Judith Lee Smith, PhD

Photo of Dr. Judith Lee Smith

Judith Lee Smith, PhD, is a Senior Behavioral Scientist and Team Lead in the Epidemiology and Applied Research Branch of CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. Dr. Smith joined DCPC in September 2004 and was previously a National Institutes of Health post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Medicine and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Smith is a co-creator of AMIGAS, a bilingual educational outreach intervention designed to help promotoras (community health workers) and other lay health educators increase cervical cancer screening among Hispanic women who have rarely or never been screened for cervical cancer. A randomized controlled trial demonstrated the intervention’s effectivenessexternal icon and cost effectiveness.external icon In recognition of these achievements, AMIGAS was awarded the CDC/ATSDR Honor Award for Health Equity. AMIGAS was featured as a Community Guide in Action storyexternal icon for its use of evidence-based research. Dr. Smith recently completed an adaptation of AMIGAS for African American women who have rarely or never been screened for cervical cancer. The new intervention, Face Your Health, was developed in collaboration with a work group of community health workers and community health worker administrators from across the United States.

Dr. Smith’s research interests include investigating the behavioral, psychosocial, cultural, and system-level factors that impact cancer-related health disparities and cancer survivorship. Her primary areas of focus are colorectal, cervical, prostate, and breast cancers and cancer survivorship. She collaborates domestically and internationally with various institutions and works extensively with diverse populations including African Americans, Hispanics, rural populations, and the uninsured or underinsured. Dr. Smith is a lead or co-investigator on several studies examining factors associated with cancer screening uptake, predictors of screening adherence, surveillance screening, and health outcomes of cancer survivors.

Dr. Smith is the former chair of DCPC’s Health Disparities and Translation to Practice work groups. Dr. Smith was the opening keynote speaker at the 21st Century Cures Southeast Conference at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 2018. She has been a member of the annual national program committee for the 2018 American Psychosocial Oncology Society Conference. She formerly represented CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion on the Prevention and Control Sub-Committee and the Full Committee for the Charles C. Shepard Award. Dr. Smith has also served as a member of technical advisory groups for the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable and the World Health Organization.

Dr. Smith has presented her work extensively and has authored or co-authored more than 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of General Internal Medicine, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Journal of Oncology Practice, Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, Cancer, and Journal of Cancer Survivorship. Some of her more recent articles include—