MCH Symposium September 2020


SEPTEMBER 10, 2020

Child, Family & Community Health

Annalea Forrest | MPH/MSW Student – Community Health Sciences

This presentation addresses the role of shame and ally-ship not only as a tool and support for survivors of violence, but also as a tool and support for people who have committed acts of violence as well. Through adopting a perspective of intervention as prevention, this presentation explores “The Power and Control Wheel”, shame, and the impact of community support on health outcomes for youth and adults.

Elizabeth Lupercio | MPH/MSW Student – Community Health Sciences

This presentation addresses the role of shame and ally-ship not only as a tool and support for survivors of violence, but also as a tool and support for people who have committed acts of violence as well. Through adopting a perspective of intervention as prevention, this presentation explores “The Power and Control Wheel”, shame, and the impact of community support on health outcomes for youth and adults.

Nilpa Shah – MPH Student | Community Health Sciences

This project is a summary of a mixed-methods process evaluation that assessed the implementation of the Routine Home Visitation (RHV) interventions in the Nyagoto and Iranda catchments in Kisii County of Kenya. The routine home visitation (RHV) model is a community-based service strategy that delivers health programing to individual households. This evaluation aims to provide monitoring data that can help adjust the program implementation as needed to ensure theoretical integrity and program quality and physical, social, and political environment in which the program is being implemented and how it affects the implementation. This report will highlight the potential programmatic changes that can be made to the intervention and better understand the motivation and barriers to participation in the intervention.

Kristal Orta Martinez | Ronald E. McNair Research Scholar

For many years, Autism research has focused on developing a cure with hopes to eradicate the condition. Today, more research is now being conducted on how to best support Autistic individuals, more specifically toward independent living and higher education. Although research has found disparities regarding support like services, education, and healthcare within the Latinx Autism community (Zuckerman, 2017), minimal research has examined the reasons that have led to these disparities (Liptack, 2018). Given the gap in the literature, this exploratory study is guided by the following question: What are some of the elements (e.g. lack of information regarding Autism, access to health care, etc.) that cause disparities faced by Latinx Autistic children? This study hypothesizes that cultural, economic, and racial disadvantages are in place that impede Latinx families from receiving government and state services, equal education rights, and healthcare benefits. This study utilizes semi-structured interviews with parents of Autistic children to unearth which sector they have experienced the most difficulty with when searching for support for their child(ren), as well as to understand why these disparities exist. The reason for this research is to reveal the important points that are likely to contribute to disparities to access. By illuminating specific environments or institutions that contribute to disparities in access, they can then be addressed and remedied.

Paulina Sepulveda – MPH Student | Health Policy & Management

In recent years the LA City Attorney’s Office found that mental health symptoms are one of the main reasons students in the Los Angeles area are truant. Given the Covid-19 pandemic both concerns related to student attendance and mental health are at the forefront of the LA City Attorney’s Office Truancy Prevention Program. My project required that I create a slide deck presentation to educate parents about the importance of student attendance and mental health. I also developed a needs assessment for the department to identify the health needs of families and connect them to services as part of their truancy prevention efforts.

Yunjoo Shin – MPH Student | Community Health Sciences

Throughout this summer, I worked with the UCLA CSE Research Group as an MPH Graduate Student Research Intern. I learned to use both quantitative and qualitative research methods that are specifically used with members of the CSE population. I worked directly with the CSE population by assisting with focus group sessions. I also had the opportunity to connect with external professionals through our Stakeholder Project.

Sarah Homsy – MPH/MSW Student | Community Health Sciences

Formative research on identifying health disparities between residents of South Los Angeles and those residing in other areas of Los Angeles County provided a rich foundation from which to design the Jenesse Center’s Health Resource Guide. Given that an underutilization of healthcare services was observed in the SPA 6 data, the Guide aims to present healthcare information in an interactive and audience-appropriate way. Entire sections of the Guide have been devoted to the areas of need identified in the SPA 6 data, and supplemental health information has been presented in a clear and engaging way. To enhance resource ease and delivery, various tools have been embedded into the Guide, including Google service maps and smartphone-accessible healthcare applications. In an effort to reduce perceived barriers surrounding obtaining healthcare services, the Guide also incorporates additional sections, such as LGBTQ+ resources, pet health, farmers’ markets, and local parks.

Nancy Le & Jason Timmerman – Pathways for Students into Health Professions Trainee

Currently, there is limited research from large national datasets about the prevalence of anxiety, depression, and other emotional health issues among college students. This presentation examines the self-rated emotional health and depression variables from the CIRP Freshman Survey, a nationwide survey for incoming US college freshmen. Current levels of poor emotional health and depression among students are particularly concerning, and thus, institutions should work to meet this need.

Trixy Joy Manansala – MPH Student | Community Health Sciences

The Filipino Family Health Initiative aims to implement and evaluate the effect of an evidence-based parenting intervention, the Incredible Years® Parenting Program, on Filipino families. The study is a randomized control trial with parents of Filipino children ages 8 to 12 living in California. The work of this practicum included contributing to several components of the study (including grant writing, recruitment of participants, and data collection) and other research activities aimed to address Filipino and Asian American health (including literature and manuscript review). Though the study is still in progress, findings may provide insight into how parenting programs may help improve parenting practices and address mental and behavioral health disparities among Filipino children.

Katianna Chang – MSW/MPH Student | Community Health Sciences

To reduce health disparities among the growing LGBTQ+ homeless population in Los Angeles County, Special Services for Groups, Inc. (SSG), through its division APAIT (SSG/APAIT), launched the Midnight Stroll pilot program in January 2017 and its subsequent program expansions in April 2018 and now in July 2020. Through the evaluation of Midnight Stroll, SSG/APAIT aims to decrease HIV incidence by monitoring and optimizing care, behavioral health and housing program linkage among homeless LGBTQ+ individuals, with a focus on transgender women, in the Hollywood-Wilshire Health District.

Hallie Young – MPH Student | Community Health Sciences

My presentation will review my experience supporting All Children Thrive, a policy project with the Center for Healthier Children, Families & Communities. I will discuss how I contributed to a series of convenings with city leaders across California and how I supported the development of change packages, policy bundles recommended for child wellbeing. I will describe the organization and the projects and then I will discuss my challenges, accomplishments, and learnings.

Reproductive Health, Pregnancy & Birth Outcomes

Aleetia Miller | MPH Student – Community Health Sciences

This presentation addresses health disparities during the perinatal period for Black birthing people. Black women/birthing people are at a greater risks of experiencing Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder( PMAD). Thus, this presentation seeks to discuss how social support can be used to reduce PMAD among Black women/birthing people.

Emily Murray | MPH Student – Community Health Sciences

This presentation will explore the definition of CSEC, and exactly how they are accessing sexual and reproductive health care admits the pandemic, as well as my experience at CSE research group.

Julia Koerber – MPH Student | Epidemiology

This will cover the series of interventions that Cedars-Sinai has implemented in order to detect and treat perinatal mood and anxiety disorders from a systems-change approach

Eunhee Park, MPH – PhD Student | Community Health Sciences

Congenital syphilis is preventable through timely prenatal screening, and adequate treatment of syphilis-infected pregnant women. In 2018, California had the second highest number of cases and the fifth highest rate in the United States. The objective of Eunhee’s study is to qualitatively identify gaps in preventing congenital syphilis by applying the congenital syphilis prevention cascade framework in the highest morbidity area in California. Eunhee is creating a project website during the summer and welcomes you to visit:

Andrea Renteria – MPH Student | Community Health Sciences

Essential Access Health is a non-profit agency focused on promoting quality reproductive and sexual health services for all. It is home to TeenSource, a website devoted to providing medically accurate and quality sexual health information for all teens in California and is viewed over 1 million times a year. In order to improve content on the website and their social media platforms, Essential Access designed a Youth Advisory Board on Instagram that would leverage the expertise of youth and elevate youth voices. This presentation will discuss the planning and preliminary evaluation of this program, an innovative approach to meeting youth where they’re at and improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes for teens.

Elizabeth Agredano & Nayelie Benitez Santos – MS Epidemiology Students

In an attempt to decrease reproductive and sexual health disparities among pediatric patients, efforts were performed in the development of a reproductive health navigator role at Olive View – UCLA Medical Center. Asset maps were created to determine where there is a greater need for reproductive/sexual health services. Based on the paucity of this topic in the literature, it speaks to importance of provider and patient insight in regards to reproductive/sexual health.

One goal of the “Improving Reproductive Health Services in Medical Hub Clinics for Adolescents in Foster Care through Youth Engagement and Health Navigator Pilot Program” at the UCLA Olive View Medical Center is to understand the distribution of  reproductive and sexual health services (RSH) in relation to the location of foster youth patients in Los Angeles County. To this end, a geospatial analysis of the relationship between patient location data and resource provider data was conducted. This analysis adapts the USDA’s concept of a food desert to an evaluation of patient access to RSH and is still a work in progress.


Becca Woofter – PhD Student | Community Health Sciences

This summer, I worked on a research project using CDC Vital Statistics birth records and state-level policies related to immigration. The immigration policies can be separated in criminalizing and integrating policies, where criminalizing policies create stress and harm for immigrants and integrating policies which expand integration and social services to immigrants. In these analyses, we test whether these policies impact the odds of preterm birth and low birthweight, controlling for individual characteristics (e.g. age, education, race) and state characteristics (e.g. unemployment rate, poverty rate, percent republican voters).

Lacey Howcroft – MPH Student | Community Health Sciences

I completed my practicum at Essential Access Health, a California based non-profit that serves as an administrator of the Title X Federal Family Planning Program. During my practicum I reviewed the TeenSource website for LGBTQ inclusivity, which is Essential Access’ sexual and reproductive health education website for California Teens. My main project for my pracitcum was outlining, drafting and creating an LGBTQ specific web page for the TeenSource website that includes information on safer sex, coming out, LGBTQ terms and definitions, rights of LGBTQ teens, tips for visiting a clinic, and resources for LGBTQ teens.

Lexie Askins – MPH Student | Epidemiology

Preeclampsia is a hypertensive disorder that occurs during pregnancy. Some studies have looked at preeclampsia in relation to cancer risk in offspring and have found a possible association. This study used two populations, Denmark and Taiwan, to examine maternal hypertensive disorders and medications used to treat these conditions in relation to childhood cancer risk.

Bri-Ann Hernandez MPH Student | Community Health Sciences

The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) is a nonprofit located in Beverly, Hills, California dedicated to advancing the political, social, and legal equality of women utilizing research and action. The first project I worked on was the National Clinic Access Project (NCAP), which leads nationwide efforts to reduce antiabortion violence, to keep women’s health personnel and patients safe, to keep clinics open, and to bring violent antiabortion extremists to justice with law enforcement. The second is the Legislative Advocacy Program, where I advocated for state and local policies that address reproductive justice and maternal and child health through lobbying and developing advocacy toolkits for student organizations to use across universities in California.

Payton Lawton – MPH Student | Health Policy & Management

The United States is the deadliest place to give birth in the developed world. Black women are disproportionately affected by the risks associated with giving birth in our country. For my Child & Family Health Fellowship project, I first contextualized the maternal health crisis in the United States within the framework of the birthing experience at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. I then conducted an in-depth analysis of patient experience scores within the OB/GYN Department, identifying disparities between the experiences of Black women and the experiences of White women. By drawing a connection between patient experience scores and health outcomes, I was then able to propose informed interventions that, if implemented, could reduce disparate health outcomes of all women – especially Black women, who are at a greater risk of mortality and complications from pregnancy.


Effects of COVID-19

Amy Bui | MPH Student – Community Health Sciences

I will be discussing my summer practicum at the UCLA Semel Institute within the Prevention Center of Excellence and Commercial Sexual Exploitation Research Group. Specifically, I will go through the consulting recommendations I made to the Wellbeing4LA Learning Center. I will also review my findings from the qualitative course evaluation feedback. I will also touch on the changes and barriers to accessing care for youth impacted by CSE and in the foster care system during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jennifer Archuleta | PhD Student – Community Health Sciences

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of children in California are faced with added hardship and barriers to health. Avoiding infection does not mean that children are immune to other health problems. Conversely, the social consequences of the pandemic lead to worse outcomes for noncommunicable illness. Three main consequences of the pandemic will be discussed, which include toxic stress, social adversity, and issues for other physical health outcomes.

Richard Tirado, Eric Jue & Apsara Chopra – Pathways for Students into Health Professions (PSHP) Trainees

Our team created a research study to understand UCLA students’ experiences during the COVID-19 Pandemic involving an online survey in partnership with others. We questioned if there is a significant difference between low-income and high-income students and their ability to complete online assignments on time and access reliable technology? Our findings suggest that more efforts should be made, by UCLA, to understand and bring awareness about the effects of disparities among socioeconomic statuses on students’ education.

Kevin Jimenez, Sydney Huynh, & Tayloneei Jackson – Pathways for Students into Health Professions (PSHP) Trainees

Our study aims to determine whether socioeconomic status plays a significant role in anxiety among undergraduate students during COVID-19. With the initial outbreak exacerbating the mental health issues of the American populace, research on the subject of mental health has focused on the general public thus far, and research towards undergraduate students, especially those of low socioeconomic status, have been infrequent. Utilizing a survey that asks various introspective and socioeconomic questions, and by organizing undergraduate student’s responses through the means of content analysis and operational definitions, our team seeks to understand the relationship of high anxiety among undergraduate students at UCLA and low socioeconomic status during the COVID-19 pandemic. We wish for this project to act as a tool to garner more insight into the mental health conditions of undergraduate students at UCLA and to bring awareness to the importance of mental health in academia.

Ada Chung, Julie Grassian, Pearl Omo-Sowho – Pathways for Students into Health Professions (PSHP) Trainees

The purpose of this study is to understand how educational and environmental changes to COVID-19 have impacted neurodiverse students’ anxiety levels. Since the COVID-19 pandemic is a new and arising issue, most research has not focused on the pandemic’s impact on neurodiverse students’ mental health. Through the analysis of various questions in our COVID-19 student health survey, we hope to view the ways in which COVID-19 has exacerbated and brought on anxiety and mental health concerns amongst neurodiverse college students at UCLA. By analyzing students’ responses to these questions, we hope to get a better understanding of how not only the pandemic and the transition to online learning has impacted these students, but also get an ecological perspective of how various changes in environmental, educational, and financial circumstances have and continue to affect neurodiverse students’ anxiety levels.

Jacqueline Carranza – MPH Student | Community Health Sciences

This presentation will discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has posed an increased health risk for expecting mothers globally. Data is collected from YouTube videos that detail pregnant mother’s birth stories during the pandemic from the U.S. and Brazil. This analysis will give further insight on how these expecting mothers’ narratives serve as a way to understand their beliefs and fears for their current pregnancy.


Telma Menendez – MPH Student | Community Health Sciences

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention oversees cooperative agreement 1817 Innovative State and Local Public Health Strategies to Prevent and Manage Diabetes and Heart Disease and Stroke. Through this CDC funded initiative, DPH has been able to build the infrastructure to build capacity among organizations and program providers in the region to scale and sustain evidence-based programs designed to prevent and manage diabetes within Los Angeles County. However, due to COVID-19 and Safer at Home orders, program providers will have to pivot to alternative delivery models. We have evaluated current program standing, offerings, and determined technical assistance needed to launch a Community of Practice to continue offering communities with programs focusing on diabetes prevention or management

Ressie Ascueta – MPH Student | Community Health Sciences

The COVID-19 pandemic has created numerous challenges for program stakeholders who play an essential role in maintaining the functionality of the Newborn Screening system. Challenges related to the collection and transit of the specimen, staff changes, and fear of contracting the virus in medical facilities have significantly increased, which can potentially contribute to delays in diagnosis and treatment of babies with a disorder. During my summer practicum with the Newborn Screening Program at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, I help address these challenges and provide program stakeholders with the strategies and resources needed to help adapt to changes in their newborn screening process while maintaining this public health service.