Meredith Van Natta

Meredith Van Natta is a doctoral candidate in medical sociology at the University of California, San Francisco. She explores how uncertainty around health and immigration policy shapes the health decisions of immigrants living in the U.S.

After completing a master’s degree at UC Berkeley, Meredith worked as a case manager and planning and evaluation specialist at Operation Access, a non-profit that provides donated surgical and specialty care to low-income, uninsured Bay Area residents. This work drew her to the sociology program at UCSF, where she continues to explore the intersecting impacts of health and immigration policies. While at UCSF, Meredith has also been a research assistant for the HEALSS study examining health literacy in complex care management programs in the safety net. She can be contacted at



Keywords: immigrant health; citizenship; biopolitics; health inequalities;

science, medicine, and technology studies



Doctor of Philosophy, Sociology
University of California, San Francisco


Master of Arts, Latin American Studies
University of California, Berkeley

Bachelor of Arts, History & Latin American Studies
University of Kansas



Professional Experience

Lan Do and Associates, LLC
Certified Healthcare Interpreter (CCHI)

Operation Access
Planning & Evaluation Specialist
(Previously Program Coordinator & Program Specialist)    



Skills & Languages

Qualitative Research

Grounded Theory

Mixed Methods







Van Natta, Meredith, Nancy J. Burke, Irene H. Yen, Sara Rubin, Mark D. Fleming, Ariana Thompson-Lastad, and Janet K. Shim. 2018. “Complex Care and Contradictions of Choice in the Safety Net.” Sociology of Health and Illness 40(3):538-51.


Rubin, Sara, Nancy J. Burke, Meredith Van Natta, Irene H. Yen, and Janet K. Shim. “Like a Fish Out of Water: Managing Chronic Pain in the Urban Safety Net.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior. Doi:


Zimmer, Zachary and Meredith Van Natta. 2018. "Migration, household composition and economic situation of households in rural Cambodia with a focus on left-behind parents and children of migrants." Asian Population Studies. Doi:


Fleming, Mark D., Janet K. Shim, Irene H. Yen, Christoph Hanssmann, Meredith Van Natta, Ariana Thompson-Lastad, and Nancy J. Burke. 2018. “Caring for ‘super-utilizers’ in the safety-net: cost-effectiveness and neoliberalism’s new forms of social assistance.” Medical Anthropology Quarterly [Forthcoming].


Thompson-Lastad, Ariana, Janet K. Shim, Irene H. Yen, Mark D. Fleming, Meredith Van Natta, Sara Rubin, Nancy J. Burke. 2017. “Response to Commentary, ‘Trauma and the structuring of complex care: Back to the settlements?’ by Elizabeth Bowen.” Social Science & Medicine 192:28-29.


Thompson-Lastad, Ariana, Janet K. Shim, Irene H. Yen, Mark D. Fleming, Meredith Van Natta, Sara Rubin, Nancy J. Burke. 2017. “Defining Trauma in Complex Care Management: Safety-Net Providers' Perspectives on Structural Vulnerability and Time.” Social Science & Medicine 186:104-12.


Fleming, Mark D., Janet K. Shim, Irene H. Yen, Ariana Thompson-Lastad, Sara Rubin, Meredith Van Natta, and Nancy J. Burke. 2017. “Patient engagement at the margins: Health care providers’ assessments of engagement and the structural determinants of health in the safety net.” Social Science & Medicine 183:11-18.


Zimmer, Zachary and Meredith Van Natta. 2016. “Migration and Left-Behind Households in Rural Cambodia: Structure and Socio-economic Conditions.” Phnom Penh, Cambodia: UNFPA and National Institute of Statistics.


Click on the image below for video.

Contact Me:

Google Photo 2.jpg