"Gentrification and Health: Understanding and Healing the Wounds of Our Community"


22nd Annual UCLA Health Care Symposium

Featuring Dr. Mindy Fullilove,

a board-certified psychiatrist and researcher whose work focuses on the impact that environmental inequality can have on community health

January 27, 2018, 8:30 - 1:30pm, Geffen Hall, UCLA 


Gentrification is affecting many communities across Los Angeles and the broader United States. While gentrification can bring change and growth into a community, it directly affects those most vulnerable through displacement, disruption of community ties, and decreased access to healthcare. Healthcare professionals and the community have a role in viewing gentrification as a public health issue that is inextricably tied to the lives of those who are served by the healthcare system.



The Health Care Symposium is organized by UCLA medical students. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors!

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(Bios are for archival purposes)

Mindy Fullilove

Dr. Mindy Fullilove
Urban Psychiatrist, Professor of Urban Policy and Health at The New School

Mindy Thompson Fullilove is a professor of urban policy and health at The New School. She was previously a professor of clinical psychiatry and public health at Columbia University. She is a board-certified psychiatrist, having received her training at New York Hospital-Westchester Division (1978-1981) and Montefiore Hospital (1981-1982).

She began her research career in 1986 examining the U.S. AIDS epidemic and its relationship to place of residence. She has studied epidemics of poor communities and examines the mental health effects of such environmental processes as violence, rebuilding, segregation, urban renewal, and mismanaged toxins. Much of her research focuses on the relationship between the collapse of communities and the resulting decline in health.

From her research she has published over 100 articles and as well as six books focusing on the health problems caused by inequality, and what we can do to advocate for change. The most recent is Urban Alchemy: Restoring Joy in America’s Sorted-Out Cities. She has received many awards for her work including two honorary doctorates (Chatham College, 1999, and Bank Street College of Education, 2002), election as an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects, and the Jeanne Spurlock Social Justice Award.

Kartika Palar

Kartika Palar, PhD
Assistant Professor, Division of HIV, Infectious Disease and Global Medicine at UCSF

Kartika Palar, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Division of HIV, Infectious Disease and Global Medicine at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). She completed her PhD in Policy Analysis at the RAND Graduate School in 2012, and received post-doctoral training in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the UCLA School of Public Health as well as in the Department of Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital/UCSF. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on the social determinants of health in HIV, diabetes and other chronic diseases, with over 20 publications addressing the intersection between food insecurity, subsistence needs and health. She is co-Principal Investigator of the Changing Health through Food Support (CHEFS) Study, a randomized-controlled trial testing the impact of medically-appropriate food support on health outcomes among food-insecure people living with HIV (PLHIV), and is a central contributor to the Cardiac Recovery through Dietary Support (CaRDS) Study testing a similar medically-tailored food intervention among low-income heart failure patients after hospital discharge. Both studies are based in the San Francisco Bay Area in collaboration with community-based organization Project Open Hand. She is also the Principal Investigator of the 5-year Women, HIV/AIDS and Diabetes (WAND) Study, investigating the role of social and economic factors, including food and housing insecurity, on diabetes health among US women living with HIV. International work includes an upcoming study to examine the impact of urban gardening on cardiovascular disease risk factors among food-insecure PLHIV in the Dominican Republic. Dr. Palar’s research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, Kaiser Community Benefits, and the UCSF-Gladstone Centers for AIDS Research (CFAR). She was recently awarded the CFAR Early Career Investigator Award of Excellence in Behavioral Research for her work addressing social determinants of health in HIV.

Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris

Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, Ph.D
Professor of Urban Planning; Associate Provost for Academic Planning, UCLA

Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris is Associate Provost for Academic Planning at UCLA, Associate Dean of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, and Professor of Urban Planning. Her area of specialization is urban design, physical and land use planning. She holds degrees in architecture and urban planning and has published extensively on issues of inner-city revitalization, gentrification and displacement, cultural uses of public space, mobility and safety. Her research focuses on the public environment of the city, its physical representation, social meaning and impact on residents. She has served as a consultant to the Transportation Research Board, Federal Highway Administration, Southern California Association of Governments, South Bay Cities Council of Government, Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative, Mineta Transportation Institute, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Greek government, and many municipal governments on issues of urban design, open space development, land use and transportation. Her research has been supported by the U.S. and California Departments of Transportation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mineta Transportation Institute, the Haynes Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Poverty and Race Research Action Council, the Gilbert Foundation, the Archstone Foundation, and the AARP. She has published more than 100 articles and chapters and has co-authored or co-edited five books: Urban Design Downtown: Poetics and Politics of Form (UC Press 1998); Jobs and Economic Development in Minority Communities (Temple University Press 2006); Sidewalks: Conflict and Negotiation over Public Space; Companion to Urban Design (MIT Press 2009); and The Informal American City: Beyond Taco Trucks and Day Labor (MIT Press 2014). Along with colleagues at UC Berkeley and UCLA she has initiated the Urban Displacement Project, which aims to understand the nature of gentrification and displacement in American cities, and help communities take effective action.

Suzette Shaw

Suzette Shaw
Feminist, Activist, and Resident of Skid Row

Suzette Shaw is an African American activist, poet, blogger, and women's advocate. Not long ago due to circumstances beyond her control she was a homeless resident of Skid Row where she now continues to reside...housed. Ms. Shaw studied health science education and mental health over thirty years ago, and previously worked in human services and resources. Since being displaced to Skid Row, her focus has been mental health advocacy. As a former person of the middle class who has repeatedly been displaced, Ms. Shaw has run the gamut of displacement, fighting to gain sustainable employment and suffering through long daily commutes to seek work. She offers a compelling story of her struggle for equality, equity, and sustainability while her health has been continually jeopardized.

Physically, emotionally and spiritually, Ms. Shaw has had to rebuild herself and her life from ruins while living in distress, in a community that houses the highest homeless population of America, where people are residing in living conditions below United Nations standards, yet are surrounded by high rise luxury apartments. Daily access to basic hygiene, clean water, and quality healthy foods are scarce and the right to rest is regularly challenged by law enforcement.

Join us as we listen to Ms. Shaw share her story as well as draw contrast to the other stories which intertwine with hers by a single thread. Her understanding goes back decades and even generations as her mother was a trailblazer who implemented social service programs in Arizona, yet, today lives in poverty with her health stricken due to the stresses of disparities and inequities. Sadly, the trauma of what happens to family members is only further exacerbated by continued intergenerational trauma. The juxtaposition of Suzette Shaw navigating through these varying worlds and her broad perspective is compelling. As she has sought to heal, she has been compelled to understand her own idiosyncrasies along with those of her family, people and community. Poetry became her lifeline while she was homeless and traumatized and now weaves throughout her story, advocacy, and policy work today.

Suzette Shaw

Irmina Sultana Haq, MD MPH, Physician
The Children’s Clinic, Long Beach, CA

Irmina Sultana Haq MD MPH is a family medicine physician, activist, and artist. She is originally from Seattle and studied political science and biology at the University of Washington. She attended Jefferson Medical College, and during medical school she was Founding Chair of FUNCTIONAL (Free Universal Care in Our Nation), a universal health care advocacy organization. She completed a year of General Surgery at North Shore- LIJ in New York prior to switching gears and joining Family Medicine. Her decision was switch was driven by a need to integrate a social justice mission with the practice of medicine.

Dr. Haq passionately believes that health care is a universal human right and this drives much of her work. She also completed a MPH with a concentration in health policy, in particular the Affordable Care Act while at USC. Dr. Haq completed her residency training in family medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, a safety net county hospital in Los Angeles. During residency, she served as an elected Delegate in CIR (Committee of Interns and Residents, the resident union).

Dr. Haq now is a full-time clinician at the Children's Clinic, a federally qualified health center in Long Beach. Most of her patients come from low-income and underprivileged backgrounds, and she has continued to pursue her interest in health policy on a local level.

Suzette Shaw

Sarah Jane Smith, MPH, MA

Sarah Jane Smith, MPH, MA has more than 15 years of experience working on social justice issues in the areas of reproductive rights, racial justice, environmental advocacy, immigrant rights and worker health through public health programming, grassroots organizing, health education, and community capacity building. She is a recent graduate from UCLA where she completed her Master’s in Public Health in Community Health Sciences and Masters in Latin American Studies. Prior to graduate school she worked at Planned Parenthood NorCal for 4 years as a Reproductive Health Specialist, providing comprehensive reproductive health services to a largely uninsured population in the Bay Area. She completed a double BA degree at UC Santa Cruz in Feminist Studies and Community Studies, which included six months of field research on infant and maternal mortality in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. Sarah Jane currently serves on the board of Directors for Doctors for Global Health as co-chair of the Communications Committee and a liaison for one of DGH's partner communities: Santa Marta, Cabañas, El Salvador. Sarah Jane's recent work has focused on: Central American solidarity movement(s), the intersection of public health and immigrant rights, liberation medicine and public health praxis, and addressing racism as a public health crisis. Currently, Sarah Jane works at the University of Nevada, Reno where she is the Coordinator, Evaluation and Research for the School of Social Work (Child Welfare).

(Bios are for archival purposes)

Marissa Grace Holden

Marissa Grace Holden, MS2

Marissa Grace Holden is a second-year medical student at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Born and raised in San Francisco, she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Occidental College in 2012. In college, Marissa conducted qualitative research on multiracial identity development and traveled to Rwanda on a John Parke Young Grant to teach public health courses. Prior to medical school, she completed a post-baccalaureate certificate program at San Francisco State University and researched the effects of HIV on liver health in women at the Women’s Interagency HIV Study at UCSF. She has a strong interest in women’s health and surgery and is currently the Co-President of the American Medical Women’s Association at DGSOM, class well-being representative, and Global Health Selective Leader. In her free time, Marissa enjoys playing with her cats, traveling, trying new restaurants, hiking, and taking dance classes.

Pamela Akuchukwu Akametalu

Pamela Akuchukwu Akametalu, MS2

Pamela Akuchukwu Akametalu is a second-year medical student at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Born in Enugu, Nigeria, and raised in Los Angeles California, she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience at Wellesley College. Before medical school she founded the Wellesley College Chapter of FACE AIDS, a student run organization that mobilized students in the fight against AIDS, worked on various clinical trials, in particular oncology trials in the field of precision based medicine, worked with multiple non-profits, and volunteered her time assisting education programs for at risk youth. Her current interests include Obstetrics Gynecology, particularly the fields of Urogynecology and Gynecology Oncology, and plastic surgery. In her free time, she tutors anatomy, mentors pre-med students on their medical school applications, goes to the gym, spends time with family and friends, and reads.

Samantha Mohammad

Samantha Mohammad, MS2

Samantha Mohammad is a second-year medical student at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience at UCLA in 2014. Throughout her time there she engaged in neuroscience research, and volunteered in organizations such as the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), and Happy Feet. During her gap years she served with the Community HealthCorps in Berkeley, CA and as a Medical Assistant. Currently, she is a part of UndocuMed and Health Beyond Bars and has a strong interest in pursuing a career in primary care specialties such as Family Medicine. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, and cooking.

Tristan Howard

Tristan Howard, MS2

Tristan Howard is a second-year medical student in the Charles Drew/UCLA Medical Education Program. He was born and raised in Sacramento, and he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Psychobiology from UCLA in 2013. As an undergraduate, Tristan volunteered for the UCLA Black Hypertension Project, providing blood pressure screenings and healthcare information in low income communities throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Before matriculating to medical school, he completed a post-baccalaureate certificate program at UC Davis and worked at the California Department of Public Health on a project aimed at lowering teenage secondary pregnancies. He currently serves as vice president of the CDU/UCLA Chapter of the Student National Medical Association and as a coordinator for the Charles Drew Partnership 4 Progress (P4P) program. He is passionate about eliminating current disparities in healthcare, and is considering a career in surgical oncology, cardiology, or internal medicine. In his free time he enjoys playing basketball, trying new foods, and hanging out with friends.

John Mazziotta

John Mazziotta, MD, PhD

Vice Chancellor, UCLA Health Sciences
CEO, UCLA Health

Clarence H. Braddock III

Clarence H. Braddock III, MD, MPH

Vice Dean for Education, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Chief Medical Education Officer, UCLA Health System

Edmond Hewlett, DDS

Professor, UCLA School of Dentistry
Vice Chair, Division of Restorative Dentistry
Associate Dean for Outreach and Diversity

Michael A. Rodriguez, MD, MPH

Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Family Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Director of the UCLA Blum Center on Poverty and Health in Latin America
Co-Director of the Center of Expertise on Migration and Health

Eric Esrailian, MD, MPH

Co-Chief, Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases
Director, Melvin and Bren Simon Digestive Diseases Center
Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine

Elizabeth Yzquierdo, MPH, Ed.D.

Assistant Dean of Student Affairs UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

Patrick Dowling, MD, MPH

Professor and Chair, Department of Family Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine

Gerardo P. Laviña, MSW

Director of Field Education, Department of Social Welfare

The 22nd Annual UCLA Health Care Symposium

is a presentation of the David Geffen School of Medicine of UCLA.