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Jorge Gomez, MD, PhD
Assistant Vice President for Translational Research in Special Populations
Associate Director, Center for Elimination of Border Health Disparities
University of Arizona Health Sciences
Assistant Director for Cancer Research
University of Arizona Cancer Center
Assistant Professor, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
University of Arizona
- Seeking to increase access to and use of preventive mammography in Hispanic women along the US-Mexico border.
- Efforts are ongoing to develop an intervention model for breast cancer screening and prevention in Latinas.
- This study addresses an urgent need for a culturally appropriate program to increase screening and preventive care in an underserved Border community.
Breast cancer screening facilitates the early detection of cancer, which is important to better outcomes. Barriers to regular screening are common in low-income and low-resource settings. These factors affect Latina women along the Arizona-Mexico Border where there is a low breast cancer screening rate. Dr. Gomez is conducting a study aimed at increasing access to screening and breast cancer care in Latina women in this border community.
Full Research Summary
The focus of Dr. Gomez’s research will be the US-Mexico Border population, where Hispanics make up a majority of the population. The Border region residents, who also have higher poverty levels, receive far less preventive care compared to the non-Hispanic white populations.
Regular breast cancer screening is important to detecting cancers early when treatment is most effective. However, the benefits of early and regular screening are not being realized across all segments of the population. Latinas in two counties in southern Arizona have low rates of breast cancer screening.
Dr. Gomez and his colleagues will address this problem by implementing a study to increase first-time mammography screening rates and improving diagnostic resolution rates among Latinas in these areas. They have now built the infrastructure and framework needed to launch the study.
Through this program, the team will address how to implement evidence-based prevention and promotion strategies that are culturally relevant and can be executed through community partnerships. The longer-term goal is to develop a sustainable model for breast cancer screening in Latinas that can be used in other settings throughout Arizona and the United States.
Results from the study are expected to lead to significant breakthroughs that will reduce the gap between research and the implementation of intervention programs to reach underserved Latinas.
Jorge Gomez, MD, PhD is the Assistant Vice President for Translational Research in Special Populations, as well as the Associate Director of the Center for Elimination of Border Health Disparities at The University of Arizona Health Sciences, and he is also the Assistant Director for Cancer Research at The University of Arizona Cancer Center. In addition, Dr. Gomez is an Assistant Professor in the Community, Environment and Policy Department at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at The University of Arizona. Dr. Gomez interests include the elimination of health disparities in targeted populations through translational research.
Prior to joining The University of Arizona, Dr. Gomez worked for three years as Medical Officer, Program Director for the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) prestigious Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE). While at NCI, he developed the Office of Latin American Cancer Program Development (OLACPD) that resulted in the formation of the US-Latin American Cancer Research Network (US-LACRN) with the US NCI and five Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Uruguay).