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Helping Utah’s Hispanic Community Access Cancer Resources

Sara Carbajal-Salisbury portrait photo
Sara Carbajal-Salisbury

Sara Carbajal-Salisbury is originally from Mexico City. She received a bachelor of science degree in international business relations from Politecnico Nacional University in Mexico. In 2002 she joined a team of professionals to start Alliance Community Services, whose mission is to improve the quality of life for the Hispanic community by improving access to health and social services. She is the co-founder and program director for the Community Cancer Support Services and Alliance Breast Cancer Programs. She has received training specifically for breast and cervical cancer and has participated in many professional conferences dealing with health and cancer issues to better serve Hispanic/Latina survivors. She is married and has three children, who she has raised as bilingual and bicultural.

Why did you decide to join the Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) Community Advisory Board?

I love serving the community. One of the very first projects in 2002 at Alliance Community Services was to facilitate the first Hispanic breast cancer support group Triunfadoras in Utah. The Triunfadoras program has become one of the most impactful projects I have worked on over the course of my career. Our collaboration with HCI began then. Working with Donna Branson and Martha Mandujano, we received support from HCI with education materials and health education. Ever since then, we have been partnering with HCI in various health and cancer-related events as well as in research projects to serve the Hispanic community.

Cancer is one of the areas of our organization’s greatest concerns; I decided to join the Community Advisory Board for the opportunity to discuss issues the community faces, including cancer prevention education, cancer screening, clinical trials, and more. Working together, we are finding solutions.

What do you love most about living and working in Salt Lake City and Utah?

One thing I love about living in the Salt Lake Valley is the breathtaking mountains of the Wasatch Front. The sheer rawness of it and the beauty of nature is inspiring to me.

One thing I love about working here in Utah is the recognition of the importance of diversity and equity regarding services, resources, and partnerships. We still can move forward together and do more, but I love that the Community Advisory Board continues advocating for improving the quality of life of all the communities in Utah.

I love being part of groups of people who believe in change for the good, who believe that by joining efforts we can make a bigger difference. I believe in teamwork.

What is your personal philosophy?

I identify with Vince Lombardi’s philosophy: "Individual commitment to a group effort—that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."

The Community Advisory Board comprises 36 members from Utah and the Mountain West who serve as Ambassadors of Huntsman Cancer Institute. The board provides strategic input to prioritize work and engage the community in cancer research, services, and prevention efforts.