Elizabeth Barnert, MD, MPH, MS is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Through the UC Berkeley – UCSF Joint Medical Program, she received her medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco and earned a Master's of Science degree from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Her public health Master’s thesis used ethnography to examine the process of family reunification of the “disappeared” children of El Salvador. She then completed residency training in pediatrics at Stanford University Medical Center. She came to UCLA in 2012 as a Clinical Scholar in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program. During fellowship, she also completed training in health policy and earned a Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.
A Cuban-American born and raised in Los Angeles, she is passionate about improving health outcomes of vulnerable youth. Dr. Barnert provides clinical care at a Los Angeles County juvenile hall. Her research focuses on youth involved in the juvenile justice system, commercially sexually exploited youth, and youth undergoing family separation and reunification.
Funded through an NIH-funded Career Development Award, Dr. Barnert is partnering with Los Angeles County to develop and test an intervention to link youth to mental health and substance use treatment services after incarceration.
Dr. Barnert serves as an advisor to the California state legislature and to US Congress on juvenile justice policy. Her research contributed to the passage of California SB 1322, which decriminalized child victims of commercial sexual exploitation; to AB 2992, requires police officer training on commercial sexual exploitation of children; and to SB 439, which excludes children 11 and under from the juvenile justice system.
Dr. Barnert’s work is guided by the principle that all children should receive the support they need to be healthy and thrive.