MCN's Institutional Review Board Welcomes New Member
Migrant Clinicians Network prides itself in filling in the gaps when it comes to migrant health. For almost two decades, MCN’s Institutional Review Board has stepped up to review and monitor research involving mobile, marginalized, and vulnerable populations like agricultural workers, to assure, in advance and by periodic review. This assures that research can move forward, but not at the expense of the health, safety, or rights of the research participants. MCN’s IRB welcomes Mariah Hennen as a new member to the board. Ms. Hennen is the Community Advocate at Farmworker Legal Services of Michigan, where she coordinates outreach to agricultural worker communities and migrant housing. In her work across the state of Michigan, Ms. Hennen has gained expertise on agricultural worker policy, health, and safety concerns, including labor trafficking and the H2A guestworker program.
Ms. Hennen joins our five other members to review and monitor research projects each year. Maria de Jesus Diaz-Perez, PhD, Chair of the IRB, explained last year why the IRB is critical for researchers: “Overall, we make sure that underserved populations are well represented in research by making sure that researchers adapt their methods to fit these populations' living and working conditions, and by making sure that these populations can make a fully informed decision before they agree to participate in a specific project,” Dr. Diaz-Perez said. Ms. Hennen’s on-the-ground expertise will be valuable to a board that is finely attuned to the needs of agricultural workers. “Being familiar with the population, we’re familiar with the risks that this population experiences,” said Sara Quandt, PhD, a member of MCN’s IRB.
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