Visiting Scholar Archives

The goal of the Visiting Scholar Program is to expand the capacity of CHDI partners and faculty to conduct cancer disparities research and to provide a venue for disparities-related information to be shared with campus and community partners.

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Otis Webb Brawley, MD

“Improving Underserved and Minority Participation in Cancer Clinical Research” (video)
April 9, 2008

Dr. Brawley is a national leader in cancer research and the recently appointed Chief Medical Officer of the American Cancer Society. Dr. Brawley graduated from the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine in 1985. Since that time, he has conducted research in breast and prostate cancer, cancer prevention, medical ethics, disparities, and the biologic behavior of disease in specific populations with cancer. Dr. Brawley has held many distinguished posts including Assistant Director to the Office of the Director at the National Cancer Institute and professor of Hematology and Oncology and Epidemiology at Emory University in Atlanta.

Amanda Bruegl, MD

“Many Pathways to Working with the American Indian Community: Thinking Broadly to Advance Native Health & Wellness”
April 30, 2013
“Evaluating Established Clinical Criteria for Their Ability to Identify Women with Lynch Syndrome” (video)
May 1, 2013

Dr. Bruegl (Oneida) completed her undergraduate degree in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin—Madison and her Doctor of Medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle. Following a residency in gynecology at UW Hospital and Clinics, Dr. Bruegl received a fellowship in gynecological oncology from MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas. A member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, Dr. Bruegl’s current research concerns Lynch Syndrome across multiple populations. She has also conducted research on HPV vaccination practices in tribal health centers. Dr. Bruegl has interest in community- based cancer research and education, and pathways programming to promote entry of American Indian students into medicine and the health sciences. When she completes her fellowship, Dr. Bruegl will become the first American Indian gynecological oncologist in the United States.

Linda Burhansstipanov, MSPH, D.Ph., CHES

“American Indian/Alaska Native Cancer Data and its Implications for Survivorship”
May 4, 2009

Dr. Burhansstipanov (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma) has worked in public health since 1971. She taught full-time at California State University, Long Beach and UCLA, developed and implemented the Native American Cancer Research Program at the National Cancer Institute from 1989-1993, and is currently Grants Director and President of Native American Cancer Research (a community-based and American Indian-operated non-profit corporation) and President of Native American Cancer Initiatives, Inc. (a for-profit technical assistance, training, public speaking organization).

Dr. Burhansstipanov is involved with multiple NIH grants and serves on national boards such as the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, American Indian Alaska Native National Advisory Council, and Mayo Clinic’s Spirit of EAGLES Community Network Programs Advisory Board. She has over ninety peer reviewed publications, of which most address Native American cancer, public health and data issues.

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“Biospecimen Collection and Genetic Research with Minorities: Increasing the Promise and Lessening the Peril” (video)
May 2, 2012

Dr. Burhansstipanov (Cherokee) is a well-known cancer control educator and advocate among indigenous peoples worldwide. A prolific author and recipient of numerous NIH grants, Linda received her Doctorate in Public Health from UCLA. Formerly a Professor in Health Sciences at California State University Long Beach, as well as a program director within the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Burhansstipanov is currently President of Native American Cancer Research, Inc. (NACR), Pine, CO, which she founded in 1999. Dr. Burhanssitpanov is an expert in effective educational strategies to relate genetic science and Native American cultural issues; she developed a comprehensive curriculum called, GENA, Genetic Education for Native Americans.

Suzanne Christopher, PhD

“Promoting Cervical Cancer Health on the Crow Reservation: A Community-Based Research Approach” (video)
October 17, 2007

Dr. Christopher has a doctorate in Health Education and Health Behavior from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She has worked extensively with the Crow Nation in Montana using Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) and is the Co-Director of the Montana Consortium for Community based Research in Health. She currently has two NIH grants as well as a $1.5 million CBPR grant from the American Cancer Society to work with the Crow Nation addressing knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to cervical cancer screening.

Harold P. Freeman, MD

“Poverty, Culture and Social Injustice: Determinants of Cancer Disparities” (video)
April 18, 2007

Dr. Freeman is a senior advisor to the Director of the National Cancer Institute ( NCI) and former Director of The NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities. He currently serves as Medical Director of The Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention in New York City. Dr. Freeman has been a leader in the field of health disparities since the 1980’s. He is the chief architect of the American Cancer Society’s initiative on cancer in the poor and is a leading authority on the interrelationships between race, poverty, and cancer. He is also Professor of Clinical Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and has been honored with myriad distinctions and awards.

Jennie Joe, PhD, MPH

“Challenges in Sustaining Community-based Participatory Research: Lessons Learned from Academic-Tribal Partnerships” (video)
May 2, 2008

Dr. Joe (Navajo) is faculty in the Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM), College of Medicine at the University of Arizona. Since 1987, Dr. Joe has also been the Director of the Native American Research and Training Center at the DFCM. Dr. Joe is a medical anthropologist who has been engaged in a number of community-based research projects with American Indian/Alaska Native Communities. She served as a member on the Institute of Medicine’s Committee to Assess Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Healthcare and on the National Human Research Protections Advisory Committee to the U.S Secretary of Health and Human Services. As a researcher, she is involved in a number of health-related studies that are conducted in cooperation with tribal groups throughout the country. Dr. Joe received her MPH and her doctorate from the University of California Berkeley. Her presentation is co-sponsored by the Collaborative Center for Health Equity and the Spirit of EAGLES program.

Judith Kaur, MD

“Bioethics and American Indians: Intersection of Culture and Science” (video)
June 11, 2012

Dr. Kaur (Choctaw/Cherokee) is Professor of Oncology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Medical Director of Mayo Clinic Hospice, Rochester MN. She is one of two practicing American Indian medical oncologists in the United States and for over twelve years, has led both the national Spirit of EAGLES Leadership Initiative on Cancer and the National Network for Cancer Control among American Indian and Alaska Native populations. A former teacher and counselor, Judith holds a BS in Medicine from the University of North Dakota Medical School and a MD, with honors, from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.  Widely published and a recipient of numerous NIH grants, Dr. Kaur’s primary research interests are breast and gynecologic cancers, as well as cancer control among American Indians and Alaska Natives. Dr. Kaur is currently co-Chair of the Cancer Disparities Committee of The Alliance for Cancer Clinical Trials, and in 2008, was appointed to in the National Cancer Advisory Board.

Nancy Kreiger, PhD

“The Science and Epidemiology of US Cancer Disparities: Race/Ethnicity, Class, Gender, and the Risk of Cancer”
April 16, 2008

Dr. Krieger, Harvard University Professor of Society, Human Development, and Health, is a leading theoretician in the fields of health disparities and social determinants of health. She is a social epidemiologist with a background in biochemistry, history of public health, and philosophy of science. Her research deals with topics such as social justice and racial discrimination. One of Dr. Krieger’s current research projects uses 30 years of data to assess whether the socioeconomic gradient in breast cancer is changing. Dr. Krieger is the Associate Director of the Harvard Center for Society and Health within the Harvard School of Public Health. CHDI will be co-sponsoring Dr. Krieger’s visit with the Havens Center for the Study of Social Structure and Social Change.

Eugene J. Lengerich, VMD, MS

“Rural Cancer Disparities Research” (video)
February 18, 2009
“Recruitment of Underserved Women to Mammography through a Dispersed Rural Research Network” (video)
February 16, 2009

Dr. Lengerich is an epidemiologist with expertise in community-based participatory research and health disparities in rural settings. Dr. Lengerich’s research explores how community factors can affect the risk of chronic disease. He is principal investigator for the Northern Appalachia Cancer Network (NACN), a community-academic partnership begun in 1992 which focuses on reducing cancer health disparities in rural communities in New York and Pennsylvania.

Melissa R. Partin, PhD

“Take Stock, Get Your Bearings, and Mind Your Manners: Lessons Learned From a Cancer Control Researcher on How to Increase Success in Implementation Research and Practice” (video)
March 12, 2008

Dr. Partin is a behavioral scientist with particular interests and expertise in cancer prevention and control research. She is an alumna of UW Madison, where she received her MS in Epidemiology and PhD in Sociology in 1993. Subsequently she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Carolina Population Center and Department of Biostatistics at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Since completing her training at UNC, Dr. Partin has conducted applied research in the area of cancer prevention and control, with a particular emphasis on screening behavior. She has been principal investigator on seven federally funded grants, and has authored numerous scholarly articles in this area of study. She is currently the Associate Director of the Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center (a VA Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence) and a faculty member in the Departments of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Minnesota.

Gregory Talavera, MD, MPH

“Cultural Perspectives in Cancer Control Among Latinos” (video)
March 14, 2007

Dr. Talavera is a bilingual, bicultural physician with experience in preventive medicine, public health, and cancer control. He is currently responsible for a $9.7 million research grant from The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to conduct a longitudinal study of Latino health. Among his research interests are culture-specific beliefs that serve as assets or barriers to chronic disease prevention and control. He is an associate professor at the Graduate School of Public Health, Division of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, at San Diego State University, where he is also co-director of the Center for Behavioral and Community Health Studies.

Donald Warne, MD, MPH

“Cancer in Indian Country: Policy, Ethical and Research Considerations” (video)
April 18, 2012

Dr. Warne (Oglala Lakota) is a national expert on American Indian health policy and comes from a family of Oglala Lakota leaders and traditional healers. Dr. Warne has published on American Indian health policy, cancer policy, bioethics and integration of medical practice with traditional ways. He holds a medical degree from Stanford University Medical School and an MPH from Harvard University. Dr. Warne is currently Associate Professor and Director of the MPH program at North Dakota State University, and a consultant and senior policy advisor for both the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Health Board and Sanford Health’s Office of Native American Health. In addition, Dr. Warne is a member of both the Midwest Division and national Boards of Directors of the American Cancer Society.

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Eighth Annual Littlefield Leadership Lecture

CHDI was proud to be a Special Partner for the Littlefield Leadership Lecture through the UW School of Nursing on September 21, 2007. Presenters included:

Antonia Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN
“Health Disparities: Challenges and Innovations” (video)

Sandra Underwood, PhD, RN, FAAN
“Efforts to Address Cancer-Related Health Disparities in Southeastern Wisconsin”

Tracy Schroepfer, PhD
“Partners Building Bridges: Reducing Cancer Health Disparities in Wisconsin”

For more information, please contact Rick Strickland, Director, at 608-262-0072 or