UCLA Nursing doctoral student selected as a finalist in the Health Equity Challenge

Bianca Salvetti, a doctoral student in the UCLA School of Nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, has been named a finalist in the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and MolinaCares’ Health Equity Challenge.

This inaugural competition provides UCLA graduate students the opportunity to respond to a health equity issue in California. The 10 finalists will turn their ideas into full proposals that a community-based organization can implement, and two community organizations will be awarded up to $50,000 each in funding to implement the project.

A graphic showing the 10 finalists of the Health Equity Challenge

Selected projects include direct interventions and program development, and range from a de-escalation toolkit for medical providers working with patients who are experiencing a mental health crisis, to an intervention aimed at improving the quality of maternal care for immigrant women.

“We asked UCLA graduate students for ideas to improve health equity in California and they really delivered,” said Kathryn Kietzman, PhD, project lead and director of the UCLA CHPR Health Equity Program. “There were so many impressive submissions showing true innovation, passion, and leadership. These proposals all have the potential to have a tangible impact on communities who face significant inequities: LGBTQ+ people, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, immigrants, older adults, Black girls, and many more.”

A pediatric nurse for more than 15 years, Salvetti is currently a nurse practitioner in the Center for Transyouth Health and Development at Children’s Hospital Log Angeles (CHLA) while working toward her DNP at UCLA Nursing. Her Health Equity Challenge project is aimed at developing and implementing an app on gender-affirming treatment for transgender and gender diverse youth. She has partnered with The LGBTQ+ Center Long Beach who will utilize the tool.

“Transgender and gender diverse youth face many health care disparities, such an increased risk of suicide, homicide, and victimization,” Salvetti says. “These disparities can be mitigated by early access to gender affirming treatment (GAT) and parental support. My project aims to develop an interactive decision aid to improve knowledge regarding GAT and improve access to age-appropriate care.” 

Each student finalist will be awarded $2,500 and paired with a mentor to develop a full project proposal over the next 10 weeks and identify a community partner to partner with. At the end of the project, an independent review committee will review the final proposals: two winners will be announced and their selected community organizations will receive up to $50,000 each to implement the proposal. The two winning students will receive an additional $2,500 and to continue to document the impact of the project’s implementation.

Read more about Salvetti and all the finalists on the Health Equity Challenge website.


About the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) is one of the nation’s leading health policy research centers and the premier source of health policy information for California. UCLA CHPR improves the public’s health through high quality, objective, and evidence-based research and data that informs effective policymaking. UCLA CHPR is the home of the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) and is part of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. For more information, visit healthpolicy.ucla.edu.


About The MolinaCares Accord

Established by Molina Healthcare, Inc., The MolinaCares Accord oversees a community investment platform created to improve the health and well-being of disadvantaged populations by funding meaningful, measurable, and innovative programs and solutions that improve health, life, and living in local communities.


About Molina Healthcare of California

Molina Healthcare of California has been providing government-funded care for over 40 years. The Company serves members through Medi-Cal, Medicare, Medicare-Medicaid (Duals) and Covered California (Marketplace). Molina’s service areas include Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego, Orange County, and Imperial counties. Through its locally operated health plans, Molina Healthcare, Inc., a FORTUNE 500 company, served approximately 4.8 million members as of September 30, 2021. For more information about Molina Healthcare of California, visit MolinaHealthcare.com