Kayla Dunn studies at the University of Virginia, where she pursues a BA in Global Public Health. A Pennsylvania native and a Latinx student, Kayla is the first in her family to attend college. Her experiences in life and abroad in Honduras has inspired her public health research and have fueled her passion for increasing access to quality healthcare that is equitable, accesible, and takes the unique perspectives of culture into account. Upon graduation, Kayla plans to enroll in a graduate program in Nursing to obtain a clinical background in health before pursuing a doctoral degree in public health.
As a SUMR Scholar, Kayla is working on two projects with Dr. Roy Wade and Dr. Zachary Meisel, respectively. With Dr. Roy Wade, she will be working on a project implementing trauma informed practices in primary care and understanding mechanisms underlying transgenerational effects of early life stress on offspring health. This project is also currently investigating screening practices for childhood adversity in addition also tested an EHR intervention to combat these disparities. With Dr. Zachary Meisel, Kayla is assisting with the Life STORRIED project where subjects are randomized to the narrative and probabilistic only intervention arms — perceive, share, use, and recall the communication tool and incorporate them into preferences and understanding about pain treatment. The findings of this project will be used to 1) provide evidence-based risk information in a format that minimizes the cognitive burden of comparing and weighing attributes between treatments, and 2) encourage a conversation and shared decision making process between the patient and provider. To complement his research interests, Kayla Dunn was a BEST Scholar at Columbia University where she interned last summer. Additionally, she enjoys reading, singing, and spending time with friends at UVA.