Monica Yellowhair to serve as COE interim associate director

Sept. 13, 2023

Monica Yellowhair, PhD, was recently named interim associate director of Community Outreach and Engagement (COE) for the University of Arizona Cancer Center. Dr. Yellowhair currently serves as the assistant director of COE for the Cancer Center. 
After earning her PhD in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Arizona, Dr. Yellowhair completed a post-doctoral fellowship in cancer biology working with Patricia Thompson and Peter Lance at the Cancer Center from 2011 to 2016. Monica served the center as an assistant research scientist before joining COE in 2018 and assuming the role of director of Outreach and Tribal Relations in June of 2020. She took on the role of assistant director of COE in 2021.

Dr. Yellowhair has been instrumental in establishing and maintaining relationships with the diverse Native American communities living in the Cancer Center’s catchment area and led the planning of Screening to Follow Up: Cancer Prevention in Indigenous Communities, a national conference hosted by UACC in Nov. 2022. She was also a major contributor to launching the ROSA program and its Scientific Café series as well as administering the Community Assessment of Southern Arizona. Dr. Yellowhair was instrumental in UACC outreach efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic and launched the UACC COE’s Let’s Taco ‘Bout Cancer! (LTBC) series. 

Additional efforts included facilitating the donation of over 6,500 face masks to the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and Tohono O’odham Nation. In partnership with the Arizona Department of Health Services, Dr. Yellowhair and the COE team has relaunched the “Beyond Cancer” conference series aimed to increase quality of life of cancer survivors and care givers, as part of the five-year state cancer plan. She has most recently established COE’s newest initative, Sharing Awareness for Cancer Resources & Educational Discussions (SACRED). 

“Dr. Yellowhair is continuing the wonderful programming for community outreach established by Dr. Jennifer Hatcher with the inaugural COE office,” said Dr. Joann Sweasy, PhD, Cancer Center director. “I’m grateful to have Dr. Yellowhair to lead the incredible COE team until we identify the next permanent Associate Director of COE through a national search. I’m excited to see what’s in store for the coming months and year ahead for our COE team.”