Date of Conferral





Public Health


Dr. Shawn Munford


Urban American Indians/Alaskan Natives (AIs/ANs) have limited access to health care in comparison to non-Hispanic Whites (NHWs), which furthers health disparities for indigenous communities. The purpose of this quantitative, nonexperimental study, which was guided by the socioecological model, was to examine the relationship between access to health care and healthcare utilization among urban AIs/ANs and urban NHWs in the Northeast United States. The research questions addressed the difference in access to healthcare based on health insurance, difference in healthcare utilization, and whether there is an association between health care access and health care utilization for AIs in the Northeast United States. Additionally, the study addressed whether race, gender, age, income, and education status predict access to healthcare. Secondary datasets from the Research Data Center/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were used. Dataset samples were retrieved based on race (AI/NHW), age (18- 85 years old) and demographics (Northeast United States). Statistical analysis included chi-square test and logistic regression. Results led to rejecting all the null hypotheses (p < 0.05), indicating a moderate association between healthcare access and utilization for urban AIs and higher health care access for NHWs (73%) compared to AIs/ANs (43%). Age and earnings predictors for healthcare access indicated a 50/50 chance of having access to health care. Social change implications for this study include encouraging public policies to combat access to health care issues for indigenous communities in the Northeast United States.