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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA gets grant to study border health care

    The UA has been given a $300,000 grant to research whether immigrant workers are seeking the health care they need to remain healthy.

    Joel Meister, a professor of public health and the director of public health policy and management at the College of Public Health, will serve as the principal investigator of the project, which was awarded the money from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

    Meister said immigrant farmers living in border areas – legal and illegal alike – may not be seeking health care for themselves and their families because of the militarization of the border and the increased public outrage with illegal immigration.

    “”Along with federal border policy, the passage of quite a bit of anti-immigrant legislation has created a climate of fear for people who are living there.”” Meister said. “”We think it has an effect on how they seek or don’t seek health care.””

    Researchers will conduct interviews and surveys on farm workers in the Yuma area to determine the attitudes they have toward the pursuit of health care. The population under observation is mostly Latino, and many cross the border daily to get to work, Meister said.

    “”We’ve been in the field now for a couple of months or so,”” Meister said. “”So we’ve already conducted well over 100 interviews.””

    The researchers are finding that people in the Yuma area are affected by the hostility toward immigration, and they are concerned and rather fearful of talking about it even if they are legal citizens, Meister said.

    The information collected will be used as feedback to develop some type of intervention policy that could remedy the problem, Meister said.

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