Since completion of my pharmacy degree, my career goals have been directed toward expanding the preventive medicine component of health care delivery and utilization and broadening the clinician's role as an advocate for positive health outcomes through disease prevention, as well as treatment. The approaches that I apply in attaining these goals are transdisciplinary, collaborative, and participatory. For the past 15 years, my primary clinical and cancer-related research focus has been tobacco cessation.
My work in the area of tobacco research encompasses (1) the identification of predictors of tobacco use, including genetics and environment, (2) the development of new measures for assessing tobacco-related phenotypes, such as the multidimensional characterization of tobacco dependence, (3) evaluation of interventions for cessation, and (4) the development, evaluation, and dissemination of effective training programs for health-care providers. Perhaps my most significant scholarly contribution is the careful creation of the most comprehensive, evidence-based tobacco cessation curriculum available for health professional students and licensed health-care providers. This program, Rx for Change: Clinician-Assisted Tobacco Cessation, is the result of more than five years of effort in leading a statewide team of faculty. Our vision is to change the landscape of tobacco education in health professional schools nationally and, eventually, internationally through creation and dissemination of a shared program. Currently, nearly 8,000 students participate in an Rx for Change training annually. My personal goal is to ensure that all graduates from all health professional programs are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to assist patients with quitting.
In addition to training health professional students, I have worked tirelessly in promoting the pharmacist's role in tobacco cessation through a series of six research projects over the past five years. I do believe that we have finally put pharmacy 'on the map' as recognized providers for tobacco cessation services, and this recognition will continue to grow through our partnership with the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center -a group that is led by Dr. Steven A. Schroeder, the former President of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Post-doctoral Fellowship - The University of Texas, M.D. Anderson 1995-1997
Post-doctoral Fellowship - National Cancer Institute-The University of Texas, M.D. Anderson 1993-1995
DrPH - The University of Texas School of Public Health, Austin, TX 1991-1995
M.S. - Pharmacy Care Systems, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 1989-1991