Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access



Faculty Mentor

Vanessa Volpe


Presented during the 19th Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 21, 2017 at Ursinus College.

Project Description

The history of the United States is marked by centuries of racism and hierarchy. This racism has rooted itself in every institution of society, including the healthcare system. Though the era of slavery and Jim Crow are over, the effects of their impact are still widely observed. It is known that health disparities persist in the African American community; the rates of cardiovascular disease, premature birth, infant mortality, diabetes, and other health issues are highest in African Americans. This institution has failed them in the past, and some are therefore reluctant to seek assistance from healthcare professionals. There are various factors that contribute to health disparities; barriers exist at the individual, community and societal level. Previous research focuses on one barrier at a time, rarely discussing health disparity barriers as a multifaceted issue. This study aims to investigate how the physical barrier of distance to health providers and the social barriers of the interpersonal relationship with the provider and community support, work together to further complicate African Americans' access to healthcare. In order to assess these barriers, individuals who identified as Black were recruited to participate in an online survey and phone interview. Data are analyzed using an insert name convergent parallel mixed-method analysis. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for health care policy and practice.


Available to Ursinus community only.