Kimberly Cauley Narain, MD, PhD, MPH


California Endowment Scholar in Health Policy

Assistant Professor-in-Residence, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA; Investigator, UCLA Center for Health Advancement, Fielding School of Public Health; Attending Physician, Iris Cantor UCLA Women's Health Center, Los Angeles CA

As a doctoral student, Dr. Narain’s current research focuses on the health implications of Welfare Reform for low-income single mothers. Dr. Narain is also currently an Attending Physician in the Iris Cantor Women’s Health Center at UCLA.   During the 2010-2011 year, as a California Endowment Scholar, Dr. Narain evaluated the impact of place-based housing infrastructure interventions on adult health outcomes. After leaving Harvard, she completed a health services research fellowship at UCLA. During this fellowship she served as an intern for the California Center for Public Health Advocacy and conducted research projects evaluating the implementation of a municipal healthy vending machine policy and examining the effects of socioeconomic status on weight gain. Upon completion of this fellowship Dr. Narain stayed on at UCLA as a Specialty Training Advanced Research Fellow in the Department of General Internal Medicine as well to pursue her PhD.

She received her medical degree from Morehouse School of Medicine in 2007 and completed her residency in Primary Care Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco in 2010.  She received her MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2011.

Dr. Narain is the author of children's book, "The Cycle of A Dream: A Kid's Introduction to Structural Racism in America".  (2020, Indy Pub)

Learn more about The California Endowment Scholars in Health Policy at Harvard University

A Health Impact Assessment of Housing Redevelopment Policy


This project entailed a Cochrane & Campbell style systematic review of the literature regarding the impact of housing renovation as well as other placed based housing strategies on health outcomes, health behavior and medical care utilization. The state of this literature was summarized in order to gain further insight into the mechanisms by which housing impacts health and the interventions that can potentially mediate these effects.


The unequal distribution of health has led to a growing awareness that health is socially determined by factors originating at different levels of society, ranging from the individual to the structural. Structural factors such as employment conditions, housing, and education influence health, and because they are unevenly distributed, play a role in the creation and maintenance of health inequalities. While agreement on structural impacts of health is becoming broad, what exactly that impact is and the effectiveness of potential solutions remains somewhat elusive. Our project, “A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of Housing Redevelopment Policy,” will be another tool to inform the debate on structural and contextual factors and their implications for public health.


This project attempted to track the relationship between on-site housing redevelopment to health outcomes and proxies for health outcomes like health behaviors and medical care. Fundamentally the HIA involved doing a systematic literature review, to form a composite of the data on the health impact of housing redevelopment policy. Performance of the systematic review included reviewing sentinel studies on the topic of housing redevelopment and various placed based strategies to identify “search terms,” identifying appropriate sites and databases to search, developing eligibility criteria for article review, conducting the search, reviewing eligible articles, and summarizing the data in regards to content and quality.

Preliminary Results:

The initial search yielded 806 articles with PubMed contributing 378 articles, the most from any single source. Smaller article contributions came from Embase, The Social Science Research Network, The Social Science Citation Index and The Sociofile Database.

Future Direction:

Once the content of the articles is comprehensively reviewed and summarized in regards to data quality the next step will be to disseminate this information to public health practitioners, organizations with an emphasis on improving health, and policy makers in order to help inform the debate on potential ways to approach public health.

Preceptor and Sponsoring Agency:

Lindsay Rosenfel, Ph.D., Associate Research Scientist, Institute of Urban Health Research