- Elizabeth Aghbashian
- David Claudio
- Sally Moyce
Research Project Description
Montana—like other rural states in the Mountain West—is seeing a significant increase in the Latino immigrant population. Latino immigrants are marginalized through anti-immigration racism, absent safety net programs, and a lack of health insurance options. Structural racism is most obvious in the lack of Spanish-language services and manifests in the exclusion of persons of color in policy decisions and the invisibility of the immigrant population. The lack of culturally and linguistically sensitive health policies creates a nearly insurmountable barrier to accessing care and leads to health disparities and unmet needs. A Culture of Health envisions equal access to health services for everyone in the US, yet the relative history of homogeneity of the Mountain West region has engendered policies that systematically exclude Latino immigrants and other persons of color. Examining policies that exclude Latinos from accessing high-quality, affordable health care is required to address the structural racism in Montana and in other states that share similar immigration growth. Structural racism leads to poor health outcomes both in the implicit condoning of interpersonal racism and the overt preservation of systems that create differential access to health services.
We aim to address the structural racism directly we know to be present in our health policies. Our work will build on our existing relationships with members of the Latino community and health care providers to involve them in the analysis of current policies. We propose to answer two questions: 1) How do policies promote structural racism in accessing health care? and 2) What are potential solutions? The resulting model of inclusive policies will serve as a model for use throughout the region.
Elizabeth Aghbashian is employed at Community Health Partners, a Federally Qualified Community Health Center with sites in Gallatin and Park Counties, Montana. She manages a staff who provides assistance with access to resources for clients of CHP and members of the community. She works with Community Health Workers to promote health and provide a bridge to health care for all and targeting members of the Latino community. She advocates for the Latino and other marginalized communities in Montana, promoting equity in access to health care.
David Claudio (he/him) is an Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UMass Lowell with expertise in healthcare systems and the intersection of systems and the human workforce. He is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion through his scholarly work. Several institutions have highlighted his involvement with Scientists and Latinos United against Disparities (Proyecto SALUD) as a great example of research-outreach integration.
Sally Moyce is an assistant professor in the College of Nursing at Montana State University where she teaches public health and research. Her background with migrant and seasonal farmworkers in rural Oregon led her to a research career focused on improving access to health care for Latino immigrants. She earned her PhD from UC Davis where she studied health outcomes in agricultural workers. She brings skills in community engaged research to address health disparities affecting Latinos