Improving Health Equity in Rural Costa Rica Through a Community-Based Participatory Intervention: An Undergraduate Research Project

Faculty Sponsor

Amy Buckenmeyer




Public Health

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-3-2019


Background: The purpose of this ongoing project is to improve health equity in rural Costa Rica through social transformation. In the partnership phase, the goal was to strengthen and establish partnership between academic researchers and community members through community-based participatory research.

Methods: Community-based participatory research methods were used to strengthen the partnership. Researchers engaged established partners in community-based capacity building, developed new partners in the community, and completed community health assessments with community members.

Results: Both established partners and new team members participated in community health assessment interviews (n = 63). Face to face interviews were guided by an assessment tool adapted from previously used instruments developed with community partners. The community health assessment interviews revealed the potential need for health education programs, a village health committee, and improved access to healthcare

Conclusion: Results from the community health assessment will be used by the academic-community partnership to guide planning for a participatory educational intervention aimed at health promotion and disease prevention to reach the community’s health-related goals. Partnership in community health assessment provides a mechanism to engage community members in working toward a common goal—health for all.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Brandon LaChappelle and Ty Snarr are Junior Public Health majors at Valparaiso University with interests in pursuing careers related to global health. They both have experience working with underserved populations abroad. Throughout their curriculum, principles of community based participatory action research (CBPR) have been emphasized, guiding them towards the desire to lead underserved communities into a healthier future.

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