Alumni Profile: Chima Ndumele, MPH, Ph.D.

Understanding factors that influence the way vulnerable populations connect with and access health care resources

We caught up with Chima Ndumele, MPH, Ph.D., an alum of the health services research doctoral program, when he was on campus last spring serving as a panelist for an IMSD alumni event. Now associate professor of public health at Yale, Ndumele’s research focuses on better understanding factors that influence the way vulnerable populations connect with and access health care resources.

“I work in the Medicaid space,” he said, “trying to understand how we can better finance, organize, and think about the delivery of care for low income and disenfranchised populations.”

A current project is examining the role of health care advertising. Ndumele is working to understand the barriers and facilitators of health care engagement, and more broadly, how to reconcile the business of health care with the health of people, particularly those less familiar with navigating the health care system.

Ndumele always knew he was interested in helping disadvantaged populations. The question was, how to do that. At Brown he said, “You get a sense of what’s possible.

“When I came to Brown I was very much engaged with the community, but I hadn’t thought as much about the policy perspective,” he said. “How do you reconcile what’s happening in the community, and what the community needs, with what’s happening in the State House, or in Washington? Brown helped me to connect those two worlds.”

And he is paying it forward, serving on the dissertation committee of HSR doctoral candidate Xinqi Li, alongside his own former dissertation advisor,
Dr. Amal Trivedi.

“This is a program that cares,” Ndumele said of the Health Services Research doctoral program. “It’s a program that gets people ready to go out there and change the world in their own way.”