Ashley Wilder Smith, PhD, MPH


Chief, Outcomes Research Branch, Healthcare Delivery Research Program

Responsibilities and Research Initiatives

Dr. Smith oversees ORB grants, contracts and activities, and personally manages a portfolio of ORB funded grants and applications focused on patient reported well-being, functioning, and healthcare delivery interventions. Dr. Smith also participates in efforts across the Department of Health and Human Services to study and improve the measurement and evaluation of patient-reported symptoms and health outcomes in observational studies, clinical trials, and for use in clinical care. Dr. Smith is currently the NCI Chief Science Officer of IMPACT: Improving the Management of symPtoms during And following Cancer Treatment, a scientific initiative supported by funding provided through the Cancer Moonshot℠External Web Site Policy. IMPACT is a Research Consortium designed to accelerate the use of systematic cancer symptom management systems integrated into electronic health record systems to collect patient-reported data and support clinical responses consistent with evidence-based guidelines. Previously, Dr. Smith served as the NIH Chief Science Officer of the NIH Patient Centered Outcomes Research Resource, a trans-NIH cooperative agreement to support the availability and implementation of four person-centered health outcome assessment systems: PROMIS®, the NIH Toolbox®, Neuro-QOL, and ASCQ-Me™. These tools were transitioned to independence from NIH funding and are now offered to investigators through an integrated platform for automated use in one publicly available research resource, HealthMeasuresExternal Web Site Policy.

Other signature initiatives led by Dr. Smith include the Adolescent and Young Adult Health Outcomes and Patient Experience (AYA HOPE) Study. This study was designed to examine the feasibility of conducting a population-based cohort collect outpatient and inpatient medical records, and survey recently diagnosed AYA cancer patients to understand their unique care experiences, needs, and outcomes in population. She also served as the NCI lead of the Health, Eating, Activity, & Lifestyle (HEAL) Study of Breast Cancer Prognosis and directed the National Survey of Energy Balance-related Care Among Primary Care Physicians (NSEBPCP).

Relevant Past Positions

Prior to becoming Branch Chief, Dr. Smith was a Program Director in the Outcomes Research Branch from 2005-2014. Before that she completed an NCI Cancer Prevention Fellowship. Dr. Smith is the recipient of several awards for leadership and excellence in research from the NCI and NIH, as well as awards from the American Psychological Association and the American Society of Preventive Oncology.

Research Interest Areas

  • Patient-reported outcomes measurement and application
  • Research to improve cancer symptom management and patient functioning
  • Cancer survivorship across the lifespan including childhood, adolescence and young adulthood, and older adults
  • Assessment and improvement of patient experiences of care and care quality
  • Novel methods to capture and optimize patient-centered health outcomes


  • PhD, Health Psychology; University of Pittsburgh
  • MS, Health Psychology; University of Pittsburgh
  • MPH, Epidemiology; University of Pittsburgh


  • N/A
Last Updated: 10 May, 2023