Health equity means that everyone — regardless of their background or circumstances — has a fair opportunity to reach their full health potential. The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) is committed to providing research and data on the health and health care needs of marginalized communities.
A person’s race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, age, citizenship status, English proficiency, disability, and socioeconomic status, as well as social determinants of health — the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age — impact access to and quality of care, and influence health outcomes. UCLA CHPR’s Health Equity Program helps policymakers, advocates, researchers, community leaders, media, and other key stakeholders understand where health gaps exist.
Led by Kathryn G. Kietzman, PhD, senior research scientist and Health Equity Program director, the Health Equity Program is recognized for its in-depth analysis, research, and technical assistance on the health issues and concerns of older adults, immigrants, sexual and gender minority groups, and racial and ethnic minority populations, such as American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Some of the Health Equity Program’s recent projects include:
Research on Immigrant Health and State Policy (RIGHTS) Study
The RIGHTS Study aims to understand the experiences Latinx and Asian immigrants in California have encountered regarding health care, social services, employment, education, and law enforcement and the resulting impact on their health.
American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) Program
One of the first health policy research programs in the nation to address health disparity issues confronting American Indians and Alaska Natives, UCLA CHPR has worked to improve the health of AIAN populations through native-grounded research and evaluation, as well as through analysis of the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS).
Elder Economic Security Standard Index (Elder Index)
The Elder Index is a tool that measures the actual cost of basic necessities for older adults in each of California's 58 counties. The Elder Index is viewed by many as a more accurate measure of economic security than federal poverty level (FPL) guidelines, a standardized national estimate that does not take into account the cost of living in high-cost states.
Health Equity Challenge
The UCLA Health Equity Challenge provides UCLA graduate students with the opportunity to develop innovative community-based solutions to improve health equity in California. Conducted in collaboration with MolinaCares and the California Health Care Foundation, this program provides up to $50,000 in funding to community organizations to implement the students' project.
UCLA CHPR conducts research on gaps in health care access and use among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming Californians.
Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Study
The LTSS Study examines the service and support needs of Californians who experience difficulties with certain activities of daily life, such as dressing, bathing, and doing errands.
Mental Health Program
UCLA CHPR researchers extensively study the mental health of Californians including tracking the prevalence of mental health distress, particularly disparities in rates of psychological distress; the underlying social, economic, and environmental factors linked to poor mental health; access to mental health care; and more.