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
Plans to obtain a mammogram among Chilean women: the roles of recommendations and self-efficacy.. Health education research.. 2013.
The 2011-2016 Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC) Initiative: Rationale and Design.. Cancer causes & control : CCC.. 2013.
Racial/Ethnic Differences in Use and Duration of Adjuvant Hormonal Therapy for Breast Cancer in the Women's Health Initiative.. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology.. 2013.
AMIGAS: A multicity, multicomponent cervical cancer prevention trial among Mexican American women.. Cancer. 119(7):1365-72.. 2013.
Do Workplace and Home Protective Practices Protect Farm Workers? Findings From the "For Healthy Kids" Study. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 54(9):1163-1169.. 2012.
Patterns of Adjuvant Hormonal Therapy Use in the Northern California Breast Cancer Family Registry.. Journal of women's health (2002).. 2012.
Perceived and objective breast cancer risk assessment in Chilean women living in an underserved area.. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology.. 2012.
Development of a radionovela to promote HPV vaccine awareness and knowledge among Latino parents.. Public health reports (Washington, D.C. : 1974). 127(1):130-8.. 2012.
Breast cancer knowledge, attitudes, and early detection practices in United States-Mexico border Latinas.. Journal of women's health (2002). 21(1):101-7.. 2012.
Racial/ethnic differences in initiation of adjuvant hormonal therapy among women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.. Breast cancer research and treatment. 131(2):607-17.. 2012.
Evaluating breast cancer risk projections for Hispanic women.. Breast cancer research and treatment. 132(1):347-353.. 2012.
Utilizing pyrosequencing and quantitative PCR to characterize fungal populations among house dust samples.. Journal of environmental monitoring : JEM. 14(8):2038-43.. 2012.
Cancer Screening at a Federally Qualified Health Center: A Qualitative Study on Organizational Challenges in the Era of the Patient-Centered Medical Home.. Journal of immigrant and minority health / Center for Minority Public Health.. 2012.
Improving Knowledge and Screening for Colorectal Cancer Among Hispanics: Overcoming Barriers Through a PROMOTORA-Led Home-Based Educational Intervention.. Journal of cancer education : the official journal of the American Association for Cancer Education.. 2012.
The Impact of Family History of Breast Cancer on Knowledge, Attitudes, and Early Detection Practices of Mexican Women Along the Mexico-US Border.. Journal of immigrant and minority health / Center for Minority Public Health. 13(5):867-75.. 2011.
Intrapersonal, behavioral, and environmental factors associated with meeting recommended physical activity among rural Latino youth.. Pediatric exercise science. 23(4):521-36.. 2011.
Rural Latino youth park use: characteristics, park amenities, and physical activity.. Journal of community health. 36(3):389-97.. 2011.
The association between worksite social support, diet, physical activity and body mass index.. Preventive medicine. 53(1-2):53-6.. 2011.
Exploring the role of co-worker social support on health care utilization and sickness absence.. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 53(7):751-7.. 2011.
Organophosphate pesticide exposure and residential proximity to nearby fields: evidence for the drift pathway.. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 53(8):884-91.. 2011.
Mammogram screening in Chile: using mixed methods to implement health policy planning at the primary care level.. Breast (Edinburgh, Scotland). 20 Suppl 2:S40-5.. 2011.
Problem solving for breast health care delivery in low and middle resource countries (LMCs): consensus statement from the Breast Health Global Initiative.. Breast (Edinburgh, Scotland). 20 Suppl 2:S20-9.. 2011.
Strategies for increasing mammography screening in primary care in Chile: results of a randomized clinical trial.. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology. 19(9):2254-61.. 2010.
Educating Hispanic women about breast cancer prevention: evaluation of a home-based promotora-led intervention.. Journal of women's health (2002). 19(11):2049-56.. 2010.