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Interdisciplinary Team of Boise State Researchers Publish Research on Northwest Latinos’ Health Promotion

The Diga Si a la Salud research team, an interdisciplinary team of Boise State faculty, have published in the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. “Northwest Latinos’ Health Promotion Lifestyle Profiles According to Diabetes Risk Status” focuses on the results of a physical assessment for diabetes risk of more than 200 low income, low education, Latino adults living in the Treasure Valley.

The Diga Si a la Salud team began as a part of the Latino Health Coalition, which is based in Nampa. The coalition’s focus has been on diabetes in the Latino community and sparked interest in several researchers. In 2009, with funding from the Boise State College of Health Sciences and the School of Nursing, Leonie Sutherland and Dawn Weiler, faculty in the School of Nursing, recruited Shawn Simonson, faculty in the Department of Kinesiology, to conduct the body composition measurement, and Laura Bond, bioinformatics coordinator for the Department of Biological Sciences, to assist with organizing and analyzing the data. Janet Reis, research professor and director of the College of Health Sciences’ Office of Research, has been instrumental with helping the team prepare their manuscripts for publication.

The team’s findings point to a pressing need for broad, comprehensive and culturally attuned educational campaign on diabetes, the value of prevention and the necessity of daily self-care should one be diagnosed with diabetes. Latinos living in the United State are known to be disproportionately at risk for diabetes, as compared to other racial and ethnic subgroups. The team has presented their work at multiple regional and national conferences and continues to write manuscripts about their findings.