Dr. Kimlin Tam Ashing-Giwa is professor and director of the Center of Community Alliance for Research and Education at City of Hope. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Colorado-Boulder. Previous to her appointment at City of Hope, she spent 12 years conducting research at the University of California-Los Angeles advancing theoretical and methodological approaches as behavioral scientist and psycho-oncologist. She is active in several cancer related organizations; she serves on the Executive council of Los Angeles American Cancer Society (ACS) and The Intercultural Council on Cancer (ICC).
Dr. Ashing-Giwa is the notable leader in examining cancer disparities, quality of life and survivorship, and her published over 25 articles and book chapters. Her work in this area is significant and innovative and guides much of the cross-cultural research. Currently, she is developing and implementing community participatory interventions to reduce the risk and burden of chronic illness, in particular cancer. Dr. Ashing-Giwa examines relevant historical and cultural contexts as it relates to providing culturally competent health care. She proposes that the understanding of ethnic, social, economic and political status can inform the health care system and improve health outcomes.
Her scholarship and life work is to understand and investigate how culture, ethnicity, ecological and systemic context influence health and mental health outcomes. Currently, she is developing and implementing community participatory interventions to reduce the risk and burden of chronic illness, in particular cancer. She is a community-minded researcher who is guided by a bio-psychosocial and eco-cultural paradigm. Therefore, her research focus on assessing and understanding the influence of the biological (e.g., disease characteristics), psychological (e.g., personal characteristics), social (e.g., familial, support networks) and ecological (e.g., cultural; and micro-level e.g., work, employment; and macro-systemic e.g., health care) factors on health outcomes. Her studies are multicultural and include diverse ethnic groups, including African Americans, Afro-Caribbean Americans, Latino Americans, Chinese Americans, Japanese Americans, Filipino Americans, Korean Americans and European Americans.
Her current papers report the findings of two, population-based health outcomes studies with samples that include: Asian American (n=277), African American (n=186), Latino American (n=470) and European American (n=452) breast and cervical cancer survivors in the U.S. (N=1385). These studies examined health related quality of life, psychosocial functioning, work and functional issues, access and quality of care as well as methodological, conceptual and measurements factors relevant to multicultural, multilingual and cross cultural research. Her current studies are behavioral trials designed to reduce the psychosocial burden of cancer among diverse survivor populations.
As a woman of color raised in a multicultural (Chinese and Afro-Caribbean) and multilingual home, and the youngest of eight siblings; she recognized the salience of culture and context very early in my life. As the daughter of two former cancer survivors and a psychologist, she is compassionate and passionate about her work to reduce health disparities and enhance health outcomes for underserved communities. Her studies are seminal to advancing: 1) Our knowledge and understanding about female cancers and the impact of cancer on women and their families among diverse populations; 2) Methodologies and measurement relevant to health related quality of life (QOL) research; 3) Methodologies and application of behavioral intervention to improve QOL outcomes; 4) Methodologies and strategies to increase ethnic minority participation in research; and 5) Initiatives and behavioral intervention to reduce health disparities and increase health equity.
Dr. Ashing-Giwa is the mother of three children: Joshua - a college graduate interested in economics; Kemi - a poised, self-possessed 2nd grader; and Ajorin - a determined three year old. She lives in beautiful Altadena, California with her husband, three children and two birds. She thrives on faith, family, work and gardening.