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Usha Menon, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor and Associate Dean, Research and Global Advances
University of Arizona College of Nursing
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.
These efforts address an urgent need by creating an infrastructure for a culturally appropriate program to increase screening and preventive care that can serve as a model in other underserved communities.
Regular screening continues to lead to early diagnosis of breast cancer, and thus, death rates from breast cancer have decreased. 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.
The focus of Drs. Gomez and Menon's study 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.
Drs. Gomez and Menon and their University of Arizona colleagues will address this problem, with a short-term goal of increasing first time mammography screening rates and improving diagnostic resolution rates among Latinas in these areas.
They have now built the infrastructure/framework needed to launch a study to increase mammography screening. The longer-term plan 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. 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.
This project will provide critical knowledge about how to interact with Latina populations through culturally sensitive programming. 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.
Usha Menon, PhD, RN, FAAN is Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Global Advances at The University of Arizona (UA) College of Nursing in Tucson, Arizona and a member of the UA Cancer Center. At UA she leads patient engagement for the recently awarded NIH Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Enrollment Center grant.
A major emphasis of her research is on increasing early detection of cancer among aging and vulnerable minority populations and promoting health equity in cancer and diabetes outcomes using rigorous theory-based models of inquiry. Her leadership focus is on diversity of thought and scholarship in nursing. In the global health arena, Dr. Menon focuses on nursing workforce and curriculum development and interprofessional education, specifically in Ethiopia and India as well as cervical cancer screen and treat programs in sub-Saharan Africa and India with a focus on translational and team science.
Dr. Menon is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing; a Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame inductee; and a Top 100 Alumni Legacy Leader by the Indiana University School of Nursing. She is the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient from Lander University in Greenwood, South Carolina. An engaging and passionate public speaker, she is a frequent consultant and presenter to national and international groups of researchers, clinicians, and community members.