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Investigator whose research informs the equitable use of healthcare services and goods, especially medications among diverse populations

About me

I am an Assitant Professor of Health Policy and Management at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health.  Previously, I was the inaugural Sr. Health Equity Scientist at Flatiron Health, where I led the development of novel approaches to assess social determinants of health (SDOH) in electronic health records (EHR) data to inform efforts to reduce cancer inequities.  I conducted my postdoctoral training at the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy (Program on Medicines & Public Health) and the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics. I received a doctorate in Pharmacoepidemiology & Pharmaceutical Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).  My doctoral studies were funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, as part of their inaugural cohort of Health Policy Research Scholars

I use an interdisciplinary approach to identify how structural determinants — macro-level systems, institutions, and policies — impact the use of healthcare, especially medications among diverse populations

Thematically, my research has focused on:​​

  • inequities in access to care & health outcomes among immigrants

    • Citizenship status and cost-related nonadherence in the US. Health Serv Res.

    • Citizenship status and mortality among young Latino adults in the US. Am. J. Prev. Med.

    • Immigration status & disparities in the treatment of CVD risk factors among Hispanics/Latinos. Am. J. Public Health

  • racial/ethnic and socioeconomic inequities in cancer care

    • Racial and ethnic Inequities in US oncology clinical trial participation. JAMA Netw. Open.
    • ​Racial and socioeconomic disparities in telemedicine use among US patients initiating cancer treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. JCO Oncol. Pract.
  • the role of pharmacy systems in determining access to medications

    • Fewer pharmacies in Black and Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods compared with white or diverse neighborhoods. Health Aff.

    • Pharmacy closures in the US. JAMA Intern. Med.

  • drug utilization research & pharmaceutical policy

    • Use of risk evaluation and mitigation strategies by the FDA, 2008-2019. JAMA.

Health equity Immigrant health 

Health policy Pharmacoepidemiology

Cancer care Healthcare inequities

Drug safety Pharmacy access

Pharmaceutical policy Chronic diseases

Essential medicines 

Prescription Drugs

HSR & pharmacoepidemiological methods to examine the structural factors that impact health equity, including inequitable and unsafe medication use

My interdisciplinary research is designed to inform health and healthcare equity, especially the safe and equitable use of medications.  For example, I co-authored multiple highly publicized studies examining drug utilization patterns among children in the US (in Pediatrics & JAMA Pediatr.).  I have also published multiple studies examining disparities in access to pharmacies, including the rate of closures (in JAMA Intern Med.), in underserved communities.  My current research focuses on immigration status and its association with the prevalence and management of cardiovascular disease risk factors (in Am. J. Public Health & CIRC-CARDIOVASC QUAL). Immigration status may be a critical yet overlooked factor influencing inequities because noncitizens experience significant barriers to legal and social protection, including inadequate healthcare access.  

As a health equity researcher, my goal is to build the foundation for a robust research program that examines how structural factors influence healthcare, especially medication use. Over the next few years, I will extend research in the following areas:

  • inequities in health and health care  among immigrants

  • racial/ethnic and socioeconomic inequities in cancer care

  • drug utilization patterns among diverse populations

  • the role of pharmacy systems in determining access to medications, especially in urban areas.

Methodologically, my work is grounded in health services research and pharmacoepidemiology.  To conduct my research, I use & and combine several sources, including cross-sectional and cohort surveys, electronic health records (EHR),  administrative claims, and geospatial data.

Interested in my research? 

Need help leading groundbreaking health equity research?

Academic Profiles

Want to learn more?

See my academic & professional profiles.

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