Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Health Services Research & Administration

First Committee Member

Shannon Maloney

Second Committee Member

JoEllyn McMillan

Third Committee Member

Martha Rhoades



Goal: The goal of the capstone project is to collect information required to develop an action plan focusing on minimizing exposure to nitrate in pregnant women, which, if implemented, can either prevent or reduce adverse health outcomes associated with nitrate exposure in utero.

Objective: The capstone project objective is to gain a better understanding of what programs to prevent exposure to nitrate from private well drinking water in pregnant women are already in place throughout the United States; to identify any areas of improvement in these programs; and to utilize this information to create a unique action plan in Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska.

Methods: Using information on needs, tactics, and current resources from Scotts Bluff County, NE; information on other state health department programs; and personal research on the topic, an action plan was developed. The information includes details on various programs throughout the United States; unique details of the current situation in Scotts Bluff County, NE; and characteristics of various programs implemented regarding this issue. This information was collected through personal interviews with individuals from these organizations and through an online search. Then, common themes were identified, summarized, and an action plan created.

Impact: Because exposure to nitrate in utero can be detrimental to fetal health, it is important to gain a better understanding of current exposure prevention programs, including any areas of improvement. With this understanding, as well as an understanding of specific contexts of each program, an action plan for prevention of exposure in pregnant women can be developed and ultimately implemented in counties where needs are established, such as Scotts Bluff County, NE.