PECaD Faculty Member Highlight Molly Tovar

Molly TovarMolly Tovar, EdD, is the director of the Kathryn M. Buder Center of American Indian Studies and professor of practice at the Brown School of School Work at Washington University in St. Louis. She also sits on The Program for the Elimination of Cancer Disparities (PECaD) Disparities Elimination Advisory Committee as a voting institution member. Dr. Tovar has been director of the Buder Center since 2010 and works tirelessly with community members, physicians and researchers, and students to understand the disparities facing the American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations. She works closely with PECaD to help create and distribute cancer prevention educational materials and resources to physicians and community members. She also helps bring health screenings and information to the Washington University annual Pow Wow, and talks with AI/AN community members about the importance of health screenings. Together, Dr. Tovar and PECaD hope to break down the barriers AI/AN men and women face in healthcare. 

She is currently working on a project aimed at reducing breast cancer in AI/AN women. Among these women, breast cancer is the second leading cause of death. The Buder Center is working with Siteman Cancer Center and PECaD to provide AI/AN women access to mammography and increase awareness of cancer prevention strategies. Through community partnerships, Dr. Tovar’s project has a goal of reaching AI/AN women and helping educate them on screening options and lifestyle changes to reduce cancer risk. She is also interested in diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and the recruitment and retention of AI/AN in educational institutions and enhancing the financial capabilities of American Indian and Alaska Natives.