Daphne C. Hernandez

In Funded Scholars
Daphne C. Hernandez
Daphne C. Hernandez

Daphne C.



Assistant Professor
University of Houston, Department of Health and Human Performance

Professional Bio

Daphne C. Hernandez is an assistant professor of Health and Human Performance at the University of Houston. Dr. Hernandez received her A.B. in psychology from Princeton University, her M.S.Ed. in psychological services from the University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. in applied development and educational psychology from Boston College. She also received postdoctoral training in poverty and public policy at the University of Michigan”s National Poverty Center. Her research interests include: 1) the effect of antipoverty policies on children”s development and family well-being; and 2) fathers” involvement and families” health and well-being.

Project Description

Using the New Immigrant Survey (NIS) and the 2004 Current Population Survey (CPS), the project investigates the effectiveness of expanded state health-insurance coverage among legal adult immigrants. By including individual-level and state-level data, the goal of the study is to gain an understanding of which population groups are actually being covered by Medicaid and private insurance and which population groups remain uninsured. Thus, the project provides an opportunity to evaluate whether or not state expanded policies are effective in increasing health insurance coverage among legal immigrant adults.


Dr. Adachi-Mejia examined the following: school beverage vending machines (content and advertising); local wellness policies (school beverage vending); adolescent beverage consumption and BMI.

Specific findings will be listed here after the related publications are released.

My New Connections Experience

I applied to New Connections because of my interests in learning how antipoverty policies influence children”s and families” well-being. In addition, I am interested in receiving health policy training from top public health scholars in the field. Being a part of New Connections is providing me an opportunity to make a professional transition into studying health care and the health issues of immigrants. I look forward to receiving health policy training along with mentorship from public health scholars

What New Connections Means for my Career

New Connections offers comprehensive development and support to junior minority investigators. This grant has enabled me to tap into a global community of scholars. It offers a celebration of my work as a complete person — including my heritage and life experience.

The multifaceted resources offer crucial training for professors: how to network; how to write productively; how to publish; how to disseminate your work; how to mentor; how to support each other.

This grant continues to open multiple doors — including becoming a grant reviewer and a mentor to junior faculty — and has significantly increased the visibility of my work at my institution and in the larger community.

Having this grant has been like having my very own cheering team.

Research Interests

Antipoverty Policies on Children”s Development and Families” Well-Being; Fathers and Families.
The Details
  • New Connections Status: Junior Investigator
  • Award Year: 2009
  • RWJF Team/Portfolio: Coverage
  • Project Name:  State Medicaid Expansions and Health Care Coverage of Immigrant Adults

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