Hypertension Expert Dr. Maithe Enriquez of the University of Missouri is Today’s Honoree

Dr. Maithe Enriquez is an adult nurse practitioner and participatory health researcher. She strives to maintain a program of research and a clinical practice that will make a significant positive impact on the lives of people who are living with or are at risk for chronic health conditions and infectious diseases. The problems that Dr. Enriquez saw in her clinical practice led her to pursue the PhD to conduct research focused on enhancing chronic disease health outcomes, particularly among people who were struggling with HIV treatment. Dr. Enriquez has conducted successful funded studies with underserved, vulnerable populations. Her research focuses on developing practical interventions that can help individuals and communities improve their health outcomes.

Program of Research

  • Peers Keep It Real: This research project examined a peer-facilitated behavioral intervention for adults who had fallen out of HIV care and had experienced repeated challenges taking life-saving HIV medications faithfully. 2013-2017, funded by National Institute Nursing Research/NIH.
  • Addressing hypertension in the bateyes of the Dominican Republic: This participatory research project is examining the sustainability of a model for chronic disease management among adults with hypertension (high blood pressure) in low-income, geographically isolated communities. 2016-2018, funded by the Jonas Philanthropies.
  • Jonas Global Fellows in the Dominican Republic: This program provides global health research experiences for graduate nursing students. 2016-2019, funded by Jonas Philanthropies.

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a major health concern worldwide, affecting an estimated 31 percent of the world’s population. Low and middle-income countries, such as the Dominican Republic, are disproportionately affected.

To help combat this issue, researchers at the University of Missouri partnered with non-profit American and Dominican foundations to bring a pioneering hypertension care program to underserved communities of Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic. An evaluation of this program by Dr. Maithe Enriquez of the University of Missouri indicates that it is both effective and sustainable.

The Jonas Batey Hypertension Program brought care to four bateyes, which are rural sugarcane settlements that often lack running water, electricity, proper sanitation and convenient access to health clinics or medication. The local foundation visited each community four times per year, providing screenings, multivitamins and a three-month supply of blood pressure medication to those in need at each visit. Though the program is still ongoing, it was evaluated by Enriquez and her colleagues after a one-year period in a study that you can read more about here. The evaluation showed a significant drop in both systolic and dystolic blood pressure for those who were treated.

Visit https://nursing.missouri.edu/meet-the-faculty/maithe-enriquez/ for more information.

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