Sanchez Studies Hispanic Health Interventions in Fort Worth

Mary-Katherine Sanchez wanted to be a doctor when she was growing up. And now she is.

On Saturday, she walked across the stage at the Fort Worth Convention Center and received her doctorate in public health from UNT Health Science Center. But when she was a little girl, Sanchez thought she would be getting her doctorate in medicine.

â??Originally, I was planning on applying to medical school,â? Sanchez said, â??but I graduated early, so I wanted to do something in the interim.â?

Sanchez earned her bachelor of science degree from Texas A&M University in three years, and on the advice of a professor at A&M, she enrolled in its School of Rural Public Health, where she earned her masterâ??s of public health degree.

â??I got more and more into [public health], and it became my passion,â? Sanchez said. â??I was hooked. I felt really lucky that I had found something that I loved.â?

Sanchez, an Aledo High School graduate, came back to the Fort Worth area to complete her doctorate in public health after her stint at Texas A&M. Her dissertation topic drew on her knowledge of Fort Worth and the Hispanic community.

â??Iâ??m interested in looking into health disparities, particularly among the Hispanic population,â? Sanchez said.

Sanchezâ??s research for her dissertation, â??Factors that Motivate Hispanics to Participate in Church-Based Health Interventions,â? took place at parishes in Fort Worth. She used focus group sessions conducted in Spanish to discover the social and behavioral factors that make Hispanics want to become involved in health interventions at their parish.

â??I discovered that a lot of it depended on the familiarity that people had with the church,â? Sanchez said. â??The church is seen as a gateway in the Hispanic community. Once the word is out and people begin participating, more individuals are likely to come. They think of the church as their second home.â?

Sanchez comes from a diverse background. Her father was born in Mexico, and her mother is of Native American and Hispanic descent. Her older sister practices law in Fort Worth and Weatherford. Sanchez is a graduate of Aledo High School, and currently lives in Aledo.

She said she hopes to continue her community work in health disparities.

â??Iâ??d really like to stay around here if I can,â? Sanchez said. â??Iâ??m interested in academia, and Iâ??d really like to continue with my community-based work. This is my passion.â?


Contact: Kay Colley 817-735-2553, cell 817-980-5090, e-mail

Recent News

Screenshot 2024 06 20 At 3.45.01 pm
  • Our People
|Jun 20, 2024

From sacrifice to success: a journey through physical therapy school

Ancelmo Mojarro came to Fort Worth to study. The Tyler native knew he wanted to be a physical therapist early on his undergraduate days. He embarked on his path to physical therapy a decade ago, inspired by a friend's suggestion amidst his quest to find his calling in the medical field. “I starte...
  • Our People
|Jun 20, 2024

HSC pro bono physical therapy program offers hope

For 70-year-old Beverly Rozanski, the journey to improved health has been long and challenging. Raised in Michigan, Rozanski spent her childhood and early adult years struggling with physical challenges that made even the simplest tasks seem insurmountable. However, her discovery of a pro bono p...
Mills John
  • Our People
|Jun 20, 2024

Team of HSC experts develops national position statement for NCCHC on care for aging patients in correctional facilities

Addressing an overlooked and sometimes neglected patient population, a group of experts from The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth partnered with the National Commission on Correctional Health Care to write a “Care for Aging Patients in the Correctional Setting” posit...
Jennifer Fix 2 Purple
  • Education
|Jun 18, 2024

Pharmacy technician shortage driving force behind new, online prep course

A self-paced, online Pharmacy Technician Preparation Course is now being offered through The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth as a way to help combat the shortage of pharmacy technicians at hospitals, health systems and retail pharmacies. Recognized by the Pharmacy Tech...