Electronic Theses and Dissertations for Graduate School
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PROJECT REDEMPTION: "THIS IS MORE THAN JUST A REDEMPTION CENTER"
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Browning, Amelia Kathleen
Health Policy and Administration
Master of Science
Date of Defense:
November 16, 2017
Caprice Knapp , Thesis Advisor
health care access
Background: Part of the informal economy, informal workers perform tasks many individuals find undesirable for a stipend. A variety of individuals fall under the category of informal workers, including: sex workers, domestic workers, and trash collectors, also known as wastepickers or canners. Informal workers are prevalent in developing and developed nations, but most existing studies focus on informal workers in developing nations. Project Redemption studied canners at Sure We Can (SWC), a redemption center in Brooklyn, New York. SWC was established to be a redemption site after the passage of the New York City Bottle Bill. Methods: This mixed methods study draws from 52 surveys, 47 biometric assessments, and 15 qualitative interviews of SWC canners to assess the demographics of canners, health status of canners, and accessibility of health care. Results: Results from the study indicate that canners have low health status, but access to health care among canners is fairly high; two-thirds reported seeing a provider in a 12-month period, and three-fourths reported health insurance coverage. Canners face a number of occupational hazards, such as injuries from sorting waste and unwanted sexual harassment. Future research should focus on identifying means to mitigate low health status among canners, and the creation of education initiatives that identify safe canning practices and methods to reduce the risk of bodily harm while canning.
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