- National Association of Social Workers, New Mexico Southern Chapter Program Unit Chair 2014 -
My interests center on the intersection between health and behavioral health in end-of-life care, specifically for vulnerable populations experiencing psychosocial distress and barriers to cancer care. As a licensed clinical social worker specialized in the medical field, experience in hospitals and out-patient clinical settings has informed my research trajectory and helped me to build a strong knowledge base for evidence-based practices with seriously ill adults, their family members, and health care providers. I have a special interest in improving the quality of end-of-life care and advance care planning for older, low income and rural patients (e.g., I have conducted research with seriously ill Latinos and military veterans). Although these groups are at increased risk for negative behavioral and health outcomes, there is a paucity of research and interventions developed with their beliefs and values in mind, especially in palliative oncology. Therefore, my research portfolio has focused on addressing this gap.