Civic Engagement: An Approach to Address Health Disparities Among Rural Women
Evaluating a civic-engagement health initiative in medically underserved areas of Montana and New York in order to build understanding and inform improvements around these types of community-engaged efforts.
Rural women experience poorer health outcomes relative to their urban counterparts. This is partly due to environmental conditions, including limited access to healthy foods, physical activity opportunities and medical care. A potential strategy to reduce these health disparities is the use of civic engagement programs designed to improve community environments. In this project, Urshila Sriram, a graduate student in nutritional sciences, is qualitatively evaluating a civic engagement initiative called “encouraging Healthy Eating and Activity in Rural Towns” (HEART Club), which engages residents in fostering community environmental changes under the guidance of local health educators. The HEART Club model has been incorporated into a six-month community-based intervention aimed at reducing cardiovascular disease risk factors among rural women in medically underserved rural towns in Montana and New York.
- Graduate student: Urshila Sriram, nutritional sciences
Special committee chair:
Rebecca Seguin, Division of Nutritional Sciences
College of Human Ecology
- Community partner: Bassett Healthcare Network
- Community partner: Montana State University Extension