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Yvette D. Castañeda, PhD, MPH, MBA

Yvette  D. Castañeda, PhD, MPH, MBA
Research Assistant Professor, Community Engagement Core Lead, Michael Reese Foundation Center for Health Equity Research

Dr. Yvette Castañeda is Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Foundational Sciences and Humanities at the Chicago Medical School and Community Engagement Core Lead for the Michael Reese Foundation Center for Health Equity Research. She earned a Masters of Public Health in Health Administration from The UIC School of Public Health (SPH), and a Masters of Business Administration from The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Liautaud Graduate School of Business; a PhD in Kinesiology at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) as well as a completed a postdoctoral fellowship with The Great Lakes Center for Occupational Health and Safety (GLC-OHS) at the UIC-SPH. Her experience broadly spans across the following areas of expertise: teaching, mix methods research and analysis, leadership development, strategic planning, culturally responsive evaluation, community health assessment, quality of life, social-contextual antecedents to chronic disease, precarious employment and labor market disparities, and population health of ethnically diverse populations, and the undocumented. She joined RFUMS in 2022.

Her research interests include

  • working with communities/community partners and academic stakeholders to improve health and equity through community-based research
  • support of community leaders and community health workers in research partnerships,
  • mix methods research, assessment, and evaluation with direct implementation of results at the community level,

Are you interested in connecting with student focused research or community-based practice?

Learn more about her work

Website Michael Reese Foundation Center of Health Equity Research

Connect with Dr. Castaneda at or by scheduling an appointment here: Calendy: 30 min appointment booking


Grant, A., Felner, J., Castañeda, Y., Pratap, P., & Hebert-Beirne, J. (2023). Leveraging Key Informant Interviews to Inform Intervention Development: The Greater Lawndale Healthy Work Project. Community Health Equity Research and Policy, 2752535X231196395. Advance online publication.

Moskowitz, D., Silva. A., Castañeda, Y., Battalio, S., Hartstein, M., Murphy. A.M., Thembi, Y., Switalski, M., Lomahan, S., Lacson, L., Canty, E., Plum. A., Sandoval, A., Thomas, P., DePablo, M., Spring, B., & Martin, M. (2023). Barriers and Facilitators to Addressing COVID-19: Results from the Chicagoland CEAL Program Needs Assessment of Community-Based Organizations and Nonprofits. Frontiers Public Health, 11.

Castañeda, Y., Jacobs, J., Margellos-Anast, H., G. De Maio, F., Nunez-Montelongo, L., Mettetal, E., & Benjamins, M. (2023). Developing and Implementing Racial Health Equity Plans in Four Large US Cities: A Qualitative Study. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 29(6), 780–790.

Bonney, T., Rospenda, K, Forst, L., Conroy, L., Castañeda, D., Avelar, S., Castañeda, Y., Holloway, A., & Herbert-Beirne, J. (2022). Employment Precarity and Increased Risk of Hazardous Occupational Exposures Among Residents of High Socioeconomic Hardship Neighborhoods. Annals of Work Exposures & Health, 66(9), 1122–1135.

Pineros-Leano M, Tabb K, Liechty, J., Castañeda, Y., Williams, M. (2019). Feeding decision-making among first generation Latinas living in non-metropolitan and small metro areas. PLoS ONE 14(3): e0213442.

Hebert-Beirne, J., Hernandez, S., Felner, J., Schwiesow, J., Mayer, A., Rak, K., Chavez, N., Castañeda, Y., & Kennelly, J. (2018). Using Community-Driven, Participatory Qualitative Inquiry to Discern Nuanced Community Health Needs and Assets of Chicago’s La Villita, a Mexican Immigrant Neighborhood. Journal of Community Health, 43(4), 775-786.

Hernandez, S., Genkova, A., Castañeda, Y., Alexander, S., & Hebert-Beirne, J. (2017). Oral Histories as Critical Qualitative Inquiry in Community Health Assessment. Health Education and Behavior, 44(5), 705–715.

Hebert-Beirne, J., Felner, J., Kennelly, J., Eldeirawi, K., Mayer, A., Alexander, S., Castañeda, Y., Castañeda, D., Persky, V., Chavez, N., & Birman, D. (2017). Partner Development Praxis: The Use of Transformative Communication Spaces in a Community-Academic Participatory Action Research Effort in a Mexican Ethnic Enclave in Chicago. Action Research Journal, 16(4), 414-436.

McLoughlin, G., Weisman, C., Castañeda, Y., Gwin, C., & Graber, K. (2017). Sport Participation for Elite Athletes With Physical Disabilities: Motivations, Barriers, and Facilitators. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 34(4), 421–441.

Hebert-Beirne, J., Felner, J., Castañeda, Y., & Cohen, S. (2016). Enhancing Themes & Strengths Assessment: Leveraging Academic-Led Qualitative Inquiry in Community Health Assessment to Uncover Roots of Community Health. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 23(4), 370-379.

Spencer, N., Adamson, M., Allgayer, S., Castañeda, Y., Haugen, M., King-White, R., Kluch, Y., Rinehart, R., & Walton-Fisette., T. (2016). Teach-ins as Performance Ethnography Athletes’ Social Activism in North American Sport. International Review of Qualitative Research, 9(4), 489-514.

Cisneros Puebla, C. A., Alatorre, F., Allen, M., Bénard, S., Castañeda, D., Castañeda, Y., Charmaz, K., Davidson, J., de la Garza, S. A., Espinoza, A., Faulkner, S. L., Ferreyra, G., Gilgun, J., Gutiérrez, L. F. G., Hein, S. F., Hernández, D., Biber, S. H., Labarthé, V. J., Johnson, J. M., Keller, R., Lather, P., Long, T.A., Pourreau, L., Rawlins, W., Reinhart, R., Rubilar Donoso, G., Ryen., A., Soto Orozco, M.A., Tamas, S.,  Tilley-Lubbs, G. A. (2016). 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 . . . 43: Justice! Ay! Ay! Ayotzinapa: A Challenge for New Critical Qualitative Inquiry. Qualitative Inquiry, 22(6), 447-465.

Schwingel, A., Linares, D., Galvez, P., Adamson, B., Aguayo, L., Castañeda, Y., Sebastião, E., & Marquez, D. (2015). Developing a Culturally Sensitive Lifestyle Behavior Change Program for Older Latinas. Qualitative Health Research, 25(12), 1733-1746.

Bonney, T., Rospenda, K, Forst, L., Conroy, L., Castañeda, D., Avelar, S., Castañeda, Y., Holloway, A., & Herbert-Beirne, J. (2022). Employment Precarity and Increased Risk of Hazardous Occupational Exposures Among Residents of High Socioeconomic Hardship Neighborhoods. Annals of Work Exposures & Health. Doi: 10.1093/annweh/wxac062