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COVID-19 and Puerto Ricans

Thursday, April 29, 2021 | 3:00 PM EST/2:00 CST

This webinar examines the unequal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Puerto Ricans, and Hispanics in general. For the first time, researchers will present data on Puerto Ricans on health and social impacts from stateside communities and in the island.


How to Use Centro COVID Dashboard for Local Analysis of Impacts - JENNIFER HINOJOSA


Luis M. Falcón, Ph.D, Associate Director, Center for Population Health, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, https://www.uml.edu/Research/UML-CPH/About/who-we-are/Falcon-Luis.aspx
Dr. Falcón is a social demographer. His research interests and publications are in the role of social and environmental factors in generating disparities — social, economic or of health. Current research is on health disparities with a particular focus on social support and psychosocial stress in the Hispanic population. He is currently principal investigator of a project on psychosocial stress and cardio-vascular disease at the NIH-funded Center on Population Health and Health Disparities (CPHHD) at Northeastern. He is also an investigator on a recently funded NIH grant investigating moderators of alcohol treatment outcomes for immigrant Hispanics. While at Northeastern, he was co-principal investigator of a five-year, $3.7 million NSF ADVANCE grant to increase the participation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers.


  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on psychosocial health and other social factors: preliminary results from the Boston Puerto Rican Health Study
    Kelsey M. Mangano, PhD, RDN, Assistant Professor, Nutritional Science Program Director, Center for Population Health, University of Massachusetts, Lowell,
    Dr. Mangano, Ph.D., R.D., is an active member of the Center for Population Health at UMass Lowell and Center for Microbiome Research at UMass Medical School. Professor Mangano also holds an Adjunct Faculty appointment at the Marcus Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife, Harvard Medical School affiliate. Professor Mangano’s research lab aims to elucidate mechanisms behind the impact of nutritional factors and food additives on musculoskeletal aging and the gut. Current mechanisms include alterations in the gut microbiome and metabolomic response to nutrition. For more information and contact details: Google Scholar Profile, Faculty Website, Twitter: @ManganoKelsey, IG: @bns_uml
  • Emotional Health Among Adults in Puerto Rico During COVID-19
    Josiemer Mattei, PhD, MPH, FAHA, Donald and Sue Pritzker Associate Professor of Nutrition, Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, jmattei@hsph.harvard.edu, 617-432-4012, http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/josiemer-mattei/
    Dr. Mattei is the Donald and Sue Pritzker Associate Professor of Nutrition at the Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She investigates genetic, dietary, and psychosocial determinants of cardiometabolic diseases in racial/ethnic groups and underserved populations, as a framework to explain health disparities. Dr. Mattei combines epidemiological research with culturally-tailored interventions, both through original studies and collaborations in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Latin America. She is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leader and received the Mark Bieber Award for Outstanding Nutrition-related Research by the American Heart Association. Her ultimate goal is to help Latinos and minority and underserved populations eat healthier and be healthy.
  • COVID-19 Equity Research Initiative
    Nataly Rios, UCLA MURP 2022, Graduate Student Researcher, Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, University of California, Los Angeles, natalyr@ucla.edu

    Ms. Rios is a graduate student researcher at the Center for Neighborhood Knowledge. She is currently pursuing a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree at UCLA and holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Chicago. She has experience in public health research in New York City, working on projects that address gaps in care for communities of color. She is interested in using research to better understand how built environment inequalities affect health outcomes, particularly in communities of color, for people with disabilities, and for older adults.

  • Highlights of findings from the Covid dashboard, focusing on the "risk of exposure" of Puerto Ricans across the country
    Edwin Melendez, Director, Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College
    Dr. Meléndez has conducted considerable research in the areas of Puerto Rican and Latino studies, economic development, labor markets, and poverty. In addition to close to a hundred scientific papers and other academic publications, he is the author or editor of thirteen books including State of Puerto Ricans, 2017 (Centro Press, 2017), Puerto Ricans at the Dawn of the New Millennium (Centro Press, 2014) and Latinos in a Changing Society (Praeger, 2007). In addition, he has served as invited Editor for “Puerto Rico in Crisis,” Centro XXX (3) 2018, “Pathways to Economic Opportunity,” Centro XXIII (2), 2011, and other Special Issues on Radical America (1989), Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences (1992), Latino Studies Journal (1993), and the New England Journal of Public Policy (1997).
  • How to use Centro Covid dashboard for local analysis of impacts
    Jennifer Hinojosa, Research Associate & Data Center Coordinator Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College,
    https://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/research/data-center | jhinojos@hunter.cuny.edu
    Ms. Hinojosa is a geographer by training, and in her role at El Centro, oversees analysis and data mapping GIS platform is to integrate Puerto Rico’s social, demographic, and economic data with GIS mapping capabilities to address current and future challenges related to post-Hurricane Maria. She interned at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program in Washington D.C.

Welcome by:

  • Rodrigo Dominguez-Villegas, Director of Research, UCLA Latino Policy & Politics Initiative, https://latino.ucla.edu/person/rodrigo-dom-villegas/ | rodrigodv@luskin.ucla.edu
    Dr. Dominguez-Villegas serves as LPPI’s Director of Research. He is responsible for developing, managing and executing LPPI’s research portfolios as well as for mentoring LPPI’s policy fellows. Previously, Dr. Dominguez-Villegas worked at the Institute for Social Science Research at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst where he provided consultations on research design and statistical methods to scholars across various disciplines. He was also a research consultant for the Migration Policy Institute in Washington D.C. and conducted research projects on international migration in North and Central America, return migration, and Mexico’s migration policy.
  • Paul Ong, Director, Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, https://luskin.ucla.edu/person/paul-ong
    Dr. Ong is Research Professor at UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and the Director of the Center for Neighborhood Knowledge. He has a doctorate in economics and a master's in urban planning. His research focuses on the urban spatial structure; race and economic inequality, and urban labor market disparities. His current project is the COVID-19 Equity Research Initiative (https://knowledge.luskin.ucla.edu/news/), which focuses on the pandemic impacts on employment, businesses, housing and education.




Dr. Edwin Melendez

Jennifer Hinojosa
How to use Centro Covid dashboard for local analysis of impacts (PDF)