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Meet the HSAED Lab

Loretta Hsueh, PhD

Dr. Loretta Hsueh (pronounced SHAY) started the HSAED Lab in 2022. She is committed to protecting and improving the health of immigrants and people of color through research and community partnerships. Dr. Hsueh also works with healthcare systems to answer questions whose answers can improve the practice of healthcare for marginalized groups. She collaborates and publishes with colleagues across psychology, medicine, public health, and health systems science. Her research follows two lines of questioning.


1. What accounts for the disproportionate burden of chronic disease observed among immigrants and people of color, and what can be done to prevent it? Her work to understand the factors that put immigrants and people of color at higher risk of developing cardiometabolic conditions examines multi-level factors ranging from the individual (e.g.,acculturation) to the system (e.g., care access). She also examines opportunities for healthcare systems to intervene on health disparities and work to identify care gaps to target in future interventions.


2. How do immigrants and people of color experience healthcare, and how do these experiences impact disease progression? Her work on the healthcare experiences of immigrants and people of color focuses on psychosocial factors in care. In this research line, she has examined how discrimination in healthcare (e.g., among sexual minority men of color, immigrants with diabetes) and health technology (e.g., telemedicine) might exacerbate health disparities.

Additional research interests: Limited English proficiency, stereotypes, stigma/discrimination,interpersonal processes of care, patient-provider communication, behavioral health, healthcare delivery, prevention and intervention, implementation science, diversity and training issues in clinical psychology.

Viviana Uribe, BA

Viviana Uribe is a rising second-year student in the Clinical Psychology PhD program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work takes a two-pronged approach to ask questions about increasing access to mental health care for Black and Brown communities. The first approach is through analysis of large epidemiological datasets; the second is through community-based research. Her research questions are informed by her experiences as a Chicago resident and witnessing the mental health disparities in the Black and Brown communities. The ultimate goal of her research is to increase mental health care accessibility for underserved communities through innovative, culturally-adapted solutions, leveraging the strengths and knowledge of these communities along the way. For her first-year project, Viviana used a nationally representative dataset (National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey [NHANES]) to determine the association of WIC enrollment with mental health care engagement. Concurrently, she is working on a master’s thesis proposal on the relationship between having a primary care provider and visits with a mental health professional within the past 12 months and the potentially moderating role of racial and ethnic identity.

Maya Lee, BA, BS

Maya Lee is a rising second-year in the Clinical Psychology PhD program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her current work uses large, epidemiological and community-level data to ask questions about how racially/ethnically minoritized and immigrant populations navigate the healthcare system, and to investigate outcomes at the intersection of physical and mental health. Her research interests and activism are influenced by her prior work in primary care, mental healthcare, and community-facing non-profit spaces. Ultimately, her goal is to inform and implement interventions that enhance equitable health and mental health care outcomes for minoritized groups at the system, community, clinical, and individual levels. Maya’s first-year project used a nationally representative dataset (NHANES) to examine the relationship between nativity status (whether someone is born inside or outside of the US) and engagement with or use different types of mental health services among Asian American and Pacific Islanders (API), the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the US. Her master’s thesis will build on this initial work, first by extending the investigation into the Latine population and second by examining whether the influence of nativity on mental health care engagement varies by race/ethnicity.

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Clare Wongwai, BA

Clare Wongwai is an incoming first-year student in the Clinical Psychology PhD program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Clare's current work explores barriers and facilitators to accessing mental health care to improve health outcomes for immigrant communities and youth and families of color. Clare's previous interdisciplinary research experiences exploring racial/ethnic socialization, cultural identity, mindfulness-based interventions, and perinatal health inform their current research questions and methods. The overarching goal of Clare's research is to minimize mental health care disparities through increasing access, utilization, and retention of culturally responsive and community-oriented services and treatments. With these values in mind, Clare ultimately hopes to promote the health and wellbeing of historically marginalized and underserved communities.

Rose Flanigan, BS

Rose is a recent BS Psychology graduate from the University of Illinois at Chicago, with a minor in Disability and Human Development. With a passion that spans human rights, design, and accessibility, Rose brings a decade of professional experience from diverse contexts including the United States, Nepal, Mexico, and France. Her professional journey has been marked by strategic planning, leading cross-cultural teams, and implementing projects that prioritize inclusivity and equitable access to services. Rose has a robust track record of working effectively with both government and non-government organizations, skilled in navigating complex regulatory environments and leveraging design thinking to solve pressing human rights challenges. Her career aspiration is to obtain a doctorate degree and continue her dual roles as a research scientist and self-advocate, delving deeper into ethical challenges and opportunities presented by advancements in genetics, and broader ethical questions related to care, autonomy, and the rights of individuals with disabilities. Rose is particularly driven by a desire to bridge lived experiences with design, autonomy, access, and cultural competency, aiming to explore how these elements interact within the broader implications for society. Her commitment is to foster growth as a scholar and advocate in the fields of psychology and bioethics, focusing on the intersection of disability, autonomy, and human genomics.

Breanna Williams 

Breanna Williams is a third year student majoring in Psychology and minoring in Black Studies and Global Asian Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Breanna’s research interests involve connecting the psychosocial and cultural aspects of Psychology and Ethnic Studies to further the complexity of the neuropsychology field. She also wishes to address the issues of racial bias in the neuropsychological testing field and the lack of doctoral degrees obtained by ethnic minorities in clinical neuropsychology. She finds these research interests essential because as a Black and Asian woman, her ultimate goal is to bolster Black and Asian communities’ access to mental health care through diminishing negative stigmas within their communities and uncovering how social oppression these groups endure, hinder not only their understanding of certain mental health issues, but direct accessibility,  and how the brain and body is affected by environmental and social conditions in aspects of cognitive and physical development. As a current student, Breanna is involved in student leadership and engagement as the co-chair of GSAB (Global Asian Studies Student Advisory Board) where students’ goal is to help promote the importance of ethnic studies and encourage students to participate in activism. Her commitment to amplifying diversity and inclusion in her academic and social life is an essential part of her desire to become a clinical neuropsychologist

Lab Alumni 

Natalie Fick, BS

Natalie graduated with her Bachelor's degree majoring in Psychology and minoring in Biological Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago in Fall 2023. Natalie’s goal is to examine both the barriers to receiving psychological treatment and promoting culturally appropriate and affirming interventions for children from marginalized communities. Outside of school, she works as a research intern at the non-profit Children’s Research Triangle in Chicago, where she has furthered her interests in children’s health by exploring the impact of prenatal substance abuse exposure and trauma on children in the foster care system. After graduating in Fall 2023, she will be pursuing graduate school training to become a licensed child and adolescent therapist, where she can make mental health care accessible for the betterment of future generations.

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