Lucia Floríndez is a PHD student with affiliation with the Occupational Science Program at the Ostrow School of Dentistry and with the Department of Pediatrics at the USC Keck School of Medicine. As an occupational science student in the KSOM, Lucia merges the worlds of occupation, wellness, and public health, and enjoys being situated within departments that maximize her research experience. Academically, she received her BA from USC in 2008 in the fields of International Relations, Spanish, and Public Health, and her Masters in Communication from USC in 2011. Professionally, she served for five years as the bilingual Project Manager and patient liaison for a federally funded research grant exploring the use of a lifestyle intervention to prevent the development of medically serious pressure ulcers in ethnically diverse, community-dwelling individuals with a spinal cord injury. For her doctoral research immersion, she is the Bilingual project coordinator for the SADE Study, looking at the impact of sensory adapted dental environments on enhancing the oral care experiences of children with autism during dental cleanings.
Lucia has extensive qualitative research and personal experience in the area of promoting Latino health and communicating culturally relevant health information. During her doctoral training, Lucia has run focus groups with Latino community members, conducted semi-structured interviews, and performed introductory explorations into the health needs of Latino patients. As a Los Angeleno, Lucia identifies as a member of the local Latino community, and is passionate about research that explores the role of Latino culture in health behaviors. From her training and experience, Lucia research interests are in improving oral health in Latino families, mitigating health disparities, and culturally tailoring medical information to be useful to Latino patients. Her proposed project will conduct the formative research on investigating in-home oral care practices among Latino families in Los Angeles. Lucia research aims to find the solutions to oral health disparities among this vulnerable population, ultimately contributing to closing gaps and achieving health equity in the field of oral health.