Katherine Sanchez, Ph.D., LCSW, is a Research Investigator and Director of Diversity and Inclusiveness in Research with the Baylor Scott and White Research Institute (BSWRI) Baylor Scott and White Health (BSWH). Dr. Sanchez is a native of El Paso and the third daughter of a Mexican American immigrant mother. Dr. Sanchez practiced as a bilingual clinical social worker for 15 years, primarily in medical settings with monolingual Spanish-speaking populations, before getting her PhD. She is a clinician researcher with extensive experience in investigating effective interventions aimed at reducing behavioral health disparities and understanding the role of cultural and linguistic competence in health and behavioral health care delivery.
Dr. Sanchez has worked to translate the evidence in integrated behavioral health care by training culturally diverse, bilingual social workers in evidence-based interventions proven effective for racial and ethnic minority populations. She has been independently awarded several grants, including four federal grants (CMS, NIH) and is the BSWH representative to the governing board of the Health Care Systems Research Network (HCSRN), a network of 20 non-profit healthcare delivery systems formed in 1994. Member health care systems participate in the HCSRN’s Virtual Data Warehouse (VDW), keeping local VDW files and protocols up to date, and performing data validation and checking. She oversees the HCSRN VDW data development at BSWH, which consists of parallel, identical databases at each HCSRN site that can be easily merged across sites. Dr. Sanchez is BSWH site PI for the NIH-funded Mental Health Research Network (MHRN) and the NIDA Clinical Trials Network (CTN) Addiction Research Network, Health Systems Node, both multi-health system studies. Both sub-networks bring together researchers and research departments embedded in large and diverse healthcare systems in a population-based approach to transforming behavioral health care; with expertise in mental health research as well as epidemiology, health services, economics, disparities, outcomes & quality assessment, as well as conducting pragmatic clinical trials in our health systems.
Dr. Sanchez has been appointed by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to its Advisory Panel on Healthcare Delivery and Disparities Research (HDDR) where she applies her experience and expertise to helping PCORI refine and prioritize the research it funds and ensure that the research PCORI supports centers on the outcomes that matter to patients and other healthcare decision makers. She is a fellow of the 2019 NIMH Implementation Research Institute (IRI) where she trained to conduct research on examining barriers and facilitators to implementing evidence-based interventions into low resourced settings, which holds high promise for reducing the mental health treatment gap for disparity populations in community practice. In her new role with BSWRI, Dr. Sanchez works to develop and implement initiatives supporting, facilitating, and fostering inclusion of historically underrepresented patient populations in the research enterprise for BSWRI across BSWH. Dr. Sanchez will engage with a diverse team of patients and stakeholders who are representative of the community to ensure the inclusion of racial and ethnic minority groups in all clinical research in both the primary care and specialty care settings, in a manner that is appropriate to the scientific question under study and to ensure that research findings can be generalizable to the entire population.