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South Texas Border Health Disparities Center
November 25, 2014
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Current Projects

Trabajando Juntos/Working Together

This is a worksite health promotion intervention for employees in the manufacturing sector. The program is informed by the findings of three needs assessment studies conducted by researchers at STBHDC in collaboration with the University of Michigan School of Public Health and the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center at UTPA. The culturally-tailored program focuses on disseminating knowledge on nutrition, physical activity, and disease risks.

Please contact Dr. Suad Ghaddar for more information. E-mail.

Preventive Health Care among Older Adults in the Rio Grande Valley

The objective of this study is to measure utilization rates of preventive health services among older adults in the Rio Grande Valley. Preventive health care utilization rates among Winter Texans and permanent Rio Grande Valley residents will be examined. In addition, the study seeks to explore individual-level factors related to the utilization of preventive health services among these two groups. The ultimate goal of the study is to make recommendations to increase the use preventive health services by older adults in our community.

Please contact Dr. Liza Talavera-Garza for more information. E-mail.

Gift Card Raffle Results

Winning Numbers: 401814 and 401554.

Health Promotion among Latino Males in South Texas

As a newly added component to theNational Minority Male Health Project (NMMHP) consortium headquartered in Morehouse College, Atlanta, this project seeks to develop and implement health education and interventions in response to the ongoing obesity and diabetes epidemic that is disproportionally inflicting Latino males. Given its strategic location at the South Texas border region with the vast majority of local residents being of Mexican origin, the UTPA component intends to contribute to the NMMHP by accomplishing the following research objectives through a series of community-based health education or interventions that have been tailored to Latino males in the region.

Research Objectives

  • To assess the effectiveness of positive life style changes such as healthy diet and exercise on the prevention of Type 2 diabetes among high-risk Latino boys and their fathers.
  • To promote awareness and understanding of obesity and Type 2 Diabetes and their associated risk factors among the general population in South Texas using culturally appropriate health education materials.
  • To provide Latino males with updated information on health care resources and access in South Texas as well as in northern Mexico that borders Texas and to encourage more active utilization of current diabetes screening and consulting services by collaborating with local media, churches, hospitals, school districts, and other organizations.
  • To collaborate with other member institutions in the NMMHP Consortium in scholarly publications and research grant applications that are related to minority male health or health disparities.

Please contact Dr. Rene Gonzalez for more information.E-mail.

Cross-border Utilization of Health Care Services: A Pilot Study in South Texas

This research project aims to study the use of health care services in Mexico by the predominantly Latino population residing on the U.S. side of the U.S.-Mexico border region. The main objective of the study is to identify factors at both individual and contextual levels that can explain cross-border health care seeking behavior. The study area is the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, one of the fastest growing regions in the U.S. but also one of the poorest. More than a third of the population of the Rio Grande Valley does not have health insurance coverage. As a result, most of them have inadequate access to health care services. A population-based survey was conducted in the whole Texas border in 2008 to collect data on the use of health care services in Mexico by U.S. residents, as well as on demographic and socioeconomic information regarding the use and non-use of cross-border health care services by border residents.

Please contact Dr. Dejun Su for more information.E-mail.

Health literacy

The objective of this research is to explore the determinants of health literacy among various population segments. Given the documented relationship between inadequate health literacy and poor health outcomes, targeting health literacy can help address health disparities.

  • Adolescents: Over 450 surveys exploring the health literacy and health information seeking behavior of adolescents were administered in Spring 2010.
  • Older adults: In collaboration with the Valley Markets and Tourism Center at UTPA, 1,139 surveys were administered to Winter Texans in Spring 2010.
  • Manufacturing plant workers: In collaboration with the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center at UTPA and faculty from UTPA, the University of Michigan, and the University of Texas School of Public Health- Brownsville Regional Campus, surveys were administered to 228 workers in manufacturing plants in Hidalgo County in Summer 2010.

Please contact Dr. Suad Ghaddar for more information.E-mail.

Childhood Obesity

The objective of this research is to assess the impact of a coordinated school-based intervention on obesity rates among Hispanic children in Texas-Mexico border communities. In collaboration with the Laredo Independent School District, screening data on over 10,000 school children has been analyzed.

Please contact Dr. Suad Ghaddar for more information.E-mail.

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