Health and Healthcare Disparities

Adrian Aguilera

Associate Professor Adrian Aguilera’s research leverages digital & mobile technologies to improve health & mental healthcare of low-income & ethnic minority populations, with a focus on Latinx & Spanish-speaking populations.

Erin Kerrison and Jennifer Skeem Address one of the Grand Challenges of Social Work

June 3, 2019

The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. In 2016, over 6.6 million adults were under correctional supervision, and an additional 975,000 youths under 18 had cases pass through the juvenile court system. The impacts of justice system involvement are disproportionately felt by low-income families and communities of color. The economic and human costs of this crisis have led the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare to identify smart decarceration as one of the Grand Challenges for Social Work. Berkeley Social Welfare faculty members Erin Kerrison and Jennifer Skeem examine the impact of the criminal justice system on vulnerable populations.

Moving Beyond Unintended Pregnancy

Principal Investigators and Research Partners

Dr. Anu Manchikanti Gomez

Summary and Findings

There is longstanding recognition of the limitations of current approaches to conceptualizing and measuring pregnancy intentions. Foundationally, the concept of planning a pregnancy may not be relevant to many women, including women of color, poor women, and young women – the groups considered at greatest risk of unintended pregnancy. Our qualitative research has revealed that a significant proportion of young women who do not desire pregnancy currently or in the next year would find a...

Digital Health Equity and Access Lab

dHEAL logoThe goal of Digital Health Equity and Access Lab (dHEAL) is to develop and disseminate innovative technologies to improve health and mental health in low-income and underserved communities. We focus on the development, evaluation and implementation of digital health interventions (e-health, m-health and technology-assisted interventions) to improve the reach of evidence-based interventions.


The Affordable Care Act and Access to Family Planning and Abortion in California’s Central Valley: A Community-Based Participatory Research Study

Principal Investigators and Research Partners:

Anu Manchikanti Gomez, PhD (University of California, Berkeley)

Summary and Findings: While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) represents an extraordinary expansion of healthcare access, barriers to achieving reproductive health equity persist. This project seeks to investigate how insurer practices can limit and delay access to abortion and family planning care among Latinas in California’s Central Valley, an agricultural region lacking access to abortion providers and inundated by health and social disparities. In partnership with...

Transgender Reproductive Health Study

Principal Investigators and Research Partners:

Anu Manchikanti Gomez, PhD (University of California, Berkeley)

Summary and Findings:

Transgender individuals experience stark health and health care disparities, though little research investigates transmasculine and genderqueer individuals experiences accessing services under the auspices of "women's health." In Spring 2015, a study was conducted with 20 participants who identified as transgender or genderqueer and were assigned female sex at birth. Data analyses are currently underway.

Reframing the IUD Initiative

Principal Investigators and Research Partners:

Anu Manchikanti Gomez, PhD (University of California, Berkeley)

Summary and Findings:

For too long, IUDs have been inaccessible to women in the US. In recent years, the availability of new IUDs, training of healthcare providers and policy reforms have made IUDs increasingly available, with IUDs framed as empowering and an important "tool" to reduce population-level unintended pregnancy rates.

But the unbridled enthusiasm for IUDs and implants (another long-acting, reversible contraceptive method) has raised important questions...