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Alexandra Garcia, PhD, RN | Associate Professor

Email Alexandra Garcia

Phone: 512 471-7973
Fax: 512 471-4910

Office: NUR 5.156
The University of Texas at Austin, School of Nursing
1710 Red River Street
Austin, TX 78712

Alexandra A. García, PhD, RN, FAAN is an Associate Professor in the Family and Public Health Nursing and Nursing Administration Division at the School of Nursing and also in the Department of Population Health of Dell Medical School where she is the inaugural director of the Division of Community Engagement in Health Equity. She has taught courses for undergraduate and graduate students in research, public health, and global health. Her research focuses on diabetes self-management and symptom experience of Mexican Americans with type 2 diabetes and she explores and addresses the social, cultural, and economic influences on health and equity.

She previously directed the faculty-led study abroad programs to Guadalajara, Mexico and Heredia, Costa Rica and is now collaborating with Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya on education and research projects.

Dr. García is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the Texas Public Health Association. She is past President of the Texas Public Health Association and past Chair of the Public Health Nursing Section of the American Public Health Association.

Dr. García received her Diploma in Registered Nursing from The Union Memorial Hospital School of Nursing; her Bachelor’s of Science from The College of Notre Dame of Maryland, and her Master’s of Science from The University of Maryland at Baltimore. She earned her PhD in nursing from The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing.

Active Projects

  • Co-Investigator, Investigating Self-Management of the Dual Diagnosis of HIV and Diabetes, J. A. Zuniga (PI), R15 NINR/NIH. This mixed method study tests a model of diabetes with persons with HIV and diabetes by using qualitative interviews and secondary analysis of a large national data set. January 1, 2018-December 31, 2021.
  • Co-Investigator, Diabetes Prevention Culturally Tailored for Mexican Americans, S. Brown (Multiple PI) and C. L. Hanis (Multiple PI), R01. The study adapts the PIs' successful culturally competent diabetes self-management education strategy into a primary prevention intervention and test its impact on Mexican Americans with prediabetes. 04/01/17 – 03/31/22.
  • Co-Investigator, Investigating Biomarkers in People with the Dual Diagnoses of HIV and Diabetes, J. Zuniga, PI. This study examines differences in biomarkers (serum inflammatory, coagulation, vascular and clinical values, DXA scan, vital signs) and their relationships with depression scores, symptoms, and medication regimen between people with HIV and those with HIV+diabetes. Funded by the St. David’s Center for Health Promotion Research in Underserved Populations at The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing. 04/01/17-03/31/18.
  • Co-Investigator, Self-Management of Aging-Related Bio-Behavioral Decline in People with OA, grant from the Center for Transdisciplinary Collaborative Research in Self-Management Science (P30NR015335, M. Kim, PI), T. Harrison, Pilot Principal Investigator. The purpose of this mixed-method sequential study is to study the effect of self-management strategies on bio-psychosocial disablement outcomes in Mexican Americans with and without OA related disabilities.
  • Principal Investigator, Austin Household Level Assessments (HoLA), pilot study to discover how to identify persons in Austin/Travis County who are overweight, obese, or have diabetes, depression, chronic pain, and HIV/AIDS; funded by the UT Austin Dell Medical School for 07/01/17 – 06/30/18.
  • Co-Director of the Community Engagement/Translation Core, Center for Transdisciplinary Collaborative Research in Self-Management Science. The goal is to create a model national center to develop, test, and disseminate innovative self-management solutions to improve health outcomes of people with chronic conditions. National Institutes of Health, #P30NR015335, M. Kim, PhD, RN, FAAN, Principal Investigator. Funding period September 25, 2014 - July 31, 2019.

Completed

  • Co-Principal Investigator, University of Texas Collaborative on Population Health Innovation and Improvement, Dell Medical School Site, from The University of Texas Health System. Co-PI: William Tierney. The purpose is to prepare and implement a strategic plan for population health interventions. Support: none for salary. Responsibility: overall management and coordination of population health interventions with other UT Health System medical school’s population health programs. 1/28/16 through 8/30/17.
  • Co-Investigator, Improving Self-Management of Diabetes in Persons with HIV, pilot grant from the Center for Transdisciplinary Collaborative Research in Self-Management Science (P30NR015335, M. Kim, PI), J. Zuñiga, Pilot Principal Investigator. The purpose of this pilot study is to conduct focus groups for intervention planning; adapt, implement, and evaluate an existing community-based diabetes self-management educational intervention for people with HIV/AIDS and type 2 diabetes. 9/1/15-11/30/16.
  • Co-Investigator, Improving Prenatal Health Communication: Engaging Men via E-Health, funded by UT Austin – Portugal International Collaboratory for Emerging Technologies (IC2 Institute), CoLab (2015-2017), Office of the Vice President for Research at The University of Texas at Austin, M. Mackert, PhD, Principal Investigator, The purpose of this study is to design and pilot test an e-health intervention focused on the importance of prenatal health that would appeal to men and initiate paternal involvement in pregnancy health. 12/1/14-12/30/16.
  • Principal Investigator, Comparison of Three Diabetes Knowledge Questionnaires for Hispanics/Latinos, (UTIRB Protocol # 2012-08-0015), funded by the Cain Center Fellowship for Nursing Research, The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing, started September 1, 2012. Additional funding from a Special Research Grant from the Office of the Vice President for Research, The University of Texas at Austin, 2015.
  • Co-Investigator, Assessment of Health Literacy for Low-Income Mothers with Infants, (UTIRB Protocol # 2014-10-0074), M. Kim, PI.
  • Co-Investigator, Assessment of Health Literacy for Low-Income Patients in Travis County, (UTIRB Protocol #2014-07-0015), M. Kim, PI.
  • Co-Investigator, Ebola-related Information Wanted and Obtained by Healthcare Providers, funded by the National Science Foundation, B. Xie, PhD, Principal Investigator. The goal of this study is to understand the types and amount of information wanted and obtained by healthcare providers from formal and informal organizational channels in crises like Ebola. 3/10-2015-3/9/2016.
  • Co-Investigator, Adapting a Culturally-Tailored DSME Intervention for Occupational Health: Phase I, Focus Groups, S. Brown, PI. Funded by the St. David’s Center for Health Promotion Research. July 2013-July 2014.
  • Co-Investigator, A Pilot Study of the Internet-Based Chronic Disease Self- Management Program for Low-Income Homebound Older Adults, pilot study funded by the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research in Underserved Populations Small Grants Program, UT Austin School of Nursing NINR/NIH-funded center grant (2P30 NR005051-06, L. Walker, PI); Principal Investigator, Namkee Choi, PhD; May 2012 – April 2013.
  • Principal Investigator, Home-Based Diabetes Symptom Self-Management for Mexican Americans, # 1R21DK076705-01A funded by the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health; August 2008 – July 2010 with No Cost Extension through July 2012.
  • Co-Investigator, Reducing Postpartum Weight Retention Among Low Income, Ethnically Diverse Women, # 5R21NR010269-02 funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health; Principal Investigator, Lorraine O. Walker, EdD, RN, FAAN; July 2007 – April 2009.
  • Co-Investigator, Integrating Education, Group Support, and Case Management for Diabetic Hispanics, #1R34DK073286-01A1 funded by the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health; Principal Investigator, Sharon A. Brown, PhD, RN, FAAN; September 2006- August 2008.
  • Principal Investigator, Home-Based Diabetes Symptom Self-Management for Mexican Americans, research grant award funded by Office of the Vice President for Research, The University of Texas at Austin, October 2007 – August 2008.
  • Co-Investigator, Partnering to Address Community Health Issues with Del Valle Residents, funded by the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research in Underserved Populations Small Grants Program, UT Austin School of Nursing NINR/NIH-funded center grant (5P30NR005051, A. K. Stuifbergen, PI); Principal Investigator, Sharon D. Horner, PhD, RN; June 2006 – May 2007.
  • Principal Investigator, Exploring Diabetes Symptoms: Revision of the Diabetes Symptom Self-Care Inventory, pilot study funded by the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research in Underserved Populations Small Grants Program, UT Austin School of Nursing NINR/NIH-funded center grant (2P30 NR005051-06, A. Stuifbergen, PI); July 2004 – November 2005.
  • Additional support for this project via a Faculty Development Program Summer Research Assignment from The University of Texas at Austin, Office of the Vice President and Dean of Graduate Studies, June – July, 2005.
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow 2002-2003, Continuing Minority Supplement funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health; under Education and Group Support for Diabetic Hispanics, Principal Investigator, Sharon A. Brown, PhD, RN, FAAN, Grant # 5R01DK048160-08.
  • Co-Investigator, Characteristics of Community Interventions to Decrease Depression in Mexican American Women, funded by the Southwest Partnership Center for Nursing Research Small Grants Program, UT Austin School of Nursing NINR/NIH-funded center grant (P20 NR08348, D. L. Rew, EdD, RN, FAAN, PI); Principal Investigator, Allison Mann, PhD, RN; April 2003 – March 2004.
  • Principal Investigator, Mexican Americans’ Integration of Diabetes Self-Care, Individual National Research Service Award (#1F31NR007407-01) funded by the National Institutes of Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health; Sponsor, Sharon A. Brown, PhD, RN, FAAN; funding period 1998 – 2000.
  • Pre-Doctoral Fellow, 1997-1998; Minority Supplement funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health; $84,630 (direct and indirect costs) under Education and Group Support for Diabetic Hispanics, Principal Investigator, Sharon A. Brown, PhD, RN, FAAN, Grant # 5R01DK048160-04.

Refereed Articles

* Indicates Data-Based Articles

  • Brown, S. A., García, A. A., Zuñiga, J. A., & Lewis, K. A. (in press). Effectiveness of workplace diabetes prevention programs: A systematic review of the evidence. Patient Education and Counseling.
  • Huang, Y.-C., & Garcia, A. A. (2018). Culturally tailored interventions for chronic disease self-management for Chinese Americans: A systematic review. Ethnicity and Health. Published online January 1, 2018. 20 pages.
  • *Perry, E. L., Carter, P. A., Becker, H. A., García, A. A., Mackert, M., Johnson, K. E., & Buchanan, G. R. (in press). Health literacy in adolescents with sickle cell disease. Journal of Pediatric Nursing.
  • Zuñiga, J. A., García, A. A., Bose, E., Park, J. M., & Bluhm, D. L. (2017). Symptom cluster patterns in persons living with HIV and Diabetes. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 28(6), 888-896. Published online October 6, 2017 doi 10.1016/j.jana.2017.07.004.
  • Guadagno, M., Mackert, M., Lazard, A. J., Donovan, E. E., Rochlen, A. B., García, A., & Damáso, M. J. (in press). Engaging men in prenatal health promotion: A pilot evaluation of targeted e-health content. American Journal of Men’s Health.
  • *Brown, S. A., García, A. A., Orlander, P. R., & Hanis, C. L. (2017). A randomized clinical trial of diabetes self-management for Mexican Americans: Are there serendipitous health benefits for supporters of study participants? Sage Open Medicine, 5, 7 pages. doi: 10.1177/2050312116682125.
  • *García, A. A., Zuñiga, J. A., & Lagon, C. (2016). A personal touch: The most important strategy for recruiting Latino research participants. Journal of Transcultural Nursing. Epub ahead of print.DOI:10.1177/1043659616644958.
  • *Brown, S.A., García, A.A., Brown, A., Becker, B.J., Conn, V.S., Ramirez, G., Winter, M.A., Sumlin, L.L., Garcia, T.J., & Cuevas, H.E. (2016). A meta-analysis of biobehavioral predictors of health outcomes in type 2 diabetes. Patient Education and Counseling. Epub ahead of print. DOI:10.1016/j.pec.2016.03.020.
  • *Radhakrishnan, K., Martin, K., Johnson, K., & García, A. A. (2016). Effective teaching-learning strategies for the Omaha System. Home Health Care Now, 34, 86-92. DOI:10.1097/NHH.0000000000000335.
  • *García, A. A., Brown, S. A., Horner, S. D., Zuñiga, J., & Arheart, K. L. (2015). Home-based diabetes symptom self-management education for Mexican Americans with type 2 diabetes. Health Education Research, 30, 484-496. doi: 10.1093/her/cyv018
  • *Brown, S.A., García, A.A., Steinhardt, M.A., Guevara, H., Moore, C., Brown, A., & Winter, M.A. (2015). Culturally tailored diabetes prevention in the workplace: Focus group interviews with Hispanic employees. The Diabetes Educator, 41, 175-183. Epub ahead of print.doi:10.1177/0145721714567233. Epub January 20, 2015.
  • García, A. A., Zuñiga, J., Reynolds, R., Cairampoma, L., & Sumlin, L. (2015). Evaluation of the Spoken Knowledge in Low Literacy in Diabetes Scale (SKILLD) for use with Mexican Americans. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 26, 297-286. doi: 10.1177/1043659614524246. Epub April 1, 2014.
  • Zuniga, J., Muñoz, S., Johnson, M. Z., & García, A. A. (2014). Mexican American men's experience of living with tuberculosis on the U.S.-Mexico border. American Journal of Men’s Health. pii: 1557988314555359. Epub October 14, 2014. PubMed PMID: 25359869.
  • Cuevas, H. E., Brown, S. A., Garcia, A. A., Winter, M., Brown, A., & Hanis, C. L. (2015). Blood glucose self-monitoring patterns in Mexican Americans: Further lessons from the Starr County Border Health Initiative. Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics, 17, 105-111. doi: 10.1089/dia.2014.0147. Epub October 7, 2014.
  • *Brown, S. A., Becker, B. J., García, A. A., Brown, A., & Ramírez, G. (2015). Model-driven meta-analyses for informing health care: A diabetes meta-analysis as an exemplar. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 37, 517-535. doi:10.1177/0193945914548229. Epub August 19, 2014.
  • Reifsnider, E., & García, A. A. (2015). What’s in a name? Does population health have the same meaning for all stakeholders? Public Health Nursing, 32, 189-190. doi: 10.1111/phn.12202.
  • Sumlin, L.L., Garcia, T. J., Brown, S. A., Winter, M. A., García, A. A., Brown, A., & Cuevas, H. E. (2014). Depression and adherence to lifestyle changes in type 2 diabetes: A systematic review. The Diabetes Educator, 40, 731-744. doi: 10.1177/0145721714538925. Epub June 17, 2014.
  • Choi, N. G, An, S., & Garcia, A. A. (2014). A feasibility study of low-income homebound older adults' participation in an online chronic disease self-management program. Home Health Care Services Quarterly, 33, 106-120. doi: 10.1080/01621424.2014.908797.
  • Zuniga, J. A., Muñoz, S. E., Johnson, M. Z., & García, A. (2014). Tuberculosis treatment for Mexican Americans living on the U.S.-Mexico border. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 46(3), 1-10. doi: 10.1111/jnu.12071
  • Johnson, K., Jones, T., & García, A. (November 5, 2014).

    UT nurses: Mandatory quarantine for health professionals is bad policy. Alcalde.
    Johnson, Jones, Garcia: Public must place trust in nurses. Houston Chronicle.

  • Brown, S. A., Kouzekanani, K. K., Garcia, A. A., Orlander, P. R., & Hanis, C. L. (2013). Diabetes self-management and leptin in Mexican Americans with type 2 diabetes: The Starr County Border Health Initiative. The Diabetes Educator, 39, 820-827.doi: 10.1177/0145721713505153. Epub September 18, 2013.
  • Brown, S. A., Martin, E. E., Garcia, T. J., Winter, M. A., García, A. A., Brown, A., Cuevas, H. E., & Sumlin, L. L. (2013). Managing complex research datasets using electronic tools: A meta-analysis exemplar. Computers, Informatics, and Nursing, 31(6), 257-265.
  • Hu, J., Gruber, K. J., Liu, H., Zhao, H., & García, A. A. (2013). Diabetes knowledge among older Chinese adults with diabetes in Beijing, China. Journal of Clinical Nursing. 22, 51-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2012.04273.x
  • Carpenter, L. M., & García, A. A. (2012). Assessing the outcomes of a study abroad course for nursing students. Nursing Education Perspectives, 33, 85-89.
  • Sumlin, L. & Garcia, A. A. (2012). Effects of food-related interventions for African American women with type 2 diabetes. The Diabetes Educator, 38, 236-249. doi: 10.1177/0145721711422412.
  • Walker, L. O., Sterling, B. S., Latimer, L., Kim, S.-H., García, A. A., & Fowles, E. (2012). Ethnic-specific weight loss interventions for low-income postpartum women: Findings and lessons. Western Journal of Nursing Research. 34, 654-676. doi: 10.1177/0193945911403775
  • Mackert, M., Stanforth, D., & Garcia, A. A. (2011). Undermining of nutrition and exercise decisions: Experiencing negative social influence. Public Health Nursing, 28, 402-411. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1446.2011.00940.x.
  • Brown, S. A., García, A. A., Winter, M. A., Silva, L., Brown, A., & Hanis, C. L. (2011). Integrating education, group support, and case management for diabetic Hispanics. Ethnicity and Disease, 21, 20-26.
  • García, A. A. (2011). Cognitive interviews to test and refine questionnaires. Public Health Nursing, 28, 444-450. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1446.2010.00938x.
  • García, A. A. (2011). The Diabetes Symptom Self-Care Inventory for Mexican Americans: Development and pilot testing. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 41, 715-727. doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2010.06.018.
  • Sterling, B. S., Fowles, E. R., Garcia, A. A., Jenkins, S. K., Wilkinson, S., Kim, M., Kim, S., Latimer, L., & Walker, L. O. (2009). Altered perceptions of personal control about retained weight and depressive symptoms in low-income postpartum women. Journal of Community Health Nursing, 26, 143-157.
  • Garcia, A. A. (2008). Clinical and life quality differences between Mexican American diabetic patients at a free clinic and a hospital-affiliated clinic in Texas. Public Health Nursing, 25, 149-158.
  • *Brown, S. A., Blozis, S. A., Kouzekanani, K., García, A. A., Winchell, M., & Hanis, C. L. (2007). Health beliefs of Mexican Americans with type 2 diabetes: The Starr County Border Health Initiative. The Diabetes Educator, 33, 300-308.
  • Garcia, A. A. (2006). Is health promotion relevant across cultures and the socioeconomic spectrum? Family and Community Health, 29(1S), 20S-27S
  • García, A. A., & Benavides-Vaello, S. (2006). Vulnerable populations with diabetes mellitus. Nursing Clinics of North America, 41, 605-623.
  • Mann, A. S. & García, A. A. (2005). Characteristics of community interventions for Latinas with depression. Hispanic Healthcare International, 3, 87-93.
  • García, A. A. (2005). Symptom prevalence and treatments among Mexican Americans with type 2 diabetes. The Diabetes Educator, 4, 543-554.
  • Brown, S. A., Blozis, S. A., Kouzekanani, K., Garcia, A. A., Winchell, M., & Hanis, C. L. (2005). Dosage effects of diabetes self-management education for Mexican Americans: The Starr County Border Health Initiative. Diabetes Care, 3, 527-532.
  • Benavides-Vaello, S., García, A. A., Brown, S. A., & Winchell, M. (2004). Using focus groups to plan and evaluate diabetes self-management interventions for Mexican Americans. The Diabetes Educator, 30, 238, 242, 244, 247-250, 252, 254, 256.
  • Garcia, A. A., Brown, S. A., Winchell, M., & Hanis, C. L. (2003). Using a Behavioral Checklist to document diabetes self-management behaviors in the Starr County Diabetes Education Study. The Diabetes Educator, 29, 758, 760, 762, 764, 766.
  • Brown, S. A., Becker, H. A., Garcia, A. A., Barton, S. A., & Hanis, C. L. (2002). Measuring health beliefs in Spanish-speaking Mexican Americans with type 2 diabetes: Adapting an existing instrument. Research in Nursing and Health, 25, 145-158.
  • Brown, S. A., Garcia, A. A., Kouzekanani, K., & Hanis, C. L. (2002). Culturally competent diabetes self-management education for Mexican Americans: The Starr County Border Health Initiative. Diabetes Care, 25, 259-268.
  • Brown, S. A., Garcia, A. A., & Winchell, M. (2002). Reaching underserved populations and cultural competence in diabetes education. Current Diabetes Reports, 2, 166-176.
  • Garcia, A. A., Villagomez, E., Brown, S. A., Kouzekanani, K., & Hanis, C. L. (2001). The Starr County Diabetes Education Study: Development of the Spanish language diabetes knowledge questionnaire. Diabetes Care, 24, 16-21. Erratum in Diabetes Care, 24, 972.
  • Brown, S. A., Upchurch, S. L., Garcia, A. A., Barton, S. A., & Hanis, C. L. (1998). Symptom-related self-care of Mexican-Americans with NIDDM: Preliminary findings of the Starr County diabetes education study. Diabetes Educator, 24(3), 331-339.