Southwest American Indian Collaborative Network


The purpose of the Southwest American Indian Cancer Network is to eliminate cancer health disparities among American Indians in the Southwest by closing the gap between the health needs of the community and the promise of cancer prevention and cure made through a responsive health delivery and research system. This aim will be through support of participatory education, training and research programs driven by American Indian community needs.


A collaborative approach involving the three primary partners, ITCA, Arizona Cancer Center (AZCC), and Phoenix Indian Medical Center (PIMC), with input from Arizona universities and genomics researchers from Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), is being utilized to draw upon the strengths of each entity and to provide direction, synergy, and coordination of SAICN activities. A core organizational infrastructure, made up of six core services, was developed and has been implemented in order to support community-based participatory activities and the development of effective partnerships among communities, cancer prevention/care delivery systems, and research discovery/development systems. The cores are designated to assure that this occurs at many levels, thus allowing SAICN to increase and sustain delivery of beneficial interventions and to develop pilot studies using a collaborative approach. The SAICN has created the following cores: Administrative, Data and Evaluation, Outreach and Service, Policy, Research, Training and Education. Cores were established and fully staffed during the first year of SAICN. In addition, SAICN has developed an organizational chart. A multidisciplinary team of community leaders, researchers, clinicians and educators is being identified for each core.

Early studies have revealed disconnection of the cancer care system for American Indians. SAICN is working to connect the parts and build a system of care. It is recognized that any type of cancer research done in Tribal communities shall entitle Tribes to own, hold and maintain all rights to all information, processes, products, and publications.

SAICN will continue to promote the successful implementation and evaluation of this project and to ensure sustainability of all efforts by building capacity in American Indian communities throughout the region.

Current Activities

Patient Navigator Certificate Program-Recovery Act Administrative Supplement


To further reduce barriers to cancer care, we propose to develop, implement, evaluate and distribute two-day (16 hour) web-based and teleconferenced interactive patient navigator certificate training for health care workers who work with American Indians in Arizona.  This project responds to and expands upon the projects proposed in and subsequently implemented by the SAICN initial plan and responds to the unmet needs of cancer patients and their families, tribal health departments, the Indian Health Service (IHS), and community based human service agencies serving American Indian populations.

These activities respond to the critically important unmet needs of cancer patients and their families, tribal health departments, the Indian Health Service, and community-based human services agencies serving American Indian populations. Tapping into these unmet needs provides avenues for improving the grim statistics on cancer and also providing jobs and sustainability.


For more information, please contact (602) 258-4822