Dean of UCI’s School of Population Health, Bernadette Boden-Albala Provides Expert Council on COVID-19

Sunday, May 03, 2020

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The Dean of UCI’s School of Population Health, Bernadette Boden-Albala, Dr.P.H.—a renowned researcher and administrator whose efforts to reduce health disparities for America’s disadvantaged became a blueprint for community-based stroke and heart disease prevention—is at the forefront of the region’s response to COVID-19 on several fronts, drawing upon her experience of working to provide solutions in response to other major diseases.

She is a member of a statewide panel of experts that inform California’s public health response on the pandemic.

At the university level, Dean Boden-Albala provides counsel to UCI leadership on best practices to help ensure the health and safety of the university community as one of two deans on Chancellor Howard Gillman’s COVID-19 advisory committee.

Dean Boden-Albala is collaborating with the Orange County Health Authority and UCI faculty on COVID-19 studies to help further the understanding of the virus and its impact on the region. These efforts include recommendations on steps required by policymakers and the public to safely transition towards a relaxation of social distancing measures and reopening of society.

Dean Boden-Alba was actively engaged in student and community preparedness during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, working to train more than 80 undergraduate and graduate volunteer student public health ambassadors on the Spread the Word, Not a Virus campaign and encourage UCI students to empower themselves with accurate information about the virus.

No stranger to contributing to solutions to major issues, in her previous role, Dean Boden-Albala co-created courses with UNICEF and the United Nations World Food Programme focused on innovative responses to Ebola and polio and new systems to ensure equitable access to healthy foods. (NYU)

In a clinical study, Dean Boden-Albala worked with New York City’s Dominican community to demonstrate that a culturally tailored, skills-based approach helped stroke patients significantly lower their blood pressure one year later – which translates into a nearly 40 percent reduction in the risk of having another stroke. This study was one of the first to look at the relationship between unplanned napping and “vascular events” such as stroke. (Associated Press)

Dean Boden-Albala continues to use the knowledge acquired from her main research topic, stroke, to adapt interventions to address the reduction of chronic risk factors among communities that have been particularly hard hit by COVID-19. She also advocates tirelessly for the inclusion of UCI Health in the studies she contributes to with her nationwide collaborators—with a particular emphasis on recruiting women and minorities into research—to give residents of OC access to innovative interventions for chronic conditions.

UCI is a gold-level Leaders Circle sponsor of the Greater Irvine Chamber.

Category: COVID-19