Clara’s research motivation centers around the belief that everyone should have access to the basic requirements of healthy living. Public benefits—defined as programs that provide basic needs like health insurance, food, and housing—are critical for delivering assistance to low-income families and vulnerable individuals. These programs are essential for not only providing access to healthcare, but also addressing some of the most salient social determinants of health. Clara’s research interest focuses on access and uptake of public benefit programs. Specifically, she is interested in understanding why certain communities utilize public benefits at lower rates than others and what role policies, program administration, and systemic racism play in this underuse. Clara seeks to highlight these cracks within the safety net system in order to ensure policymakers have the tools to successfully maximize program utilization.
MORE ABOUT CLARA
Born to Mexican immigrants and raised with the help of safety net services like Medicaid and housing assistance, Clara knows firsthand the positive impact welfare programs can have on low-income families. Clara hopes to use her lived experiences to codify and bolster these programs for historically marginalized groups through health policy research.