Department of Emergency Medicine
Migration and Health Research Center

PASOS: Improving the Health of Immigrant Workers

PASOS is a worksite obesity and diabetes prevention program for immigrant farmworkers.



Our Team

UC Davis Personnel

Marc B. Schenker, MD, MPH, Principal Investigator.
Dr. Schenker is a professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the UCD School of Medicine, the Director of the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety, the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at UC Davis as well as the Migration and Health Research Center and Center of Expertise on Migration and Health. He has more than 30 years of experience directing and conducting large, multidisciplinary epidemiologic. Dr. Schenker's research has focused on the health of farmworkers, immigration and acculturation as well as the health hazards associated with agricultural exposures, especially respiratory and pesticide risks. He studies risk factors for cancer, adverse reproductive outcomes, skin disorders, and toxicologic effects of pesticides. His other studies among farmers and Hispanic farm workers have explored occupational and other risk factors for allergies, dermatitis, skin cancer, injuries, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and toxic effects of pesticide exposure. Dr. Schenker will be responsible for the overall leadership of this project.

Heejung Bang, PhD, Co-Investigator.
Dr. Bang is an Associate Professor in the Division of Biostatistics at UC Davis and has extensive experience developing statistical design and analysis plans for observational and clinical studies and health outcomes data. She developed the diabetes risk test (Bang et al. 2009) being used by the American Diabetes Association since March 2012. She will assist with the statistical analysis of all project results, and will be involved in the study design planning, field studies, and will oversee the analysis activities of the project.

Daniel Sumner, PhD, Co-Investigator.
Dr. Sumner is a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Director of the Agricultural Issues Center at UC Davis. His research experience spans the economic issues important for evaluating the impacts on the farm and recent efforts have examined the economics of obesity, including economic impacts of food prices and policies. Dr. Sumner will oversee the economic sustainability and cost effectiveness evaluation of the project, supervising the collection of data and analysis related to this aim.

Heather Riden, MA, Project Manager.
Ms. Riden is the program manager for the Migration and Health Research Center and the Center of Expertise on Migration and Health. She has extensive experience managing public health studies. Ms. Riden will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the study.

Teresa Andrews, Outreach and Intervention Coordinator.
Ms. Andrews has extensive experience in communicating agricultural health and safety messages in culturally appropriate styles and in training ‘on the ground’ trainers for prevention and health promotion activities. Ms. Andrews will be responsible for intervention curriculum development and training the promotoras on curriculum content, recruitment and retention methods, and ensuring intervention fidelity over the course of the study.

UC Berkeley Personnel

Xochitl Castaneda, UC Berkeley Principal Investigator.
Ms. Castaneda is the Director of the Health Initiative of the Americas (HIA). Under her leadership, HIA has established a series of programs in rural California communities with strong, cohesive partnerships and brings HIA’s strength in organizing and leveraging community assets to support public health, particularly in immigrant populations.

Reiter Affiliated Companies Personnel

Veronica Vargas, RAC Program Manger.
Ms. Vargas has over 10 years of experience working with Spanish speaking populations and promoting health literacy. She has extensive experience managing staff who interact directly with agricultural workers. Ms. Vargas will be responsible for oversight of the project at RAC, and for coordinating study activities with UC Davis.

United States Department of Agriculture

Nancy Keim, PhD, Consultant.
The Keim Lab conducts human nutrition research to expand the scientific evidence base for establishing Dietary Guidelines for Americans with the vision that future recommendations will become more personalized. Dr. Keim will provide consultation to the team on the collection and interpretation of data related to dietary assessment and physical activity assessment.