Watch Webinar: Busting the Myths and Cultural Barriers to Clinical Trials


Share On Social!

Some Latinos fear becoming a guinea pig. Others worry about cost or trust.

But clinical trials can provide volunteers potentially life-saving treatments and help researchers learn how to manage and treat different diseases for their family and communities.

UT Health San Antonio held a Zoom webinar — “Busting the Myths and Cultural Barriers to Clinical Trials” — at 11 a.m. CT on March 9, 2023.

This webinar features health experts and real Latino clinical trial volunteers to help define clinical trials, bust several common cultural, social, and logistical myths about clinical trials, and share testimonials of trial participation.

Panelists will also connect audience members with culturally relevant resources and available opportunities to participate in clinical trials at the Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio.

This is a part of a webinar of a series, “Let’s Address Health Equity Together.”

The series is a collaboration of the Salud America! program at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio, the Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio, and Genentech.

watch the webinar recording!

Learn about the Speakers for this Webinar on Clinical Trials

Here are the panelists for the webinar, which will follow a question-and-answer discussion session format moderated by Dr. Amelie Ramirez.

Amelie Ramirez of UT Health San Antonio health equity Systemic and Behavioral ChangeDr. Amelie G. Ramirez is an internationally recognized researcher in Latino health promotion and behavioral change. She is director of Salud America! and its home base, the Institute for Health Promotion Research in the Department of Population Health Sciences at UT Health San Antonio. She has spent over 30 years directing research on human and organizational communication to reduce chronic disease and cancer health disparities affecting Latinos, including cancer risk factors, clinical trial recruitment, tobacco prevention, obesity prevention, and promotion of health equity. She also is associate director of cancer outreach and engagement at the NCI-designated Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio.

Dr. Mio Kitano of UT Health San AntonioDr. Mio Kitano is an Associate Professor in the Division of Surgical Oncology & Endocrine Surgery at UT Health San Antonio. She completed her General Surgery Residency at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine. During her surgical training, she completed a 3-year clinical research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. She now joins the Division of Surgical Oncology & Endocrine Surgery after completing a 2-year clinical fellowship in General Complex Surgical Oncology at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Dr. Kitano’s clinical practice focuses on the surgical management gastrointestinal tumors and malignancies, including those of the stomach, small bowel, colon, and pancreas.

Diana Lopez, cancer survivorDiana Lopez is a Latina cancer survivor. When asked about achievements in her life, Diana Lopez of San Antonio, Texas, didn’t have to think long about her answer. Surviving cancer. Lopez was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 42. Like many of those who are diagnosed, it was a shock to Lopez and her loved ones. “At the time I was scared because you think, they tell you, ‘You have cancer’ and you are like, ‘I’m going to die,’” Lopez said. With the help of a clinical trial – a study with volunteers that helps researchers learn how to slow, manage, and treat diseases like cancer –Lopez stayed strong and continued to fight, no matter the obstacle.

Meg McKenzie genentechMeg McKenzie works in Patient Inclusion and Health Equity in Genentech’s Chief Diversity Office. She develops strategies to drive greater inclusion of racial and ethnically representative patient populations in clinical research and to advance health equity. Gaining patient, clinician and community insights early in program development is integral to developing what is important to patients and improving access to medicines and treatments for all patients, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, socioeconomic status and ability/disability. She has over 25 years of clinical development experience working at sites and in industry, and spanning multiple diseases, including oncology, ophthalmology, immunology, neurology, infectious and rare diseases. Meghan received her Master’s Degree in Human Biology at San Francisco State University and her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Sandra Sivak ihpr ut health san antonioSandra Sivak is a research area specialist and community health worker at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) in the Department of Population Health Sciences at UT Health San Antonio.

watch the webinar recording!

Behind the Webinar Series on Health Equity

The “Let’s Address Health Equity Together” webinar series is a collaboration of the Salud America! program at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio, the Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio, and Genentech.

Four webinars are planned for 2023.

Six webinars occurred from 2021-2022.

Salud America! is a national Latino-focused organization that creates culturally relevant and research-based stories, videos, and tools to inspire people to start and support healthy changes to policies, systems, and environments where Latino children and families can equitably live, learn, work, and play.

The Mays Cancer Center, also known as the UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, has a mission to decrease the burden of cancer in San Antonio, South Texas and beyond. We bring South Texas a level of exceptional care that is comparable with the nation’s most respected programs. More patients put their trust in our program because we have a unique understanding of our community’s cancer care needs. We excel in delivering advanced therapies.

Founded more than 40 years ago as the first biotechnology company, Genentech is dedicated to the rigorous pursuit of science and the development and delivery of life-changing medicines for people facing serious diseases. Headquartered in South San Francisco, California and a proud member of the Roche Group, our community is united by a common purpose and sense of urgency to transform the future of healthcare. Learn more at

watch the webinar recording!



Explore More:

Cancer, Clinical Trials

By The Numbers By The Numbers



Expected rise in Latino cancer cases in coming years

Share your thoughts