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2016 - 2017 Community Mobilization Awardees

Erica Tukiainen, MD, MPH


Born and raised in Finland, Erica emigrated with her family to Los Angeles in 2010. After high school, Erica received a full athletic scholarship to play for the UCLA women’s basketball team where she served as a four-year starter. While balancing life as a student-athlete, she majored in French and completed her pre-medical studies. During her undergraduate studies, Erica met Dr. Yancey whose mentorship sparked her interest in pursuing public health and preventive medicine. She gained valuable research experience as one of Dr. Yancey’s “Spark Plugs” on various Instant Recess projects at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. To continue her journey into preventive medicine, entering David Geffen School of Medicine was the most natural choice for her. Medical school has taught her the skills and tools to address the individual medical issues, as well as the underlying social and environmental factors that limit communty’s ability to make healthier choices. After her third year of medical school, Dr. Tukiainen earned her M.P.H. at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health where she spent a year learning about health disparities, community-based participatory research and obesity prevention. She completed medical school at UCLA and trained in Family Medicine with a focus on community medicine, adolescent health and physical activity promotion.

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