The Department of Sociology at The University of Texas-Pan American was recently awarded a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. National Institute for Health.
According to Dr. Elena Bastida, professor and chair of sociology at UTPA, the grant will fund a four-year health study on the elderly population of Hidalgo County.
"It's important that we understand what the health situation is in the Rio Grande Valley," Bastida said.
The study will involve randomly selecting and interviewing two percent of Hidalgo County's population over the age of 45.
"A study such as this one has never been done in the Rio Grande Valley before," Bastida said. "We are going to study the health patterns of the Valley so we will be able to plan for the future. This study will give us an idea of what we can expect health wise in the future."
According to Bastida, the study will be conducted on people from all economic backgrounds.
"We are going to make sure we get a complete health picture of the area," Bastida said. "We will be asking hundreds of detailed questions during interviewing sessions which will range from their diet to their state of mental health."
For more information, contact Bastida at 956/381-3322.