Ph.D., Western Michigan University, Sociology, 1981.
M.A., Western Michigan University, Sociology, 1978.
B.A., Grand Valley State Colleges, English, Sociology, 1974.
Involving people in defining and solving their own problems is at the heart of behavior change. I believe true partnership is the key to successful community research.
Throughout the United States and globally, different populations contract cancer at different rates and have different survival rates from this disease. Dr. Thompson's research is designed is to understand why these disparities exist, help determine the precursors to cancer, and build the capacity of community-based researchers to investigate, educate, and treat local populations in order to improve early detection and survival rates. Much of Dr. Thompson's previous and current work focuses on the Latino population, with a specific emphasis on cancer prevention and cancer screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers.
Dr. Thompson has written many papers and chapters on community organization as a strategy for developing community partnerships. She is involved in a number of studies in which communities are randomized to intervention or comparison conditions for various health promotion projects, including diabetes, dietary change, cancer screening, and environmental strategies to encourage behavior change.
Dr. Thompson's focus on health disparities research is exemplified by a number of projects, including "Hispanic Community Network to Reduce Cancer Disparities" and "Partnership for a Hispanic Diabetes Prevention Program." Both of these projects take place in the Yakima Valley of Washington State. The projects work with local Community Advisory Boards to guide and lead the activities to reduce health disparities of cancer and diabetes.
Dr. Thompson is also PI on a U54 collaborative grant with New Mexico State University, a minority-serving institution. The goals of the "Partnership for the Advancement of Research" grant are to:
* Increase the capacity of NMSU to conduct competitive research;
* Create a long-standing partnership in cancer research training and education; and
* Evaluate a way to bring public health intervention to communities suffering from cancer health disparities.
Dr. Thompson's current research involving breast cancer disparities includes: "Improving Breast Cancer Screening at the Primary Care Level;" a Fogarty grant designed to increase the capacity of the Catholic University of Chile to conduct rigorous research in breast cancer screening. In Chile, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women and is the second leading cause of cancer death. As the country becomes more westernized, the incidence of breast cancer has risen in the past decade. Until recently, Chile has been less likely than the US to use screening mammography for early detection of breast cancer. With the new emphasis on mammography, it is necessary to test clinical interventions that will encourage women to seek mammograms. This project will help identify effective strategies that can be used by clinics to motivate women to seek mammograms.
Dr. Thompson is also PI of a National Cancer Institute's Center for Population Health and Health Disparities initiative. This project, "Understanding and Preventing Breast Cancer Disparities in Latinas" includes four research studies designed specifically to address breast cancer disparities relevant to Latina women.
"Reducing Pesticide Exposure in Children of Farmworkers" is another project being carried out in the Yakima Valley. The theme of this center grant is the biochemical, molecular and exposure mechanisms that define children's susceptibility to pesticides: implications for assessing pesticide risks to normal development and learning.
- Involved in numerous worksite and community health promotion studies, including projects involving dietary change and cancer screening behavior
- Involved in cost-effectiveness analysis of intervention trials
Future research will examine health disparities among underserved populations and involve communities in important behavior changes, including cancer prevention and cancer screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers.
Worksite studies may have implications for industries
Honors and Awards
2006, Outstanding Mentor Award, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UW
2005, Distinguished Faculty Lecture, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UW
2000, Douglas S. Leathar Award, Health Education Research, Best Paper of 2000
1997, Sabbatical Award, Bowman Gray School of Medicine
1983-1984, Regency Advancement Award, Pacific Lutheran University, Corporate crime in the automobile industry
1980, Leonard C. Kercher Award, Western Michigan University, Best Paper of 1980
1977, Alpha Kappa Delta, (National Sociology Honor Society)
1975-1976, University Fellow Award, Western Michigan University, Sociology
1995-1998, Associate Member, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
1995-1999, Associate Professor, University of Washington, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
1989-1995, Assistant Member, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
1989-1995, Assistant Professor, University of Washington, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
1984-1989, Staff Scientist, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Public Health Sciences Division, CPRP
1981-1984, Assistant Professor, Pacific Lutheran University, Sociology
Urinary microRNAs as potential biomarkers of pesticide exposure.. Toxicology and applied pharmacology.. 2016.
Characterizing Community Health Workers on Research Teams: Results From the Centers for Population Health and Health Disparities.. American journal of public health. :e1-e7.. 2016.
Conversations about Abnormal Mammograms on Distress and Timely Follow-up Across Ethnicity.. Journal of cancer education : the official journal of the American Association for Cancer Education.. 2015.
Understanding the impact of colorectal cancer education: a randomized trial of health fairs.. BMC public health. 15(1):1196.. 2015.
Building a funded research program in cancer health disparities: considerations for young investigators.. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology. 24(5):882-5.. 2015.
Latinas' Mammography Intention Following a Home-Based Promotores-Led Intervention.. Journal of community health.. 2015.
Seasonal variation in cortisol biomarkers in Hispanic mothers living in an agricultural region.. Biomarkers : biochemical indicators of exposure, response, and susceptibility to chemicals. 20(5):299-305.. 2015.
Calling for a Bold New Vision of Health Disparities Intervention Research.. American journal of public health. :e1-e3.. 2015.
Breaking the Silence: Breast Cancer Knowledge and Beliefs Among Somali Muslim Women in Seattle, Washington.. Health care for women international. 36(5):608-16.. 2015.
Considering the Role of Stress in Populations of High-Risk, Underserved Community Networks Program Centers.. Progress in community health partnerships : research, education, and action. 9 Suppl:71-82.. 2015.
The National Cancer Institute's Community Networks Program Initiative to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities: Outcomes and Lessons Learned.. Progress in community health partnerships : research, education, and action. 9 Suppl:21-32.. 2015.
Latino beliefs about biomedical research participation: a qualitative study on the u.s.-Mexico border.. Journal of empirical research on human research ethics : JERHRE. 9(4):10-21.. 2014.
Promoting Changes in Obesogenic Behaviors: Does Coworker Social Support Play a Role? American journal of health promotion : AJHP.. 2014.
"I Did It for Us and I Would Do It Again": Perspectives of Rural Latinos on Providing Biospecimens for Research.. American journal of public health.. 2014.
Involving disparate populations in clinical trials and biobanking protocols: experiences from the community network program centers.. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology. 23(3):370-3.. 2014.
An Innovative Strategy to Reach the Underserved for Colorectal Cancer Screening.. Journal of cancer education : the official journal of the American Association for Cancer Education.. 2014.
Macro-activity patterns of farmworker and non-farmworker children living in an agricultural community.. Environmental research. 132:176-81.. 2014.
Global uptake of BHGI guidelines for breast cancer.. The Lancet. Oncology. 15(13):1421-3.. 2014.
Understanding the Patient-Provider Communication Needs and Experiences of Latina and Non-Latina White Women Following an Abnormal Mammogram.. Journal of cancer education : the official journal of the American Association for Cancer Education.. 2014.
Increasing cervical cancer screening in the United States-Mexico border region.. The Journal of rural health : official journal of the American Rural Health Association and the National Rural Health Care Association. 30(2):196-205.. 2014.
Diabetes prevention in hispanics: report from a randomized controlled trial.. Preventing chronic disease. 11:E28.. 2014.