Jennifer Hatcher, PhD, MPH, RN, a noted health equity researcher, has joined the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health – Phoenix faculty as professor of public health in the Division of Public Health Practice and Translational Research.
She also has been appointed associate director for community outreach and engagement at the UA Cancer Center.
A community-engaged researcher, Dr. Hatcher is trained in health equity research to improve the health of vulnerable populations with a focus on cancer prevention and control. She conducts research in partnership with communities that feature novel and culturally appropriate interventions and activities designed to increase cancer screening and physical activity and to promote healthful nutrition.
Dr. Hatcher’s work includes the use of social media, text messages and other “technology-forward” interventions. She partners with community members to conduct this research in community venues such as churches, community centers and emergency departments.
“Dr. Hatcher has a solid research portfolio in the areas of diversity and inclusivity and a record of teaching excellence and service that is aligned with the priorities of the University of Arizona Health Sciences and the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, in particular,” said Iman Hakim, MD, PhD, MPH, dean of the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health. “She is an excellent addition to our Phoenix campus and will help to enhance service to the growing body of diverse students, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels.”
Prior to joining the UA, Dr. Hatcher was an associate professor and director of diversity and inclusivity at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing and director of integrated special populations for the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences.
Dr. Hatcher is the founder of REACH, the Disparities Researchers Equalizing Access for Minorities Center at the University of Kentucky, a program to support health disparities research.
Dr. Hatcher said she is excited to establish DREAM Arizona at the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health before the end of the year with the following goals: To develop and test interventions that can be replicated and disseminated to reduce health disparities; to create partnerships that result in understanding and reducing health disparities, including initiatives that increase the number of underrepresented minorities in the health-care workforce; and to train a new generation of health disparities researchers committed to the promotion of health equity for underrepresented minorities.
In her role as associate director of community outreach and engagement at the UA Cancer Center, Dr. Hatcher aims to expand the Cancer Prevention and Control (CPC) program in Northern Arizona to reach underserved communities, focusing on cancers prevalent among Native Americans, African Americans and Latinos in the Southwest. She also is building an outreach team both in Tucson and Phoenix designed to be the “bridge” between the UA Cancer Center and the communities they serve.
“Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the U.S. and a source of large racial and ethnic disparities in population health,” said UA Cancer Center Director Andrew Kraft, MD. “Dr. Hatcher will develop new research projects with a focus on community engagement to help reduce cancer burden and disparities in Arizona.”
Dr. Hatcher received her master’s degree in nursing in 2002 and doctorate in nursing in 2006 from the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. In 2012, she graduated with a master’s degree in public health from the University of Kentucky School of Public Health.