Heather Onuma-Brennan, M.P.H.

Senior Researcher

Heather Onuma-Brennan bio image

Heather Onuma-Brennan, M.P.H., is a senior researcher at L&M, bringing twenty years of experience conducting public health research, planning, and health communications projects, with a primary focus on vulnerable populations. Ms. Onuma-Brennan is skilled at directing fast-paced, complex, team-based qualitative research projects, while contributing thoughtful, creative energy and strategies to meet client needs and ensure representative samples of hard-to-reach populations. Her work touches a diverse set of health policies, health communications, and patient and provider audiences. She has extensive experience and expertise in qualitative research methods, including key informant interviews, focus groups and in-depth interviews, through both in-person and remote platforms.

Presently, Ms. Onuma-Brennan is a qualitative research project lead, currently working on the development of a disparities cost calculator for the CMS Office of Minority Health, while conducting interviews to support the evaluation of the CMS Home Health Value Based Purchasing initiative. In addition, she is developing communication strategies to increase awareness and use of pediatric quality measures for the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Ms. Onuma-Brennan recently managed a nationwide qualitative research project for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, exploring factors driving disparities in the use of preventive health services among diverse Medicare beneficiary communities who face low service uptake, and the healthcare providers who serve them. She has conducted research for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), assessing how elderly residents’ perceptions of health, well-being and satisfaction with housing and services are impacted by a new service coordination approach. Ms. Onuma-Brennan has contributed to several Department of Labor projects, including the evaluation of the United States Military Apprenticeship Program and an assessment of individuals’ impressions of the paid leave law in California.

Prior to joining L&M in 2012, Ms. Onuma-Brennan served in a variety of roles focused on cross-sector coalition-building, health communications, program and policy development to positively impact social determinants of health. She has also worked as a public health research and evaluation consultant for municipal, county, state and federal government agencies, academic institutions and private foundations. Ms. Onuma-Brennan holds an M.P.H. with a concentration in Community Health Sciences from the University of California Los Angeles Fielding School of Public Health, as well as a B.A. in Anthropology from Princeton University.