Center News

Thompson honored for health advocacy

The 2011 Women of Valor award from U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell recognizes Dr. Beti Thompson’s efforts to improve lives in Washington communities

March 7, 2011
Dr. Beti Thompson

Dr. Beti Thompson was among the recipients of U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell’s 2011 Women of Valor award.

Photo by Dean Forbes

For her efforts to bring positive change to the lives of people in our state, particularly in the area of health advocacy, Dr. Beti Thompson was among recent recipients of U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell’s Women of Valor award. Thompson, of the Hutchinson Center's Public Health Sciences Division, received the honor during a luncheon Feb. 25 at The Westin Hotel.

The Thompson Studies research group works to uncover the reasons behind disparities in the ways different populations contract cancer, to help determine the precursors to cancer, and to build the capacity of community based researchers to investigate, educate and offer treatment for better outcomes.

Improving health, increasing opportunities

Recently, Thompson received $10.24 million in federal funding to create a Center for Population Health and Health Disparities to study antecedents of breast cancer among Latinas.

“To better understand and improve cancer prevention and early detection among the underserved, I work closely with community partners to attain the ultimate goal of eliminating health disparities,” Thompson said. “It is simply the just thing to do.”

Thompson’s ongoing programs include:

  • A community study on cancer awareness
  • A community study on diabetes education, which includes a recently published cookbook
  • Working to reduce pesticide exposure among children and farm workers in the Lower Yakima Valley.
  • Recruiting and providing science training for students underrepresented in cancer research.

Dr. Connie Lehman of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance received the Women of Valor award in 2008.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is a world leader in research to prevent, detect and treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.