Tumaini Coker

Photo of Tumaini Coker
Associate Natural Scientist
Off Site Office


M.D., Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Drew/UCLA Medical Education Program; M.B.A., The Anderson School at University of California, Los Angeles; B.A., Stanford University, Psychology


Tumaini Rucker Coker, MD, MBA is Associate Natural Scientist at RAND and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UCLA. Dr. Coker's research has focused on delivery system redesign for child and adolescent preventive health services, as well as racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in health and health care. She investigates alternative models of health care delivery within the context of the patient-centered medical home to improve the quality of primary care services delivered to children in low-income urban communities. She is currently directing two separate studies to design and pilot-test new models of preventive care delivery for low-income families with young children. The first study is funded by a 5-year NIH/NICHD K23 Career Development Award and is in collaboration with a community health center in Los Angeles, CA. The second is funded by a 3-year HRSA grant and is in collaboration with one of the largest public health plans in the U.S. Dr. Coker's work has also focused on racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in family-centered care, the health and health care of homeless children, perceived racial/ethnic discrimination and its effects on child mental health, racial/ethnic disparities in mental health care utilization, and the health and health care of LGBT youth. Her work has been published in various journals including JAMA, Pediatrics, the American Journal of Public Health, and Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, and has been covered by mainstream media outlets including CNN, USA Today, NBC, Time, and Fox News. Dr. Coker practices general pediatrics at UCLA.

Recent Projects

  • Well-child care practice redesign for low-income communities
  • Payers' perspectives on practice redesign
  • Racial/ethnic disparities in child mental health care utilization
  • Access and utilization of adolescent preventive health services
  • Health and health care for LGBT youth

Selected Publications

Coker TR, Elliot MN, Wallander JL, Cuccaro P, Grunbaum JA, Corona R, Saunders AE, Schuster MA., "Association of family stressful life-change events and health-related quality of life in fifth-grade children," Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 165:354-359, 2011

Coker TR, Chan LS, Newberry SJ, Limbos MA, Suttorp MJ, Shekelle PG, Takata G., "Diagnosis, microbial epidemiology, and antibiotic treatment of acute otitis media in children: A systematic review," JAMA, 210:2161-69, 2010

Coker TR, Rodriguez MA, Flores G., "Family-centered care for US children with special health care needs: who gets it and why?" Pediatrics, 125:1159-1167, 2010

Coker TR, Sareen HG, Chung PJ, Kennedy DP, Weidmer BA, Schuster MA., "Improving access to and utilization of adolescent preventive health care: The perspectives of adolescents and parents," Journal of Adolescent Health, 47:133-142, 2010

Coker TR, Austin SB, Schuster MA., "The health and health care of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth," Annual Review of Public Health, 31:457-477, 2010

Coker TR, Chung PJ, Cowgill BO, Chen L, Rodriguez MA., "Low-income parents' views on the redesign of well-child care," Pediatrics, 124:194-204, 2009

Coker TR, Elliott MN, Kanouse DE, Grunbaum J, Gilliland MJ, Tortolero SR, Cuccaro P, Schuster MA., "Prevalence, Characteristics, and Associated Health and Health Care of Family Homelessness Among Fifth-Grade Students," American Journal of Public Health, 99:1446-1452, 2009

Coker T, Casalino LP, Alexander GC, Lantos J, "Should our well-child care system be redesigned? A national survey of pediatricians," Pediatrics, 118:1852-1857, 2006