Desiree Rivers, Ph.D., MSPH

Desiree Rivers, Ph.D., MSPH 

Assistant Professor

Community Health and Preventive Medicine

Cancer Health Equity Institute
Location: National Center for Primary Care, 3rd Floor
Phone: (404) 752-1619


Moffitt Cancer Center
NCI Patient Navigator Research Program - Cancer Disparities


Texas A&M University
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy in Health Education

UAB School of Public Health
Degree: Master of Science in Public Health - Healthcare Organization and Policy

Vanderbilt University
Degree: Bachelor of Psychology

Research Interests

Health Care Disparities in access and utilization of health services, including biomedical research and clinical trials for the prevention, treatment and survivorship of cancer among minority and medically underserved populations.


1. Rivers, D., Vadaparampil, S., Pal, T., Adams, L., Dash-Pitt, L., Quinn, G. (2017). A Community-Academic Partnership to Explore Informational Needs of African American Women as a Primer for Cancer Clinical Trial Recruitment. Ethnicity and Health. ePub.

2. Ojeaga, A., Alema-Mensah, E., Rivers, D., Azonobi, I., Rivers, B. (2017). Racial Disparities in HPV-related Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs among African American and White Women in the USA. Journal of Cancer Education. ePub.

3.  Walsh, M.L., Rivers, D., Pinzon, M., Entrekin, N., Hite, E.M., Baldwin, J.A. (2015). Assessment of the Perceived Role and Function of a Community Advisory Board in a NIH Center of Excellence: Lessons Learned. Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice. 8(3): 100-108.

4. Davis, J.L., Rivers, B.M., Rivers, D., Tucker, C.M., Desmond, F.F., Arthur, T.M., Wippold, G.M., Green, B.L. (2016). A Community-Level Assessment of Barriers to Preventive Health Behaviors Among Culturally Diverse Men. American Journal of Men’s Health. 10(6): 495-504.

5. Sultan, D.H., Rivers, B.M., Osongo, B.O., Wilson, D.S., Schenck, A., Carvajal, R., Rivers, D. Roetzheim, R., Green, B.L. (2014). Affecting African American Men’s Prostate Cancer Screening Decision-making Through a Mobile Tablet-Mediated Intervention. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. 25(3): 1261-77.

6. Green, B.L., Rivers, D., Kumar, N., Baldwin, J., Rivers, B., Sultan, D., Jacobsen, P., Gordon, L., Davis, J., Roetzheim, R. (2013). Establishing the Infrastructure to Comprehensively Address Cancer Disparities: A Model for Transdisciplinary Approaches. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. 24(4): 1614-1623.

7. Rivers, D., August E.M., Sehovic, I., Green, B.L., Quinn, G.P. (2013). A systematic review of the factors influencing African Americans' participation in cancer clinical trials. Contemporary Clinical Trials. 35(2): 13-32.

8. Johnson-Mallard, V., Thomas, T.L., Kostas-Polston, E.A., Barta, M., Lengacher, C. A., & Rivers, D. (2012). The Nurse’s Role in Preventing Cervical Cancer: A Cultural Framework. American Nurse Today. 7(7): 37-40.

9. Wells, K.J., Meade, C.D., Calcano, E. R., Lee, J-H., Rivers, D., & Roetzheim, R.G. (2011). Innovative Approaches to Reducing Cancer Health Disparities: The Moffitt Cancer Center Patient Navigator Research Program. Journal of Cancer Education. 6(4): 649-657.

10. Pal, T., Rocchio, E., Garcia, A., Rivers, D., Vadaparampil, S. (2010). Recruitment of Black women for a study of inherited breast cancer using a Cancer Registry-Based Approach. Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers. 15(1-2): 69-77.

11. Jean-Pierre, P., Fiscella, K., Freund, K., Clark, J., Darnell, J., Holden, A., Post, D., Patierno, S., Winters, P., Snyder, F., Taylor, E., Roetzheim, R., Warren-Mears, V., Rivers, D., LaVerda, N. (2010). Structural and reliability analysis of a patient satisfaction with cancer-related care measure: A multi-site patient navigation research program study. Cancer. 117(4): 854-861.

12. Gwede, C.K., Ward, B.G., Luque, J., Vadaparampil, S., Rivers, D., Martinez-Tyson, D., Noel- Thomas, S., Meade, C.D. (2010). Application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and asset mapping to facilitate identification of colorectal cancer screening resources. Online Journal of Public Health Informatics. 2(1): e6

13. Rivers, B., August, E., Buchanan, K., Rivers, D., Green, B. (2010). A comparative examination of prostate cancer knowledge levels among African Americans and Whites in Alabama. The Journal of Best Practices in Health Professions Diversity: Research, Education and Policy.

14. Rivers, D., Rowell, K. (2007). Self-management education among African Americans with Type 2 diabetes: a literature review. The Health Education Monograph Series, 24(1): 37-41.

15. Rivers, D., Rowell, K. (2006). Encouraging confidence intervals for effect size reporting in health education research. The Health Education Monograph Series, 23(2): 60-62.

16. Watkins, D.C., Rivers D., Rowell, K., Green, B.L., Rivers, B.M. (2006). A closer look at effect sizes and their relevance to health education. American Journal of Health Education, 37(2): 103-108.

17. Rowell, K., Rivers, D. (2006). Racism as a stressor among African American suicide attempters: examining gender disparities. The Health Education Monograph Series, 23(2): 30-36.

18. Politzer, R.M., Trible, L.Q., Robinson, T.D., Heard, D., Weaver, D.L., Reig, S.M., Gaston. M. (July 2000). The National Health Service Corps for the 21st century. The Journal of Ambulatory Care Management, 23(3): 70-85.

Honors and Awards

2017                National Institute on Aging, Butler-Williams Scholar

2016                NCI U54 MSM-TU-UABCCC Health Disparities Research Training, Fellow

2016                NCI GMAP Region 2, K Award Training Program Fellow

2007-2009       NCI PNRP Moffitt Cancer Center, Postdoctoral Fellow

2006-2007       Society for Public Health Education, Student Trustee

2006-2007       Eta Sigma Gamma Honor Society, Alpha Pi Chapter Member

2004-2007       Texas A&M, Office of Graduate Studies, Diversity Fellow

2001-2002       UAB School of Medicine, Student National Medical Association, Administrative President

1999                Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Public Health Fellow

1998-1999       UAB Lister Hill Center for Health Policy, Fellow