BY XOCHITL CRUZ
2012 CSUSM Student Research Competition Finalist
I hope to utilize the skills I gained from my research to work with the community to diminish health disparities amongst minorities. Conducting research helped me realize that we must be culturally and linguistically sensitive towards our local communities.
About my Research
My research was made possible due to the collaboration between North County Health Services (NCHS) in North San Diego County and CSUSM. One of the Anthropology Department's upper level field work requirements consists of working with the community. Therefore, my experience in all the courses that I have taken, along with being out in the field, has made me realize how much the Latino community needs help with cultural and linguistic services. This is an important step for the students and the community members as we both learn from each other. NCHS wanted to know if we could conduct a focus group research based on the local community members and the services that NCHS were offering but, unfortunately, were not being utilized.
Our first step was to educate ourselves with previously written journals of health discrepancies in minorities in our communities and some of the reasons why men and women alike have not taken advantage of such available resources. Our second step was to get our research proposal approved by the IRB through CSUSM. Third, NCHS recruited a total of 40 community members who were divided into different discussion groups. Discussion topics consisted of breast, cervical and colon cancer, diabetes and hypertension. NCHS representatives then contacted us shortly after we presented the report and are currently looking into ways of implementing our findings into better serving the local community.
Xochitl Cruz is among the twelve finalists representing CSUSM at the 26th annual statewide Student Research Competition held at CSU Long Beach on May 4-5. Hear firsthand how her research is leading to new discoveries, positively impacting her education and propeling her toward her future aspirations.