Research

This page is especially intended to serve as a reference for service providers to low-income and immigrant families in Rice County. It includes research, student projects, and news articles relevant to Growing Up Healthy’s mission.
Children
Cultural Literacy
Education
General Social Determinants of Health
Health Care
Housing

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Children

Play and Motor Development A Multicultural Perspective – This is a video produced by a group of students in a St. Olaf College Psychology class.
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Cultural Literacy

Culturally Competent Healthcare Systems - a study from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine comparing the different methods used by healthcare providers to improve culturally competent service

CSCM Cultural Index - a page published by the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota that gives an overview of Somali culture, including a sheet of tips for employers.

Somali Family Strengths Booklet – a booklet, written in 1999, helps service providers and community organizations understand more about unity and other important aspects of the Somali family structure in order to support easier resettlement.  Includes insights and recommendations for those working with Somali families, with a goal of respecting and strengthening family unity.

Somali Immigrant Settlement in Small Midwestern Communities: The Case of Barron, Wisconsin – a research article written in 2003 that gives brief case studies of Somali integration into rural towns in Minnesota and Wisconsin, arguing that more community education about immigrants is needed.

 

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Education

Cuentos y Canciones - a script for a storytime hour in Spanish, by Kaitlin Lytle (St. Olaf student).  Also includes an excellent literature review about early childhood and bilingual education.

The Value of Bilingual Education and Bilingual/Bicultural Teaciung Aides in the Classrooms – a St. Olaf student report by Jack Adams.  It presents the need for bilingual education, outlines some successful bilingual programs in Minnesota, and gives detailed information about the teaching programs at South Central College and Inver Hills Community College for prospective bilingual teachers and teaching aides.

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General Social Determinants of Health

A New Safety Net - a series of reports and essays about challenges that working-class, low-income American households face and ways to get along in spite of these.  The original article, “A New Safety Net for Low-income Families,” discusses policy based on four principles: Work should pay enough to cover the basic costs of living; quality day care should be available; access to training to move up the career ladder should be available; and savings plus unemployment payments should be able to bridge the economic gap for families that work hard. 

Making Work Pay Enough is an article that recommends Unnatural Causes. Racial, economic, and other inequality have severe impacts not only on access to health care, but also on health itself.  Class status is the single best predictor of one’s health status.  Limited access to food limits one’s eating choices, and the government and business decisions such as the location of toxic dumps near one’s house can increase the risk of cancer.  High-demand work with little choice contributes to chronic stress, depression, diabetes, and heart disease.  The US is the most unequal - and one of the sickest - of all the rich countries in the world, and changing this situation should be at the top of our priority list.

6/24- Summer is a nutrition challenge for parents and students - While many studies blame  school cafeterias for increasing child obesity and for posing barriers to health, the school meal-snack-recess routine provides structure, and unhealthy eating habits seem to increase during the summer for many children.  True, summer camp provides regular exercise – but it also provides very unhealthy foods, and those who spend the day watching TV or playing inside also tend to snack more, get less exercise, and develop a preference for the sugary, fatty foods they eat as snacks and see advertised.

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Health Care

Best Practices in Ensuring Timely and Complete Refugee Health Screening Exams for Newly Arrived Refugees

Refugee Health in Minnesota: Update a short PowerPoint with basic statistics on the refugee population in Minnesota and their priority health concerns

Use of the Emergency Department by Somali Immigrants and Refugees – a study done by Pamela DeShaw and published in Clinical and Health Affairs that discusses why Somali refugees so often use emergency rooms for routine medical care, with explanations of both Somali culture regarding preventative care  and of general social factors that are relevant to other immigrants and low-income families as well.

Health Care and World Religions: A handbook for health care professionals- a booklet published by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation that gives detailed descriptions of how religion and culture affect the expectations and practices of immigrants in health care situations. It gives guidelines to health providers on how to gain cultural competence and more successfully relate to Hmong, Lao Buddhists, Latina/o Christians, Somali Muslims, and South Asian Hindus.

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Housing

Affordable Housing in Rice County -student paper by St. Olaf student Tim Peitrini. This project assesses the affordable housing in RiceCounty and the needs that exist, especially to provide reference for newly elected officials or others. It has some very useful data tables.

Immigrant Housing in Northfield and Faribault: Rental and Homeownership Options – St. Olaf student paper by Diana Baetscher. This project includes a table and detailed description of the low-cost rental and homeownership programs in Rice County, along with contact information. All of these programs require US citizenship for participation.

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