Immigrant women's health research

$14,490 of $17,000 goal

Raised by 82 people in 10 months
Created October 1, 2018
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!
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Happy New Year! 2019 will be a big year for me because, thanks to all of your support, encouragement, and generosity, I will be able to do my dissertation research study as planned. Together, we have raised... drum roll please... $17,415, exceeding my stretch goal!!! Thanks to you, we will be doing interviews, focus groups, and a clinic-based survey to help better understand the unique social and health needs of Latina immigrant workers, particularly more recently arrived women from Central America, so that service providers and advocates can design more effective programs and policies that will help these women and their families stay healthy over the long-term.

You won't see me promoting this crowdfund directly, but it will stay open for a few more months while we get up and running. I will send you a message from time-to-time as we get going to keep you up to date on our progress. We will be approaching some other funding sources to try to raise the last little bit we need to be "fully funded". You can also stay informed, if you are interested, by visiting the project website: pcheck.wixsite.com/wmawomenshealth.

From the bottom of my heart (and from my husband and the two littles in the picture--who are really, really ready for me to be done!), thank you so much for your kindness. My best wishes to each of you for good health and happiness in 2019.
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Thank you all for becoming an integral part of this project. We are closing in on our year-end campaign deadline, and we are just over $2000 away from our goal (some pledges and donations came in outside of the GoFundMe site). This video talks about three ways this project is unique. I am so grateful for your support.
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Meet Our Partners
As Giving Tuesday approaches, please consider making a donation to the Western Massachusetts Immigrant Women's Health Study-- my dissertation project. We are working with a strong group of community partners to design and conduct a survey and series of interviews and focus groups with Spanish-speaking immigrant women workers in the Pioneer Valley about how their migration experiences, social conditions, and social networks shape their health and access to care. Our current goal is $17,000, which will cover all the survey costs, including participant incentives and a local research assistant, and most of the costs for the qualitative methods. We are at $9791 right now-- please help us get to $12,750 by Giving Tuesday!

The success of this project depends on your support and assistance, but also on our partnerships with several dedicated local organizations. We have been so fortunate that four organizations have really stepped up to help us understand the issues, context, and data needs of Pioneer Valley's immigrant women workers and the organizations that advocate for and support them, and will be direct partners in this research by helping us identify participants and hosting research activities. Please take a minute to check them out and watch a short video from Dayna Campbell, Board President of our partner MotherWoman, about their work and why they are supporting this project.

MotherWoman, Inc ( https://motherwoman.org/) is a small nonprofit organization based in Holyoke, MA, that supports mothers and their mental health during pregnancy and the postnatal period through support groups, professional training, research, and grassroots organizing for good public policies. Their work is centered in Western Massachusetts but they have extended their reach nationally and globally. MotherWoman is acting as the fiscal agent for this study.

La Cliniquita ( http://www.lacliniquita.com/english/) at Baystate Health’s Brightwood Clinic serves migrant and seasonal farmworkers through the state’s Connecticut River Valley Farmworker Program, as well as other local workers who no longer meet the state definition of “migrant.” The majority of La Cliniquita’s patients are immigrants from Latin American countries, and while most are men, the number of women and unaccompanied minors (teenagers and pre-adolescents) has been rising in recent years. La Cliniquita provides them with crucial health services.

Pioneer Valley Worker’s Center ( https://pvworkerscenter.org/) “builds power with low-wage and immigrant workers throughout Western Massachusetts.” They organize and advocate alongside the area’s workers on a variety of essential issues including good jobs, wage theft, discrimination, and immigrant rights. They run a 24-hour rapid response hotline for immigration emergencies and connect workers with legal services.

ACLU Immigrant Protection Project ( https://www.aclum.org/en/campaigns/immigrant-protection-project) coordinates attorneys and organizations around Western MA to connect immigrants with legal and social services for immigration, workplace, housing, health care, and other issues. They provide a 24-hour call center for legal assistance.
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THANK YOU!!! I am so overwhelmed and touched by the amount of support you all have given this project. We have surpassed the initial fundraising goal. The amount currently raised will cover costs for 25 in-depth interviews and 3 focus groups.

I have raised our goal to $17,000, which reflects the additional costs for the survey. We plan to administer a survey to 300 low-wage working women born in Latin America (including Puerto Rico) who access services at the Brightwood Clinic in Springfield. A survey of this many women will allow us to describe, with statistical power, how Latina women migrants from different countries of origin experience social factors, like housing and food insecurity, discrimination, and financial strain, as well as to see how these experiences may differently influence their access to health care and their physical and mental well-being. This is an important analysis, as often statistics get reported at the level of "Latino" without further delving into how the "Latino" ethnicity category actually encompasses an extremely diverse group with a range of different experiences.

To conduct the survey with this sample size, we need to hire a part-time research assistant who can sit in the clinic (with me or at times I'm not able to be there) to recruit participants and administer the survey. Costs also include incentives for the participants.

Please keep this campaign going! Continue to like and share on your social media, and pass the link on to friends and acquaintances who might be interested in supporting this work. Check back in with my blog at https://pcheck.wixsite.com/wmawomenshealth for more updates and information on the project team and (coming soon) our local project partners. Together, we can get this study fully funded and off the ground. Thank you for your support!
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$14,490 of $17,000 goal

Raised by 82 people in 10 months
Created October 1, 2018
Funds raised will benefit:
Certified Charity
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Holyoke, MA
EIN: 141866590
How it Works
  1. You make a donation using a PayPal account or a credit/debit card to PayPal Giving Fund (a 501(c)(3) charitable organization).
  2. After the deduction of payment processing fees, PayPal Giving Fund delivers the funds it receives to the chosen charity on a monthly basis.*
* If, after reasonable efforts, PayPal Giving Fund cannot deliver donations to this charity, the funds may be donated to another charity per PayPal Giving Fund’s policies.
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