University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Rena J. Pasick, DrPH

Rena J. Pasick, DrPH

Professor, Department of Medicine, UCSF; Director, Office of Community Engagement, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Breast Oncology | Cancer Control

Research Summary

I have more than twenty-five years’ experience working on cancer disparities in low-income ethnically diverse communities and clinical settings in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am trained in Public Health as a Health Educator. Based on my record of cancer disparities research, I was recruited to the UCSF Cancer Center in 2002 to serve in the new position of Director for Community Education and Outreach. Our initial objective was to establish our Center as a force for good in under-served communities. Toward that end, we created a Community Advisory Board (CAB) of influential leaders from our diverse communities, individuals who are proactive and eager for their communities to benefit from the resources of UCSF. Immediately the CAB formed a Faith Committee with the mission of building the capacity of African American church health ministries. Because UCSF had major NCI-funded Cancer Center initiatives in Asian and Latino communities, this became our focus. We developed a model for capacity-building that included ongoing training, technical assistance, and dissemination of evidence-based interventions to churches (e.g., NCI’s Body + Soul). To date, more than 70 churches in four counties have participated.
Through this work, I developed the Graduated Community Engagement Model, which first entails building trust and lasting partnerships through education, training, and capacity-building service to communities addressing their cancer disparities. Second, we expose our partners to the benefits of research through use of evidence-based interventions. Third, we engage in community-based participatory research on community priority issues (e.g., prostate cancer research now under way). Based on those experiences, community leaders are receptive to and ready to promote participation in biomedical research.

Education

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, B.S., Dental Hygiene, 1972
George Washington University, Washington, D.C., M.A., Health Care Administration, 1978
University of California, Berkeley, M.P.H., Health Education, 1980
University of California, Berkeley, Dr. P.H., Health Policy and Administration, 1985


Professional Experience

  • 1977-1979
    Health Policy Consultant (F/T), Office of Health Information and Health Promotion, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare, Washington, D.C.
  • 1981-1984
    Teaching Assistant/Research Assistant, Dept. of Social & Admin. Health Sciences, UC Berkeley
  • 1985-1987
    Project Director, Health Promotion for Minorities in California, School of Public Health, UC Berkeley
  • 1985-1988
    Lecturer (Health Promotion and Aging), Dept of Social and Administrative Health Sciences, School of Public Health, UC Berkeley
  • 1987-1988
    Project Coordinator, Community and Home Injury Prevention Project for Seniors, San Francisco Department of Health
  • 1989-1991
    Affiliated Faculty, Institute for Health and Aging, UC San Francisco
  • 1989-2002
    Assistant Director, Prevention Sciences, Northern California Cancer Center, Union City, CA, 1989-1993; Associate Director, 1993-1998; Director, 1998-2002
  • 2002-2007
    Associate Professor of Medicine; University of California, San Francisco
  • 2002-present
    Director, Office of Community Engagement, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • 2007-present
    Professor of Medicine; University of California, San Francisco

Honors & Awards

  • 2009
    Robert F. Allen Symbol of H.O.P.E. Outstanding contributions to promoting cultural diversity in health promotion-American Journal of Health Promotion
  • 2010-2017
    Susan G. Komen Scholar –Unsolicited. Confers grant of $200,000/year
  • 2012
    The Harvey Lecture, American Association of Cancer Education
  • 2013
    UCSF Faculty Award for Excellence in Community Partnerships
    OMB No. 0925-0001 and 0925-0002 (Rev. 10/15 Approved Through 10/31/2018)
  • 2014
    Woman of the Year, Women Health Care Executives
  • 2014
    UCSF Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Award for Diversity

Selected Publications

  1. Joseph G, Pasick RJ, Schillinger D, Luce J, Guerra C, Cheng JKY. Erratum to: Information Mismatch: Cancer Risk Counseling with Diverse Underserved Patients. J Genet Couns. 2017 Oct; 26(5):1105.
    View on PubMed
  2. Nguyen KH, Pasick RJ, Stewart SL, Kerlikowske K, Karliner LS. Disparities in abnormal mammogram follow-up time for Asian women compared with non-Hispanic white women and between Asian ethnic groups. Cancer. 2017 Sep 15; 123(18):3468-3475.
    View on PubMed
  3. Joseph G, Pasick RJ, Schillinger D, Luce J, Guerra C, Cheng JKY. Information Mismatch: Cancer Risk Counseling with Diverse Underserved Patients. J Genet Couns. 2017 Mar 13.
    View on PubMed
  4. Nguyen TT, Tsoh JY, Woo K, Stewart SL, Le GM, Burke A, Gildengorin G, Pasick RJ, Wang J, Chan E, Fung LC, Jih J, McPhee SJ. Colorectal Cancer Screening and Chinese Americans: Efficacy of Lay Health Worker Outreach and Print Materials. Am J Prev Med. 2017 Mar; 52(3):e67-e76.
    View on PubMed
  5. Stewart SL, Kaplan CP, Lee R, Joseph G, Karliner L, Livaudais-Toman J, Pasick RJ. Validation of an Efficient Screening Tool to Identify Low-Income Women at High Risk for Hereditary Breast Cancer. Public Health Genomics. 2016; 19(6):342-351.
    View on PubMed
  6. Pasick RJ, Joseph G, Stewart S, Kaplan C, Lee R, Luce J, Davis S, Marquez T, Nguyen T, Guerra C. Effective Referral of Low-Income Women at Risk for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer to Genetic Counseling: A Randomized Delayed Intervention Control Trial. Am J Public Health. 2016 Oct; 106(10):1842-8.
    View on PubMed
  7. Tsoh JY, Sentell T, Gildengorin G, Le GM, Chan E, Fung LC, Pasick RJ, Stewart S, Wong C, Woo K, Burke A, Wang J, McPhee SJ, Nguyen TT. Healthcare Communication Barriers and Self-Rated Health in Older Chinese American Immigrants. J Community Health. 2016 Aug; 41(4):741-52.
    View on PubMed
  8. Jih J, Le G, Woo K, Tsoh JY, Stewart S, Gildengorin G, Burke A, Wong C, Chan E, Fung LC, Yu F, Pasick R, McPhee SJ, Nguyen TT. Educational Interventions to Promote Healthy Nutrition and Physical Activity Among Older Chinese Americans: A Cluster-Randomized Trial. Am J Public Health. 2016 Jun; 106(6):1092-8.
    View on PubMed
  9. Kaplan CP, Nápoles A, Davis S, Lopez M, Pasick RJ, Livaudais-Toman J, Pérez-Stable EJ. Latinos and Cancer Information: Perspectives of Patients, Health Professionals and Telephone Cancer Information Specialists. J Health Dispar Res Pract. 2016; 9(2):154-167.
    View on PubMed
  10. Tieu L, Sarkar U, Schillinger D, Ralston JD, Ratanawongsa N, Pasick R, Lyles CR. Barriers and Facilitators to Online Portal Use Among Patients and Caregivers in a Safety Net Health Care System: A Qualitative Study. J Med Internet Res. 2015 Dec 03; 17(12):e275.
    View on PubMed
  11. Livaudais-Toman J, Karliner LS, Tice JA, Kerlikowske K, Gregorich S, Pérez-Stable EJ, Pasick RJ, Chen A, Quinn J, Kaplan CP. Impact of a primary care based intervention on breast cancer knowledge, risk perception and concern: A randomized, controlled trial. Breast. 2015 Dec; 24(6):758-66.
    View on PubMed
  12. Goetzel RZ, Parker E, Terry PE, Pasick RJ, Burton WN, Green L, Hunnicutt D, Palma-Davis L, Eng E, Schulz AJ, Minkler M, Anderson DR, Strecher VJ, Katz D, Serxner S, Whitsel L, Pronk NP, Wallerstein N, Loeppke R, Resnicow K, Linnan L, Israel B. Twenty-Two Health Promotion Pioneers. Am J Health Promot. 2015 Sep-Oct; 30(1):TAHP2-TAHP12.
    View on PubMed
  13. Kaplan CP, Livaudais-Toman J, Tice JA, Kerlikowske K, Gregorich SE, Pérez-Stable EJ, Pasick RJ, Chen A, Quinn J, Karliner LS. A randomized, controlled trial to increase discussion of breast cancer in primary care. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2014 Jul; 23(7):1245-53.
    View on PubMed
  14. Yoo GJ, Levine EG, Pasick R. Breast cancer and coping among women of color: a systematic review of the literature. Support Care Cancer. 2014 Mar; 22(3):811-24.
    View on PubMed
  15. Joseph G, Nguyen K, Nguyen T, Stewart S, Davis S, Kevany S, Marquez T, Pasick R. Efficient identification of low-income Asian American women at high risk for hepatitis B. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2013 Nov; 24(4):1701-16.
    View on PubMed
  16. Wang JH, Adams IF, Pasick RJ, Gomez SL, Allen L, Ma GX, Lee MX, Huang E. Perceptions, expectations, and attitudes about communication with physicians among Chinese American and non-Hispanic white women with early stage breast cancer. Support Care Cancer. 2013 Dec; 21(12):3315-25.
    View on PubMed
  17. Wang JH, Adams IF, Tucker-Seeley R, Gomez SL, Allen L, Huang E, Wang Y, Pasick RJ. A mixed method exploration of survivorship among Chinese American and non-Hispanic White breast cancer survivors: the role of socioeconomic well-being. Qual Life Res. 2013 Dec; 22(10):2709-20.
    View on PubMed
  18. Lyles CR, López A, Pasick R, Sarkar U. "5 mins of uncomfyness is better than dealing with cancer 4 a lifetime": an exploratory qualitative analysis of cervical and breast cancer screening dialogue on Twitter. J Cancer Educ. 2013 Mar; 28(1):127-33.
    View on PubMed
  19. Pérez-Stable EJ, Afable-Munsuz A, Kaplan CP, Pace L, Samayoa C, Somkin C, Nickleach D, Lee M, Márquez-Magaña L, Juarbe T, Pasick RJ. Factors influencing time to diagnosis after abnormal mammography in diverse women. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2013 Feb; 22(2):159-66.
    View on PubMed
  20. Pasick RJ, Kagawa-Singer M, Stewart SL, Pradhan A, Kidd SC. The Minority Training Program in Cancer Control Research: impact and outcome over 12 years. J Cancer Educ. 2012 Jun; 27(3):443-9.
    View on PubMed

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