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Research Center Receives Grant to Boost Latino Health

The National Latino Research Center (NLRC) at Cal State San Marcos has been awarded a $333,332 grant from the federal Minority Research Grant Program to support the research of Bridges2Health, a community health advocate program. 

The importance of the grant was recognized during a press conference in Vista on Oct. 6 by Mike Levin, who represents the 49th congressional district that includes much of North County, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.  

Dr. Konane Martinez, director of the NLRC and an anthropology professor at CSUSM, spoke at the press conference to discuss the impact that the grant will have on Latinx communities.  

“The NLRC believes research is a collaborative effort, placing great value in collaborations with faculty, students and community partners to create bridges between the university and the communities around us,” Dr. Martinez said. “Collaborations create a medium for conversations that can lead to research initiatives that address the needs of local and regional communities.” 

The funding will help develop an innovative health service that will educate low-income students and their families about health-related resources.  

The NLRC plans to target students and families with limited English proficiency and those who have been affected by poverty or inequality. 

An advocate from Bridges2Health will assist two community schools in the Vista Unified School District and connect students with community resources to address health needs. This is a new initiative in California and nationwide to provide services for students and their families. The advocate will also encourage families to enroll in Medicaid and SNAP programs.  

“In San Diego County, there are about 1.1 million people who are Medicaid eligible,” Dr. Martinez said. 

The NLRC program plans to identify the resources urgently needed for students and their families as well as incorporate health services within the Vista Unified School District.  

“We hypothesize that the project will be successfully implemented and accessible to the target population and will accurately identify and capture variables to track and monitor long-term impact,” Dr. Martinez said.  

The Minority Research Grant Program is administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health.

Media Contact

Eric Breier, Public Affairs Specialist
ebreier@csusm.edu | Office: 760-750-7314