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UW’s Equality State Research Network Awards Six Grants

September 7, 2021

The Equality State Research Network, a project of the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities at the University of Wyoming, has awarded six grants to support community-based participatory research focusing on improving the health and well-being of Wyoming residents.

The 2021 recipients represent a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines, and their studies can improve the health and well-being of Wyoming communities. The recipients are:

-- Alyssa Wechsler, executive director of the Powder River Basin Resource Council, for a study, titled “Wyoming Voices: Digital Storytelling for Community Based Participatory Research Interventions in Lincoln County.”

-- Darrah Perez-Good Voice Elk, executive director of Wind River Grow Our Own 307, for a study, titled “Healing a Community Through Gardening.”

-- Michelle Blakely, an assistant professor in UW’s School of Pharmacy, for a study, titled “A Qualitative Study: Patients with Disabilities Perspectives of Wyoming Health Care Services.”

-- Robin Barry, formerly an associate professor in UW’s Department of Psychology, for a study, titled “Partnership Development and Needs Assessment to Identify and Address Mental Health Needs of Justice-Involved Juveniles.”

-- Crystal Sieger, an associate professor in UW’s Department of Music, for a study, titled “Inclusive Educational Engagement.”

-- Erin Bush, an associate professor in UW’s Division of Communication Disorders, for a study, titled “The Wyoming Disability Oral History Project: Archiving De/institutionalization.”

The Equality State Research Network is a community- and practice-based research network that does health care research in a fundamentally different way from most research. The network brings together stakeholders from communities around the state to participate in every stage of the work, including identifying pressing community health needs, developing innovative ways to do research on these issues, and collecting the data from the communities. Stakeholders can be medical professionals, administrators and others in the health care industry.

At least 50 percent of the network members are patients, family members and other community members. Their participation facilitates research that is more meaningful and more responsive to local concerns compared to traditional research. If you are interested in being an identified stakeholder of this network, or for more information, visit

Additional information related to these projects or additional research facilitated through the Equality State Research Network can be found at

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