Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University
Diana Hernandez (PhD) focuses her work on the social and environmental determinants of health by querying the impacts of policy and place-based interventions on the health and socioeconomic well-being of vulnerable populations. Her community-oriented research examines the intersections between the built environment (housing and neighborhoods), poverty/equity and health with a particular emphasis on energy insecurity. Much of her research is conducted in her native South Bronx neighborhood, where she also lives and invests in social impact real estate. Dr. Hernandez is currently a Principal or Co-Investigator on several projects related to structural interventions in low-income housing (i.e. energy efficiency upgrades, cleaner burning fuel source conversions, smoke-free housing compliance, new finance and capital improvement models in public housing and post-Sandy resilience among public housing residents) or otherwise related to alleviating the consequences of poverty on health (i.e. attrition study of the Nurse Family Partnership Program and qualitative evaluation of the Medical Legal Partnership model). Her work is currently funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the JPB Foundation, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, among others. Her research has been published in leading journals including the American Journal of Public Health, Energy Policy, Public Health Reports and Energy Research and Social Sciences. Professor Hernandez teaches Qualitative Research Methods at the graduate level and has also taught undergraduate courses on Health Disparities and Cultural Competence. She has advised numerous master's theses and doctoral dissertations. In addition, she actively engages in a variety translational research activities through consulting, board service and social entrepreneurship.