BOZEMAN - The Robert Wood Johnson fellowship grant was awarded to 15 groups across the country. One group is from here in Gallatin County, the three in the group from our area are David Claudio a former industrial engineer professor at MSU who know works at UMass, Elizabeth Aghbashian, Health Program Specialist at the Gallatin City-County Health Dept. and Sally Moyce an Assistant Professor at Mark and Robin Jones College of Nursing at MSU.
“We have people from different backgrounds all tackling one specific problem,” says Claudio.
The problem they are tackling over the next few years is health care access among the Latinx community of Gallatin county and how to improve it.
“We work closely with members of the Latinx community to figure out what they perceive as the problem and what they would like to propose as a solution,” says Moyce.
Right now their work is just getting started after just being awarded the grant last month.
“Trying to analyze what those barriers are and then hopefully to devise methods to approach those barriers and change the system if we can,” says Aghbashian.
Access is one main barrier, but after their research, they will most likely find more barriers and their hope is to create policy change and these methods not only will apply to the Latinx folks across Gallatin County but across the US and across other groups as well.
“What those barriers are and then to customize it to those locations and say how can we fix this problem,” says Aghbashian.
They say fixing this won't happen overnight.
“This is a complex system it's not just one thing,” says Claudio.
Not only are they tackling a problem and building trust with the community but Moyce says it will help them as well.
“It's designed to provide us the training to emerge as leaders in healthcare,” says Moyce.
Claudio who is a part of the Latinx community and called Bozeman home for the last 10 years will be coming back to Montana after recently moving to help the community he has a connection to.
“My commitment hasn't changed,” says Claudio.