I am a medical anthropologist and public health scientist with a research program focused on improving the health of rural and minority populations.
Since 1995, I have participated in a program of community-based participatory research addressing the occupational and environmental health of immigrant workers. Much of this research has involved migrant and seasonal farmworkers, with additional research focused on immigrant poultry processing workers and immigrant residential construction workers. This research has produced over 250 refereed articles and book chapters, and a co-edited monograph (with Sara A. Quandt), Latinx Farmworkers in the Eastern United States: Health, Safety and Justice (2nd edition), published by Springer in 2020. In addition, this work has led to the development of culturally and educationally appropriate safety training programs and materials for immigrant workers and their family members. Finally, I have worked with advocacy groups to use the results of this research to develop environmental and occupational health policy.
My second major research area has examined the health self-management of rural and minority older adults. I have investigated health self-management in the domains of nutrition, diabetes, oral health, complementary and alternative medicine use, and patient portal use. This research has produced over 150 refereed articles and book chapters.
The contributions of my research program have been recognized with the 2003 Praxis Award from the Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists; the 2004 National Rural Health Association Outstanding Researcher Award; the 2006 Innovative Research Award for Worker Health and Safety from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; the 2017 Defender of Justice Award for Policy Research and Advocacy from the North Carolina Justice Center; the 2017 Alice Hamilton Award from the Occupational Health Section, American Public Health Association; and a 2019 Adolph G. Frammer Merit in Authorship Award from American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. In 2018, I presented the McAnulty & Bayer School Alumni Lecture, for Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA.