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A Patient Navigator Intervention

9/2004 to 8/2006 (extended until 2/2009)


This project, a partnership with pharmaceutical company Pfizer, Inc., is developing a theory-based, in-clinic component to improve breast and cervical cancer outcomes by helping Hispanic/Latina patients “navigate” the many health care choices and actions they have to address screening abnormalities. Using qualitative and quantitative methods and comparison, as well as treatment sites, the study will monitor and evaluate critical elements of healthcare access that occur during treatment and the first 12 months of survivorship, starting at diagnosis.


  • Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH
    IHPR, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio


  • Alexander Miller, MD
    Director of Surgical Oncology & Cancer Prevention and Risk Assessment Clinic Director, Texas Cancer Clinic (at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center for this project)


  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • University Health System
  • University Family Health Center
  • Drs. April Hain and Teresa Ruiz, Clinic Medical Directors
  • Dr. Priti Mody-Bailey, CEO of Community Medicine Associates
  • Maria Falkenberg, MSN, RNC, Nurse Practitioner
  • Dr. Pam Otto, Medical Director, UT Mammography Services
  • Dr. Robert Schenken, Medical Director, UT OB/GYN Services
  • Dr. Donald Dudley, Principal Investigator for San Antonio site of NCI-funded PNRP
  • The National Cancer Institute
  • The American Cancer Society


Two community clinics, part of the University Family Health Center and managed by The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, in a low-income Hispanic barrio in South San Antonio.


The study, which began implementation in March 2006, has recruited more than 90 women thus far, nearing its recruitment goal of 58 in an intervention group and 58 in a control group. In the end, the result is expected to be a model of cancer care that can be replicated and disseminated in other communities where Hispanic women confront significant disparities in cancer health care delivery. The proposed breast and cervical cancer patient navigator program represents a new area of research that is being actively promoted by the NCI and CDC, and it complements Pfizer’s concept of a research-anchored foundation of care that identifies barriers to care that lead to interventions that improve health outcomes.


In progress


  • Ramirez, AG, Tolcher, A, Miller, AR, Gallion, K, and San Miguel de Majors, SL. Evaluating the efficacy of a patient navigator program with Hispanic patients from community clinics. Abstract 109085: 133rd Annual American Public Health Association, Philadelphia, 2005.