Francisco Garcia, MD, MPH

Distinguished Outreach Professor of Public Health, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Mexican American Studies and Clinical Pharmacy
Email Address: 
Phone Number: 
(520) 626-8539

UACC Information

UACC Organizational Unit(s): 
Professional Bio: 

As a Mexican-American with deep indigenous roots, Dr. Garcia's career has been dedicated to understanding and mitigating the inequities that impact their communities.  The result of this commitment is a 19-year track record of leading multi-disciplinary community-engaged scholarship and practice in genuine partnership with southwestern Mexican-American border communities and American Indian populations. As a translational physician-scientist, he has led a productive program of investigation and translation in the area of cervical cancer prevention, which spans molecular marker discovery, development and evaluation of screening and early detection technologies, clinical trials of chemopreventive agents, and community-based interventions. Based on this record, he is recognized internationally as a thought leader in cervical cancer prevention, especially in low-resource settings and among low income minority populations. Dr. Garcia brings that technical expertise and experience to the current U54 application.

In addition to his technical and scientific expertise, Dr. Garcia is an experienced mentor and research administrator. In the former capacity he served for 10 years as the Director of the Arizona Hispanic Center of Excellence, a Health Resource Services Administration funded medical workforce development initiative with a prominent junior faculty development component. This track record led to the Arizona Biomedical Scientist Development Program, an NIH/NIMHD endowment grant (2006 Co-PI) that helped support the training of a diverse biomedical workforce in Arizona. 

Dr. Garcia was the co-founder of the University of Arizona Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, a unit that fostered collaborative trans-disciplinary research, which he led from 2006 until 2013. From 2010 to 2013, he served as PI and Director of the HRSA-funded Maternal Child Health Leadership Training Program, which supported junior faculty development and research in Public Health. More recently and directly relevant to the current application, he served as one of two PIs (multiple PI) for the Native American Cancer Partnership from the NCI (U54), which included a significant community-informed research project and training programs related to American Indian cancer prevention. Finally, in his new capacity as the chief executive and medical officer for a large public health jurisdiction (the size of the state of New Hampshire) along the U.S.-Mexico border with nearly a million diverse residents, he has unique insight into the genuine translation of biomedical knowledge to population settings. 

Public Health

Clinical Information

Disease or Clinical Specialty: 
Public Health

Research Information

Research Program: 
Cancer Prevention and Control
Selected Publications: 
  1. Hillemanns P, Garcia F, Petry KU, Dvorak V, Sadovsky O, Iversen OE, Einstein MH. A randomized study of hexaminolevulinate photodynamic therapy in patients with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 1/2. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2015. 212(4):465.e1-7.  PMID: 25467012.
  2. Garcia F, Cornelison T, Nuno T, Greenspan DL, Byron JW, Hsu CH, Alberts DS, Chow HH. Results of a phase II randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial of Polyphenon E in women with persistent high risk HPV infection and low grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.  Gynecol Onc 2014. 132(2): 377-82.  PMID: 24388920.
  3. Zou C-P, Liu H, Feugang J, Hao Z, Chow H-HS, Garcia F.  Green Tea Compounds in Chemoprevention of Cervical Cancer.  Int J Gynecol Cancer 2010; 20:617-624.  PMID: 20686382.
  4. Garcia F, Ulrich Petry K, Muderspach L, Gold MA, Braly P, Crum CP, Magill M, Silverman M, Urban RG, Hedley ML, Beach KJ.  ZYC101a for the treatment of high-grade intraepithelial cervical neoplasia: A randomized controlled trial.  Obstet Gynecol 2004; 103:317-26. PMID: 14754702.
  5. Einstein MH, Garcia F, Mitchell AL, Day SP.  (2011) Age-Stratified Performance of the Cervista® HPV 16/18 Genotyping Test in Women With ASC-US Cytology. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 20(6):1185-9. PMID: 21527581.
  6. Garcia F, Ranger-Moore J, Barker B, Davis J, Brewer M, Lozevski J, Vinyak S, Liu Y, Yemane J, Hatch KD, Alberts DS, Bartels HG, Bartels PH. (2004).  Karyometric image analysis for intraepithelial and invasive cervical lesions. Anal Quant Cytol Histol. 26(3):141-50. PMID: 15218690.
  7. Huh WK, Cestero RM, Garcia F, Gold MA, Guido RM, McIntyre-Seltzman K, Harper DM, Burke L, Sum ST, Flewelling FR, Alvarez RD. (2004)  Optical detection of high-grade cervical neoplasia in vivo: Results of a 604 patient pilot study.  Am J Obstet Gynecol. 190:1249-57. PMID: 15167826.
  8. Garcia F, Barker B, Santos C, Mendez E. Nuno T, Giuliano A, & Davis J.  (2003). Cross-sectional study of patient and physician collected cervical cytology and human papilloma virus.  Obstet Gynecol. 102:266-72. PMID: 12907098.
  9. Nuño, T., Gerald, J.K., Harris, R., Martinez, M.E., Estrada, A. & García, F.  (2012). Comparison of breast and cervical cancer screening utilization among rural and urban Hispanic and American Indian women in the Southwestern United States.  Cancer Causes Control, 23(8):1333-41. PMID: 22710745.
  10. Nuño, T., Castle, P., Martinez, M.E. & García, F. (2011). Cervical and breast cancer screening utilization among post-reproductive age Hispanic women living near the US-Mexico border. J Womens Health, 20 (5):1-10.  PMID: 21428792.
  11. Scarinci, I.C., Garcia, F., Kobetz, E., Partridge, E.E., Brandt, H.M., Bell, M.C., Dignan, M., Ma, G.X., Daye, J.L. & Castle, P.E. (2010). Cervical Cancer Prevention: New Tools and Old Barriers.  Cancer, 116(11):2531-42. PMCID: PMC2876205.
  12. Garcia, F., Mendez, E., Baldwin, S., Papenfuss, M., Giuliano, A.R. & Hatch, K. (2003). Factors affecting the quality of cytologic cervical cancer screening along the Mexico-US border.  Am J Obstet Gynecol. 189(2):467-472. PMID: 14520220.
  13. Marshall, C.A., Curran, M.A., Koerner, S.S., Kroll, T., Hickman, A.C. & García, F. (2014). Un Abrazo Para La Familia: An Evidenced-Based Rehabilitation Approach in Providing Cancer Education to Low-SES Hispanic Co-Survivors.  J Cancer Educ. Dec;29(4):626-33. PMCID: PMC4062619.
  14. Moore-Monroy, M., Wilkinson-Lee, A., Verdugo, L., Lopez, E., Paez-Badii, L., Rodriguez, D., Wilhelm, M. & Garcia, F.  (2013). Addressing the information gap: Developing and implementing a cervical cancer prevention education campaign grounded in principles of community based participatory action.  Health Promotion Practice, 14 (2), 274-283.  PMID: 22982702.
  15. Marshall, C.A., Badger, T.A., Curran, M.A., Koerner, S.S., Larkey, L.K., Weihs, K.L., Verdugo, L. & García, F.A. (2013). Un Abrazo Para La Familia: Providing low-income Hispanics with education and skills in coping with breast cancer and caregiving. Psychooncology, 22(2):470-4. PMCID: PMC3563927.
  16. Nuño, T., Martinez, M.E., Harris, R. & García, F. (2011). A Promotora-administered group education intervention to promote breast and cervical cancer screening in a rural community along the U.S.-Mexico border: a randomized controlled. Cancer Causes Control, 22(3):367-74.  PMID: 21184267.
  17. Marshall, C.A., Larkey, L.K., Curran, M.A., Weihs, K.L., Badger, T.A., Armin, J. & García, F. (2011). Considerations of culture and social class for families facing cancer:  The need for a new model for health promotion and psychosocial intervention.  Families Systems & Health, 29(2):81-94. PMCID: PMC3521537.
  18. Garcia, F.A., Freund, K.M., Berlin, M., Digre, K.B., Dudley, D.J., Fife, R.S, Gabeau, G., Geller, S.E., Magnus, J.H., Trott, J.A. & White, H.F. (2010). Progress and priorities in the health of women and girls: a decade of advances and challenges.  J Womens Health, 19(4):671-80. PMID: 20201706.
  19. Leybas-Amedia, V., Nuno, T. & Garcia, F. (2005).  Effect of acculturation and income on Hispanic women’s health.  J Health Care Poor Underserved, 16:128-141. PMID: 16327101.
  20. Garcia FAR, Bowman H, Gordon T, Huggins GR. (2001) The effect of academic affiliation on clinical and economic outcomes of childbirth.  Obstet Gynecol. 97(4):567-76. PMID: 11275029.
Collaborative Research: 
IHS-1306-04356                                                                                 (Garcia, PI)                                                     04/2014 -03/2017
Connecting Healthy Women
This randomized controlled trial test is performed in collaboration with a state wide Medicaid health plan.  It tests the effectiveness of community health worker intervention that targets preventive services utilization among newly enrolled reproductive age women health plan members.
Role: PI
4R24 HS022016-03                                                                             (Garcia, PI)                                                     03/31/13- 02/28/16
Reach Out for Healthy Communities
This is study will test the efficacy of two community based dissemination intervention strategies targeting evidence based preventive services in women’s reproductive health in low-acculturation Hispanic border communities.
Role: PI
5U58 DP001044-05                                                                             (Garcia, PI)                                                     09/30/07 – 09/29/13                           
Cervical Cancer Prevention Partnership
Community based partnership to prevent cervical cancer in Hispanic and medically underserved women in Pima County.  The Partnership will develop a lay health worker based training program/intervention to promote screening, HPV prophylactic vaccination, navigation of patients with abnormal screening results, and policy analysis surrounding new technologies in this area for public health entities.
Role: PI and Director 
5U10 CA27469                                                                                     (Garcia, PI)                                                    06/01/04 - 06//30/13                           
Arizona Cervical Cancer Prevention Unit
The goal of this contract with Gynecologic Oncology Group is to develop interventions to foster the enrollment of Hispanic women at risk for gynecologic cancer onto prevention trials.  
Role: PI
6T76MC04925-05-01                                                                          (Garcia, PI)                                                     06/2010 - 05/2015
Health Resource Services Administration                                          
Maternal Child Health Training Program
This program supports the development of masters, doctoral and junior faculty trainees, with emphasis in providing training in evidence-based public health and comprehensive maternal-child health using a life-span perspective.
Role: PI (2010-2013); Co-Investigator  (2013-2015)
5U54 CA143924                                                                                   (Alberts/Garcia, MPI)                                     09/28/09 – 08/31/14                           
Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention
This collaboration between Northern Arizona University and the Arizona Cancer Center addresses the unequal burden of cancer among Native Americans of the Southwest through research, training and outreach programs that are collaborative with the communities they serve.
Role: Community Outreach PI until 2013
N01 HD80034                                                                                      (Martinez, PI)                                                  09/2008 - 09/2013                                          
National Children’s Study
This 100,000 child, national longitudinal cohort study will examine the effects of environmental influences on health and development.  Priority outcomes include obesity, diabetes, physical development, injuries, asthma, pregnancy related outcomes, development and mental health, with follow up for 21 years.
Role:  Location PI Apache County until 2013

Professional Information

Positions and Honors: 
2013-      Director and Chief Medical Officer, Pima County Health Department
2011-13  Director, Cancer Health Disparities Program, University of Arizona
2010-13  Chair, Family & Child Health, University of Arizona
2009-11  Co-Director, Cancer Health Disparities Program, Arizona Cancer Center
2009-      Distinguished Outreach Professor of Public Health, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Nursing, & Pharmacy, University of Arizona
2006-13  Director, Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, University of Arizona
2004-06  Associate Head for Clinical Affairs, Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Arizona
2003-09  Associate Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Arizona
2002-07  Director, Arizona Hispanic Center of Excellence, University of Arizona
2001-06  Director, Division of Gynecology & General Obstetrics and Clinic, University of Arizona
2000-01  Interim Medical Director, Planned Parenthood of Southern Arizona
1998-03  Assistant Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Arizona
1996-98  Instructor & Attending Physician, Gynecology & Obstetrics, Johns Hopkins University
1992-96  Resident & Chief Resident Physician, Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Arizona
2014        Best Doctors in America (previously 2009, 2012)
2012        Victoria Foundation Outstanding Researcher Award
2009        Tubman Vanguard Award for Health Education, African-American Coalition of Health & Wellness
2009        Distinguished Faculty Outreach Award, University of Arizona
2008        League of United Latin American Citizens National Presidential Citation, Community Service Award
2002        Outstanding Service Award, Bi-national Health & Environment Council
2001        University Medical Center Patient’s Choice Award
Other Experience and Professional Memberships/Affiliations: 
2014-     Planned Parenthood Federation, National Medical Committee, Member
2013-     US Preventive Services Task Force, Member
2013-     Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Health Equity & the Elimination of Health Disparities
2010-13 NIH Advisory Committee on Research on Women's Health
2010-11 Institute of Medicine Committee on Preventive Services for Women
2010-     American Society of Colposcopy & Cervical Pathology, Board of Directors
2005-08 American Cancer Society, HPV Vaccine Guideline Workgroup (Chair)
2004-13 American Cancer Society, Gynecologic Cancer Advisory Committees
2000-13 Gynecologic Oncology Group, Cancer Prevention and Control Committee
1998-13 Hispanic Serving Health Professions Schools, Board of Directors (Past President)

Academic Information

Medical School: 
University of Arizona, Tucson AZ
Master's Degree: 
MPH, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore MD
Undergraduate School: 
University of Arizona, Tucson AZ