Scholars Lead Over $19 Million in Health Equity Studies

health equity faculty


The School of Nursing’s commitment to health equity is demonstrated in 23 innovative projects its researchers are currently conducting. Together, the scholars have received more than $19 million in funding to perform studies aimed at improving the health of pregnant and childbearing women, LGBTQ+ individuals, older adults suffering from dementia and other underserved populations.



Study Goal

Reducing Pesticide Exposures to Preschool-age Children in California Child-Care Centers

Abbey Alkon

The goal of this study is to reduce children’s exposure to pesticides in child-care centers to improve their long- term health.

Contraception, Human Milk, and Research Mechanisms (CHARM) Study

Ifeyinwa Asiodu

The overall goal of this training proposal is to advance knowledge regarding Black women's experiences with contraception and to better understand its impact on breastfeeding practices and milk synthesis.

The Relationship of Stressors in Health Care to Emotional and Physical Symptoms Experienced by Marginalized People

Kristen Clark

There is evidence from qualitative studies that interactions with the health care environment may be a major source of stress that affects gender minority people’s willingness to seek care. However, little is known about the relationship between the stressors in health care and the symptoms of emotional distress or impaired physical functioning experienced by GM individuals.

Navigate to Health: Linking Minority Youth to Substance Use and HIV Prevention and Care

Carol Dawson-Rose

The Navigate to Health program will link 500 (100 per year) racial and ethnic minority youth ages 13-24 who are experiencing homelessness in San Francisco to substance abuse and HIV/HCV prevention and care services through the implementation of a robust trauma-informed navigation strategy and partnerships with community sectors.

Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS Prevention Services for At-Risk, Homeless Youth

Carol Dawson-Rose

With Larkin Street Youth Services, we will build a community-based clinic at Larkin Street Youth Services to expand capacity for delivering evidence-based approaches to substance abuse and HIV/AIDS prevention, engage UCSF psychiatric nurse practitioner students and Larkin Street Youth Services staff in ongoing training efforts as part of this clinic, and conduct a performance evaluation documenting the impact of this effort.

Partnering With Community Doulas to Improve Maternal and Infant Health Equity in California

Monica McLemore

The project team will create a collaborative of stakeholders in California that will facilitate equitable, ethical, and patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) on community doula care.

Racial Health Equity in the ICN

Monica McLemore

The over-arching research question we are asking is "Can racial disparities in care be eliminated within an organization by critically examining the care provided and focusing on the patient care experiences?"

Participatory Public Health

Monica McLemore

As part of operationalizing the Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, the Robert Wood Johnson fund will support PRIORITY, as we are including a racially and ethnically diverse group of women and their babies across practice settings across the United States.

Establishing the Reproductive Health Equity and Birth Justice CORE for a National Registry Study Specific to COVID19 During Pregnancy

Monica McLemore

The Tara Health fund enriches and grows UCSF's multi-disciplinary interschool collaborations between the School of Nursing and School of Medicine, as well as our cross-campus collaborations with UCLA.

UNC/National Birth Equity Collaborative Project

Monica McLemore

The jointly funded HRSA project with the National Birth Equity Collaborative is to collect data to better understand the experiences of pregnant and childbearing women - particularly for those who are from marginalized groups and rural communities.

PRIORITY Pregnancy Registry Study

Monica McLemore

The strategic goal for this fund is establish a nationwide efficient infrastructure to study pregnant people affected by emerging infections.

Understanding Barriers to Postpartum Retention in HIV Care among HIV-Positive Women Receiving ART in Southwest Uganda

Jerry John Nutor

This is a one-year pilot study using prospective cohort study design to assess the barriers and facilitators of postpartum retention in HIV care among HIV+ mothers in Uganda.

Collaborative Approach for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Research and Education (CARE) in Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias

Van Park

The goal of this time-sensitive proposed research is to assess the effects of COVID-19 on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) and help to inform future policies, programs and additional research that can alleviate the adverse effects of COVID-19 32 for AAPI.

Access and Use of Long-term Services and Supports for Older Adults Living Alone With Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias From Four Racial/Ethnic Groups

Elena Portacolone

The overarching goal of this proposal is to elucidate specific barriers and facilitators to access and use of long-term services and support (LTSS) among older adults with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) living alone, and to examine how such barriers and facilitators may differ by racial/ethnic group and by living arrangement.

Scalable Strategies to Recruit African Americans into Dementia Research

Elena Portacolone

The goal of this study is to identify culturally relevant and scalable partnerships with community-based organizations (CBOs) that will facilitate recruitment of African Americans with cognitive impairment.

The Ethics of Inclusion: Diversity in Precision Medicine Research

Janet Shim

This application seeks to take advantage of the current proliferation of diversity and inclusion practices to study their heterogeneity, commonalities, and effects on diversifying participation in precision medicine research. Taking a lifecourse perspective to research relationships, we aim to assess how approaches towards diversity and inclusion are managed in tandem with other research goals and the implications of specific trade-offs that result.

Supporting the Safety Net: Social Network Dynamics, Poverty, and Health

Janet Shim

The objective of this study is to characterize the social network dynamics of those in the healthcare safety net, including the role of institutional actors, and how they variably impact individuals’ health-related decisions and behaviors. The rationale is that developing a better understanding of the nature and influence of social networks among the most vulnerable will provide insight into mechanisms of downward social mobility, social isolation, and health disparities.

Economic Impact of Proposition 56 on Low-Income Californians

Hai-Yen Sung

Objective of this project is to evaluate the economic impact of the $2-per-pack cigarette tax increase from Proposition 56 on low-income people. Given that low-income Californians smoke at greater rates and suffer greater tobacco-related health burden than higher-income Californians, positive findings would indicate that Proposition 56 will narrow the gap in cigarette use and tobacco-related health burden between low-income and higher-income Californians.

Understanding the Role of Food Insecurity and Depression and Depression in Non-adherence to Option B+ Among Perinatal Kenyan Women Living With HIV: A Syndemics Approach

Emily Tuthill

The goals of the proposed research are to gain an understanding of the influences and mechanisms by which food insecurity (FI) and perinatal depression impact Option B+ adherence, and refine our conceptual framework to aid in intervention development that assists mothers to maintain Option B+ adherence.

FirstGenRN: Reducing Barriers and Improving Outcomes Among First Generation to College Nursing Students of Color

Laura Wagner

We propose to implement an intervention for underrepresented minority nursing students for core operating support that will address barriers and improve outcomes for first generation to college (FG2C) nursing students.

UCSF Street Nursing Program

Laura Wagner

UCSF Street Nursing is a practice that provides low-barrier, free-of-cost, pragmatic, patient-centered care on the streets for people experiencing houselessness. In collaboration with Lava Mae and the UCSF Emergency Department EDIE program, our group provides basic nursing care for our unhoused neighbors. Our practice addresses the inequities faced by unhoused Bay Area residents.

Reducing the Social and Economic Impacts of Caregiving for Older Adults With ADRD in the IHSS System Through Training

Jarmin Yeh

This project aims to: 1) Implement a competency-based dementia training program for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) caregivers and their IHSS consumers, and 2) Evaluate the training program’s impact on two California Department of Public Health Alzheimer’s Disease Program priority areas – a) caregiving and b) long-term services and support systems/health systems.


Valerie Yerger

This health equity focused project, now in its third multi-year contract with the California Department of Public Health, is one of its tobacco control program's statewide "tailored" assistance and training providers.