Renee Mehra

Renee Mehra

ACTIONS Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California-San Francisco
Chapter Member: Bay Area SSN
Areas of Expertise:

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About Renee

Mehra’s research focuses on the social and structural factors that influence inequities in parental and infant health in addition to healthcare and social policies and programs that may reduce these inequities. Using a mixed methods research approach and ecosocial and intersectionality frameworks, her research examines structural and interpersonal stigma and discrimination, and area-level deprivation on adverse birth outcomes; funding and sustainability of doula and community health worker programs; and barriers to and facilitators of midwifery education and careers.

In the News

"We Must Extend Postpartum Medicaid Coverage," Renee Mehra (with Jamila K. Taylor, Ifeyinwa V. Asiodu, Amy Alspaugh, Toni Bond, Linda S. Franck, and and Monica R. McLemore ), Scientific American, March 11, 2021.


"Black Pregnant Women “Get the Most Judgment”: A Qualitative Study of the Experiences of Black Women at the Intersection of Race, Gender, and Pregnancy" (with Lisa M. Boyd, Urania Magriples, Trace S. Kershaw, Jeannette R. Ickovics, and Danya E. Keene). Women's Health Issues 30, no. 6 (2020): 484-492.

Explores how Black pregnant women experienced gendered racism during pregnancy, racialized pregnancy stigma, in everyday contexts. These experiences may contribute to poorer maternal and infant outcomes due to reduced access to quality health care; reduce access to services, resources, and social support, and poorer mental health.

"Considerations for Building Sustainable Community Health Worker Programs to Improve Maternal Health" (with Lisa M. Boyd, Jessica B. Lewis, and and Shayna D. Cunningham). Journal of Primary Care and Community Health 11 (2020).

Evaluates considerations to promote sustainability of community health worker (CHW) programs to improve maternal health. Considerations include: CHW support from supervisors, providers, and peers; relationships with healthcare systems and insurers; and securing adequate and continuous funding.

"Recommendations for the Pilot Expansion of Medicaid Coverage for Doulas in New York State" (with Shayna D. Cunningham, Jessica B. Lewis, Jordan L. Thomas, and and Jeannette R. Ickovics). American Journal of Public Health (February 2019).

Offer recommendations to increase the pilot program’s likelihood of success, including: (1) provide sufficient reimbursement to doulas and an adequate number of visits for mothers, (2) fund the training and certification of a diverse doula workforce, and (3) expand the role of doulas.

"Area-Level Deprivation and Preterm Birth: Results from a National, Commercially-Insured Population" (with Fatma M. Shebl, Shayna D. Cunningham, Urania Magriples, Eric Barrette, Carolina Herrera, Katy B. Kozhimannil, and and Jeannette R. Ickovics ). BMC Public Health 19 (2019).

Shows how, among commercially-insured women, area-level deprivation was associated with increased risk of preterm birth. Hypertension and infection mediated this association. Reductions in area-level deprivation and screening and treatment of individual-level health factors may be associated with a lower risk of preterm birth.

"Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Adverse Birth Outcomes: Differences by Racial Residential Segregation" (with Danya E. Keene, Trace S. Kershaw, Jeannette R. Ickovics, and and Joshua L. Warren). SSM - Population Health 8 (2019).

Highlights how different measures of black-white racial residential segregation modify racial/ethnic disparities in adverse birth outcomes. Policy interventions that reduce segregation or buffer the poor social and economic correlates of segregation may reduce these racial/ethnic disparities in adverse birth outcomes.

"Racial Residential Segregation and Adverse Birth Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis" (with Lisa M. Boyd and Jeannette R. Ickovics). Social Science & Medicine 191 (2017): 237-250.

Examines associations between different measures of racial residential segregation and adverse birth outcomes differ by race. Addressing segregation and examining mechanistic pathways between segregation and adverse birth outcomes may reduce racial disparities in these outcomes.