October 11, 2015
Dear Academic Professional Development Committee Members, It is with great pleasure that I submit this letter of support on behalf of Carie Cox’s Faculty Research and Scholarly Activities Grant proposal titled, “Family planning decision-making and couple communication among Somali men and women in the Twin Cities.” The proposed research study is in line with the mission of the Department of Public Health with a clear focus on understanding and improving the health of a diverse and global population in the Twin Cities. Dr. Cox joined the Public Health faculty in January 2015 and has contributed to the growing portfolio of research in the Department. She has a proven track record of successfully conducting qualitative research with African-born populations. Additionally, her expertise in sexual and reproductive health make her well equipped to serve in the role of principal investigator for this project. The proposed research study is a collaboration with WellShare International, a community partner serving underserved populations. This collaboration has the potential to expand our Department’s research with immigrant populations in the Twin Cities. Dr. Cox will also be engaging a student from the Department of Public Health to serve as a research assistant on the study. In order for our students to become leaders in the public health field, it is essential that they have opportunities such as this to actively participate in the conduct of research. This study will improve our knowledge of family planning decision-making among Somalis in the Twin Cities and has the potential to improve health services and outreach for this population. I give full support for this grant proposal and believe that it is an important and worthwhile study. I appreciate the committee’s review of Dr. Cox’s application and look forward to hearing their decision. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Mary Hearst, MPH, PhD Director of Public Health St. Catherine University