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McNair Scholar 2010Sheilah L. McGrath

Sheilah L. McGrath is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, majoring in anthropology and minoring in history of medicine and biology. Her research interests include health care disparities, social capital, education, and understanding perceptions of health care experiences. Ms. McGrath plans on getting her Ph.D. to help drive health research and promotion from the position of currently underrepresented perspectives.

Sheilah L. McGrath photo
My dream is to be involved in the creation of research that leads to positive health care experiences that empower, elevate, and educate people to be active participants in their own health care.

Research project

Asthma Concerns: A Comparison of Somali Mothers and Fathers with Affected Preschoolers

Abstract: Minnesota’s large Somali community continues to grow. With the rise of asthma incidence in preschool children and the increased threat of asthma related issues in low-income and minority populations, Somali children are at increased risk. Yet, very little is known about asthma or asthma concerns within this population. The purpose of this qualitative, focus group study was to identify and compare concerns about asthma from Somali mothers’ (n=5) and fathers’ (n=4) perspectives. Six common themes of concern emerged from both the mothers’ and fathers’ focus group interviews: severity of asthma, medication, recognition of asthma, environmental triggers of asthma symptoms, asthma disease trajectory, and asthma management at Head Start. Parents were very interested in learning more about asthma and how to prevent and manage episodes. Information from this study will be used to design a culturally relevant asthma website that addresses Somali parents’ concerns. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Dr. Ann Garwick, Ph.D., RN, LP, LMFT, FAAN is a professor and associate dean in the School of Nursing. She is also the director of the Center for Child and Family Health Promotion Research and the Center for Children with Special Health Care Needs. She holds adjunct faculty appointments in the School of Public Health and the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota and the University of Iceland. Dr. Garwick’s research focuses on enhancing the health and quality of life of children with chronic health conditions and family caregivers from diverse cultural backgrounds.