A new seed grant from the Blum Center for Alleviating Poverty and Social Disparities at UC Merced will extend my research examining the rural food environment. A team led by my colleague in sociology, Dr. Zulema Valdez, will survey alternate food outlets in two Merced County communities, in order to identify resources and solutions to food access.
Very pleased to announce that Stephanie Gamboa, a member of the Communication, Culture, and Health research team, as been named an Outstanding Undergraduate Student in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts. This prestigious honor is awarded to only 8 graduating students who demonstrate evidence of significant research, leadership initiative, and excellence in service, and have maintained a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
Stephanie is graduating with a major in Public Health and minors in History and Spanish and has been an integral member of the Communication, Culture, and Health research team since Spring 2016. Her research on acculturation, identity, and health has been funded through the UROC Scholars Program. She has also worked as a research assistant at UCLA's Fielding School of Public Health. Stephanie is a peer educator with HEROES (Health Education Representatives for Opportunities to Empower Students). Stephanie plans to pursue a PhD in Public Health.
Our study in the Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior evaluating the process of of implementation of an intervention t increase access to healthy foods in rural food deserts is one of the most read articles in the journal during the first quarter of 2017. If you haven't read it yet, please do here or email me for the full text.
Here is the citation:
Ramírez, A.S., Diaz Rios, L.K., Valdez, Z., Ruiz, A., & Estrada, E. (2017). Bringing produce to the people: Implementing a social marketing food access intervention in rural food deserts. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 49(2):166-174. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2016.10.017
Challenges and opportunities for national surveys and health communication research with Latinos and linguistic minorities
A new publication with a great team from the NCI's Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) examines challenges in recruiting Latinos in general but specifically Spanish-speakers to participate in the national probability survey. We use a health communication framework to argue that the recruitment challenges as well as issues we found in analyzing how Spanish-speakers perceived and responded to survey questions using cognitive interviewing techniques is parallel to issues health communicators face.
Access the full article here or email me for a copy.
Ramírez, A.S., Willis, G., & Rutten, L.F. (2017). Understanding Spanish-language response in a national health communication survey: Implications for health communication research. Journal of Health Communication. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2017.1304470
You might also find this and this article interesting.
Steven Ramondt, PhD Candidate, and I presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Preventive Oncology in Seattle. Steven's presentation presented an adaptation of the Cancer Information Overload Scale to assess diet information overload, and also validated a short, 5-item version of the model. My presentation focused on misperceptions of diet and disease risk among bicultural Mexican-American women.
Mapping the health information landscape in a rural region: Implications for interventions to reduce information inequality
Our new publication examining rural health information disparities is out in the Journal of Primary Prevention.
I am so very proud of this publication - not only is it the very first project I started at UC Merced, but it was the very first project that I got to work on with students. This is the project that my current PhD student, Erendira "Dida" Estrada, worked on as an undergraduate student, and our work together helped to motivate her to apply to graduate school. Dida and Ariana were genuine collaborators on this project, despite having never done research nor having any background in health communication.
Our findings have helped to lay the foundation for an intervention that we are developing to improve the health information available in this community. Thank you to the Hellman Family Foundation for funding this project. A major thank you to the anonymous reviewers whose feedback improved this manuscript.
Please check out the full-text article for free here and be sure to cite it!
Ramírez, A.S., Estrada, E., & Ruiz, A. (2017). Mapping the health information landscape in a rural region: Implications for interventions to reduce information inequality. Journal of Primary Prevention. doi: 10.1007/s10935-017-0466-7
Our study based on the first round of audience evaluation data from the CDC-funded Partnerships to Improve Community Health - Merced County was recently published in Preventing Chronic Disease. Find the full text here (full access is free!). See also news coverage from UC Merced: Despite farms, some in valley struggle to find fresh food.
Valdez, Z., Ramírez, A.S., Estrada, E., Nathan, S., & Grassi, K. (2016). Community perspectives on access to healthy food in rural, low-resource, Latino communities. Preventing Chronic Disease, 13: 160250. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5888/pcd13.160250
New work describing the adaptation of the National Cancer Institute's HealthyYouTXT diet intervention was just published in the Journal of Health Communication. We describe lessons for future cultural and linguistic adaptation as well as challenges in such work.
Find the full text here or email if you can't access it.
Cameron, L.D., Durazo, A., Ramírez, A.S., Ultreras, M., Piva, S., & Corona, R. (2017). Cultural and Linguistic Adaptation of a Healthy Diet Text Message Intervention for Hispanic Adults. Journal of Health Communication. DOI: 10.1080/10810730.2016.1276985
A. Susana Ramirez
Assistant Professor of Public Health Communication