As a freelance health and science writer, I strive to make science tangible, real, and apparent. Above all, I value integrating emotion-driven narratives into the translation of scientific complexities (in other words, how can we make bench science more personal? What's the bigger picture?). My work focuses on mental health services, medical technology, and the interactions between science and the law. My feature article in Healthline on the Caring Contacts model of suicide prevention was featured by the American Association of Suicidology in its reporting guide, “Media as Partners in Suicide Prevention.” My other writing has been cited by the Brennan Center for Justice and the National Drug Policy Alliance.
Currently, I am a student reporter for the Harvard Public Health Magazine and a writer for the Harvard Political Review.
Health Law and Policy
My service in health law and policy centers around a fundamental mission: leveraging laws that promote access to care so families can protect their rights and lead healthy lives.
I have previously worked for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, which serves more than 10 million residents. During that time, I authored the legislative proposal for California Assembly Bill No. 2473, which was successfully enacted as a state law on September 27, 2022. AB-2473 establishes the core competency requirements for substance use disorder counselors in California, encompassing important elements like knowledge of medications for addiction treatment and cultural competence, including for people with disabilities, and its implication for treatment.
I have also worked for two of the largest legal aid organizations in the United States: The Legal Aid Society and Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS). Most recently, as a Health Law intern for GBLS, I worked with over 40 families from the Haitian Refugee community to assist them in obtaining Medicaid coverage and other public benefits. As a result of my advocacy, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services developed a dedicated helpline for Haitian Refugees to receive assistance in applying for Medicaid and resolving erroneous insurance terminations.
My research focuses on the relationship between public health epidemiology and different forms of structural inequity, such as in labor markets and in the criminal justice system. Since June 2021, I have worked at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Health Inequality Lab to investigate the effects of jail healthcare accreditation on incarcerated populations’ morbidity and mortality rates. My research on this subject has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
Although my central passion is understanding the connections between disease transmission and the social determinants of health, this work is ultimately grounded in my biological science research. In 2020, I worked at the Harvard Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, studying viral infection-induced brain inflammation. My recent work integrates my interests in health equity and the progression of chronic diseases. As a Research Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital, I study racial disparities in obesity comorbidities and links between weight stigma and obesity pathophysiology. My work on the obesity “cells-to-society” framework—which defines genetic, neurological, and environmental etiologies of obesity—is published in the European Heart Journal, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, and International Journal of Obesity. I have also presented at the Northeast Undergraduate Research Organization for Neuroscience (NEURON) Conference and UAID National Conference on Reproductive Health and Literacy.
Science Outreach and Education
I have a genuine passion for science literacy and health advocacy that shapes my direct service in local communities. This work began in 2019 when I served as a Student Director for Elementary Science Education at the U.S. Agency for International Development. I spent two months teaching introductory biology and chemistry classes to middle school students in Central China's Hubei province.
For the last two years, I have collaborated with The Family Van of Harvard Medical School to create and direct an afterschool program for immigrant families in the Greater Boston area. The program connects Boston youth, Harvard undergraduates, and Family Medicine-Psychiatry residents at Boston Medical Center to provide health screenings and mental health education. At its core, the program aims to promote health literacy and preventive care, and 70 families have engaged with our services. At Harvard, I also serve as the Director of the Boston Refugee Youth Enrichment Extension Program, where I lead English language lessons for elementary refugee students from Haiti, Somalia, Vietnam, and Ethiopia. When Boston Public Schools eliminated science from its elementary core curriculum, I organized a team of undergraduates to showcase physics, biology, and chemistry demos for these K-5 students. Finally, I am a Teaching Fellow for the Harvard Department of Statistics, where I help instruct the largest undergraduate statistics course at Harvard University (250 students). I assist students in developing problem-solving skills and statistical literacy (data wrangling, modeling, and visualization through R software).