Purdue University Graduate School
2023.7.13 Grismer 2.0.pdf (1.96 MB)


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posted on 2023-07-13, 13:02 authored by Melinda A GrismerMelinda A Grismer


This dissertation explores the healthcare status, concerns and access of Spanish-speaking, immigrant Latinos who live and work in and around Clinton County, Indiana. The study analyzed the responses of 579 participants who answered questions during 20-minute, door-to-door interviews (80% of which were conducted in Spanish). The study’s sponsor, the Indiana Minority Health Coalition (IMHC), was interested in assessing the health needs of this Latino community because it receives IMHC’s funding for health disparity reduction. IMHC was interested in comparing the results of a previous benchmarking study, conducted a decade earlier, to the 2020 results for the purposes of understanding how successfully programming was being implemented. Between 2010 and 2020, Indiana’s Latino population increased nearly 25%, and the population in Clinton County (where more than half of the school children are now Latino) almost doubled.

The study was spearheaded by the Purdue Center for Regional Development in conjunction with the Learning Network of Clinton County, a community-based organization that provides education and training in English and Spanish to adult learners, as well as the Mexican Consulate of Indianapolis that promoted the study among Spanish-speakers and shared the study results. Faculty and staff from the Indiana University School of Medicine at Purdue University served in an advisory capacity with medical students enrolled in West Lafayette’s Latino Concentration Program serving as co-investigators. They were assisted by 10 bilingual (Spanish/English) youth of the community and two adult, bilingual (Spanish/English) Promotores de Salud (community health workers) who were trained and earned their ethical research certifications to participate.

The study used a mixed-methods, community-based participatory research approach to survey design, data collection, data analysis, dissemination of results. The findings this study revealed are detailed in the following three journal articles that each concentrate on a component of the project. In addition to its focus on health, the survey asked participants about their education and literacy levels, job satisfaction, and feelings of acceptance in the United States. The study provided insights based on descriptive statistics as well as a set of logistic regression models. 

Immigrant voices were elevated to build awareness of their healthcare and workforce situation among providers, educators, public policymakers, community organizations, and employers of Latino workers. As this work was both exploratory and comparative in nature, there are implications for healthcare and workplace interventions that could improve equitable outcomes. 


Indiana Minority Health Coalition Grant ($40,000) - August 2020


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Educational Studies

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Patricia Morita-Mullaney

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee co-chair

Nathalie Duval-Couetil

Additional Committee Member 2

Anthony Silva

Additional Committee Member 3

Jason Ware