July 15, 2013

Nancy Solomon

Cancer Disparities Researcher to Join College for Public Health and Social Justice

Mario Schootman to Hold James R. Kimmey Endowed Chair in Public Health

ST. LOUIS -- Mario Schootman, Ph.D., a world renowned epidemiologist who studies cancer disparities, will join the faculty of Saint Louis University's College for Public Health and Social Justice this fall, holding an endowed chair in public health.

Mario Schootman, Ph.D.

Schootman, who is Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine and Chief of the Division of Health Behavior Research at Washington University in St. Louis, pioneered the development of risk assessments at the neighborhood level for disability and disease. He combines a geographic information system (GIS) and advanced statistical and epidemiologic tools to examine how the characteristics of communities and neighborhoods influence health outcomes.

"This is an exciting time for public health in general and the SLU's College for Public Health and Social Justice as well. There is a lot of growth, new direction, and great opportunity to conduct important public health research. I look forward to helping the College with this next phase," Schootman said. 

"Working with students, both graduate and undergraduate, will be exciting in terms of training the next generation of public health professionals and researchers in epidemiology. I am especially honored to hold the endowed chair named after Dr. James Kimmey, a very distinguished public health advocate."

Schootman has special expertise in cancer epidemiology and prevention. He studies the impact of geographic disparities on breast and colorectal cancer, looking at the continuum of cancer care -- from prevention and screening to treatment and quality of life. He also examines how neighborhoods affect the development of disability in African-Americans. His research is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

He is the author or co-author of more than 150 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and serves on numerous editorial boards and lectures nationally and internationally.

Before entering academia, Schootman worked for the Iowa Department of Public Health as a chronic disease and injury epidemiologist.

He received his master's degree in health science from the Vrije Universiteit, Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, in The Netherlands and his doctorate in epidemiology from the University of Iowa.

Schootman will be invested as holder of the James R. Kimmey Chair in Public Health in October. The founding dean of SLU's School of Public Health, Kimmey now is an Executive-in-Residence at SLU's College for Public Health and Social Justice. He also had been executive vice president and vice president for health sciences at SLU before becoming the first president and chief executive officer of the Missouri Foundation for Health, which had helped to establish the endowed chair.

"The recruitment of Professor Schootman to SLU's College for Public Health and Social Justice signals our commitment to excellence in public health scholarship, as well as our focus on improving health locally, nationally and internationally at the neighborhood level," said Edwin Trevathan, M.D., MPH, dean of SLU's College for Public Health and Social Justice.

Schootman is among the more than 30 new faculty recruited during the past three years to the units within SLU's College for Public Health and Social Justice. The College recently announced Alexander Garza, M.D., MPH, the former Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Homeland Security, will join its faculty this fall as Associate Dean for Public Health Practice.

The College for Public Health and Social Justice is the only academic unit of its kind among the nearly 250 Catholic institutions of higher education in the United States.

With a focus on finding innovative and collaborative solutions for complex global health problems, the College offers nationally recognized programs in global public health, social work, health management and health policy, epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental and occupational health, behavioral science and health education, emergency management, biosecurity and disaster preparedness, and criminology and criminal justice.

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