Mays Cancer Center selected for ASCO quality improvement program

SAN ANTONIO — The Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson, is one of 10 institutions selected nationwide for the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) Quality Oncology Practice Initiative® and Quality Training Program Improvement Program.

The three-year program is awarded to institutions that provide care to underserved communities.

Adolfo Enrique Diaz, MD, MSc, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology, is leading the effort.

Dr Enrique Diaz
Dr. Enrique Diaz

ASCO’s Quality Oncology Practice Initiative® and Quality Training Program Improvement Program offer proven methods to help practices conduct assessments, develop a benchmarking system, carry out improvement plans and educate employees about new policies and procedures  adopted for improvement.

“The Mays Cancer Center provides care to patients in San Antonio and 38 counties of South Texas. Of those, 69% are Hispanic. There are a number of barriers that make it difficult for some patients to attend their appointments, including cultural, language, economic and transportation barriers. We would like to develop strategies that will help more patients come to their appointments, as we have some patient services that can help them. One strategy is to hire more bilingual patient navigators to guide and find solutions so that more patients get the care they need,” Dr. Diaz said.

The quality improvement program is supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

Ruben Mesa, MD, FACP
Ruben Mesa, MD, FACP

Mays Cancer Center Director Ruben Mesa, MD, FACP, said, “We are grateful to ASCO and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation for this opportunity and look forward to improving care for our patients throughout the region. Our goal is to reduce the burden of cancer for the population of South Texas.”

Collaborators include Jeremy Viles, DNP, MBA, RN, NE-BC, chief nursing officer; Mary Salazar, MSN, APRN-BC, director of oncology-patient experience; and Nikos Papanikolaou, PhD, MBA, professor of radiation oncology and radiology, and chief of the division of medical physics.

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The Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, is one of only four National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Centers in Texas. The Mays Cancer Center provides leading-edge cancer care, propels innovative cancer research and educates the next generation of leaders to end cancer in South Texas. Visit

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