Margarita Echeverri PhD

Margarita Echeverri PhD

Professor of Social & Behavioral Sciences;

Considering the ethical need to address health and healthcare disparities, my teaching, research and service focus on addressing cultural, social, and behavioral factors influencing health outcomes. As a professor of social and behavioral sciences my focus is on the development of educational interventions fostering preventive care and adoption of heathy behaviors to improve health outcomes. As result, my “lab” is in the community and classrooms, and my research is in the areas of community engagement and scholarship of teaching and learning.

Considering the high disparities in cancer incidence and mortality among Latinos and African Americans, and the importance of early detection of cancer in receiving on-time treatment and increase survivorship, in the last years, my research has focused on 1) the assessment of cancer literacy among different communities in Louisiana, 2) the development and assessment of educational interventions targeted to improve community knowledge about cancer as a disease, risks, screening, treatments, and research (research ethics, clinical trials, biobanks, etc.), and 3) the assessment and development of interventions to improve communication between patients, clinicians and researchers, as the key players influencing health outcomes. Below is the list of research projects funded along the years.

·     2019-2023, PI: Fostering Shared Decision-making about Prostate Cancer Screening among Clinicians and African American men ($1’201.086). A multicenter, prospective, randomized, single blind, behavioral clinical trial comparing the efficacy of the educational intervention “Prostate Cancer Screening: Making the Best Choice” vs usual care in increasing engagement in shared decision-making regarding prostate specific antigen screening test among African American men and their primary care providers. Grant support from NIH/NIMHD - Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) program.

·        2022-2023, Mentor: Characterization of Clinical Practices on Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Screening at Ochsner Health Clinics ($10,000). Retrospective medical chart review to identify variation in PSA screening practices at Ochsner Health’s clinics when compared by 1) clinicians’ gender and specialty, and 2) patients’ race, age-range, and health insurance.  Grant support from Ochsner-Xavier Institute for Health Equity and Research (OXIHER).

·     2017-2019, PI: Fostering Informed Decisions about Cancer Screening and Participation in Research($191.032). Comparative study to test the feasibility and effectiveness of the educational intervention “Cancer 101” for African Americans (English) and Latinos (Spanish), developed with the respective Community Advisory Bords, and delivered through three different modes (printed, multimedia, and face-to-face). Grant support from NIH/NIMHD – Diversity Supplement.

·     2014-2017, PI: Factors Associated with Cancer Health Literacy, Engagement in Cancer Screening, and Participation in Research Studies among Different Populations in Louisiana($146.011). Cross-sectional study to develop and evaluate the applicability of a Multidimensional Cancer Literacy framework to explore factors associated with cancer literacy and its effects on receiving cancer screenings and participation in cancer research among diverse populations (African Americans, Latinos and non-Hispanic Whites) in Louisiana. Grant support from NIH/NIMHD - Research Centers in Minority Institutions.


1.      Ph.D. International Development, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana

Major Field: Global Health

2.      M.Sc.  Applied Development, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana

Major Field: Public Health and human development

3.      M.Sc.  Social Management, University of EAFIT, Medellin, Colombia

Major Field: Social management and community empowerment

ORCID identifier:

MyNCBI Link:


Relevant publications in cancer topics

a.      EcheverriM, Felder K, Anderson D, Apantaku E, Leung P, Hoff C, Dennar P (2022). Fostering Shared Decision-Making about Prostate Cancer Screening among African American Men Patients and their PrimaryCare Providers: A Randomized Behavioral Clinical Trial. Trials. (2022) 23:653;

b.      Echeverri M, Yanes E, Anderson D, Napoles AM. (2022). Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing practices in an academic healthcare organization. J. Mens. Health. 2022,18(3), 074

c.      EcheverriM, Anderson D, Napoles AM, Haas JM, Johnson ME, Serrano SA. (2020).Testing the Preliminary Validity of a Multidimensional Framework for Studyingthe Effects of Cancer
Health Literacy on Cancer Screening Behaviors among Diverse Populations. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 17(9):E2987

d.      EcheverriM, Anderson D, Napoles AM, Haas JM, Johnson ME, Serrano SA. (2018).Cancer Health Literacy and Willingness to Participate in Cancer Research andDonate Bio-Specimens. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 15(10), 2091

e.      Echeverri M, Anderson D, Nápoles A. (2018). Assessing Cancer Health Literacy among Spanish-speaking Latinos, Journal of Cancer Education, 33(6):1333-1340

f.       EcheverriM, Anderson D, Nápoles AM. (2016). Cancer Health Literacy Test-30-Spanish (CHLT-30-DKspa), a new Spanish-language version of the Cancer Health Literacy Test (CHLT-30) for Spanish-speaking Latinos. Journal of Health Communications: International Perspectives, 21:sup1, 69-78


Keywords: Cancer screening, educational interventions, cancer health literacy


LCRC Faculty

Missy Wooley
Population Sciences
Louisiana Tech University
Asim Abdel-Mageed DVM PhD
Therapeutics & Diagnostics
Tulane University School of Medicine
Ramsy Abdelghani, MD
Therapeutics & Diagnostics
Tulane University School of Medicine
Jiri Adamec, MD
Therapeutics & Diagnostics
LSU Health - New Orleans
Suresh K. Alahari PhD
Therapeutics & Diagnostics
LSU Health - New Orleans
Muralidharan Anbalagan, PhD
Therapeutics & Diagnostics
Tulane University School of Medicine
Wayne L. Backes PhD
Tumor Biology
LSU Health - New Orleans
Ambuga Badari, MD
Therapeutics & Diagnostics
Ochsner Health
Victoria P. Belancio PhD
Genes & Environment
Tulane University School of Medicine