Immigrant women's health research

UPDATE: We are so close to our initial goal--THANK YOU ALL FOR THIS AMAZING OUTPOURING OF SUPPORT! With this $6500, we can do in-depth interviews, survey around 100 women, and conduct a few focus groups. PLEASE LET'S KEEP GOING! With $17,000, I will hire a research assistant and survey 300 women, so we can draw some statistically valid conclusions with our data. We can also offer food and childcare at focus groups so we can get more people to participate.  Thank you!

The New Colossus
…Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
--Emma Lazarus (excerpt)

Emma Lazarus wrote this now-famous poem in 1883 to raise money for construction of the pedestal upon which the Statue of Liberty stands today. Her words describe a vision of a “mighty woman with a torch,” welcoming newcomers to the United States with a strong, clear message of hope, freedom, and compassion.

My name is Pietra Check, and I strive to advance this vision so that people from all walks of life around the world can come through “the golden door” to the United States and achieve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This is my passion, and the purpose of this campaign is to invite you to share in an exciting research project that supports immigrant women’s well-being. 

Immigrants, particularly Latino immigrants, tend to be healthier than the US population overall when they first arrive in the United States, but their health actually gets worse the longer they stay here. This is a much-debated phenomenon, called the “Latino paradox” or “immigrant paradox ,” and we don’t really understand why it happens.

I’m working on a study that will solve a piece of this puzzle, and I started this campaign to ask you to join me.

Please help improve women’s health and well-being today. Your tax-deductible donation will make a real difference in real people’s lives. 

Social invisibility can be a necessary survival strategy for immigrants. Health care systems and providers may not know who they are, where they live, what challenges they face, and what assets they can draw upon to overcome the challenges they face in daily life.

This research project will measure the impact of social and structural conditions (e.g., housing, food, and work environment) on health, and at the same time document the lived experiences of low-wage, immigrant women workers from Latin America in the Pioneer Valley of Western MA . It will make visible, on a group level to protect individuals’ identities, some of those factors that may be contributing to the decline in immigrant’s health over time, and factors that may be particularly important in women’s lives.

This information is crucial for local health care systems and service providers that shape health policies and programs as they address the needs of a highly vulnerable and growing population of women. 

Please join me in this research. Share this campaign widely and please make a tax-deductible donation today to support this project.

How your contribution will be used
To conduct this research, we need a minimum of $6500. Full funding for this study would total about $28,000. The majority of the budget will fund incentives for study participants for completing interviews and surveys, and to hire a research assistant to support survey collection so we can reach more women. Other costs include stipends to the dedicated local organizations that are offering their personnel, office space, resources, and trusted community relationships to help us recruit participants. We will use some funds for food and childcare to enable more women to participate in our research activities. If we raise enough, we will reimburse some travel costs for trips from Greater Boston to the Pioneer Valley for data collection and partner meetings.

All donations are tax-deductible and will receive a receipt from PayPal Giving Fund. The funds will go directly to MotherWoman, Inc ., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in Holyoke, MA that is acting as the fiscal agent for this study.

If for some unforeseen, extenuating circumstance I am unable to carry out this research, MotherWoman will use these funds for their community engagement programs with immigrant and other marginalized women in the Pioneer Valley. 

A little about me
This dissertation represents the culmination of my public health career to date. Over the past 15 years as a public health professional, I have worked to help people live healthy, successful lives in which they can make a meaningful contribution to society. From doing community development with children and families in Puerto Rico, to working with Dominican moms in New York City, and most recently coordinating a federal initiative to protect workers on farms, in forests, and in fisheries—industries that employ high numbers of immigrants—my professional experiences have all led me to develop this unique and meaningful project.

Please share the link to this campaign and support this novel research project with a tax-deductible donation. Thank you for your support!
  • Khoa Duong 
    • $100 
    • 24 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 46 mos
  • CydCharise Jeyes 
    • $100 
    • 46 mos
  • Nancy and Tom Check 
    • $200 
    • 46 mos
  • Ans Irfan 
    • $100 
    • 46 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Pietra's DrPH Research/Motherwoman (3)

Pietra Check 
Raised $6,719 from 47 donations
Arlington, MA
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.
Signe Flieger 
Team member
Raised $100 from 1 donation
Vanessa Martinez 
Team member

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