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Past Webinar

This webinar was presented on, Wednesday, September 29, 2021, by Candace Gragnani MD, MPH, Denise M. Nunez MD, MPH, and Priyanka Fernandes MD, MPH.

Webinar Description: Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P) researchers are eager to understand more about the education and physical health of autistic individuals during COVID. This webinar will examine ways to assist autistic students during virtual or hybrid education and include ideas for maintaining physical health during the pandemic.

Priyanka Fernandes, MD, MPH. Dr. Fernandes is a clinical instructor in the Department of Medicine and is Associate Program Director for the Preventive Medicine Fellowship at UCLA. She completed her medical school training in Mumbai, India, where most of the population was underserved and her initial interests in infectious diseases and preventive medicine began. She completed her residency training in pediatrics and fellowship training in pediatric infectious diseases and preventive medicine. Her research interests include antimicrobial stewardship, infection control, community-based prevention programs, quality improvement and developmental services.


Candace Gragnani, MD, MPH. Dr. Candace Gragnani is an Associate Physician Diplomate in the Child Health Policy Program of the Department of Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine and on faculty for the UCLA Preventive Medicine program. Her research interests include improving healthcare access and outcomes for underserved and at-risk youth/communities, quality improvement in well-child care, working with communities to build capacity for healthier lifestyles, and pediatric population and public health. In addition to her research interests, Dr. Gragnani is involved in the MCHB-funded Pathways for Students into Health Professions (PSHP) program for disadvantaged undergraduate students interested in public health and health professional careers. As part of this work, she teaches several maternal-child health courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level at UCLA and gets the opportunity to mentor undergraduates on their journey to public health and healthcare careers. Dr. Gragnani is also actively involved in the American Academy of Pediatrics at the local level. Dr. Gragnani received her BS in Physiological Science from UCLA, her MD from Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, her MPH from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and completed both her pediatrics residency and preventive medicine fellowship training at UCLA. She has additionally completed Lifestyle Medicine training through the American College of Preventive Medicine.

Denise Nunez, MD, MPH. Born and raised in New York City, Dr. Nunez carries the desire to develop urban health and wellness in all places across America. She is impassioned to impact wellness in every member of our nation, beginning with our tiniest members. Dr. Nunez initiated her medical training in the city of Chicago, IL at Chicago Medical School, at which she helped pioneer their first free clinic. At the clinic, their patients were mostly immigrants, who spoke minimal English; Dr. Nunez (a Latina) was privileged to support and educate her staff on communicating and providing exceptional care. She continued to residency in Pediatrics at State University of New York, and became emboldened in policy work and being a voice for children and families. Dr. Nunez’s training demonstrated that physicians are needed in developing policy and promoting prevention with the same intensity as healing illness. It is her honor to be at UCLA to carry on the voice of Prevention Health for families, both in our community and worldwide.