medicine

Honors and Awards

Excellence in Student Engagement – College of Behavior, Social, and Health Science, Clemson University – May 2021
Faculty Scholar – Clemson University School of Health Research – reappointment 2021

Faculty Fellowship “Sponsored research appointment for 8 months with Greenville Health Systems, Greenville, SC- 2016
Provost Leadership Fellow - 2015
Excellence in Service and Outreach College of Health, Education and Human Development, Clemson University - May 2013

College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences
College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences | 116 Edwards Hall