Behavioral Epidemiologist with a Research Focus on Tobacco Joins Cancer Center
Karen Hudmon, Dr.P.H., M.S., B.S.Pharm., a behavioral epidemiologist and licensed pharmacist at Purdue University, joined the Indiana University Cancer Center as a Cancer Control Program member in December. Since completion of her pharmacy degree, her career goals have been directed toward expanding the preventive medicine component of healthcare delivery and utilization and broadening the clinician's role as an advocate for positive health outcomes through disease prevention and treatment. For the past 15 years, Hudmon’s primary clinical and cancer-related research focus has been tobacco cessation.
Specifically, Hudmon’s 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 healthcare providers.
“Dr. Hudmon's national research expertise adds an invaluable component to our tobacco program,” says Victoria Champion, DNS, leader of the cancer center’s Cancer Control Program.“She not only focuses on tobacco cessation at the individual level but also on training professionals and healthcare providers in tobacco cessationtraining and dissemination.She has quickly begun to work with our current tobacco researchers and promises to greatly expand oursmoking cessation efforts in cancer control.”
Perhaps her most significant scholarly contribution is the careful creation of the most comprehensive, evidence-based tobacco cessation curriculum available for health professional students and licensed healthcare 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. The program’s vision is to change the landscape of tobacco education in health professional schools nationally and, eventually, internationally through the creation and dissemination of a shared program. Currently, nearly 8,000 students participate in a Rx for Change training annually. Hudmon’s 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, Hudmon has 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,” says Hudmon. “This recognition will continue to grow through our partnership with University of California - San Francisco - a group that is led by Dr. Steven A. Schroeder, the former President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.”
Hudmon received her B.S. in Pharmacy from Ohio Northern University, her M.S. in Pharmacy from Auburn University and her doctorate in public health from The University of Texas. She was a recipient of a National Cancer Institute Predoctoral Fellowship in Cancer Prevention and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Cancer Prevention at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, where she divided her time between the Departments of Behavioral Science and Epidemiology.