Research Mentor(s): Ana Avila Sanchez, Howard R. Marsh Visiting Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Communication and Media, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 6 (4pm-4:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 19
Despite the vast studies that exist concerning marginalized populations and discriminatory concerns within the healthcare system, there are little to none focusing on the first-hand narratives of Hispanic individuals who face barriers to accessing healthcare services. Most importantly, there is not enough research that delves into the perspectives of Hispanic immigrants who have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, this study, “COVID-19 Hidden Stories,” served to extensively analyze and investigate the various factors that play a role in accessibility to healthcare that has yet been captured by the media. This investigative study was a platform for Hispanic individuals within the Detroit and Grand Rapids communities of Michigan and from Chicago, Illinois, to share their experiences with COVID-19. Through non-contact interviews covering aspects of COVID-19, substantial journalistic research was gathered and analyzed to draw commonalities between the respective recounts of the interviewees; by far, there were high relevance of themes such as loss of family, strained health, financial constraints, and fear of deportation amidst the pandemic. Through this research, there were several barriers and factors that resulted in the silencing of Hispanic immigrants during this difficult period, suggesting a systemic fault in the American healthcare system. Their stories humanize existing statistics and add nuance to the understanding of the intersectionality between immigration policies and health care services. In documenting first-hand accounts of Hispanic individuals, these stories will be compiled to create a podcast that will help the Hispanic community trudge through isolation during the pandemic.