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Faculty Profiles

Rena Pasick, DrPH

1450 3rd Street
San Francisco, CA 94158

Dr. Pasick is Professor of Medicine at UCSF, and Director of the Office of Community Engagement for the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Trained in public health with a DrPH from UC Berkeley, Dr. Pasick has spent the past thirty years conducting research on cancer disparities in the diverse and underserved communities of the San Francisco Bay Area. Dr. Pasick's completed studies include an NCI Program Project, Cancer Screening, Managed Care and the Underserved, and NCI RO1 studies: Cross-Cultural Communication in Colorectal Cancer Screening (CRC – to aid communication between clinicians and African American, Chinese, and Latino patients on colorectal screening), Behavioral Constructs and Culture in Cancer Screening (3Cs – to test the cultural appropriateness of five major behavioral theory constructs), and Interactive Outreach: CIS-Link to the Underserved (to connect public hospital cancer patients with the Cancer Information Service), and Statewide Communication to Reach Diverse Low Income Women, a study to identify English and Spanish-speaking women at risk for hereditary breast cancer or Asian women who may be at risk for Hepatitis B among callers to the California breast and cervical screening program. Her current research includes an NCI-funded RO1, Comparison of 3 Modes of Genetic Counseling in High-Risk Public Hospital Patients and a Susan G. Komen grant, Second Opinions and the Treatment Gradient Experienced by African American Breast Cancer Patients: An Exploratory Study. In 2010, Dr. Pasick was recognized for her record of research in cancer disparities by an invitation to join the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure National Scholars. With the funds that came with this honor, Dr. Pasick has studied cross-cultural validation of breast cancer risk assessment tools, breast cancer risk education in the context of the African American church, and exploration of the meaning of breast cancer risk among Chinese women having a strong family history of breast cancer.

In 2008, Dr. Pasick's Community Engagement program established a very active Faith Communities initiative that fosters new health ministries in African American churches and disseminates evidence-based interventions such as Body & Soul in that setting. This has led to development of a Prostate Education Committee that engages in research, education, and advocacy addressing the excess burden of this disease among African American men.

Dr. Pasick regards her most significant contribution as the establishment of the Minority Training Program in Cancer Control Research (MTPCCR), designed to encourage master's level students and master's trained professionals to go on for their doctoral degrees and to pursue careers in cancer control research. The MTPCCR has been funded continuously by the National Cancer Institute since 1998. Over 700 people have participated of whom more than 30% have gone on to the doctorate. The majority report that the MTPCCR was a strong influence on their plans, and half are working in cancer-related research. In addition to the current UCSF and UCLA program sites, a new grant has been awarded to colleague Amelie Ramirez at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, with Dr. Pasick as Co-PI to establish the Latino Training Program in Cancer Control Research.


African American, African American health ministry capacity buildling via training and technical assistance, Cancer disparities, Chinese, Community-based participatory research, Diversity among public health and social/behavioral researchers, Health Literacy, Latino, Limited English Proficiency, Mentoring under-represented junior faculty or trainees., Mixed Methods Research, Socioeconomically marginalized groups, Team science, breast cancer, cancer screening, colorectal cancer, consumption of fruits and vegetables, hereditary breast cancer/genetic counseling for low-income women, lay hlth workers, participation in clinical trials, prostate cancer

Awards and Honors
2018   75 Most Influential Graduates, UC Berkeley School of Public Health, 2018
2014   Martin Luther King, Jr Award for Diversity, UCSF Faculty Award, 2014
2014   Woman of the Year, Women Health Care Executives, 2014
2013   Excellence in Community Partnerships, UCSF Faculty Award, 2013
2010   National Scholar, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, 2010-2018
2009   Robert F. Allen Symbol of Hope Award, American Journal of Health Promotion with funding from the California Wellness Foundation, WK Kellog, 2009
2004   Program Excellence Award, Society of Public Health Education, 2004

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Recent Articles (66)

Hiatt RA, Sibley A, Fejerman L, Glantz S, Nguyen T, Pasick R, Palmer N, Perkins A, Potter MB, Somsouk M, Vargas RA, van 't Veer LJ, Ashworth A. The San Francisco Cancer Initiative: A Community Effort To Reduce The Population Burden Of Cancer. Health Aff (Millwood). 2018 Jan; 37(1):54-61.

Cheng JKY, Guerra C, Pasick RJ, Schillinger D, Luce J, Joseph G. Cancer genetic counseling communication with low-income Chinese immigrants. J Community Genet. 2017 Dec 01.

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.

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.

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 Oct; 26(5):1090-1104.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Joseph G, Kaplan C, Luce J, Lee R, Stewart S, Guerra C, Pasick R. Efficient identification and referral of low-income women at high risk for hereditary breast cancer: a practice-based approach. Public Health Genomics. 2012; 15(3-4):172-80.

Walsh JM, Salazar R, Nguyen TT, Kaplan C, Nguyen LK, Hwang J, McPhee SJ, Pasick RJ. Healthy colon, healthy life: a novel colorectal cancer screening intervention. Am J Prev Med. 2010 Jul; 39(1):1-14.

Walsh JM, Karliner L, Burke N, Somkin CP, Pham LA, Pasick R. Physicians' approaches to recommending colorectal cancer screening: a qualitative study. J Cancer Educ. 2010 Sep; 25(3):385-90.

Walsh JM, Salazar R, Kaplan C, Nguyen L, Hwang J, Pasick RJ. Healthy colon, healthy life (colon sano, vida sana): colorectal cancer screening among Latinos in Santa Clara, California. J Cancer Educ. 2010 Mar; 25(1):36-42.

Washington PK, Burke NJ, Joseph G, Guerra C, Pasick RJ. Adult daughters' influence on mothers' health-related decision making: an expansion of the subjective norms construct. Health Educ Behav. 2009 Oct; 36(5 Suppl):129S-44S.

Pasick RJ, Burke NJ. In Memoriam: Sabra F. Woolley, PhD. Health Educ Behav. 2009 Oct; 36(5 Suppl):5S-6S.

Pasick RJ, Burke NJ, Barker JC, Joseph G, Bird JA, Otero-Sabogal R, Tuason N, Stewart SL, Rakowski W, Clark MA, Washington PK, Guerra C. Behavioral theory in a diverse society: like a compass on Mars. Health Educ Behav. 2009 Oct; 36(5 Suppl):11S-35S.

Stewart SL, Rakowski W, Pasick RJ. Behavioral constructs and mammography in five ethnic groups. Health Educ Behav. 2009 Oct; 36(5 Suppl):36S-54S.

Pasick RJ, Barker JC, Otero-Sabogal R, Burke NJ, Joseph G, Guerra C. Intention, subjective norms, and cancer screening in the context of relational culture. Health Educ Behav. 2009 Oct; 36(5 Suppl):91S-110S.

Joseph G, Burke NJ, Tuason N, Barker JC, Pasick RJ. Perceived susceptibility to illness and perceived benefits of preventive care: an exploration of behavioral theory constructs in a transcultural context. Health Educ Behav. 2009 Oct; 36(5 Suppl):71S-90S.

Burke NJ, Joseph G, Pasick RJ, Barker JC. Theorizing social context: rethinking behavioral theory. Health Educ Behav. 2009 Oct; 36(5 Suppl):55S-70S.

Burke NJ, Bird JA, Clark MA, Rakowski W, Guerra C, Barker JC, Pasick RJ. Social and cultural meanings of self-efficacy. Health Educ Behav. 2009 Oct; 36(5 Suppl):111S-28S.

Considering culture in physician-- patient communication during colorectal cancer screening. Qual Health Res. 2009 Jun; 19(6):778-89.

Walsh J, Nguyen T, Nguyen L, Pasick R, McPhee SJ. Healthy Colon, Healthy Life (Ruot Lành, Song Khoe): patient and physician factors associated with colorectal cancer screening among Vietnamese Americans in a county medical care system. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2009 Feb; 20(1):74-89.

Hiatt RA, Pasick RJ, Stewart S, Bloom J, Davis P, Gardiner P, Luce J. Cancer screening for underserved women: the Breast and Cervical Cancer Intervention Study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008 Aug; 17(8):1945-9.

Pasick RJ, Burke NJ. A critical review of theory in breast cancer screening promotion across cultures. Annu Rev Public Health. 2008; 29:351-68.

Joseph G, Kaplan CP, Pasick RJ. Recruiting low-income healthy women to research: an exploratory study. Ethn Health. 2007 Nov; 12(5):497-519.

Liang W, Wang JH, Chen MY. Developing and validating a measure of Chinese cultural views of health and cancer. Health Educ Behav. 2008 Jun; 35(3):361-75.

Wagner TH, Engelstad LP, McPhee SJ, Pasick RJ. The costs of an outreach intervention for low-income women with abnormal Pap smears. Prev Chronic Dis. 2007 Jan; 4(1):A11.

Otero-Sabogal R, Stewart S, Shema SJ, Pasick RJ. Ethnic differences in decisional balance and stages of mammography adoption. Health Educ Behav. 2007 Apr; 34(2):278-96.

Alderete E, Juarbe TC, Kaplan CP, Pasick R, Pérez-Stable EJ. Depressive symptoms among women with an abnormal mammogram. Psychooncology. 2006 Jan; 15(1):66-78.

Yancey AK, Kagawa-Singer M, Ratliff P, Valdez A, Jiménez L, Banks P, Stewart S, Roe KM, Pasick RJ. Progress in the pipeline: replication of the minority training program in cancer control research. J Cancer Educ. 2006; 21(4):230-6.

Engelstad LP, Stewart S, Otero-Sabogal R, Leung MS, Davis PI, Pasick RJ. The effectiveness of a community outreach intervention to improve follow-up among underserved women at highest risk for cervical cancer. Prev Med. 2005 Sep-Oct; 41(3-4):741-8.

Karliner LS, Patricia Kaplan C, Juarbe T, Pasick R, Pérez-Stable EJ. Poor patient comprehension of abnormal mammography results. J Gen Intern Med. 2005 May; 20(5):432-7.

Juarbe TC, Kaplan CP, Somkin CP, Pasick R, Gildengorin G, Pérez-Stable EJ. Are risk factors for breast cancer associated with follow-up procedures in diverse women with abnormal mammography? Cancer Causes Control. 2005 Apr; 16(3):245-53.

Somkin CP, McPhee SJ, Nguyen T, Stewart S, Shema SJ, Nguyen B, Pasick R. The effect of access and satisfaction on regular mammogram and Papanicolaou test screening in a multiethnic population. Med Care. 2004 Sep; 42(9):914-26.

Pasick RJ, Hiatt RA, Paskett ED. Lessons learned from community-based cancer screening intervention research. Cancer. 2004 Sep 01; 101(5 Suppl):1146-64.

Liang W, Yuan E, Mandelblatt JS, Pasick RJ. How do older Chinese women view health and cancer screening? Results from focus groups and implications for interventions. Ethn Health. 2004 Aug; 9(3):283-304.

Hoggatt KJ, Stewart SL, Pasick R, Sabogal F, Tuason N, McBride MR, Duenas GV, Horn-Ross PL. Comparison of methods for identifying a population-based sample of Filipina women for a health survey. Ethn Dis. 2004; 14(1):21-5.

Pasick RJ, Otero-Sabogal R, Nacionales MC, Banks PJ. Increasing ethnic diversity in cancer control research: description and impact of a model training program. J Cancer Educ. 2003; 18(2):73-7.

McPhee SJ, Nguyen TT, Shema SJ, Nguyen B, Somkin C, Vo P, Pasick R. Validation of recall of breast and cervical cancer screening by women in an ethnically diverse population. Prev Med. 2002 Nov; 35(5):463-73.

Wagner TH, Hu T, Dueñas GV, Kaplan CP, Nguyen BH, Pasick RJ. Does willingness to pay vary by race/ethnicity? An analysis using mammography among low-income women. Health Policy. 2001 Dec; 58(3):275-88.

Engelstad LP, Stewart SL, Nguyen BH, Bedeian KL, Rubin MM, Pasick RJ, Hiatt RA. Abnormal Pap smear follow-up in a high-risk population. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2001 Oct; 10(10):1015-20.

Hiatt RA, Pasick RJ, Stewart S, Bloom J, Davis P, Gardiner P, Johnston M, Luce J, Schorr K, Brunner W, Stroud F. Community-based cancer screening for underserved women: design and baseline findings from the Breast and Cervical Cancer Intervention Study. Prev Med. 2001 Sep; 33(3):190-203.

Pasick RJ. Response to Kreuter and Skinner: consensus regarding use of the terms targeting and tailoring. Health Educ Res. 2001 Aug; 16(4):503-8.

Pasick RJ, Stewart SL, Bird JA, D'Onofrio CN. Quality of data in multiethnic health surveys. Public Health Rep. 2001; 116 Suppl 1:223-43.

Wagner TH, Hu TW, Dueñas GV, Pasick RJ. Willingness to pay for mammography: item development and testing among five ethnic groups. Health Policy. 2000 Sep; 53(2):105-21.

Engelstad L, Bedian K, Stewart S, Rubin M, Koo J, Pasick R, Hiatt R. Follow-up for abnormal papanicolaou smears in a high-risk population. J Low Genit Tract Dis. 1999 Jan; 3(1):41.

McBride MR, Pasick RJ, Stewart S, Tuason N, Sabogal F, Dueñas G. Factors Associated with Cervical Cancer Screening among Filipino Women in California. Asian Am Pac Isl J Health. 1998; 6(2):358-367.

Hiatt RA, Pasick RJ. Unsolved problems in early breast cancer detection: focus on the underserved. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1996; 40(1):37-51.

Pasick RJ, Wallack L. Mass media in health promotion: a compilation of expert opinion. Int Q Community Health Educ. 1988 Jan 01; 9(2):89-110.

Alcalay R, Pasick RJ. Psycho-social factors and the technologies of work. Soc Sci Med. 1983; 17(16):1075-84.

Fullarton JE, Pasick RJ. Obesity: a new social policy perspective. Int J Obes. 1978; 2(2):267-85.

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