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Rafael Pérez-Escamilla, PhD

Professor of Public Health (Social and Behavioral Sciences); Director, Office of Public Health Practice; Affiliated Faculty, Yale Institute for Global Health; Director, YSPH Global Health Concentration; Director, Maternal and Child Health Promotion (MCHP) Program

Contact Information

Rafael Pérez-Escamilla, PhD

Office Location

Research Summary

My mixed-methods global public health research program seeks to understand how best to: a) promote and support breastfeeding and other infant and young child feeding practices, including responsive feeding; b) measure and address household food and water insecurity; c) improve maternal nutrition during pregnancy and the postpartum period through produce prescription programs; d) improve screening and access to quality health care among people with or at risk of hypertension; e) prevent type 2 diabetes through community-engaged health care systems and IT including virtual Diabetes Prevention program; f) improve coverage and quality of Diabetes Self Management Education and Support Programs through community-engaged approaches; g) scale-up, disseminate, and sustain public health interventions across the life course. I also conduct public health program evaluation research by developing and applying mixed implementation science methods. All my research and program evaluation studies prioritize low income communities (including people of color in the U.S) that engage together with other key partner since the co-design phase, and are guided by sound systems, health equity and theory of behavior change frameworks

Specialized Terms: Life course; Breastfeeding; Infant and Young Child Feeding; Household food security measurement and outcomes; Child development; Community health workers; Community Doulas; Hypertension; Type 2 diabetes; Community nutrition program design and evaluation; Maternal-child public health nutrition; Maternal Health; Health inequities; Program evaluation' Complex Adaptive Systems; Scale-up.


Research Interests

Breast Feeding; Child Care; Child Development; Community Health Workers; Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2; Food Deprivation; Hypertension; Maternal Health Services; Maternal-Child Health Centers; Mental Health; Nutrition Surveys; Obesity; Global Health; Healthcare Disparities

Public Health Interests

Breastfeeding; Chronic Diseases; Community Health; Global Health; Infectious Diseases; Maternal & Child Health; Nutrition; Obesity; Child/Adolescent Health; Health Equity, Disparities, Social Determinants and Justice; COVID-19

Selected Publications