Research Summary

Dr. Sanchez-Birkhead's research focuses on women’s health issues and cancer-related disparities among vulnerable populations. She has built community-academic partnerships to develop evidence-based interventions to prevent/manage chronic conditions including. She is currently working on several projects to increase the workforce diversity in nursing and health sciences to increase the number of racially/ethnically diverse providers to serve the underrepresented communities in Utah and beyond.


  • 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.  Dr. Sanchez-Birkhead is CO- Director of the the CCTS Community Collaboration and Engagement Team, President of the Utah Hispanic Health Care Task Force,  President of the Unidos en Utah Chapter of the Hispanic Nurses Association. She has served as a Chair of the Utah Cancer Action Coalition,Council member for Region VIII Health Equity Council and National Director of Communications and Outreach for the National Latina Researchers Network.