Claire Brindis, DrPH

Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences
Director, Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies

Director Emeritus and Senior Scholar, Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health
Co-Director, Adolescent and Young Adult Health National Resource Center
Adjunct Professor, UC Hastings School of Law

Incorporating a variety of quantitative and qualitative methodologies, as well as community participatory research, Dr. Brindis’ research focuses on program evaluation and the translation of research into policy at the local, state, and national levels. As a bilingual, bi-cultural researcher, Dr. Brindis’ research and personal commitment focuses on ameliorating the impact of social, health, and economic disparities among ethnic/racial populations, with a particular focus on women, young adults, and adolescents and reproductive health. For example, Dr. Brindis co-led a multidisciplinary  team evaluating California’s Office of Family Planning’s Family PACT program, a Federal 1115 Medicaid waiver. Evaluation findings indicated that this program successfully served nearly 1.3 million women and men annually, helping to avert approximately 300,000 pregnancies each year. For every dollar spent on the program, an estimated savings of $5.83 in medical and social costs was realized through the prevention of unintended pregnancies up to five years after birth.

Dr. Brindis’ policy research focuses on how disparities impact health outcomes, including access to quality care and health insurance coverage. Additional research focuses on examining the impact of migration and acculturation, as well as social determinants of health, on Latinx people. Dr. Brindis also conducts research on consumer engagement in health care system redesign, tracking the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on adolescents, young adults, and women, including barriers encountered in enrolling these and other marginalized populations. The aim of this research is to assure the delivery of confidential care in an era of electronic health care records, effective substance abuse treatment strategies, with a special lens on women’s health.  Other research includes:

  • the health and mental health needs of Dreamers (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA),
  • an evaluation of the state of California’s comprehensive teenage pregnancy prevention programs,
  • an evaluation of the UCSF Pre-term Birth Initiative,
  • an evaluation of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism’s Health Disparities Media Fellowship Program
  • the effectiveness of water policies in California schools.

Throughout these and other projects, Dr. Brindis is committed to the translation of research into action. She pursues strategies for closing the gap between evidence-based innovation and its application to policies and programs. As a result, Dr. Brindis is often called upon to help a variety of community groups, international entities, and local, state, and the federal governments to help translate research findings into policy planning and  program intervention development. As an advisor to policymakers and private foundations, she has used her research to shape state and federal initiatives, including the implementation of the first school-based health center in California, the development of a statewide adolescent pregnancy prevention initiative, the development of the first California strategic plan for adolescent health. She also helped create the mandate for essential health benefits for women’s preventive care at the federal level.


Areas of interest:

  • Adolescent and child health policy
  • Adolescent health disparities
  • Adolescent pregnancy and pregnancy prevention
  • Adolescent health and risk-taking behaviors
  • Reproductive health services for men and women
  • Program evaluations of academic, school-based clinics, and other community interventions
  • Latinx adolescent reproductive health
  • Global reproductive health, migration and health
  • US healthcare reform
  • Research training and infrastructure development in developing countries


Honors and awards:

  • Beverlee A. Myers Award for Excellence in Public Health from the California Department of Health Services, 2000
  • Director's Award in Recognition of Contributions Made to the Health of Infants, Mothers, Children, Adolescents & Children with Special Needs from the Federal Maternal & Child Health Bureau, 2005
  • Hilary E.C. Millar Award for Innovative Approaches to Adolescent Health Care from the Society for Adolescent Medicine, 2006
  • Chancellor's Award for the Advancement of Women from the University of California, San Francisco, 2009
  • Maternal and Child Health Director’s Award in recognition of her contributions made to improve the health of infants, mothers, children, adolescents, and children with special health care needs in the nation, 2001
  • Elected to the Institute of Medicine, 2011
  • Carl S. Shultz Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Public Health Association's Population, Reproductive, and Sexual Health Section, 2014
  • Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award from the UCSF Faculty Mentoring Program, 2016
  • 75th Anniversary Honoree “In Recognition of 75 Most Influential Public Health Alumni” from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, 2018



  • University of California, Los Angeles, Master’s Degree in Public Health
  • University of California, Berkeley, Doctoral Degree in Public Health and Behavioral Sciences