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Edna Viruell-Fuentes





Edna A. Viruell-Fuentes, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Assistant Professor

Latina and Latino Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Professor Viruell-Fuentes̓ health disparities research seeks to unravel the complex relationships between immigration and health. Her work builds on the premise that studying immigrant health offers insights into the impact of social contexts on health status, which in turn can contribute to the elimination of health disparities. Based on her field research in immigrant communities, she has proposed several conceptual re-directions to immigrant health research. She is currently testing these ideas in her quantitative work and conducting a project to examine the (health) impacts of migration in immigrant-sending communities.

Dr. Viruell-Fuentes is the co-author of several publications on community-based participatory research. In addition, she is the author of "‘My heart is always there’: The Transnational Practices of First-generation Mexican Immigrant and Second-generation Mexican American Women, Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, 13(July-September 2006), 335-362. Her article "Beyond acculturation: Immigration, Discrimination, and Health Research among Mexicans in the United States" will soon appear in Social Science and Medicine.

Dr. Viruell-Fuentes holds an M.P.H. from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and a Ph.D. from the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan. She recently completed a joint Yerby-Kellogg Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Project Title: Health Care Access, Neighborhood Context, and Social Resources among Latinos in Chicago

Recent Publications:

Andrade, F. & Viruell-Fuentes, E.A. (2011).  Latinos and the Changing Demographic Landscape: Key Dimensions for Infrastructure Building.  In L. P. Buki & L. M. Piedra (Eds.), Haciendo camino al andar: Creating infrastructures for Latino mental health. New York: Springer.

Miranda, P.Y., Viruell-Fuentes, E.A., Wilkinson A.V., Strong L.L., Zhou, R., Etzel, & C.J., Bondy, M.L.  (Under review). Construct vs. measurement: Mixed findings and the limitations of “acculturation” in health research. American Journal of Public Health.

Taverno, S., Francis, L., BeLue, R. & Viruell-Fuentes, E.A. (In Preparation).  Associations between Physical Activity and Overweight among U.S. Children of Immigrants: Results from the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health.

Viruell-Fuentes, E.A. (2011).  “It’s a lot of work”: Racialization processes, ethnic identity formations, and their health implications. Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race. Special issue on Racial Inequality and Health, 8(1): 37-52.

Viruell-Fuentes, E.A., Ponce, N., & Alegría, M. (In press). Hypertension outcomes and neighborhood contexts among Latinos in Chicago. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.

Contact Information:


Support for this program was provided by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ® Princeton, New Jersey