Andrea Lopez, PhD, MPH, is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Merced. Dr. Lopez is currently working on two COVID-19 related projects. The STOP COVID-19 Project which seeks to understand factors that contribute to the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 in underserved communities and establish effective, community-engaged strategies to enhance education, awareness, access, and inclusion of underserved communities in research designed to advance the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. The second project seeks to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on local Public Health Department staff. Prior to joining UC Merced, she worked as a Project Manager at the RAND Corporation and at the Center for Vulnerable Populations at the University of California, San Francisco. Her dissertation research examined how immigration policies impact the health and well-being of families in the San Joaquin Valley. Andrea has experience conducting needs assessments, community-based participatory research, and evaluating health programs. She has a MPH from the University of California, Los Angeles and a B.S. in Human Biology from Brown University.
Jazmine D. Kenny is a PhD Candidate in the Burke Health Equity Research Lab. She is interested in promoting and advocating for health equity through policy and at the community level. Her dissertation research focuses on the San Joaquin Valley of Central California, through which she will conduct (a) a historical analysis of state and regional policies and their implementation to understand how this region’s Medi-Cal population is underserved, (b) interviews with oral health professionals and their reports of the state of children’s oral health, and (c) interviews with local parents and their experiences with Medi-Cal and visiting the dentist for themselves and their young children. In addition, Jazmine has been a part of numerous research projects and has several first and second authored peer-reviewed publications with collaborators at UC Merced and UCSF. These studies include qualitative studies on contraceptive counseling among mothers who have experienced a pre-term birth, Vietnamese American families' experiences with a family-based and lay health worker approach to a tobacco cessation program, and women’s experiences with healthcare facility and provider communication following receipt of their abnormal mammogram results. Since starting at UC Merced, Jazmine has been a Graduate Student Researcher, Teaching Assistant, and now a Teaching Fellow, where she has had additional responsibility assisting professors with course logistics in Global Health, Public Health Research, Migration and Health courses. In Summer 2020, she had the opportunity to teach a summer Health Policy course for pre-medicine undergraduate students through the UCSF Latinx Center of Excellence Aspiring Physician Program. A foundational part of Jazmine’s interests is balancing academics with community and committee involvement, and has been a part of UC Merced’s Graduate Student Association as the Public Relations and Community Outreach Officer, the UC Merced graduate representative for the UC Student Health Insurance Program, Co-Chair of the Merced County ACCT (A Community Counteracting Tobacco) Coalition, Graduate Visitation Weekend and Bobcat Day (Admissions and graduate student recruitment), Merced County and Madera County Oral Health Advisory Committees, and President of the Public Health Graduate Student Committee.
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