Research Summary

I have been a women’s health nurse practitioner working with diverse populations for over 20 years. My area of research has been primarily in qualitative inquiry with a focus on health disparities, health promotion beliefs and behaviors among Hispanic women and their families. I have conducted and co-authored several research studies and serve as a consultant for several health and community organizations which serve to identify and reduce health disparities among underserved populations.


  • RN, Nursing, Evergreen Valley College
  • Women's Health Nurse Practioner, School of Nursing, San Jose State University
  • MSN, Nursing, University of Phoenix. Project: Perceptions of Cultural Competency among Undergraduate Nurses in Caring for Culturally Diverse Patients
  • PhD, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco. Project: “Factors That Influence Health Promotion Practices Among Reproductive-Age Immigrant Hispanic Women”


Dr. Ana C. Sanchez-Birkhead is an associate professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Utah. She was born in Costa Rica and raised in Northern California. She received her PhD from the University of California, San Francisco. She is a nationally certified Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. Dr. Sanchez-Birkhead is a National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) and National Cancer Institute Cancer Control Scholar. In January 2015, she received the Vice President Clinical and Translational Research Scholar career award at the University of Utah. She has served as a nurse and clinician for 20 years caring primarily for Hispanic/Latino families. She is involved in many community efforts that aim at eliminating health disparities and advocating for social justice. Her area of research focuses on the socio-cultural and psychosocial impact of health disparities and burden of disease i.e. cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease among immigrant Hispanic families. She has won several awards and has conducted and co-authored several research studies. She is currently completing data collection on a Community-Based Participatory mixed methods study examining the lived experiences of immigrant Hispanic breast cancer survivors and their families. Dr. Sanchez-Birkhead is President of the Utah Hispanic Health Care Task Force, Chair of the Utah Cancer Action Network, President of the Unidos en Utah Chapter of the Hispanic Nurses Association. She has served as a Council member for Region VIII Health Equity Council and National Director of Communications and Outreach for the National Latina Researchers Network.