By Cliff Depres
Amelie G. Ramirez, Dr.P.H., director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at UT Health San Antonio, has been named one of 12 new Komen Scholars by Susan G. Komen, the world’s largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research.
Komen Scholars are an advisory group of distinguished leaders in breast cancer research and advocacy.
Each scholar—chosen for their knowledge, leadership, and contributions to breast cancer research—will help guide Komen’s $956 million research program, present at national meetings, and serve as experts and advocates for Komen’s nationwide network of affiliates and in communities around the globe.
Dr. Ramirez, as part of being named a Komen Scholar, will receive $600,000 over three years to study Latina breast cancer. She expects to beta-test her team’s new bilingual, culturally relevant phone app and patient navigation services to help local breast cancer patients stick with their prescribed therapy.
“I’m extremely thankful to Komen for this honor because it enables us to implement this app, which we believe will not only improve breast cancer survival rates and quality of life among local women, but also will provide a system that can be replicated for broad use among patients using oral anticancer agents in other areas, too,” said Ramirez, who had previously served on Komen’s Scientific Advisory Board.
Dr. Ramirez has more than 30 years of experience developing robust breast cancer health communication models, research interventions, and community outreach among the Latina population.
Her studies and programs have contributed to increased cancer screening, better cancer risk factor identification, and more culturally relevant communication about how healthy lifestyles can help prevent breast and other cancers. For example, her patient navigation studies reduced Latina breast cancer patients’ times to diagnosis and treatment, which helped save their lives.