I am a health equity researcher who studies the political economy of health and public policy to look for “what works” in reducing health inequities and protecting community health. My research is aimed to explore the ways that institutions influence health in order to support multi-level, innovative, and common sense approaches for community health improvement. I leverage innovative and mixed-methods approaches to study the political, economic, and social contexts of immigrants and other marginalized groups in the U.S. As an activist scholar, I draw heavily on my experiences as a mestiza, child of immigrants, and community-based social work practitioner. I am a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholar and Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Arlington. As an educator and mentor, I teach graduate and undergraduate courses on health insurance and access to care, immigration and health policy, and social work research methods. I hold a PhD in Public Policy and Political Economy and a Master of Public Policy from The University of Texas at Dallas, Master of Science in Social Work from The University of Texas at Arlington, and a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Texas Christian University.