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  • Research Statement

  • Working Research Statement

    Research Frameworks

    (1) Theory of Social Suffering, which collapses the distinction between social problems and health problems and suggests institutions devised to address suffering often make matters worse.

    (2) Community Health Empowerment Theory, which aims to facilitate the engagement of community members in the process of recognizing personal and social contextual resources, and in the identification of desired health goals and the means to attain these goals.


    Primary Research Participants

    Low-SES racial/ethnic minority individuals and families (in particular, but not limited to, Latinx and Black); health care providers. 


    Research Programs

    My research is in the area of customized, culturally sensitive health care and health promotion. I have built community and academic partnerships to conduct two community-participatory research programs to promote health and prevent disease in at-risk communities. The two research programs are:

    Patient-Centered Culturally Sensitive Health Promotion: My work in this area is based on precision prevention and the notion that health promotion approaches must be based on key sociodemographic variables. I have collaboratively developed and tested different versions of the Health-Smart Behavior Program. I have also published several articles on precursors to health behaviors and health-related quality of life in low-SES racial/ethnic minorities and rural patients. Most recently, my work has concentrated on sociodemographic and health correlates of sleep disturbances in Black and Brown communities, which are a major unmet health problem.

    Patient-Centered Culturally Sensitive Health Care (PC-CSHC). My work in this area responds to increasing national calls for health care that is responsive to the needs and values of racial/ethnic minorities as a pathway to improve their health outcomes. I am partnered with Denver Health to conduct two research studies: (1) “Preferred Provider Cultural Sensitivity Indicators and their Association with Perceived Quality of Care” (results published in 2021); and (2) “Implicit Bias and Opioid Prescriptions at Emergency Department Visits” (in progress). I have also published the validation of a measure for providers to self-assess their engagement in patient-centered care (2017) and a manuscript on the views of obese Black women on desired and undesired clinical approaches to weight loss (2021). Results from these projects are being used to improve trainings for providers working with minority patients by including patients’ views and providers’ self-assessment. Moreover, I am working with the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado to increase access and awareness of mental health services to immigrants in rural areas of Colorado. 

This portfolio last updated: 24-Aug-2023 2:35 PM