MD Anderson 2020 Interview Collection
Elizabeth Garcia, BSN,MPA,RN, Oral History Interview, July 13, 2021


Elizabeth Garcia, BSN,MPA,RN, Oral History Interview, July 13, 2021



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Publication Date



The Historical Resources Center, The Research Medical Library, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center


Houston, Texas

About the Interview

Chapter 01: First Career in Nursing

In this chapter, Vice President of Patient Experience, Elizabeth Garcia describes her personal, educational, and professional background. She particularly notes the impetus for her interest in nursing, her administrative training, and how her professional experiences coalesce in her current role. She emphaisizes that patient experience is nursing leadership.

Chapter 02: The Patient Experience at MD Anderson

In this chapter, Elizabeth Garcia provides insight into the different roles she has held while at MD Anderson Cancer Center. She describes her start as Clinical Administartive Director in the GYN Oncology Center and her eventual transition to the Office of Performance Improvement. Garcia notes her action-oriented strengths in these positions, detailing how the different intiatives she has been a part of strive to be anchored in service and patient care. In particular, she notes how expanding the Ask MD Anderson Call Center, Service Excellence Program, and trasnparency intitative have all helped shift the insitution’s culture to be more patient oriented than physician oriented.

Garcia also highlights mentors and collegues who have been influential throughout her time at MD Anderson. She ends by reflecting on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to patient experiences and how the institution might have handled issues differently.

Chapter 03: Heath Disparities and MD Anderson

Elizabeth Garcia spends this chapter discussing how MD Anderson Cancer Center addressed the COVID-19 pandemic and racial justice related issues. Specifically, she notes the institution’s partnership with Lyndon B. Johnson Hopsital to assist with their COVID patients. Moreover, Garcia describes how she and her collegues addressed the murder of George Floyd. She details how this opened up difficult discussions at MD Anderson, which exposed racism faced by many staff members. In drawing this segment to a close, Garcia notes the effects of remote work and how the institution impressively had no layoffs amid a global health crisis.

Chapter 04: Focus on Wellness and Safety

In this chapter, Elizabeth Garcia discusses the importance of wellness for employees across MD Anderson Cancer Center, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. She reflects on this era by describing staff appreciation and how the insiutition raised the minimum wage. Moreover, she paritcularly notes the import safety measure and procedures that were implemented during this period. Garcia also defines patient advocacy and her visions for the future of MD Anderson where inclusive leadership is the standard. She ultimately emphasizes her belieft that patients are not guests, but partners in the care journey.

Processing Information:

Interview with Elizabeth Garcia conducted by Nina Nevill, Oral History Intern in 2021. The interview was processed by John McCool, Research Medical Library staff. The interview abstracts composed by Allison Saenz, Historical Resources Center Oral History Intern in 2023.

Conditions Governing Access


Elizabeth Garcia, BSN,MPA,RN, Oral History Interview, July 13, 2021