Thompson Beti

Thompson Beti, PhD
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, USA

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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.


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