SGAs Selected for the Robert Wood Foundation’s Health Policy Scholars Research Program

We are proud to announce that two graduate assistants from the Institute, Tiffani Elliott, Sociology PhD student, and Natalia Coriano-Díaz, Population Health PhD student, have been selected to participate in one of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s leadership programs. These programs connect changemakers across the country—from diverse professions and fields—to learn from and work with one another in creating more just and thriving communities. 

Specifically, Tiffani and Natalia were selected for Health Policy Research Scholars. Designed for doctoral students from historically marginalized backgrounds and populations underrepresented in specific disciplines, Health Policy Research Scholars helps students from all fields apply their work to policies that advance equity and health while building a diverse network of leaders who reflect our changing national demographics. 

As a member of the program’s newest cohort, Tiffani will focus on rethinking approaches to mental healthcare that better recognize the unique needs of marginalized groups and that acknowledge the complex social factors that influence mental health. Through her research she hopes to improve the ways behavioral healthcare systems interact with underserved and historically oppressed communities.  

Natalia’s work will focus on Latina/e reproductive and maternal health. Presently, she studies how state policies affect severe maternal morbidity and mortality, which historically have disproportionately impacted women of color. She is also interested in exploring how human services can be harnessed to improve maternal health outcomes for Latinas, particularly women in Puerto Rico who encounter a deteriorating healthcare system. 

To learn more about Health Policy Research Scholars and RWJF’s other leadership programs, and to meet other participants, visit