Círculo de Vida Cancer Support and Resource Center
About Us > Program Staff
Carmen Ortiz, PhD, Founder/Executive Director
Carmen Ortiz, PhD, a psychologist and breast cancer survivor, is considered a
pioneer in the field of Spanish-language cancer psychosocial support.
She is founder and Executive Director of the Círculo de Vida
Cancer Support and Resource Center, the first successful Spanish-language support
program in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.
Dr. Ortiz specializes in Spanish-language support group
development and community outreach planning. She developed and implemented
a hospital based support program for newly diagnosed Latinas at San Francisco
General Hospital, and an in-home support program for Latinos in the
terminal phase of their illness. Dr. Ortiz’s support group model has
been the impetus for the development of other Spanish-language support
groups in five Bay Area cities. She has won numerous awards, including the
Jefferson Award in 2006, and in June of 2008, Dr. Ortiz was profiled on
ABC’s Channel 7 (KRO-TV) Profile of Excellence. Dr. Ortiz has provided
in-depth training for providers and has written two manuals on
culturally competent and appropriate support for Latina cancer patients.
“A Guide to Developing and Sustaining Spanish-Speaking Support Groups
for Latinas who have Breast Cancer,” and “A Peer Support Program
for Latinas with Breast Cancer: Las Angelitas Model.” Dr. Ortiz was
diagnosed with breast cancer in 1988. She was 39 years old.
Dimas Moncada, Jr., LCSW,
Dimas Moncada oversees the clinical program and provides consultation
and supervision to Círculo de Vida staff. He also provides individual and
family therapy to Círculo clients. Mr. Moncada has fifteen years of
experience working with the chronically ill, and worked for over seven
years with children, adolescents and families dealing with issues of
abuse and parenting at La Clínica de la Raza in Oakland. In addition
to his work with Círculo de Vida, he works for the San Francisco
Department of Public Health's Mission Mental Health Center to assess
children with learning disabilities in order to minimize negative
impact of mental health issues on a child's learning.
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