Departments & Divisions
Institutes & Centers
Patricia Chalela, DrPH
Associate Professor at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio
Associate Director for Education and Training Programs
Patricia Chalela is an Associate Professor at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio and the Associate Director for Education and Training Programs. Her expertise include social and behavioral sciences,health communications and health promotion, and health disparities research. Her main research interests are in chronic disease prevention and control,particularly the role of epidemiological, environmental, and individual psychosocial factors on health and disease, and racial/ethnic disparities with an emphasis on Latino populations. She is also co-leading several studies involving the use of mobile technology to promote smoking cessation among young adults, improving adherence to endocrine hormonal therapy among breast cancer patients through a phone application, and implementing culturally tailored programs to increase participation of minorities in clinical research.
- 2017 - Internship - Professional Leadership Training (N/A) - Society of Behavioral Medicine Leadership Institute
- 2006 - DPH - Health Promotion - University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
- 1998 - Internship - Health Promotion/Health Communications (N/A) - Baylor College of Medicine - UT School of Public Health/Center for Health P
- 1995 - MPH - Health Promotion/Health Education - UT Health San Antonio
- 1992 - Internship - Health Promotion - UT Health San Antonio
- 1989 - Internship - Community Eye Health (N/A) - University of London, International Centre for Eye Health
- 1981 - BS - Community Health - Universidad Industrial de Santander
- 9/2018 - Associate Professor/Resarch - UT Health San Antonio - IHPR, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, San Antonio
- 1/2017 - Associate Director, Community Education and Training - Institute for Health Promotion Research, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, San Antonio
Instruction & Training
- 6/2019 - Present, Undergraduate Student Supervision, UT Health San Antonio - IHPR
- 6/2019 - Present, Membership on Supervising Committee, UT Health San Antonio - Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
- 1/2019 - Present, Pre-Doctoral Student Supervision, UT Health San Antonio - IHPR
- 2/2018 - Present, Webinars on Breast and skin cancers, health disparities, research methodology and lit review for res, UT Health San Antonio - IHPR
Research & Grants
Funding Agency NIH/NCI Title Redes En Accion: The National Hispanic/Latino Cancer Research Network Status Active Period 9/2010 - 8/2017 Role Contributor Grant Detail
Funding Agency Mays Cancer Center Title Improving Informed Decision Making for Cancer Clinical Trial Participation Status Active Period 9/2018 - 8/2020 Role Co-Investigator Grant Detail Knowledge gained through cancer clinical trials (CTs) has proven critical to preventing, diagnosing and treating the disease, and providing the evidence base for clinical practice. Major advances in cancer treatment, which are essential for improving patients? outcomes, come from investigations of new therapeutic agents in CTs. Despite the large number of available studies and improvements in public awareness about CTs, less than 1 in 20 adult patients enroll in cancer CTs. In particular recruitment of certain patients?minorities, socioeconomically disadvantaged and older patients?have not increased as expected over several decades, with only 2 to 5% of Latinos and African Americans participating in cancer treatment trials. Interventions providing decisional support, such us educational videos, and patient navigation for patients addressing common barriers and facilitating the provision of coordinated patient-centered care have been effective in improving positive attitudes toward CTs, accrual and retention.
This two-year intervention involves a multi-communication approach including: 1) a randomized controlled educational trial (clinic-based settings), and 2) a community education module (community-based settings) to improve informed decision making about cancer CT participation among cancer patients and community members.
The randomized controlled educational trial features a 2-group cohort design with random assignment of 400 cancer patients from the Mays Cancer Center (MCC) to the intervention or usual care control group. Intervention participants will receive 3 components: 1) a culturally relevant educational video, 2) a brochure and 3) support from a patient navigator (PN) to empower new cancer patients to make informed decisions about cancer CTs by increasing awareness of CTs and MCC services, positive attitudes and intentions to consider CTs as an appropriate treatment option for cancer. The usual care control group will receive a genera fact sheet on CTs. Funding Agency Susan G. Komen Foundation Title Improving Adherence to Endocrine Hormonal Therapy among Breast Cancer Patients Status Active Period 9/2016 - 8/2018 Role Co-Principal Investigator Grant Detail The proposed two-year study involves a 2-group randomized control trial with 3-time assessments at baseline, 3 and 6 months, and will enroll 120 breast cancer patients who are prescribed EHT and are attending the breast clinic at the Cancer Therapy and Research Center (CTRC). The intervention group will receive two components: 1) a bilingual, culturally tailored, personalized, interactive mobile app; and 2) support from a patient navigator. The control group will receive the usual care and information provided by the CTRC?s breast clinic and pharmacy to patients undergoing oral EHT. The intervention components are based in Social Cognitive Theory and elements of Motivational Interviewing.
Funding Agency Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas Title Tobacco Services for Primary Care & Cancer Patients at UT Health San Antonio Status Active Period 3/2019 - 2/2022 Role Co-Investigator Grant Detail We will carry out a systems change to enhance the integration of tobacco screening and treatment into electronic health record systems by including routine referral to our regionally tailored smartphone text and social messaging cessation services for >4,000 tobacco-using patients receiving services from UT Health San Antonio Primary Care Center (PCC) providers and oncologists at the Mays Cancer Center. Following preparatory development, this systems change will add a tobacco counseling and cessation service protocol and record-keeping into all patients? routine care, just as blood pressure and body weight are currently tracked and considered in patient encounter protocols. During patient visits, provider teams will prompt and guide patients who use tobacco to enroll via their smartphone in SMS text-messaging or social-media-messaging (Facebook Messenger) services designed specifically for the PCC and Mays Cancer Center patient populations. These cessation services?based on the research team?s effective Quitxt text-messaging quit-smoking service reported in a peer-reviewed publication last year?will provide messaging designed to increase readiness for patients who are not ready to quit promptly, and to assist cessation for those who are ready to quit. Through CME, we will train primary care and cancer care team members to implement the new protocols to provide counseling and referral to the smartphone messaging cessation service, prescribe as-needed smoking cessation medication (nicotine replacement therapy, varenicline, etc., based on approval by clinical leadership), and conduct follow-up to provide tailored support according to data collected via the service in subsequent patient encounters. In addition to providing tobacco cessation services to >4,000 patients in the primary care (>2,700) and cancer center (>1,300) settings during the proposed grant interval, we will establish a model for innovation in tobacco service delivery that can be readily adopted by othe Funding Agency CPRIT Title Mobile Cessation Services for Young Adult Rural, Low-Income & Spanish-Speaking Smokers Status Active Period 3/2018 - 2/2021 Role Co-Investigator Grant Detail This project will greatly increase accessibility and utilization of evidence-based smoking cessation services among underserved young adults in Texas. By creating a San Antonio-based cessation service specifically for young adult smokers who are Latino and either English or Spanish speaking, and both Latino and non-Latino young adults in rural counties, we are achieving a significant and non-duplicative systems change that will have an impact beyond what is presently being accomplished by Texas DSHS cessation services?which link users to national-level protocols instead of the regionally and culturally tailored service that we will provide. It will also serve as a model that can be replicated by any organization or network interested in reaching this fast-growing demographic group in all parts of the state, establishing an SMS cessation service that can continue to assist young adult Latino and other racial/ethnic smokers in Spanish and English across Texas. With a total expenditure of less than $1.5 million over three years, we expect to help 1,000 underserved young adult smokers quit?adding approximately 10 years to each of their lives at an estimated net cost of less than $450 per year added. Funding Agency San Antonio Life Sciences Institute Title An Interactive Automated Mobile Messaging Service for Mobile Health Promotion Interventions Status Active Period 5/2016 - 10/2017 Role Co-Investigator Grant Detail The proposed collaborative project will develop an innovative, interactive automated mobile messaging service for use in groundbreaking tailored health promotion and chronic disease prevention among traditionally hard-to-reach population groups whose access to mobile technology has grown substantially in the past decade. This project will facilitate deployment, management and testing of interactive automated mobile messaging projects through a user-friendly, non-technical programming interface that allows health promotion researchers to control the messaging system, implement
modifications in the fly, reduce program costs, and optimize program implementation time, while
enhancing participants? engagement, retention and satisfaction. Funding Agency CPRIT Title SMS Cessation Service for Young Adult Smokers in South Texas Status Active Period 9/2014 - 8/2017 Role Co-Investigator Grant Detail This project?s innovative features include attention to a population that has not been served with efforts to promote smoking cessation. We will employ an innovative mix of traditional media (radio) and new social media (Facebook, Instagram and YouTube) for outreach young adults who smoke. We will also transform evidence-based SMS cessation assistance methods, that have previously been available only in English or with generic Spanish translation, to fit the language use and cultural milieu of young Spanish and English speakers.
Chalela P, Mu?oz E, Fernandez A, Despres C, Inupakutika D, Basutkar C, Akopian D, Ramirez AG. Development of a Bilingual Mobile App to Improve Adherence to Endocrine Hormone Therapy among Breast Cancer Patients; 2018 Apr. (Annals of Behavioral Medicine; vol. 52, no. 1 Sup). Chalela P, McAlister A.L., Gallion KJ, Mu?oz E., Despres C., Akopian D., Fernandez A., Diaz R., Ramirez AG. Text & Mobile Media Smoking Cessation Service for Young Adults in South Texas: Springer; 2017 Jun. (Annals of Behavioral Medicine; vol. 51, no. Supp1). Chalela P, McAlister AL, Gallion KJ, Munoz E, Despres C, Akopian D, Perez A, Garcia R, Ramirez AG. Facebook Advertisement Effects on Conversions and Enrollment to a SMS/Text Cessation Service for Young Adult Latinos; 2016 Jan. (Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; vol. 25). Ramirez AG, Chalela P, Gallion KJ, Munoz E, Despres C, Akopian D, Perez A, Garcia R, McAlister AL. Text Messaging Cessation Service for Young Adult Latinos in South Texas: Program Protocol and Preliminary Results; 2016 Jan. (Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; vol. 25). Chalela P, Munoz E, Gallion KJ, Ramirez AG. Sun protective behaviors among Latinas living in the US-Mexico border; 2015 Jan. (Annals of Behavioral Medicine; vol. 49, no. Supp1).
Chalela P, McAlister AL, Mu?oz E, Despres C, Akopian D, Kaghyan S, Fernandez A, Sukumaran P, Ramirez AG. Reaching Latinos Through Social Media and SMS for Smoking Cessation Conference Proceedings 2019 Jan;. Chalela P, Mu?oz E, Inupakutika D, Kaghyan S, Akopian D, Kaklamani VG, Lathrop KI, Ramirez AG. Improving Adherence to Endocrine Hormonal Therapy among Breast Cancer Patients: Study Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications 2018 Dec;12:109-115. Chalela P, Mu?oz E, Gallion KJ, Kaklamani VG, Ramirez AG. Empowering Latina Breast Cancer Patients to Make Informed Decisions about Clinical Trials: A Pilot Study Translational Behavioral Medicine 2018 May;8(3):439-449. Ramirez AG, Chalela P, Munoz E, Akopian D. Improving Adherence to Endocrine Hormonal Therapy among Breast Cancer Patients: Study Protocol Contemp Clin Trials Commun 2018 Jan;12:109-115. Inupakutika D, Basutkar C, Kaghyan S, Akopian D, Chalela P, Ramirez AG. Designing Apps Interoperable and Functional on Multiple Mobile Platforms using Google Environment Electronic Imaging 2018 Jan;6:115-125. Ramirez AG, Chalela P, Akopian D, Munoz E, Gallion KJ, Despres C, Morales J, Escobar R, McAlister AL. Text & Mobile Media Smoking Cessation Service for Young Adults in South Texas: Operation & Costs Effectiveness Estimation Health Promotion Practice 2017 Dec;. Chalela P, Mu?oz E, Gallion JK, Kaklamani V, Ramirez AG. Empowering Latina breast cancer patients to make informed decisions about clinical trials: A multicommunication approach Translational Behavorial Medicine 2017 Dec;. Morales J., Escobar R., Kaghyan S., Natarajan G., Akopian D., Ramirez AG, Chalela P, McAlister A.L. Two-Tier State-Machine Programming for Messaging Applications Electronic Imaging 2017 Aug;6(2017):155-163. Ramirez AG, Chalela P, Gallion KJ, Burhansstipanov, L, Smith SS, Wong-Kim E, Wyatt SW, Mu?oz E, Holden, A, & Suarez L. Attitudes Toward Breast Cancer Genetic Testing in Five Special Population Groups Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice 2015 Jan;8(4):124-135.