Rebecca Miller joined the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center in April 2022. She accepted the position as project director of the Cleveland African American Prostate Cancer Project (CAAPP) in an effort to help create and drive novel patient-centered strategies for community intervention. Accordingly, Rebecca serves as a facilitator and bridge between community members, researchers, clinicians, and institutional partners in order to help provide the educational and care-centered resources required to increase prostate cancer screening and awareness.
That said, Rebecca is a Cleveland native who garnered much of her passion for health communication and education in early life. Caring for her community and their well-being often sparked complex questions about societal systems, access, and health behavior. In her early years, Rebecca would research the components of food ingredient labels and their manufacturing processes. After finding a multitude of information about the carcinogenic nature of the process for the production workers and those later consuming the products, Rebecca began her academic journey in chemistry, completing novel research as an undergraduate at Ohio Wesleyan University in ozonation and green chemistry. These experiences led her to a career in chemical and biological hazard communication as a safety specialist at Case's Department of Environmental Health & Safety in July 2017. While in this role, she completed her master of public health and master of science in nutrition programs where she designed her MPH practicum and capstone project, a health education and communication training for health professional students centered on reducing disparities in black patient populations, while emphasizing that toxic everyday exposures are mediators to disease development and prognosis. The training highlights the idea that patients are learners and encourages the students to address the whole patient, as most of the care happens outside of the hospital when the patient must understand and fulfill the needs of their care plan. After obtaining her MPH and MS, Rebecca transitioned into her current role as the CAAPP project director. This work, including serving as the advisor for Kids Against Hunger on campus, is one of the many ways that Rebecca is rewarded by serving the local Cleveland community.