Laura D'AnnaPHA Board of Trustees

Laura D’Anna, DrPH, MPA

Senior Research Fellow and Director, California State University Long Beach Center for Health Equity Research
Long Beach, Calif.
Board term ending: June 2018

Dr. Laura D’Anna’s sister, Rachel Hoyt, was diagnosed with PH in 1993 – a time when little was known about the disease and no treatments existed. She provided care and support to her sister and advocated for finding a cure, leading to Dr. D’Anna’s service as a Board member for the Primary Pulmonary Hypertension Research Foundation, a small, not-for-profit created to raise funds to support PH research founded by a dynamic PH patient, Gabrielle Miyara, in southern California. Unfortunately, Rachel Hoyt lost her battle with PH in 1995, and Gabrielle Miyara also succumbed to the disease in 1999. This tremendous personal loss resulted in an ongoing commitment to the endeavor of eradicating PH. As part of her continued fight against PH, Dr. D’Anna joined the PHA Board of Trustees in 2006.

Dr. D’Anna has twenty years of experience in the development, administration and evaluation of public and community health agencies and programs. She holds a doctorate in public health from the University of California Los Angeles, a Master of Public Administration degree from California State University, Long Beach, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Whittier College. Her primary research interests are racial and ethnic health disparities and specifically, how experiences of discrimination affect health and health disparities.

In her current role as director of the NIH-funded California State University, Long Beach Center for Health Equity Research, Dr. D’Anna designs and conducts community-based, health-focused research. Dr. D’Anna also works as a private consultant assisting not-for-profit organizations with strategic planning, business and program development, research design and evaluation. Previously, she served as Vice President of Community Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties in California; the executive director for a non-profit, community-based clinic in south Orange County; and manager of Preventive Health Clinical Services for the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services, where clinical services and CDC-funded research protocols were combined to identify and evaluate effective HIV interventions.

Dr. D’Anna serves on the PHA Board of Trustees and has a seat on the Governance Committee and on the Executive Committee.


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The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) awarded PHA the Abbey S. Meyers Leadership Award in 2012 for outstanding service to PHA members in advocacy, education and other key areas.