Maria Rivera Diaz


Maria Rivera Diaz graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2020 with a bachelor's degree in Applied Developmental Psychology and Public Health with a minor in Chicano Studies. She is interested in helping her community in the Yakima Valley to improve health care services. She worked with Dr. Martín Meráz García for her summer research project. Maria's goal is to pursue an academic career in Public Health.


She was accepted into Public Health Master's programs at the University of Michigan, Baylor University, and Oregon State University where she began attending in Fall 2020 with funding.

McNair Faculty Research Mentor 2018: Dr. Martín Meráz García - Chicano Studies

Abstract: Agricultural workers continuously are disregarded and forgotten although they are the backbone of the nation’s crops industry. Analyzing the tremendous amount of contributions that agricultural workers create does not equal in representation what they are given in return. Health care access, education, and advocacy are not given to this population. Across the state of Washington this farm workers experience inadequate health care access and availability. It is ethical that action is taken within this field to given all humans equal access to health care. Currently there is lack of epidemiologic and demographic data that is necessary to help build a curriculum that will help meet the needs of farm workers. Working with the Yakima Union Gospel Mission Medical Care Center data was collected to evaluate that overall health knowledge and access in the Yakima Valley by interviewing 200 participates. Utilizing the ecological framework and the Health Belief Model we addressed issues incorporated with barriers in accessing health care, the knowledge of health care locations that serve this population, health care insurance coverage or the cost of health care out of pocket as well as to the factors that make this population vulnerable and distinctive.