Maria Rosa Watson

Maria Rosa Watson, DDS, MS, DrPH
Research Director 
Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County, Inc. 
Phone: 301-628-3432
Fax: 301-608-2384




Research Interests

Health disparities; community-based participatory research (CBPR); epidemiology; Latino health issues; measuring health literacy; gaps in access to care; evaluation of health programs; survey research; health promotion; primary care; and dental public health.

Research Summary

My research at the Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County focuses on CBPR and Health Literacy NIH: 1 R21-HL-08400101: “Involving Communities in Multicultural Network: From Screening to Access to Care” and NIH: 1R03DE016913-01A1:“Latinos’ Health Literacy, Social Support, and OH-KOP”). Additionally I am conducting the evaluation of two health programs, the 7-3-3-1 Healthy Families Having Fun program for overweight and at-risk children enrolled in Care for Kids; and an oral health pilot to increase access to dental care for Montgomery County residents.

With our partners at Georgetown Center for Trauma and the Community we are collaborating in the submission of an IP-RISP grant application that will include a CBPR study of the mental needs and attitudes toward mental health research and treatments among Latinos and their medical providers, that is anticipated to yield culturally appropriate approaches to address these populations. We also plan to develop a “Knowledge, Opinions, practices (KOP)” tool to measure mental health related health literacy.

Representative Publications
  • Watson, M.R., Kaltman, S., Townsend, T.G., Goode, T., & Campoli, M. (in press). A collaborative mental health research agenda in a community of poor and underserved Latinos. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.
  • Watson MR: Diversity, dental public health practice, and the public’s health. J Public Health Dent 1996; 56 (1):3-4.
  • Watson MR, Horowitz AM, Garcia I, Canto MT.: Caries conditions among 2-5 year old immigrant Latino children related to parents’ oral health knowledge, opinions, and practices. Comm Dentistry Oral Epidemiol 1999; 27: 8-15.
  • Watson MR, Horowitz AM, Garcia I, Canto MT. A community participatory oral health promotion program in an inner city Latino community. J Public Health Dent 2001; 61:34-41.
  • Watson MR, Manski RJ, Macek MD. The impact of income at the ‘poor’ and ‘near poor’ poverty levels on child and adolescent preventive dental visits. JADA 2001;132:1580-7.
  • Ramos-Gomez F, Cruz G, Watson MR, Canto MT, Elias Boneta A. Latino Oral Health: A Research Agenda toward Eliminating Oral Health Disparities, JADA 2005; 136:1231-1240.