Diana Hernández

Diana Hernández

Diana Hernández

Our home is where we launch our lives from on a daily basis. Therefore, housing is an important area of study and intervention as it carries vital health and social implications. For me, housing is the focus of my research, business and passion.
Associate Professor
Sociomedical Sciences


722 W. 168th St., Rm 907
New York NY 10032
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Diana Hernandez (PhD) focuses her work on the social and environmental determinants of health by querying the impacts of policy and place-based interventions on the health and socioeconomic well-being of vulnerable populations. Her community-oriented research examines the intersections between the built environment (housing and neighborhoods), poverty/equity and health with a particular emphasis on energy insecurity. Much of her research is conducted in her native South Bronx neighborhood, where she also lives and invests in social impact real estate. Dr. Hernandez is currently a Principal or Co-Investigator on several projects related to structural interventions in low-income housing (i.e. energy efficiency upgrades, cleaner burning fuel source conversions, smoke-free housing compliance, new finance and capital improvement models in public housing and post-Sandy resilience among public housing residents) or otherwise related to alleviating the consequences of poverty on health (i.e. attrition study of the Nurse Family Partnership Program and qualitative evaluation of the Medical Legal Partnership model). Her work is currently funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the JPB Foundation, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, among others. Her research has been published in leading journals including the American Journal of Public Health, Energy Policy, Public Health Reports and Energy Research and Social Sciences. Professor Hernandez teaches Qualitative Research Methods at the graduate level and has also taught undergraduate courses on Health Disparities and Cultural Competence. She has advised numerous master's theses and doctoral dissertations. In addition, she actively engages in a variety translational research activities through consulting, board service and social entrepreneurship.



PhD, 2010, Cornell University
BA, 2002, Hunter College, City University of New York

Columbia Affiliations

Other Affiliations

Member, American Public Health Association
Member, American Sociological Association

Areas of Expertise

Community Programs and Outreach, Disparities / Inequalities in Health, Minority Health, Social Factors in Health, Underserved Populations, Climate and Health, Environmental Risk Factors, Hunger/Food Insecurity, Poverty, Smoking (Tobacco), Urban Health

Select Publications

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