Jennifer Peralta, MD, MST

Jennifer Peralta, MD, MST

Residency at Children's Hospital at Montefiore

MD  Stony Brook University School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY
Residency – Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Bronx, NY

Biography: Dr. Jennifer Brazier Peralta is a pediatrician who focuses her work on addressing disparities and structural determinants of health for children with medical and social complexity through family-centered, cross-sector systems redesign. Her research aims to improve health outcomes and quality of life for medically and socially complex children and their families through action-oriented research and policy change.

Dr. Peralta’s primary NCSP research project is entitled “Children with Medical Complexity: Caregiver Perspectives on Navigating Health, Education and Social Systems within a web of Social Complexity.” This multi-site, qualitative study focused on the impact of social complexity on cross-sector, systems of care navigation among caregivers of children with medical complexity. Additionally, this project seeks to explore what an ideal ecosystem would look like for children with medical and social complexity from a family-centered perspective. Dr. Peralta received the Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs National Research Network (CYSCHNet) Emerging Investigator Award of $15,000 for this work.

As a scholar, Dr. Peralta partnered with the AltaMed Institute for Health Equity on numerous collaborations. Under the mentorship of Dr. Rajan Sonik, Dr. Peralta completed a secondary data analysis entitled “Parent-Reported Child Health Status by Age among Children with and without Special Health Care Needs and Exposure to Household Food Insufficiency” utilizing data from the National Survey of Children’s Health. This analysis was presented at the 2021 AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting and has been submitted for publication. Additionally, in partnership with Dr. Moira Inkelas (UCLA), Dr. Peralta provides methodological support on community-based research projects with their Community Organizing and Research Engagement team that has focused on HRSA-funded COVID-19 vaccination efforts and youth mental and behavioral health awareness.

She plans to continue her collaborations with AltaMed through several upcoming projects including the expansion of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) screening and referral services to include children with medical complexity and a future secondary data analysis exploring the impact of receipt of supplemental food assistance programs among families of children with medical complexity before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to the projects stated above, Dr. Peralta co-led and contributed to the following projects during her fellowship: 1) “Kids State Innovation Model 2.0: Implications for Child Health,” a policy commentary on the implications of child-focused State Innovation Models as accompaniment to larger stakeholder engagement campaign for a National Children’s Strategy with mentors Dr. Neal Halfon (UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities) and Dr. Kara Odom Walker (Nemours Children Health System); 2) “The Los Angeles Trust COVID-19 Youth Task Force: A Model of Student Empowerment and Engagement Through a Data and Science Curriculum” with mentor Dr. Moira Inkelas (UCLA Fielding School of Public Health), the development of an original curriculum to train youth health educators on the science behind COVID-19, vaccination and data interpretation; 3) “Influence of Perceived Adolescent Vaccination Desire on Parent Decision for Adolescent COVID-19 Vaccination”, with mentor Dr. Peter Szilagyi (UCLA Department of Pediatrics), a quantitative analysis using data from the Understanding America national survey published in the Journal of Adolescent Health (2022). Dr. Peralta also completed her Master of Science in Health Policy and Management through the Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA.

Dr. Peralta will further develop her research interests centered on addressing structural determinants and systems of care for children with medical and social complexity through development of cross-sector, systems-level interventions and policy recommendations. She hopes to use this work as the basis of future career development awards with the goal of becoming an independently funded investigator.