John Billimek, PhD
Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Academic Affairs
Department of Family Medicine
School of Medicine
Co-Director, Program in Medical Education for the Latino Community (PRIME-LC) Residency Track
|Health Policy Research Institute
100 Theory, Suite 100
Irvine, CA 92617
Medical Education Building
Key Research Areas
Medication adherence, diabetes, health disparities, social determinants of health, doctor-patient communication, and chronic disease management
Expansion of health insurance coverage alone may not improve health outcomes for low income patients if care is not delivered in a way that is responsive to their needs. My research aims to understand why wide racial and socioeconomic disparities in health outcomes exist among patients with chronic diseases for which there are accepted guidelines for prevention and treatment, even among individuals who can access affordable health care.
Both as a health disparities researcher and as the lead biostatistical resource for the UC Irvine Health Policy Research Institute, I do research addressing two overarching questions: What are the barriers, in terms of social determinants of health, cultural preferences, and patient characteristics, that prevent underserved patients from realizing the full benefit of effective medical therapies? And, can healthcare be delivered in a way that is more responsive to these barriers?
As Director for Community Engagement & Administrative Affairs for the Program in Medical Eduation for the Latino Community (PRIME-LC), I support our medical students in their 5-year MD/Masters dual-degree programs aimed to give them the skills to be physician leaders transforming medically underserved Latino communities. I provide mentorship in research, service project development, and professional development. I also represent our program to identify the next generation of PRIME-LC trainees, networking with student organizations and community groups, and providing opportunities for undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students to engage in research and service projects.
In 2017, we established the HELIOS lab, a mentored health disparities also mentor a team of 12 student researchers designing and conducting health disparities research studies in several clinic and community sites.
In addition, I co-direct the Ayacucho Mission, an annual medical volunteer campaign delivering free health care to impoverished communities in the Andes Mountains of Peru. I am a proud mentor to the next generation of first-in-family health professionals and health researchers from universities and junior colleges around Southern California in the Health Scholars Program. Finally, I help develop, implement, oversee and evaluate quality improvement projects in the ambulatory clinics of UC Irvine Health and in the community.
Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 2007, Psychology and Social Behavior