Date of Award

Fall 8-27-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Integrative Biology (MSIB)



Major Professor

Dr. Evelina Sterling

First Committee Member

Dr. Alan LeBaron

Second Committee Member

Dr. Ebony Glover

Third Committee Member

Dr. Lisa Ganser

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. Jonathan McMurry


Researchers have often overlooked America's Indigenous community when conducting health disparities research. In Central and South America, The World Bank 2015 report identifies 774 indigenous groups living today (Davis-Castro, n.d.). One of the oldest known is the Maya people. The Maya have been through various cultural struggles, from the Spanish conquistadors of the past to current anti-indigenous discrimination, violence, and rhetoric. The historical conflict and prejudice have contributed to why many Maya migrate north to the United States for a better opportunity and a more peaceful life for their families. In doing so, they face many health risks to their overall physical, mental, and social wellbeing. In 2010, a Maya Health Toolkit for Medical Providers to help the Maya living in the U.S. better navigate the healthcare system was developed. The primary purpose of this thesis project is to reexamine our Maya Health Toolkit for Medical Providers to determine what changes and updates are needed to keep this "living" document current. Our methodology will perform comprehensive, open-ended interviews and pinpointed surveys with healthcare providers. These interviews and surveys will showcase the Maya Health Toolkit for Medical Provider' gaps and compile the needed recommendations to update the toolkit in the future. The overall goal is to formulate more comprehensive, culturally, and socially relevant recommendations for a future Maya Health Toolkit for Medical Providers.

Available for download on Monday, November 13, 2023