Black father and baby

Evaluation Study Research Team

Primary Investigators

Anu Manchikanti Gómez | Research UC Berkeley

Anu Manchikanti Gomez, PhD, MSc, Co-Principal Investigator 

For nearly 20 years, Dr. Gómez has worked as a health equity researcher with a focus on reproduction and sexuality throughout the life course. She has conducted research both in the US and globally on diverse topics, including contraceptive use, abortion, HIV prevention, gender equity, transgender health, and violence against women and children. Dr. Gómez's current research focuses on three areas: (1) the measurement and meaning of pregnancy planning; (2) understanding contraceptive decision-making within social, relational and structural contexts; and (3) evaluatingthe impact of and evidence base for policies related to reproductive health. She also serves as a co-PI on SOLARS, a prospective, longitudinal cohort study funded by UCSF's Preterm Birth Initiative. SOLARS aims to describe the relationship between psychosocial stress and preterm birth in Black and Hispanic/Latina women in Oakland and Fresno, California. She currently collaborates with researchers at the University of California, San Francisco; the Guttmacher Institute; Planned Parenthood Northern California; and California Latinas for Reproductive Justice. Dr. Gómez's work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Society for Family Planning Research Fund, the Berkeley Population Center, the Institute for Research on Labor and Education at UCB, and the Resource Allocation Program of UCSF. 

Dr. Gómez earned her PhD in Maternal and Child Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2010. She also received an MSc in Health, Population and Society from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from New York University.​​

Many of Dr. Gómez's full-text publications can be found on the University of California's eScholarship platform.

Deborah Karasek, PhD, MPH, Co-Principal Investigator 

Deborah Karasek is a social epidemiologist who investigates how structural contexts shape health over the lifespan and how to target policy solutions. As an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, her work applies a health equity lens to explore how economic insecurity, neighborhood housing conditions, and social policy impact the health and wellbeing of birthing people. She is currently a BIRCWH Scholar at UCSF, conducting formative investigations to design and test economic interventions, such as ABP, to improve perinatal health for those at highest risk of adverse outcomes. She completed a Transdisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellow with the California Preterm Birth Initiative. 

She received a PhD and MPH in epidemiology from UC Berkeley.  

Study Team

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Erin Hubbard, MPH 

Erin Hubbard is the Research Coordinator for the ABP Evaluation Study at UCSF. She received her MPH in Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health and her BA in Public Health from UC Berkeley. Erin has previously worked on research projects related to community doula care, reproductive healthcare, and birth experiences for women and pregnant people. This research, along with her lived experience, has informed her interests which include solutions to racial health disparities disproportionally impacting Black birthing people, reproductive justice, and health equity. Born and raised in Los Angeles and now a proud Bay Area resident, she is passionate about improving the health and wellbeing the Black families and other families of color in California. 

 

Jazzmin Williams, MD Candidate 2023

Jazzmin Williams is a Stockton, California native, Stanford alumna, and fourth year medical student at UCSF in the Program in Medical Education for the Urban Underserved (PRIME-US). Through clinical and lived experience, she has gained a deep understanding of the far-reaching impacts of structural racism on the health of Black and other marginalized communities. Driven to eliminate racial health disparities, her work focuses on advocating for anti-racist public policies and transforming medical school curriculum and admissions practices to promote an anti-racist physician workforce .

Monica De La Cruz, MPH, PhD Candidate 2024 

Monica De La Cruz, MPH is a doctoral student in the School of Social Welfare. She received her Master of Public Health from the University of San Francisco and her BS from San Francisco State University. Prior to beginning the doctorate program, Monica worked as a social science researcher at the Pediatric Advocacy Program at the Stanford School of Medicine. Monica has experience developing, implementing, and evaluating community-based programs and conducting qualitative research studies. Her current research interests broadly include identifying and implementing interventions and policies that ameliorate family poverty.

Stephanie Arteaga, MPH 

Stephanie Arteaga is a qualitative researcher on the Sexual Health and Reproductive Equity (SHARE) team at the School of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley. For nearly ten years, Stephanie has worked in health research with a focus on reproductive justice, health equity, and improving health outcomes for communities of color.

Stephanie has experience in a wide array of research processes, including research project coordination, participant recruitment, qualitative interviewing and analysis, and manuscript preparation. Her interests include the impacts of structural racism on the health of Black, Indigenous, and people of color throughout their lifetime, as well as interventions to address inequitable health outcomes. Currently, Stephanie is focusing on the evaluation of the Abundant Birth Project, an unconditional income supplement pilot program for pregnant Black and Pacific Islander people in San Francisco.

​​Stephanie earned an MPH in Maternal and Child Health at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health in 2016, and a BA in Sociology from San Francisco State University in 2013. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys baking and reading.

Meet our Community Researchers!


 

Anjeanette Coats

Anjeanette was born and raised in San Francisco, California in the Fillmore District. She had her daughter at the age of 18, and still managed to graduate high school. Anjeanette began working for the City and County of San Francisco in 2016, where she started as a PST at the housing authority. Shortly after, she transitioned to DPW, and in 2017, Anjeanette got a job at the Human Rights Commission (HRC) , where she is still working today. The HRC has granted her with the opportunity to work alongside, guidance, and support of Director Davis and Brittni Chicuata. Through their leadership and guidance, she was able to participate in the Abundant Birth Project (ABP). This past year, she also continued to support our Commission Secretary, Cathy Mulkeyer at the HRC with the Close Juvenile Hall Working Group. Anjeanette is also a member of ABP and is working to help serve mothers in community.

 

Breezy Powell

From Richmond, CA, Breezy Powell is a soft heart, yet strong-minded moma of an amazing baby boy, leader & visionary. Rooted in community with family at the forefront, Breezy is heavy on centering her people, their joy, disrupting racism & dismantling systems that cause harm. She is a licensed massage therapist, doula, and dance instructor. Her nurturing and vibrant energy inspires and opens people up to experience their own innate wisdom, self-love, joy, and healing like no other.

Maile Chand 

Maile Chand is a loving and intuitive birth worker and mother to her daughter and community. She is passionate about supporting youth and people of color on their journey to parenthood and beyond. Maile works to educate and inspire mothers and fathers to be the best parents that they can be so that we can begin to reimagine a better world for our children. She believes everyone should have the right to raise and provide for their family in a dignified way. Maile offers her knowledge of lived experience and navigating community resources to empower families. As a community researcher for the Abundant Birth Project, she strives to fully understand the struggle of Black and PI birthing people in SF and begin to shift our high preterm birth rates and poor birth experiences to healthy and joyful sacred life events.

Sabra Bell

Sabra Bell is a San Francisco Hunters Point Native. Sabra loves working with women and children and is especially interested in preterm births. Because of her lived experiences, she became a Community Innovator with the Preterm Birth Initiative in 2016. Shortly after, she joined the Mother Infant Stress Study.  She received her Community Health Worker Certificate in 2019 and soon became a Community Researcher with Abundant Birth Project.  She’s great at outreaching, networking, managing social media and recruiting.  Recruiting is one of her best assets because she’s relatable to women in her community.  She is also a mom to 3 sons and a bonus daughter.  She loves to remind everyone she works with to prioritize self-care because you can’t help others if you’re not talking care of YOU!