Associate Professor; Scientific Director, Center for Health Equity Behavioral and Community Health SciencesPhone: 412-624-1601
Since July 2012, I have been serving as Scientific Director of the Center for Health Equity. This new position enables me to offer service to the community while broadening my research with diverse and underserved populations. I have been doing research with local Latinos since 1998. In fact, my dissertation was the first study to look at Latinos’ health care access in Southwestern Pennsylvania, which showed that 38% of them were uninsured. Much of my research has focused on reducing breast and cervical cancer disparities among underserved populations. Currently, I am testing an innovative method (group visits) for cancer screening among Latinas. During these group visits, several women who know each other well go together to get a Pap test, and these women stay together in the waiting room while each of them gets the exam. In another study, I lead the Latino Engagement Group for Salud (LEGS), a group comprised of community members and organizations working on community-based participatory initiatives. One of the projects is a network of male lay health advisors (promotores) that provides 183 Latino immigrant men with social support and connections to health and social services, and other community organizations. I am also the Project Director for the Allegheny County Health Survey, a population-based survey that gathered over 5,000 telephone interviews with Allegheny County residents (link to ACHS report). Additionally, I founded and led for several years a community-based participatory practice effort that designed and implemented a church-based service fair to provide Spanish-speaking residents of Allegheny County with information on various available health and human services. This event, “Al Servicio de la Comunidad” (“Serving the Community”) continues to be a strong program in our local community.
- MD, DrPH