Pediatrics feels like home to me. I enjoy the challenge of evaluating children for symptoms they cannot describe. I also like relieving caregiver stress by explaining diagnostic considerations, treatment choices and the translation of clinical guidelines.
My clinical specialty is general pediatrics, with a particular interest in refugee and immigrant children and families. I became interested in pediatrics when I worked with disadvantaged preschool-aged children during my junior year of college. I enjoy the delicate nature of pediatrics, where every interaction with children and families requires patience, diligence and a light touch.
My research interests are immigration-related trauma and resilience among Latinx children and parents. This interest started when I was a pediatric intern caring for a previously healthy 3-year old Burmese refugee boy with renal failure. Learning first-hand about the challenges and opportunities in caring for families with different cultural backgrounds laid the groundwork for my current focus on immigration-related trauma and resilience among Latinx children and parents.
One way to conceptualize the traumatic experiences of children is through the concept of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), defined as the experience of abuse, neglect and other trauma of individuals less than 18 years old. Despite the growing body of literature globally, little is known about ACEs among immigrants in the United States. Our research shows that, counter-intuitively, immigrant parents report fewer ACEs for their children than U.S.-born parents, while others find that immigrant children have lower ACE exposure odds than U.S.-born peers. These data suggest that ACE questions may not adequately capture the trauma experienced by immigrant children. The primary focus of my work is to explore immigration-related trauma experienced by Latinx children and parents as a way to move closer to more effective, family-centered screening and action.
I am honored to have received meaningful recognitions, including:
2020 Academic Pediatric Association (APA) Young Investigator Award. I was awarded this grant to fund a qualitative study of immigration-related trauma and resilience among Latinx children and parents.
- 2020 The Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training (CCTST) COVID-19 Critical Community Challenge Grant (C5G). I was awarded this grant along with Dr. Amy Rule in Hospital Medicine to fund a project looking at barriers and facilitators to prevention and care of COVID-19 infections in Cincinnati Latinx families.
2015 F. Munro Purse, DO ’32 Memorial Award in Pediatrics.
2013 Dr. Corinne Santerian Memorial Scholarship in Pediatrics.
I believe that pediatricians have a responsibility to advocate for improved health of children outside of the clinic. Children cannot advocate for themselves, nor do they have lobbyists or political action committees that fight for them. At a population level, children deserve more attention than they currently receive from politicians and legislators. It is our responsibility as pediatricians to engage with local and national governments to ensure that children receive adequate funding and awareness for issues affecting their health.
General & community pediatrics
Mixed methods; community-based participatory research; health equity; marginalized populations; immigrant health; structural racism; alternative access systems; foster care
General and Community Pediatrics