Welcoming New PTBi Scholars

Please join us in welcoming three new PTBi scholars! We could not be more honored to have such visionary and passionate people help us achieve our mission of eliminating racial disparities in preterm birth. 

Post-Doctoral Transdisciplinary Research Fellow

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Victoria Keeton joined our cohort of transdisciplinary fellows on July 16.

Victoria F. Keeton, Ph.D. (c), RN, CPNP-PC, CNS

Victoria Keeton

Victoria F. Keeton is completing her Ph.D. in Nursing Science and Healthcare Leadership at the University of California, Davis, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. She received her BA in Psychology at the University of California, San Diego, and her MS in Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco. Her clinical focus as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner has been in urban community pediatric primary care, with emphases on childhood overweight, school-based health care, and social determinants of health. Her dissertation research explored associations between household social needs, maternal stress, and child emotional health, in Latinx families in San Francisco. As a fellow, Victoria hopes to expand her research on stress and resilience in mothers and children of color experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage, as they relate to risk for preterm birth and its associated health outcomes.

Goldman Public Policy Graduate Student Researchers

PTBi’s collaboration with the First 5 Center for Children’s Policy is still going strong. PTBi and First 5 Center are collaborating to identify best practices and promising solutions to improve maternal and infant health outcomes for Black families in California, with a particular focus on infant mortality and maternal morbidity. As part of this work, PTBi is working with two GPP students this summer to understand how the current policy landscape is impacting Black maternal and infant health outcomes and to develop recommendations for implementing a health policy framework to improve Black infant mortality and maternal morbidity in California.

Mao Fukunaga

Mao Fukunaga

Mao Fukunaga is a 2022 candidate at the Goldman School of Public Policy and is an international student from Japan. She is passionate about helping people live with hope despite the many challenges and changes that life brings. She has spent her career in public health, public policy, health, and social work. For example, she was involved in building a database of cancer stories in local governments in Japan, which made her keenly aware of the importance of prevention education and working with the community to prevent patients from becoming isolated. She has also worked for the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (MHLW) and the Cabinet Secretariat in policymaking and law reform related to health and welfare. She hopes to use her experience and skills to contribute to this project and deepen her own and her community's understanding of the racism associated with preterm birth in the United States.

Caroline Demko

Caroline Demko

Caroline Demko is a native of Norwalk, Connecticut, who recently relocated to the Bay Area from Boston, Massachusetts. Prior to moving to Berkeley to earn her Master’s in Public Policy, Caroline spent the last three years at the Center for Surgery and Public Health (CSPH) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Most recently, Caroline served as a research assistant on the Provider Awareness and Cultural dexterity Toolkit for Surgeons (PACTS) Trial, a large, multi-center R01 funded by the National Institutes of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). In addition to attempting to address disparities by making surgical residents aware of their own implicit biases, the project aims to train surgical residents to better care for and communicate with patients of diverse cultural backgrounds with the ultimate goal of eradicating surgical disparities. Caroline is excited to bring her mixed methods research background and passion for mitigating health disparities to the UCSF PTBi/First 5 Center Project.