Dr. Linda Thompson has held leadership positions in both higher education and public policy. In Baltimore City she served in the cabinet of Mayor Schmoke as the Director of Occupational Medicine and Safety, where she developed programs and policies to promote the health of the City workforce, including the implementation of policies for HIV prevention and substance use and abuse. At the State level, she served as Special Secretary of Children, Youth and Families for Maryland, where she developed programs and policies to improve quality of care for vulnerable populations of children, including those in foster care, juvenile justice, special education and children with special health care needs. Many of these programs for children and youth have been duplicated both nationally and globally through her advisory and consulting roles in China, India, Korea, Brazil and the Caribbean.
Dr. Thompson has spent the majority of her career promoting policies and programs to improve the quality of life for children and youth. Her research on the determinants of risky behaviors among youth documented the need for collaborative strategies for healthy child development. Her strategy to create partnerships with academic institutions, government and community-based organizations to promote healthy children is described in an article published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Science. This strategy was designed in her role as Special Secretary for Children, Youth and Families. As such, she was the Chief Policy Advisor to the Governor of Maryland on all matters related to children and youth, managing an interagency budget of over $350 million.
More than 15 years ago, Dr. Thompson was one of the first nurses to assess the characteristics of incarcerated youth, risk factors for delinquent behavior, and the importance of collaborative partnerships to promote healthy outcomes. This seminal research was essential in the development of national policy to require mental health assessments of all detained and adjudicated youth. Further, this work led to her advocacy on behalf of vulnerable populations of children and the importance of the design of integrated, multidisciplinary models to promote the health and safety of children. Her commitment to envision, enact, and sustain effective research programs for children and youth continues in her current research focus on promoting healthy lifestyles to reduce childhood obesity in children and youth and reducing health disparities in minority populations. This research uses a multidisciplinary approach of community-partnered strategies for the primary prevention of chronic disease among urban children and youth.
Dr. Thompson has published more than 100 articles, books, book chapters and abstracts. She has secured over $30 million in sponsored grants and contracts, over $6 million in a capital campaign, and worked with the Maryland legislature to secure $40 million for a new building. She has received numerous awards, including induction into the American Academy of Nursing, Phi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Xi, Trailblazer Award from the National Black Nurses Association, Selection as a RWJ Executive Nurse Fellow, and invited participant in the White House Conference on Childcare and as the White House Delegate to Brazil. Two of Dr. Thompson 's books have been recognized: Losing control: Loving a Black Child with Bipolar Disorder by the American Sociologic Association; and Hard Times, Healing Hands by EdPress. Dr. Thompson has served on numerous boards and commissions, including the National Advisory Committee for the Nurse Faculty Scholars Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Initiative on Children 's Health Care Quality, the Urban League, and the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse.
Dr. Thompson earned both BSN and MSN degrees at Wayne State University (MI), and masters and doctoral degrees in public health from The Johns Hopkins University (MD).