Iodine deficiency is the most widespread cause of preventive mental impairment. In the 1980's Bolivia had one of the most severe iodine deficiency problems in the world, so severe that the WHO and UNICEF teamed up with the Bolivian government to implement the Universal Salt Iodization program in 1983. However, over two decades have passed since the iodization program was implemented and there have been no follow up assessments of the national population's iodine levels.
As an ambitious college junior at Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, IL, Lavinia Sinitean, spent the summer of 2006 at Centro Medico investigating iodine levels of the local population. Lavinia's project aimed to evaluate the iodine status and prevalence of iodine deficiency in Centro Medico's communities.