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Spring/Summer 2017

NEWSLETTER Community Health Sciences FEATURED

Alumnae Profiles Beatriz Navarro & Shahrzad Yavari share their current work and reflect on their time as a CHS student

Honoring Faculty The Department celebrated the retirement of Drs. Aneshensel, Bourque, and Morisky

In this Issue 02

Chair’s Message


Endings & Beginnings 2017


Alumnae Profiles


Community Participation


Celebrating Retirement


Community Updates


MESSAGE FROM THE CHS CHAIR Another academic year has ended and we welcome sixty-one new graduates to the proud ranks of our alumni. They are entering the public health workforce at a challenging time where we need highly skilled and motivated professionals more than ever. Public health is on the defensive nationally now more than at any other time in the past thirty years. We are on the precipice of throwing millions of Americans off of health insurance, ameliorating climate change is being undermined by our country’s unilateral withdrawal from the Paris Accords, we are seeing unprecedented legislative and judicial challenges to basic reproductive rights, and heightened immigration enforcement is damaging the health of those in immigrant communities. It can be easy to fall into gloom and despair, but it is important to remember that California remains strongly committed to basic human rights in all these areas, as well as others where we see backward movement at the federal level. The slogan “Think globally, act locally” has particular resonance these days in California as we move forward locally in extending Medi-Cal to all children, reducing carbon emissions, expanding reproductive rights, and establishing sanctuary locations. And despite the prominence of “fake news,” high-quality research still has an important influence. It is incumbent on all of us to promote evidence-based policy and practice, and uphold the highest standards in creating and using that evidence. CHS is seeing a number of changes this summer. We had three senior faculty retire, Carol Aneshensel, Linda Bourque, and Donald Morisky. Each has been active in the Department and university for many years, and each is well-known in their respective research areas. We all thank them for their many contributions and wish them well in their next endeavors. I have finished my (extended) term as Department Chair and return to life as a regular faculty member, with Michael Prelip assuming the CHS Department Chair position and Dawn Upchurch taking over as Vice-Chair. Everyone is pleased to have them take the helm and we look forward to their new energy and ideas that will keep the Department moving forward. You will get to hear from Mike in the next newsletter! Best wishes for an enjoyable and productive summer!

Steven P. Wallace, PhD Professor and Chair Department of Community Health Sciences

ENDINGS & BEGINNINGS 2017 Congratulations to the Class of 2017! Seven Doctoral and fifty-four Masters Candidates proudly graduated this 2016-17 academic year. We welcome seven Doctoral and sixty-one Masters students this Fall.

Doctoral Dissertations Dissertations will be available to download for free on Proquest,

Stephanie Lynn Albert, PhD Deborah C. Glik and Michael Prelip, Co-Chairs #consumingitall: Understanding the complex relationship between media consumption and eating behaviors

Tabashir Zahra Sadegh-Nobari, PhD May C. Wang, Chair Socioeconomic Disparities, Unaffordable Housing and Obesity among Low-Income Preschool-Aged Children in Los Angeles

Rosana Leos Bravo, PhD Steven P. Wallace, Chair Medical Decision-Making among Foreign-Born Latino Elders with Multiple Chronic Conditions

Mienah Zulfacar Sharif, PhD Gilbert C. Gee, Chair Obesity Risk among Preschoolers: The Role of Parental Stressors and Children’s Emotional Regulation Skills

Brittany N. Morey, PhD Gilbert C. Gee, Chair Acculturation, Neighborhood Context, and Breast Cancer Risk among Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Women John Devin Peipert, PhD Donald E. Morisky, Chair A Psychometric Analysis of Patient-Reported Outcomes in Chronic Kidney Disease

Jenna van Draanen, PhD Carol S. Aneshensel, Chair The Association Between Childhood Poverty and Adversity and the Likelihood of Experiencing Cooccurring Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders



4 Beatriz Navarro

RN, BSN, PHN, MPH ’16 Beatriz Navarro is now working with the Department of Community Health Services for the Department of Public Health. She is a Community Liaison Public Health Nurse in Service Planning Areas 5 (West Los Angeles) and 6 (South Los Angeles). If you have any health-related projects in West or South Los Angeles, you can reach her at Public Health has offered her an array of opportunities including: working on campaigns to address breastfeeding disparities; lead poisoning prevention and case management; and conducting perinatal home visitations. She also had the pleasure of supporting UCLA Hospitals through the Regional Hospital Breastfeeding Consortium, and would like to congratulate UCLA in obtaining their Baby Friendly designation.

there are systemic problems that need to be addressed such as streamlining referral processes and centralizing resources. She continues to collaborate with several coalitions related to Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children/ Human Trafficking and is interested in shifting conversations from being reactive to include more prevention. She is also active with the Trauma Prevention Initiative which strives to take a multi -sector approach to trauma and violence. Current efforts include building partnerships with community leaders to develop strategic plans which address disparate levels of violence and homicide in several South Los Angeles communities. There is much work to be done. “To the amazing MPH-HP Class of 2016 cohort, thank you! No doubt you are leading the think tanks to ensure accessibility to pediatric dentistry, improve the emergency response protocols, and promote reproductive health. It was an honor to be your colleague.”

Shahrzad Yavari MPH ’13

Shahrzad Yavari is the After working as a Public Health Nurse Program Director for the on the individual level for over 10 years, she Vaccines Program at came to realize that many inequities, health Nexleaf Analytics, a disparities, and social justice issues need to be nonprofit organization addressed through system changes. This based in Los Angeles, realization shifted her interest to population with a mission to build, health and system level changes, which scale, and support prompted her to return to school to complete wireless sensor devices and data analytics tools her Masters Degree. that improve global public health and the Navarro wishes to extend her gratitude to environment. She leads the design, Dr. Michael Prelip, of UCLA, and Dr. Jan King, implementation, operations, and monitoring and Dr. Lisa V. Smith, Dr. Susie Baldwin, and evaluation of all deployments, currently active Deanna Bressler-Montgomery, of the across seven countries in Asia and Africa. Department of Public Health, for their Shahrzad is responsible for building new invaluable support of her Master’s project titled, relationships and opportunities to scale and “Department of Public Health Rapid sustain Nexleaf's innovations through strategic Assessment of Knowledge in the Community partnerships with ministries of health and global Regarding Human Trafficking Service Planning stakeholders. Area 6”. This project found that gaps in (continued on page 5) knowledge persist among community leaders and


Yavari graduated in June 2013 with an MPH in Community Health Sciences with an emphasis on Global Health. She received her BS in Public Health Sciences and BA in Psychology and Social Behavior from the University of California, Irvine. Her background in psychology and public health enables her to integrate the elements of behavior change and capacity building to create data-driven and responsive interventions.


Her expertise on improving the global vaccine cold chain through continuous data collection has led to her co-publishing in a special edition of the journal Vaccine and attending numerous international conferences focused on global health initiatives. Yavari loves to be a mentor to students who are interested in global health because she strongly believes that her mentors played a key role in her success during and after the graduate program.

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION Alumni, students, faculty, and staff helped promote skill development and strengthened connections among the CHS community. Karen Roque (MPH ‘14), Lauren Schenker (MPH ‘17) and Chloe Winders-Singer (MPH ‘17) served on the “Field Studies Preceptor and Student Q&A” panel, offering advice to first-year MPH students.

Melissa Papp-Green (MPH ‘15), Erik Pena (MPH, MA ‘16), and Elia Salazar (MPH ‘15) were panelists for the department-led “Preparing for the Post-Graduate Job Search, Q&A”, sharing their job hunt experience with graduating students.

Members of the CHS community came together to volunteer at L.A. Kitchen, an organization aimed to fight food waste, train workers, and feed senior citizens.

Alumni and students joined faculty for a walk around the UCLA perimeter, ending with a group dinner at Bruin Plate.



CELEBRATING THE RETIREMENT OF DRS. ANESHENSEL, BOURQUE, & MORISKY A special gathering celebrating the careers and retirement of Dr. Carol Aneshensel, Dr. Linda Bourque, and Dr. Donald Morisky was held on June 4 at the Olympic Collection. Thank you for your service, and we wish you all a happy retirement!

7 Faculty Updates DR. CHANDRA FORD


Associate Professor

Assistant Professor in Residence

Dr. Ford is a member of the Committee on Community Based Solutions to Promote Health Equity in the United States, assembled by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. In January, the committee released a report, Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity, which “focuses on what communities can do to promote health equity, what actions are needed by the many and varied stakeholders that are part of communities or support them, as well as the root causes and structural barriers that need to be overcome.” Obtain the report here.

Dr. Sudhinaraset joined the CHS faculty in January 2017. She was previously a faculty member at UCSF, the body of her work has several substantive foci, including the social determinants of women’s and adolescents’ health and the quality of health care for women, with a primary focus on global/ international settings but also with an interest in global/migrant populations in the US. Her research interest in global and immigrant health is driven in part by her experiences growing up in an immigrant family and seeing firsthand issues involving reproductive health and health care in global settings.

Alumni & Student Updates BRITTNIE BLOOM, MS ’14, was accepted into the Joint Doctoral Program in Global Public Health through the University of California San Diego and San Diego State University. She will begin her doctoral studies this fall. Bloom hopes to tackle issues related to sexual assault and intimate partner violence. CHIA-HSIN EMILY CHENG, PHD STUDENT, received the inaugural CHS Best Teaching Assistant Award for 2016-17. The award is funded by the Shonali M. Choudhury Memorial Scholarship Fund, created by friends and family of the late CHS doctoral graduate to aid students who follow her path of passionate advocacy for the elimination of health disparities, and those who serve as teaching apprentices in CHS to guide fellow students, as Shonali once did. Cheng was also a Semi-Finalist in the 2017 UCLA Grad Slam Competition for her research presentation “Think, Eat, and Wellbe-

ing: A Study of College Student Health”. Grad Slam is a campus-wide competition that showcases and awards the best three-minute research presentations by graduate students. ELIZABETH EVANS, PHD ’16, has been working as a Health Services Research & Development Fellow at the Veterans Affairs, Greater Los Angeles (VA GLA). She was funded by VA GLA as the Principal Investigator of a pilot study to design a digital storytelling community integration intervention with and for formerly homeless women military Veterans who are in recovery from substance abuse. This Fall, Evans will join the Department of Health Promotion and Policy, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst as an Assistant Professor. Keep in touch with her at

8 Alumni & Student Updates, continued NANCY GUERRERO, MPH ’15, is a Senior Coordinator at the Nursing Research and Education Division at City of Hope. She primarily assists Dr. Anne Reb in a descriptive study that will eventually help develop a gynecologic oncology survivorship program. The goal of survivorship care planning is to coordinate surveillance and follow-up care and enhance communication among the survivor, the oncology team and the primary care providers. Guerrero’s role will be to consent, administer questionnaires, conduct qualitative face-to-face interviews, and do a content analysis on the interviews. CLAUDIA MATA, MPH ’15, is now the Director for the Cultural and Linguistic Competence Department for LAC+USC Medical Center. She also passed the her MCHES in 2016. BRITTANY MOREY, PHD ’17, received the inaugural CHS Best Research Project Award for her project “Community-Level Prejudice and Mortality among Immigrant Groups”. The study assessed whether anti-immigrant prejudice at the community level is prospectively associated with mortality. Findings showed that among “other race” respondents, those born in the US had higher risk of mortality in communities with greater anti-immigrant prejudice, whereas foreignborn “other race” respondents had lower risk of mortality in communities with greater antiimmigrant prejudice. In contrast, antiimmigrant prejudice was not associated with mortality for foreign-born immigrants who self-report as white or black. CHRISTINE PARK, MPH ’03, graduated UCLA with an MD in 1999 and MPH in CHS in 2003. In March 2017, she was promoted from Pediatric Medical Director, a position

she held for 12 years, to Chief Medical Officer of the Northeast Valley Health Corporation, a federally‐qualified health center serving the medically‐underserved populations of the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys. Their press release can be found at MELISSA PATAO, MPH ‘15, will be attending Yale School of Nursing's Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program. She was awarded the Helen Fuld Trust Scholarship as well as the Yale Nursing School Scholarship. Patao is also collaborating with Children's Hospital Los Angeles as first author on a manuscript analyzing a pedestrian safety intervention. The manuscript has been submitted for publication and is currently in the revision process. SONJA PERRYMAN, MPH ’15, is currently a manager of research and development at Wise Entertainment. She was recently named Associate Producer on the upcoming East Los High movie finale, which will be released on Hulu this coming fall. KIMBERLEY SINCLAIR, MPH ’05, was recently appointed to the Health Education Framework for the state of California. DALLAS SWENDEMAN, MPH ’02, PHD ’07, has been awarded a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for a five‐year project in the Adolescent (HIV Medicine) Trials Network (ATN). The project intervenes with 1,500 young people at risk for HIV infection in Los Angeles and New Orleans using mobile and social media

9 Alumni & Student Updates, continued technologies over 24 months to optimize prevention of HIV, STIs, substance abuse and mental health problems. The research builds on Dr. Swendeman’s William T. Grant Scholar research, and a parallel project for youth living with HIV funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration. KIYOMI TSUYUKI, PHD ‘13, was promoted to Assistant Professor in the Division of Global Public Health, Department of Medicine at the University of California San Diego. She was also recently awarded a K01

Mentored Research Scientist Award by the NIAAA for a grant entitled "SALUD: Syndemic Alcohol Use Disorders, Violence, and HIV/ STI in Young Latino Men". CHLOE WINDERS-SINGER, MPH ’17, was a finalist in the 2017 Breslow Student Writing Competition. Finalists addressed the question: “How would you bring people together across divides to advance health for all?” Her presentation may be watched on Vimeo.

Student Organization Updates CHS GRADS FOR RACIAL JUSTICE CHS Grads for Racial Justice (CHSRJ) is a student organization formed to call on administration to address anti-black violence as a public health crisis. CHSGRJ initiated the first-ever student-led course at FSPH on anti-black racism and violence, which was taught in CHS Spring 2016. In Spring 2017, CHSRJ offered another student-led course taught in CHS, “Immigrant Health in an Era of Mass Deportation”, led by CHS PhD Candidate Maria Elena-Young. This course took an in-depth look at the immigration detention and deportation systems in the United States, and the impact of these systems on health inequities among immigrants and communities of color.

MPH ‘17. Creating Space won the inaugural CHS Best Community Project Award. The team presented their current work at a CHS Professional Symposium, which may be viewed on YouTube. Project members include: Emily Bell (CHS), Trista Benitez (CHS), Jennifer Carney (CHS), Cristina Hunter O’Leary (CHS), Leila Kamareddine (MPH ’17), Caitlin O’Connor (MPH ’17), Subasri Narasimhan (CHS), LeighAnna Hidalgo Newton (Chicana/o Studies), Ingrid Talavera-Gutierrez (Global Studies), Christine Vega (Education), Roshawn Walter (Sociology)

CREATING SPACE Creating Space is a collaborative community project that seeks to improve support for breastfeeding mothers on campus. Inspired by grassroots advocacy from the Mothers of Color in Academia de UCLA, the public health project was designed and founded by the UCLA Reproductive Health Interest Group through Healthy Campus Initiative student grant funding. The project is currently under PI May Wang and Project Manager Jasmine Uysal,

Do you have updates that you would like to share with the CHS community? If so, send your news to!

RECONNECTING WITH CHS Update us on your career, projects, and achievements. Send your news to or complete the Contact Information Form for alumni.

Mentor students and help guide them as they develop into public health professionals. Email to find out how to get involved.

Engage with students: Give a lunch lecture or offer an externship during spring break. Email to express your interest.

Join the Public Health Alumni Association board, participate in "think tanks" and be involved in the school's future.


to CHS Help us educate tomorrow’s leaders and promote health equity by supporting our students’ training and our faculty’s innovative research. Make a donation at Or give by mail - Make your check payable to The UC Regents, note "CHS Donation" in the memo line, and mail to: Attn: Preethi Thomas, Department Manager Department of Community Health Sciences UCLA Fielding School of Public Health 650 Charles E. Young Drive South P.O. Box 951772 Los Angeles, CA 90095-1772 Please be sure your name, address, telephone number, and email address are included in the envelope. Newsletter Editor: Jennifer Banawa O’Brien Cover images from FSPH flickr Background image on pages 4-5: “World Map – Abstract Acrylic” is copyright by Nicolas Raymond and made available under an Attribution 3.0 license

CHS Spring/Summer 2017 Newsletter  
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