Krista M. Perreira

In Funded Scholars
Krista M. Perreira
Krista M. Perreira

Krista M. 



Professor of Public Policy 
Department of Public Policy, UNC-Chapel Hill

Professional Bio

Dr. Krista Perreira received her in health economics from the UC Berkeley, School of Public Health in 1999. She joined the Department of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina in 2001 and was promoted to Full Professor in 2012. Starting in July 2013, she will begin an appointment as Associate Dean of the Office for Undergraduate Research at UNC-Chapel Hill. As a scholar actively engaged in community services, Dr. Perreira also serves as an advisory committee member or on the board of directors for national task forces, local non-profit organizations, and state agencies seeking to improve the provision of services to Hispanic populations and immigrants.

Together with scholars from Chicago, Miami, New York, and San Diego, Dr. Perreira has received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to lead the first ever National Hispanic Community Health Study of Children (HCHS/SOL-Children). In addition with support from the Russell Sage and William T. Grant Foundations, she has combined qualitative and quantitative methodologies to identify how acculturation and migration processes influence the health and academic achievement of Latino youth in North Carolina.

Project Description

This study will contribute to research on the implementation of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Specifically, this study will focus on immigrants’ health coverage under health reform. The study will begin with a comprehensive analysis of the literature to summarize what we know about health care coverage for immigrants and their children, the potential challenges of enrolling these populations in health insurance programs, and strategies utilized in the past to facilitate their enrollment. In addition, the 2012 American Community Survey will be analyzed to provide descriptive data on how health insurance coverage of immigrants and their children varies by state and by socio-demographic characteristics. Finally, a case study of North Carolina will be completed. As part of this case study, focus groups with immigrants, community leaders, and other key informants will be undertaken to evaluate their awareness of health care reform, the challenges faced by immigrants in taking up health insurance benefits, and the strategies being developed to facilitate health insurance enrollment for this particularly vulnerable population.

My New Connections Experience

Dr. Perreira applied to the New Connections program to advance research and scholarship on health disparities and access to affordable health care coverage. Through the funding, networks, and mentorship provided by the New Connections program, Dr. Perreira aims to develop evidence‐based policies and programs that will improve the health and well‐being of immigrant children and their families.

Research Interests

Krista Perreira, PhD is a health economist who studies disparities in health, education, and economic well-being and inter-relationships between family, health and social policy. Focusing on children in immigrant families, her most recent work combines qualitative and quantitative methodologies to study migration from Latin America and the health and educational consequences of migration. Through her research, she aims to develop programs and policies to improve the well-being of immigrant families and their children.

The Details
  • New Connections Status: Mid-Career Consultant
  • Award Year: 2013
  • RWJF Team/Portfolio: Coverage 
  • Project Name: Studying implementation of health coverage for immigrant populations under the Affordable Care Act. 

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