The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research recently announced the winners of its annual Health Equity Challenge. Launched in 2022, the challenge invites graduate students from any UCLA department or school to propose a project that would help address a health disparity in Los Angeles, San Bernardino or Riverside counties. 

Supraja Saravanakumar’s and Michelle Ko’s projects each focused on culturally tailored mental health programs. Dr. Sal Kamal’s peer specialist project is aimed at strengthening existing jail diversion programs for people experiencing homelessness. And Em Dickey’s initiative will equip the UCLA Mobile Clinic Project with point-of-care ultrasound technology to bring hospital-type imaging to streetside medicine.

“Each year we face the ‘good problem to have’ of so many worthy projects and we couldn’t be more thrilled to recognize this year’s winners,” said Kathryn Kietzman, director of the center’s Health Equity Program. “The Health Equity Challenge is an exemplar of how we can leverage our power as a research center focused on equity to expand UCLA’s impact throughout Southern California to help those facing acute needs.”

The winning proposals, which were chosen by an independent review committee, will receive $50,000 that the partnering community organization can use to implement the proposal. The students will also each receive $2,500 stipends.

Read the full release about the Health Equity Challenge winners.