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Lilian Milanes

Undergraduate Majors:
Anthropology
Graduate School Plans:
Anthropology Ph.D.

Lilian Milanes

Lili Milanes was born in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Shorty after, her family moved to Indiana, Pennsylvania, where they lived for eight years. Afterward, they moved to Orlando, Florida, where Lili graduated from Winter Park High School. Lili's research interests include physical and biological anthropology with a specific focus on public health, communal health, and health disparities. She aspires to obtain a doctorate of philosophy in Anthropology

Title: "El Derecho de Ser Tomado en Cuenta"-The Structural Violence of Privatized U.S. Health Care

Conducted at the University of California, Irvine as part of the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program.

Mentor: Dr. Michael Montoya, University of California, Irvine

Abstract: Structural violence is a term coined by Paul Farmer when he began his effort to deliver free health care services to residents in rural Haiti. In his experiences he realized that no matter the amount of free services provided, the inequalities experienced reflect inadequate public health provisions (Farmer 2005). These social structures deny people their human needs and are linked very closely with social injustice and social machinery of oppression (Farmer 2006). For this project, the idea of structural violence to analyze a place based social investment initiative provided by a private health foundation to improve California communities' health. We will be evaluating the California Endowment, whose mission is to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. In 2009 the California Endowment began a Building Healthy Communities (BHC) effort with three key areas for action (1) Create peaceful and safer communities by developing opportunities for youth to make positive contributions, (2) Provide full access to quality prevention and health care services, and (3) Design and create places where health is promoted. The community of Central Santa Ana will be used as the case study for this project to ask the question; is the Building Healthy Communities initiative reproducing structural violence? Does the BHC change the way we can think about Farmer's original theory?

Title: Health Care Providers' Perspectives on Male Involvement in their and their Partner's Sexual and Reproductive Health Care Needs

Conducted at the University of Central Florida as part of the McNair Scholars Program and Honors in the Major (HIM) program.

Mentor: Dr. Joanna Mishtal, University of Central Florida

Abstract: Over one-third of men aged 18-44 in the United States do not have a regular doctor, while one-quarter of men aged 15-49 (with 37% of men in their early 20s) have no health coverage at all. In the U.S. only about 14% of men ages 15-49 make a sexual and reproductive health visit each year. Therefore, young men are at the greatest risk of contracting STIs within the U.S. male populations, yet are the least likely to make a sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care visit. Why is it that when one thinks of reproductive health, it is only seen as pertaining to women? With so many specialists and the best medical technology in the world, why is it so hard to reach the male population? Why is there such a large gap between men's and women's use of health care services? Why are there so many Women's Clinics but one hardly hear about Men's Clinics? The study hopes to further understand these questions via qualitative anthropological research with SRH care providers by unraveling what approaches are used by providers at the University of Central Florida Health Center to educate and involve men and male partners of female patients in their SRH needs. In order to narrow this study, we will focus on SRH services for human papilloma virus (HPV), herpes and chlamydia. The research focuses on these three diagnostic areas:

  • HPV because there is a healthcare disparity for men in that there is currently no test to distinguish if they have HPV, although the Gardasil vaccine does prevent against two strand of this virus;
  • Herpes because the outbreaks are controllable if the proper education and treatment are provided, and
  • Chlamydia because it is the most treatable and prevalent amongst the STIs although the symptoms are often silent, similarly to HPV.

Therefore, clinical approaches in these areas that include the outreach to and the involvement of male partners of female patients (as well as male involvement in general) can prove particularly useful in expanding SRH care to men and can also improve health outcomes for women who have sex with men. Thus, this study aims to examine perspectives of providers at the Student Clinic on the inclusion of men in SRH care on the UCF campus.