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Jorge Gomez, MD, PhD
Assistant Vice President for Research, Health Sciences Center
Assistant Research Professor, Translational Medical Sciences Department, College of Medicine
Texas A&M University Health Science Center
Goal: To improve access to breast cancer screening among Hispanic women along the US-Mexico border.
Impact: Dr. Gomez has identified cultural, language, and financial barriers to breast cancer screening and preventive care faced by Latinas in the region. His findings have guided the development of a culturally appropriate program that could ultimately improve breast cancer outcomes in this underserved population.
What’s next: He and his team will expand the use of a bilingual, telephone-based navigation program that addresses barriers to care that Hispanic women face, including time, language, and transportation.
Women living in low-income, low-resource communities face many challenges in getting breast cancer screening. This negatively impacts early detection and prognosis since delays in diagnosis are associated with poorer outcomes. Dr. Gomez is studying ways to overcome the barriers to screening and care that Hispanic women living along the US-Mexico border experience using interventions that could reduce the burden of breast cancer in the region.
Full Research Summary
Research area: Determining ways to increase access to breast cancer screening and use of preventive mammography in Hispanic women along the US-Mexico border.
Impact: Breast cancer screening facilitates the early detection of the disease leading to better outcomes for patients. Hispanic women who live in low-income, low-resource communities face barriers to regular breast cancer screening. Dr. Gomez is designing strategies to identify and address these barriers. The results of his studies will lead to the development of a sustainable model to increase breast cancer screening among Hispanic women and potentially inform programs along the border and nationally.
Current investigation: He and his team have launched a study of a telephone-based program to increase first-time mammography screening rates and improve diagnostic resolution rates among Hispanic women in communities along the southern border of the U.S
What he’s accomplished so far: Dr. Gomez has developed a program whereby bilingual outreach coordinators provide culturally sensitive education and materials to underserved communities. This program is helping to break down barriers these women face, such as lack of time, insurance, and transportation. He has made significant progress in increasing the number of coordinators available to help patients overcome barriers in access to care.
What’s next: He and his colleagues will continue to investigate barriers to care in the region and how to address them, as well as improve the recruitment and navigation strategies used by coordinators. Dr. Gomez will expand his program to inform best practices not only locally on the US-Mexico border but also nationally.
Jorge Gomez, MD, PhD is the Assistant Vice President for Health Sciences and Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University. His interests include the elimination of health disparities in targeted populations through translational research.
Prior to joining Texas A&M, Dr. Gomez served as Assistant Vice President for Translational Research in Special Populations and Associate Director, Center for Elimination of Border Health Disparities at the University of Arizona Health Sciences and Assistant Director for Cancer Research at the University of Arizona Cancer Center. He was also 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. Prior to joining that he was 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).
BCRF Investigator Since
The Estée Lauder Companies' Employee Fundraising Award