Socioeconomic disadvantage, marginalization, harsh living environments, limited English proficiency, inadequate access to healthcare, and lack of documented status are some of many factors that increase vulnerability for undocumented Latino immigrants and their families, which over time, may compromise health and decrease wellbeing. Although a growing area of research interest, studies to inform the health of undocumented Latino immigrants continue to be limited, and existing studies often lack methodological rigor. Improving the quality of health research among this vulnerable immigrant subgroup is essential to inform the development of culture and context sensitive interventions, the provision of health services, and policy efforts. This presentation will summarize methodology, findings, and lessons learned from research and clinical work with undocumented Latino immigrants in an effort to emphasize the need for interdisciplinary collaboration, innovative methodology, and culture/context sensitive skills necessary to improve the quality of health research with this at-risk immigrant subgroup. Specifically, this presentation will highlight research from three different lines of research (Por La Vida; U.S.-Mexico Border Health Community Survey; and Proyecto Voces); summarize insight gained in the provision of health services to this immigrant subgroup; and review advocacy and leadership efforts necessary to advance the study of Latino immigrant health at different levels of influence.
Speaker Biography - Luz Garcini
University of California, San Diego
Luz Garcini is in the Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at UC San Diego and San Diego State University. She completed a masters degree in clinical psychology at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, as well as a one-year clinical internship at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) where she became interested in the development and implementation of health interventions for hard-to-reach populations. She has worked in multiple community-based settings with diverse immigrant populations. Her research has involved extensive binational collaboration with Mexico, and her dissertation focuses on the use of Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS) to study the health and well-being of undocumented Latino immigrants and deportees. Her primary interests include informing methodology to study hidden or hard-to-reach populations, as well as translational research to inform health and public policy for the underserved. Additionally, Luz is a Ford fellow, and she is highly committed to activities supporting increased representation and retention of minorities in the health sciences. Also, Luz has received numerous awards including recently the 2016 American Psychological Association Distinguished Graduate Student Award in Professional Psychology. This was awarded to Luz by the Board of Professional Affairs (BPA) and the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) for her practice and application of psychology.
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