Students work on the frontlines of public health in the Rio Grande Valley


Nine Michigan Public Health graduate students will be flying down to the Rio Grande Valley during their spring break as members of the Public Health Action Support Team, or PHAST. On this trip, they will be working in three groups, on three separate projects, in partnership with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and the University of Texas School of Public Health in Brownsville:

Population-based Survey of the Lower Rio Grande Valley's Health Needs

This project aims to understand the health needs of residents with a focus on mental health and attitudes toward telehealth. Students will receive training and assist with phone and in-person interviews of residents.

Elementary School Physical Activity Policy Assessment

Students will interview physical education teachers in Brownsville, collect data regarding elementary schools' physical activity policy, and perform data entry. This will offer insight into how individual schools function to provide physical activity for children and develop plans to improve school physical activity programs.

Tu Salud Si Cuenta (Your Health Matters)

This project aims to improve overall physical health and promote healthy lifestyle choices in the Rio Grande Valley. Students will distribute client satisfaction surveys at exercise classes throughout Cameron County, analyze program newsletters and newspaper articles for health behavior theories, and shadow community-wide campaign team members.

These students will use this blog to document their experiences leading up to, during, and after their trips.