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Summaries of Independent Scientist (K) Awards

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Lara, Marielena

Institution: University of California, Los Angeles
Grant Title: Improving Outcomes in US Latino Children
Grant Number:  K08 HS00008
Duration: 5 years (2000-2005)
Total Award: $633,150

Project Description: The purpose of this project was to develop and evaluate a combined health care and school community-based intervention to ensure access to high-quality primary care for Latino and other children with asthma; and identify factors that are associated with variations in asthma prevalence and morbidity among U.S. children of Puerto Rican, Mexican, Cuban, and other Latino heritage.  This project had three main goals:

  1. Analyze access and quality of care barriers associated with higher asthma morbidity in poor and minority children with asthma.
  2. Improve survey methods for evaluating morbidity and risk factors associated with asthma, paying particular attention to challenges posed by English/Spanish bilingualism and the need to incorporate perspectives of both parents and child.
  3. Review the existing literature regarding differences in asthma morbidity among Latino children with asthma. 

Career Goals: Dr. Lara received her MD from Harvard Medical School and completed her Pediatrics residency at the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. She received her MPH from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Lara is employed by RAND and is considered an expert on asthma, Latino health and policy, access and quality of care for underserved populations.

Progress to Date: Dr. Lara has successfully completed her K08 grant.  Research highlights from her study can be found in the publications listed below.

Highlights and Specific Accomplishments:

  • National Research Service Awards (NRSA), Agency for Health Care Policy Research (AHCPR).
  • Minority Medical Faculty Fellow, Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) Foundation.

K-Generated Publications:

Lara M, Duan N, Sherbourne C, et al.  Children's use of emergency departments for asthma:  Persistent barriers or acute need?  Journal of Asthma 2003. 40(3)289-99.

Olson L, Lara M, Frintner MP. Measuring health status and quality of life in children: Relationship to race, ethnicity, and income status. Ambulatory Pediatrics 2004. (4 Suppl);377-86.

Lara M, Gamboa C, Kahramanian MI, et al. Acculturation and Latino health in the United States: A review of the literature and its sociopolitical context. Annual Review of  Public Health 2005. 26:367-97.

Lara M, Rosenbaum S, Rachelefsky G, et al. Improving childhood asthma outcomes in the United States: A blueprint for policy action. Pediatrics 2002. 109(5)919-30.

Lara M, Akinbami L, Flores G, Morgenstern H. Heterogeneity of childhood asthma among Hispanic children: Puerto Rican children bear a disproportionate burden. Pediatrics 2006. 117(1):43-53.

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