Bettina M. Beech, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Associate Professor of Medicine
Associate Professor of Surgery
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity, Health Disparities Research, and Adolescent Health
Dr. Bettina Beech has a unique interdisciplinary background that integrates public health, cancer prevention and control, health disparities, nutrition, obesity prevention and treatment, epidemiology, and children’s health issues. A native of Los Angeles, California, Dr. Beech holds a B.A. from Temple University, master of public health from Temple University, and a Dr.P.H. in community health from University of Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral science at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Prior to coming to Vanderbilt, she served on the faculty at the Tulane University School of Public Health and at the University of Memphis, Department of Psychology. Dr. Beech’s research focuses on the role of nutritional factors in the primary and secondary prevention of chronic diseases, with a particular focus on childhood obesity and related problems such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Her current studies involve the development and evaluation of interventions to prevent or treat childhood obesity in primary care and community-based settings, particularly among African Americans. Dr. Beech is involved in several national public-health related activities. She has been an active member of the American Public Health Association since 1990 and currently serves on two national advisory councils focused on the clinical management of childhood obesity. She served as an external reviewer for the Institute of Medicine’s recently released, WIC food packages: time for a change report, is a member of the African American collaborative obesity research network (AACORN), and is the lead editor of race and research in focus: perspectives on minority participation in health studies, published by the American Public Health Association. Dr. Beech has served as a member of the board of directors for the Memphis Chapter of the American Diabetes Association and was recently appointed by Commissioner Cooper as the chair of the Child Health and Wellness Advisory Council for the State of Tennessee.