Dr. Gloria Coronado, a cancer researcher with interests in health issues that affect Hispanic Americans, received promotion to assistant member of the Public Health Sciences Division.
Coronado, previously a PHS staff scientist, has contributed to several recent studies aimed at improving the health of Mexican-American immigrants in central Washington state. In 2003, Coronado, Dr. Beti Thompson and colleagues found that farm workers in Washington's Lower Yakima Valley track significant amounts of pesticides into their homes, exposing their children to potentially harmful chemicals. The findings will enable the researchers to develop educational strategies to minimize this exposure. Coronado also has identified differences in cervical-cancer screening between Hispanic and non-Hispanic whites, work that provides a basis for the development of culturally sensitive programs aimed at boosting cancer-screening practices among Hispanic whites.
Coronado, who has a doctorate in epidemiology from the University of Washington, will continue her research on cervical-cancer prevention by identifying and implementing interventions to reduce the burden of the disease among Hispanics. This work will explore the use of colposcopy (a method to examine the cervix using an endoscope) and overcoming barriers to its use among women who have abnormal Pap test results. In addition, she will examine barriers to colonoscopy screening — a test for colorectal cancer — among patients with positive fecal-occult blood test results. Coronado also will continue pesticide exposure research by examining exposure levels among workers in the Yakima Valley across the spray and non-spray seasons.
A future project will involve developing and testing an English as a Second Language curriculum to promote hepatitis B testing in Chinese Americans.
Coronado also is a volunteer lecturer for the center's community outreach initiatives.