Dr. Erika Thompson named Fellow in the American Academy of Health Behavior

By Sally Crocker

Dr. Erika Thompson

Erika Thompson, PhD, MPH, has achieved a level of professional recognition considered rare and outstanding for early career scientists in their field.

An Assistant Professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (HSC) School of Public Health (SPH) and Program Director for the school’s Maternal and Child Health Master of Public Health (MPH) program concentration, Dr. Thompson has been granted Fellow status in the American Academy of Health Behavior (AAHB) and is now a member of the national organization’s Fellows Class of 2022.

This honor was established by AAHB as a marker of later career success, recognizing outstanding achievement in health behavior research. This status allows Dr. Thompson to use “FAAHB” in her title and signature.

She will be recognized at AAHB’s next annual scientific meeting in March in Key Largo, Florida.

Being conferred as an AAHB Fellow is an indication of distinction based solely on accomplishments in research.  Fellows are recognized for their academic record of publications, grants, presentations and contributions to the body of knowledge in health behavior, as well as for their service to and demonstrated involvement in the Academy.

Achieving Fellow status is a rigorous process. Dr. Thompson was unanimously endorsed for this honor by the AAHB Board of Directors.

“Dr. Thompson’s recognition as an AAHB Fellow at such an early stage of her career is a remarkable achievement. We are so pleased that she is a member of our faculty,” said Dr. Dennis L. Thombs, SPH Dean.

Dr. Thompson was presented with AAHB’s prestigious Judy K. Black Early Career Research Award in 2020, recognizing younger scholars expected to make major contributions to scientific knowledge and professional practice during their careers.

Her research studies sexual and reproductive health, and women’s and children’s health, with a primary focus on HPV vaccination, HPV prevention and contraception. Her work has been presented at conferences and published in close to 100 peer-reviewed articles, many of which are high-impact journals, including the American Journal of Public Health, JAMA Pediatrics, Preventive Medicine, American Journal of Preventive Medicine and Women’s Health Issues.

Dr. Thompson holds a PhD in public health and an MPH degree in epidemiology, along with graduate certificates in biostatistics and maternal and child health epidemiology.

Teaching, community engagement and volunteer service are also important parts of her work. She is involved with several North Texas organizations, including the local Center for Transforming Lives (CTL), Health Equity Alliance of Tarrant County, Immunization Collaboration of Tarrant County, Birth Equity Collaborative and the Tarrant County Family Homelessness Committee.

She was presented with CTL’s first-ever Hope Award in 2021, honoring her contributions in addressing the needs of Tarrant County’s most vulnerable mothers, children and families in transition.

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