Thomas M Lasater, Phd
Thomas M Lasater, Phd

December 30, 1940 - November 22, 2010
Born in St. Louis, MO
Resided in Providence, RI
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Obituary

Lasater, Thomas M, PhD, age 69, died Monday, November 22, at Miriam Hospital in Providence. He was the beloved husband of Angie Soares Lasater. From humble beginnings, he became an internationally renowned, behavioral health researcher and founding director of the Institute for Community Health Promotion at Brown University. During his career he worked on numerous landmark studies, designing and conducting research grants in partnership with community organizations.
Born Dec 30, 1940 in St. Louis, MO., he was a son of the late Wilford and Alice Malhzan Lasater. His father was an itinerant oil field worker until the family settled at a ranch in Pecos, Texas. Dr. Lasater was fond of saying that he spent his boyhood in a location so remote that he didn't know he was poor until he got to college. He was offered a football scholarship to attend University of Houston, where he earned a B.S. in Psychology and a PhD in Experimental Social Psychology.
After graduation he joined a colleague to continue behavior change research in schools in Birmingham, AL. After several years he left the traditional academic setting to work more directly in the community designing and carrying out poverty programs. During the civil rights movement, he worked with Alabama police departments to bring about more humane treatment of protesters. At that time he also served as a Principal Investigator on a large parent education research project, the Parent Child Development Center, which was an early precursor to the current Head Start Program. He also received funding for several Department of Labor projects that required collaboration with 2500 worksites.
In 1979, he joined Richard Carleton at Brown University and together they wrote the initial Pawtucket Heart Health Program (PHHP) grant which was funded early in 1980. Dr. Lasater served as Co-Principal Investigator and Program Director of PHHP throughout the 17 years of` NIH funding. This was, at the time, the largest funded health education grant in the history of the National Institutes of Health. During that same period he was Principal Investigator of the Health and Religion Project (HARP). Other large relevant community-based grants of Dr. Lasater's have included the Cholesterol Change at Work and Cholesterol Challenge studies. In recent years, Dr. Lasater has served as Principal Investigator of the SisterTalk series of studies that aimed to improve diet, activity, stress and weight control among African American women. He has also led several interventions to decrease smoke exposure to pregnant women.
Dr. Lasater was former President of the Rhode Island Public Health Association, served on many dozens of public health committees, boards, and was involved in the design of community-based health programs throughout the United States and Canada. He authored hundreds of journal articles detailing the findings of his research, was a highly respected and sought after consultant and a frequent speaker at public health conferences both here and abroad.
In addition to his wife he leaves a daughter, Meghan Lasater Taylor of St. Rafael, California; two grandchildren, Claire and Thomas, his brother, James D. Lasater and his wife Barbara of Plano, TX and a niece and nephew, Kelly Bos and Aaron Lasater, both of Plano, TX.
A funeral service for Dr. Lasater will take place Monday at 10am at Mt. Hope Community Baptist Church, 734 Hope St., Providence. Calling hours will be Sunday, 5-8pm at the REBELLO FUNERAL HOME, 901 Broadway, East Providence. Relatives, colleagues and friends are invited to attend. Burial will take place in Mertzon, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are respectfully requested to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, PO Box 1000 Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38148.

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Visitation
Rebello Funeral Home
901 Broadway
East Providence, RI US 02914
Sunday, November 28, 2010
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Service
Mt. Hope Community Baptist Church
734 Hope Street
Providence, RI US 02906
Monday, November 29, 2010
10:00 AM