Meet some of our current students!
Nathaniel W. Anderson is a fourth year doctoral student in Health Policy and Management. His research interests are in population health, health equity, and child and youth well-being. For his dissertation, he is exploring methodological improvements to indices of child well-being and applying these indices as tools for assessing how public policy impacts population health. He has also worked on several projects aimed at quantifying trends in health equity within the U.S. population.
He has worked for the UCLA Center for Health Advancement’s Win-Win Project since August 2015, building simulation models for how various interventions impact health and other outcomes, including health equity. Previously he was a research associate for the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center. He completed his B.A. in mathematical economics from Pomona College.
My research is centered around the ways in which health reform shifts health financing arrangements in Latin American countries, particularly in Mexico; specifically, how health reform prescriptions of structural adjustment induced changes to the public-private mix in the financing and delivery of health services. In my dissertation I explore how the private sector responds to a population demand unmet by the public healthcare system, particularly among individuals who are not affiliated to a social security institution. I contextualize this work within the structural adjustment reforms that took place during the past three decades, whose effects we continue to observe in increasing levels of individual private spending. I have also engaged in numerous research projects that pursue the reduction of access and quality disparities in healthcare among Latino immigrants in the United States. Prior to coming to UCLA, I coordinated various studies at the Institute on Social Justice and Sustainable Development on nutrition, child and maternal health and health care provider training in Mexico.
I hold a BSc in Psychology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and a MSc in Public Policy and Administration from the Center for Research and Training in Economics (CIDE) with a semester at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Katherine L. Chen, MD, is a general internal medicine physician who is pursuing a PhD in Health Policy & Management through the National Clinician Scholars Program and the Specialty Training and Advanced Research program at UCLA. Her research explores equity issues at the intersection of urban planning and population health, with a focus on ways to reduce health disparities and improve access to opportunities for well-being through policies that shape affordable housing, transportation, and neighborhood environments. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she completed her B.A. at Yale University, her M.D. at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and her residency training and chief residency in Internal Medicine at UCLA. She is a Clinical Instructor of Medicine at UCLA Health, and she currently practices primary care and supervises resident physicians at Saban Community Clinic, a Federally Qualified Health Center in Los Angeles.
Tim’s primary methodological interests are applications of selection and endogenous treatment models in health services contexts, and measurement of variation in treatment and outcomes between providers and health care facilities. His research areas include nephrology, vascular surgery, outcomes of in vitro fertilization, breast cancer treatment, and cancer imaging. Prior to coming to UCLA, Tim worked at UC San Francisco’s Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging as a staff research associate and obtained his Master of Public Policy from the University of Southern California.
Kendall Darfler is a first year doctoral student in Health Policy and Management. Her research interests include health equity, substance use policy, harm reduction, and peer-delivered services. She holds a master’s degree in Science and Technology Studies from Drexel University. She is also Project Director of UCLA’s evaluation of the California State Opioid Response program.
Wilson graduated from the University of Virginia in 2014 with a BA in Anthropology and a minor in Global Sustainability. As an undergraduate, she focused on food insecurity and political and social violence in Brazil. Upon finishing her undergraduate studies, Wilson worked in public schools in New Orleans, an experience which sparked her interest in addressing gun violence and access to mental health services from a public health perspective. Wilson explored these areas through work in the mental health technology space and obtained an MPH in Global Health from the University of Washington in 2020. During her MPH, Wilson worked on global mental health and implementation science projects in Mozambique and on epidemiology of firearm violence projects in the greater Seattle area, and her master’s thesis evaluated the preliminary effects on retention in HIV treatment of a lay-counselor-delivered mental health intervention integrated into public HIV care in Mozambique. Wilson’s research interests include addressing the political and social determinants that increase risk of common mental disorders, incarceration, and firearm injury.
Ashwini Nagappan is a first-year PhD student in Health Policy and Management. Her research interests lie in direct-to-consumer medicine and related emerging technologies and treatments. In particular, she wishes to examine the rise of the healthcare consumer, how technology innovations are reshaping care delivery, and how regulators are adapting to this change. Prior to pursuing her PhD, Ashwini received a BA in Global Pubic Health/Sociology at NYU (2018), and an MBE (Master of Bioethics) at the University of Pennsylvania (2019).
Carlos Irwin A. Oronce, MD, MPH is a fellow in the UCLA National Clinician Scholars Program and a primary care physician at the Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System. He received his MD and MPH from Tulane University and completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center. His work focuses on the role of the health system in improving population health, advancing health equity, and delivering better value in care. His research interests include: (1) examining the relationship between public spending on the social determinants and community health, (2) understanding the impact of value-based care and payment policy on quality and outcomes with a focus on vulnerable patients, and (3) evaluating interventions that improve quality and value while reducing disparities for racial/ethnic minorities and low-income populations. .
My primary research goals are to explore the value of measuring spatial equity to support alternative payment reform with an interest in advancing population health outcomes. Specifically, I am keen on leveraging spatial information to better understand how neighborhood level factors can influence the integration of community resources and health spending.
Petra is a recent Ph.D. graduate in health policy and management from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Petra’s research interests are in behavioral economics, disparities in health insurance and health care access, and public opinion and survey research design. Her current research focuses on consumer health insurance decision-making and the impact of the Affordable Care Act on health insurance coverage and access to care in the United States. While getting her doctoral degree, she worked as a researcher at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. There, she was a member of the California Simulation of Insurance Markets (CalSIM) microsimulation model team in the Health Economics and Evaluation Research Program, where she provided policy research and programming support. Prior to joining the doctoral program at UCLA, Petra worked as senior research associate in Health Care Coverage and Access at The Commonwealth Fund in New York City. In this role, Petra tracked and researched emerging policy issues regarding health reform and the comprehensiveness and affordability of health insurance coverage and access to care in the United States. In addition to her Ph.D. from UCLA, Petra has a bachelor's degree in global health practices and policies from Duke University and an M.P.H. in health policy and management from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.
Julianna developed her interest in understanding the life course outcomes and service system needs of transition-age youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as an MPH student at Drexel University. While attending Drexel University, she worked at A.J. Drexel’s Autism Institute publishing research that highlighted the prevalence and correlates of criminal justice involvement among youth with ASD. Prior to joining UCLA, she worked as a science policy analyst at the National Institute of Mental Health’s Office of Autism Research Coordination focusing on federal ASD research policies. As a PhD student, Julianna plans to expand her research interests and study mental health services research along with furthering her current interests.
Taylor B. Rogers is a third-year Ph.D. student studying Health Policy and Management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. She also holds an M.P.H. in Health Equity and B.S. in Community Health from the University of Maryland, College Park. Taylor’s journey in public health began in community engagement and health education. Frustrated with focusing on individual behavior change, She pursued a M.P.H. and Ph.D to understand and address racism as a structural determinant of health and healthcare.
Her research interests include addressing structural racism and discrimination in health care delivery, medical school education and curriculum, and cancer prevention and control. Taylor is a Student Affiliate of the UCLA Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health. She is serving her second term as a member of the AcademyHealth Disparities Interest Group Advisory Board and is the Principal Investigator of the Health Services Research Workplace Culture Study.
Jeffrey E. Rollman, MPH, NRP is a PhD student (public policy concentration) in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Prior to graduate school, Jeff worked as a corporate safety specialist, 911 paramedic and EMS safety officer in central Pennsylvania. He has research interests in regulatory policy, primary care coordination, injury prevention and prehospital care systems. In addition to his doctoral studies and graduate student researcher position at the Veterans Health Administration, Jeff continues to work part-time as a paramedic in the Los Angeles area. He holds a Master of Public Health in Health Systems and Policy from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
My research efforts are mainly focused on the issue of resource allocation, which I study from two broad perspectives. First, through the application of health economics and decision analysis tools, I work on the appraisal, development and implementation of strategies to increase efficiency in resource allocation and to ensure investment decisions are made through formal, explicit and legitimate processes. In this realm, my work includes cost-effectiveness analysis, priority setting strategies, disinvestment and value assessment. Second, through an upstream political economy lens, I seek to understand how economic and political factors shape the observed levels of resources allocated to health systems. In other words, instead of taking for granted the existing levels of resource scarcity within the health sector, I aim to understand how broader societal processes determine the distribution of resources within different sectors. Additionally, I have been involved in numerous research projects in population health and health services research such as the impact of early childhood environments on adult health outcomes and the impact of Covid-19 on the use of health services among older adults. Prior to coming to UCLA, I completed a Master of Science in Public Health with concentration in Health Economics at the University of British Columbia, a Bachelor of Pharmacy at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and have over a decade of work experience in the pharmaceutical field.
Heidi West is a PhD student in the department of Health Policy and Management, Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA. She works at the intersection of migration, gender and health, primarily in the global context, and explores links between international frameworks and health system responses to migration. Her current work includes projects in Myanmar, Bangladesh, and cross-country comparisons using binational data and the DHS surveys. Heidi’s research is bolstered by over a decade of international program development and management experience where she used evidence-based approaches to build capacity and improve collaboration for diverse institutions. With a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from UC Berkeley, and a Master's in Ethics, Peace and Global Affairs from American University, Heidi takes an interdisciplinary and mixed methods approach to producing innovative and timely evidence to inform the design and implementation of policy interventions that improve health equity.
Dr. Anna Darby graduated from Brown University where she received a B.A. in Latin American Studies. In 2015, she obtained her MPH in Health Policy & Management at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and her medical degree from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai a year later. In 2016, Dr. Darby was accepted into the Emergency Medicine Residency Training Program at LAC+USC where she served as Chief Resident of Recruitment and Co-Founder of the Emergency Medicine Diversity Task Force. As an NCSP scholar, Dr. Darby will collaborate and complete clinic requirements with the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.
Dr. Jeanne Delgado graduated from Emory University where she received a B.S. in Chemistry and minor in Ethics Studies. In 2017, she received her medical degree from The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. While in medical school, Dr. Delgado spent a year performing research through the South American Program in HIV Prevention Research (SAPHIR) in Lima, Peru. She studied the effects of various risk factors on HIV transmission among vulnerable populations and examined the role of medical knowledge in HPV vaccination at Vía Libre, an infectious disease non-governmental organization (NGO). Dr. Delgado was then accepted into the Pediatric Residency Program at the Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C. where she was selected to be part of the Leadership, Advocacy, Underserved, and Community Health (LAUnCH) track, which specializes in public health, the provision of community health services, and training to advocate for underserved patients through political and community partnerships. As an NCSP scholar, Dr. Delgado will collaborate and complete clinic requirements with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.
Dr. Alex Fauer graduated from the University of Michigan, School of Nursing where he received his B.S. in Nursing (2017) and most recently his Ph.D. (2020). Throughout his academic career, Dr. Fauer earned prestigious pre-doctoral fellowships from the American Cancer Society, Hillman Scholars program, and Jonas Scholars program. Dr. Fauer is a certified hematology/oncology nurse with a passion for nursing care in hematologic stem cell transplantation. Prior to joining the NCSP, he has worked as a research assistant for the Center for Improving Patient and Population Health at the University of Michigan with Dr. Christopher Friese. In addition, Dr. Fauer has served in leadership committees for the University of Michigan, School of Nursing and the Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society, Rho Chapter (Ann Arbor, MI). As an NCSP scholar, Dr. Fauer will collaborate and complete clinic requirements with UCLA Health.
Dr. Kimberly Lynch finished her Internal Medicine Residency in Primary Care and Social Internal Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She completed her undergraduate education in Biomedical Engineering from Columbia University and her medical degree from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School with a Distinction in Medical Education. During residency, Dr. Lynch received numerous awards including the Chairman’s Award for Distinction in Research, Outstanding House Officer in Internal Medicine Award, and Chair’s Award for Excellence in Quality Improvement. In addition, she served on the Internal Medicine Wellness Committee, Quality Improvement, and Medication Safety Committees. As an NCSP scholar, Dr. Lynch will collaborate and complete clinic requirements with the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.
Dr. Jennifer Peralta obtained her B.A. with Honors in Community Health from Brown University, later earning a M.S.T. in Elementary Education with Bilingual Extension from Pace University while serving as an elementary ESL teacher in the South Bronx with Teach for America. Dr. Peralta then participated in a post-baccalaureate pre-health certificate program at the University of Pennsylvania and attended Stony Brook University School of Medicine for her medical degree where she was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. She completed her Pediatric Residency and Chief Residency at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx, New York. As a resident, Jennifer was inducted into the Leo M. Davidoff Society for her contributions to medical student education, was selected as an Academic Pediatric Association New Century Scholar and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. In addition, Dr. Peralta served on various hospital committees dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion, resident education and quality assurance. As an NCSP scholar, Dr. Peralta will collaborate and complete clinic requirements with the AltaMed Institute for Health Equity.
Dr. Garrett Salzman graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN where he obtained his B.A. in Biology with Honors. In 2018, Dr. Salzman went on to receive his medical degree from USC’s Keck School of Medicine where he received various awards including the Eric Cohen Clinical Medicine Award, bestowed upon the senior medical student who best embodies the clinical medicine program at USC, and the Order of Arete, the highest honor bestowed upon graduate students at USC for their extraordinary community service. Dr. Salzman is currently a General Surgery Resident UCLA. As an NCSP scholar, Dr. Salzman will collaborate and complete clinic requirements with the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.
Dr. Jesus R. Torres received his B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from UCLA. In 2015 he received an M.P.H in Quantitative Methods from Harvard School of Public Health and a medical degree from New York Medical College a year later. Dr. Torres trained at the UCSF-SFGH Emergency Medicine Residency Program. Some of his most recent publications include, “Declared impact of the US President’s statements and campaign statements on Latino populations’ perceptions of safety and emergency care access” and “Language assistance utilization for the care of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Patients in the Emergency Department: A Survey of ED providers.” As an NCSP scholar, Dr. Torres will collaborate and complete clinical requirements with the Department of Emergency Medicine at UCLA.