2023

Student Perspectives: Health Policy and Management

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Empowering Populations Through Research

Linh Chuong

PhD Candidate, Health Policy and Management


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While everyone is born with potential, not everyone is afforded opportunity. I was. My family is part of the largest refugee resettlement in U.S. history — among the 3.1 million Southeast Asians who fled war, persecution, and genocide. The seven of us lived in an illegally converted garage for the first five years of our American lives, but we had legal status and all the benefits that confers because advocates and policymakers created pathways for us. Even though my parents can’t speak English and never finished high school, social benefits kept me out of poverty and in school. As my experience attests, the health and well-being of disenfranchised populations relies on society effectively connecting the dots between policy, practice, and people.

In UCLA Fielding, I found a community that has given me the opportunities, guardrails, and parachutes to hone my skills in health systems evaluation research and applied policy. Research and data determine what programs are evidence-based and “deserving” of dollars. Unfortunately, the most disenfranchised may not have the capacity to find data or do research — and, thus, struggle to have their needs and assets recognized. My life’s purpose is to close some of these research gaps, transforming data into actionable outcomes and bridging between policymakers, health systems, and the communities I love.

Advocating for Underserved Communities

Ben Olmedo

MPH ’23, Health Policy and Management


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My journey to public health began as a child in the fruit orchards of Northern California. My path was shaped by the 9/11 terrorist attacks and focused by my experience over the past 10 years as a physician associate (PA) working with vulnerable and underserved communities. Whether picking fruit in an orchard in California, conducting combat operations in Afghanistan, or providing healthcare in rural Alaska, I have experienced a unifying thread of politics and policy decisions having a direct impact on the health and well-being of people.

I decided to become a PA after working with military PAs in Iraq and Afghanistan. I took the skills I learned in the military and combined them with my medical training to provide community-oriented healthcare to vulnerable populations. What I learned is that my ability to help patients is not solely determined by my knowledge and experience, but by policies that determine what level of care I am able to provide. I decided to attend FSPH’s Executive Master of Public Health program to gain the skill set to better navigate policy, improve the management of healthcare organizations, and advocate for positive change to improve the health and well-being of underserved communities across the United States and around the world.

Tackling Healthcare System Inequities

Jessica Salcedo

MHA ’23, Health Policy and Management


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Driven by a profound desire to serve and create impact, my passion for healthcare administration stems from a journey of diverse roles. From volunteering at hospitals to interning with nonprofits, I have witnessed the pressing needs of underserved populations and the influential role of social determinants of health, particularly in communities of color.

My ultimate goal is to lead sustainable initiatives in healthcare as a C-suite executive, tackling public health disparities and system challenges. The UCLA Master of Healthcare Administration program, guided by exceptional professors, has prepared me profoundly for the challenges and responsibilities ahead, instilling in me a deep understanding of healthcare complexities. My professors challenged me to think beyond conventional solutions, embrace new perspectives, and approach problems with a strategic mindset. Their dedication to excellence and unwavering support has empowered me to tackle the upcoming challenges confidently and firmly.

Following graduation, I am embarking on my role as the system level administrative fellow for the Providence Clinical Network, fully aware of the need for innovative and holistic approaches to address community-specific health issues. As a catalyst for change, I will utilize my personal, professional, and educational experiences from UCLA Fielding to contribute to the well-being of my cherished community.

Advancing Immigrant and Refugee Health

Heidi West

PhD ’23, Health Policy and Management


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Throughout my early career in international programs and immigrant and refugee services, I found myself continually seeking out scientific evidence to inform our work. This led me to the pursuit of a PhD and finding my home in public health. I was drawn to public health, and health policy specifically, because of the interdisciplinary nature of the research and how the work is meant to have audiences and impact outside of academia. We ask research questions and design studies with the goal of producing science to inform policies, programs, and the delivery of health services — aspects of society that affect the daily lives of people everywhere.

Under the mentorship of Drs. Corrina Moucheraud and Randall Kuhn, I have examined the impact of migration and social structures on health service utilization, advancing the literature about the health of migrant-sending communities in South and Southeast Asia. Through my FSPH training, I have learned how to seek answers to the difficult health equity questions I am drawn to. I also learned how to build an academic career that is meaningful to me and supports the development of the next generation of public health leaders. I look forward to beginning this career as an assistant professor of health policy and management at California State University, Long Beach.

Faculty Referenced in this Article

Corrina Moucheraud
Corrina Moucheraud
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Randall Kuhn
Randall Kuhn
Community Health Sciences
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Lori Pelliccioni
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Stephanie Taylor
Stephanie L. Taylor

Nationally recognized health services researcher and sociomedical scientist with 25+ years' experience in effectiveness and implementation research.

Health Policy and Management
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Vickie Mays
Vickie Mays
Health Policy and Management
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Jack Needleman
Jack Needleman
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Arturo Vargas Bustamante
Arturo Vargas Bustamante
Health Policy and Management
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Yusuke Tsugawa
Yusuke Tsugawa
Health Policy and Management
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Michael Ong
Michael Ong
Health Policy and Management
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Brennan Spiegel
Health Policy and Management
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Michelle Keller
Michelle S. Keller

Dr. Michelle S. Keller is a health services researcher whose research focuses on the use and prescribing of high-risk medications.

Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Kenneth Wells
Kenneth Wells
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. John Lu
Z. John Lu
Health Policy and Management
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Sangeeta Ahluwalia
Sangeeta Ahluwalia
Health Policy and Management
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Mangione, C
Carol Mangione
Health Policy and Management
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Jose J. Escarce
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Dylan Roby
Dylan Roby
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Jonathan Fielding
Jonathan Fielding
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Beth Glenn
Beth Glenn
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Yvonne Flores
Yvonne Flores
Health Policy and Management
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Jeanne Miranda
Jeanne Miranda
Health Policy and Management
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Barbara Berman
Health Policy and Management
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Avram Kaplan
Avram Kaplan
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Jennifer Wortham
Jennifer Wortham
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Samuel Sessions
Samuel Sessions
Health Policy and Management
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Emily Abel
Emily Abel
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Aria Fallah
Aria Fallah
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Naomi Zewde
Naomi Zewde
Health Policy and Management
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Balgrosky headshot
Jean Balgrosky
Health Policy and Management
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Aronberg, Sandra
Sandra Aronberg
Health Policy and Management
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Ron D. Hays
Ron D. Hays

@UCLA since 1997

Health Policy and Management
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Susan Ettner
Health Policy and Management
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Paul Chung
Paul Chung
Health Policy and Management
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Annette Maxwell
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Felicia Hodge
Felicia Hodge
Health Policy and Management
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Steven Teutsch
Health Policy and Management
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Diana Hilberman
Diana Hilberman
Health Policy and Management
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David Hayes-Bautista
Health Policy and Management
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Comanor, Bill
William Comanor
Health Policy and Management
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Patricia Ganz
Patricia Ganz
Health Policy and Management
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Robert Brook
Health Policy and Management
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Kadiyala, Srikanth
Srikanth Kadiyala
Health Policy and Management
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Moira Inkelas
Moira Inkelas
Health Policy and Management
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Galper, Michael
Michael Galper
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Ninez Ponce
Ninez Ponce
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Risha Gidwani
Risha Gidwani
Health Policy and Management
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Nadereh Pourat
Nadereh Pourat
Health Policy and Management
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Laura Erskine
Laura Erskine
Health Policy and Management
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James Macinko
James Macinko

Professor of Community Health Sciences & Health Policy and Management, and Associate Dean for Research

Community Health Sciences Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Elizabeth (Becky) Yano
Elizabeth (Becky) Yano
Health Policy and Management
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Roshan Bastani Headshot
Roshan Bastani
Health Policy and Management
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Isomi Miake-Lye
Isomi Miake-Lye
Health Policy and Management
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Gerald Kominski
Gerald Kominski
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Joann Elmore
Joann G. Elmore
Health Policy and Management
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Pamela Davidson
Health Policy and Management
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Emmeline Chuang
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Lillian Gelberg
Lillian Gelberg
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Kristen Choi
Kristen Choi
Health Policy and Management
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Neal Halfon
Health Policy and Management
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Alan Tomines
Health Policy and Management
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Olivia Jung
Olivia Jung
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Thomas Rice
Thomas Rice
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Alice Kuo
Alice Kuo
Health Policy and Management
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Freund, Deborah
Deborah Anne Freund
Health Policy and Management
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Ty Robbins
Health Policy and Management
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Mark Litwin
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Paul Fu, Jr.
Paul Fu, Jr.
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Frederick Zimmerman
Frederick Zimmerman
Health Policy and Management
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Robert Kaplan
Robert Kaplan
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Xi Zhu
Xi Zhu
Health Policy and Management
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Julie A. Elginer

EMPH Academic Program Director with expertise in healthcare marketing, finance, and reproductive health policy, teaching in the EMPH, MPH, MHA program

Health Policy and Management
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Burt Cowgill
Burt Cowgill
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. William McCarthy
William J. McCarthy
Health Policy and Management
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Warren Scott Comulada
Warren Scott Comulada
Health Policy and Management
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Rosenstock
Linda Rosenstock
Environmental Health Sciences Health Policy and Management
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Leah Vriesman
Leah Vriesman
Health Policy and Management
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Gordon headshot
Thomas D. Gordon
Health Policy and Management
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Ron Andersen

Dr. Ron Andersen is the Wasserman Professor Emeritus in the UCLA Departments of Health Policy and Management.

Health Policy and Management
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Jody Heymann
Jody Heymann
Epidemiology Health Policy and Management
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Thomas Priselac
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Daniel Eisenberg
Daniel Eisenberg
Health Policy and Management
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Arlene Fink
Health Policy and Management
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Clifford Ko
Clifford Ko
Health Policy and Management
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Dr. Anthony Schiff
Anthony Hunter Schiff
Health Policy and Management
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