Judith Lee Smith, PhD

Photo of Dr. Judith Lee Smith

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

Since 2008, Dr. Lee Smith has led the Behavioral and Applied Research Team, a group of behavioral scientists, epidemiologists, statisticians, and fellows dedicated to examining cancer-related health outcomes and translating research findings into public health practice and programs. Dr. Lee Smith’s research investigates the multilevel determinants that influence cancer-related health inequities among patients, cancer survivors, and caregivers. She collaborates extensively with various partners, agencies, organizations, and institutions throughout many communities in the United States.

Dr. Lee Smith is a co-creator of AMIGAS, a theory-based and evidence-based 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 effectiveness and cost effectiveness. 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 story for its use of evidence-based research. Dr. Lee 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. Lee Smith leads component C (survivors) of CDC’s Reducing Inequities in Cancer Outcomes through Community-Based Interventions on Social Determinants of Health. This project focuses on ways to improve care coordination, meet cancer survivors’ needs, reduce cancer health disparities, and increase awareness of systemic racism in the medical field and its effect on communities of color.

Dr. Lee Smith is the former chair of DCPC’s Health Disparities Work Group and Translation to Practice Work Group. She previously 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. Lee Smith is a peer reviewer for several academic journals and served as a member of technical advisory groups for the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable and the World Health Organization.

Dr. Lee Smith’s research has been presented extensively at national and international conferences. Selected recent publications Dr. Lee Smith has authored or co-authored include—