Rutgers School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and the director of the Center of Cancer Health Disparities, associate director of Cancer Health Equity and Engagement at Rutgers Cancer Institute, Dr. Anita Kinney, has been elected as a fellow to the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research.
Dr. Kinney is an exceptional scholar who has made significant contributions to the field of behavioral medicine, namely in the areas of cancer prevention and control, and health equity, through engaging in highly collaborative and multidisciplinary research. As both a nurse and an epidemiologist, Dr. Kinney brings unique and important perspective to the Academy.
Throughout her career, Dr. Kinney has made multiple and critical contributions to the field of cancer prevention and control. Her early work in the 1980’s was among the first to bring attention to sexual and reproductive issues and their psychosocial impact on women with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Aligned within this work, Dr. Kinney had several influential publications in the management of ambulatory oncology patients, including behavioral and clinical strategies to prevent medical complications and promote health and wellness in cancer survivors. Other critical early contributions included the characterization of barriers and facilitators of clinical trial enrollment, including chemoprevention trials, for breast cancer survivors, practice guidelines for nursing management in breast cancer, and determinants of risk for multiple malignancies. Some of this work was disseminated via major journals in her field including Cancer, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and Cancer Epidemiology and Biomarkers.
Dr. Kinney’s more recent work and contributions have addressed multiple and broad areas in cancer prevention and control. It has involved critical issues such as psychosocial and contextual factors associated BRCA1/2 testing and risk communication counseling, issues associated with psychological distress in pediatric cancer caregivers, and description of a randomized controlled trial to increase colonoscopy uptake among individuals at increased risk of familial colorectal cancer and observed rural disparities in treatment-related financial hardship and adherence to surveillance colonoscopy in diverse colorectal cancer populations. This work has also been disseminated in several influential journals in her field including Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Journal of Genetic Counseling, Cancer Epidemiology and Biomarkers and Annals of Behavioral Medicine.
In her current work, Dr. Kinney focuses on engaging communities impacted by cancer health disparities through research and other initiatives at the Rutgers School of Public Health and Rutgers Cancer Institute. She also leads the Screen NJ initiative, an effort led by Rutgers Cancer Institute and supported by the New Jersey Department of Health that focuses on screening efforts for lung and colorectal cancers.
“Dr. Kinney is incredibly deserving of this honor as she applies a social justice lens and a biopsychosocial perspective to cancer research,” says Rutgers School of Public Health Dean Perry N. Halkitis.
“While laboratory and clinical science are key in the fight against cancer, behavioral research is equally important, as it is critical to examine patterns and behaviors that may influence cancer development. As her expertise and leadership in this research area are unsurpassed, Dr. Kinney’s contributions to the Academy will further inform and advance the field,” adds Rutgers Cancer Institute director Dr. Steven K. Libutti, who is also the senior vice president of oncology services at RWJBarnabas Health.
With multiple R01, P30 and other grants funded through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Kinney conducts extensive behavioral research which has resulted in the authorship or co-authorship of more than 125 peer-reviewed publications. She serves on a number of External Scientific Advisory Boards for major cancer centers across the country and was recently a member of the National Cancer Institute Cancer Care Delivery Steering Committee and is a member of an NIH Study Section. She also is a senior editor for Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, is an American Academy of Nursing Fellow, serves on the Board of Trustees for the Society of Integrative Oncology and holds numerous other leadership roles related to her profession.