Health is a fundamental human right.

We work to ensure access to health care for over 450 million deaf people across the globe.

Center for Deaf Health Equity conducts patient-centered research to link accessibility to health outcomes among deaf and hard of hearing individuals. We research and share findings because we believe deaf people deserve equitable access to health care.

Our research lab is one of 18 labs here at Gallaudet University within Academic Affairs and the Provost’s Office oversees our efforts


Dr. Poorna Kushalnagar

Center Director & Associate Professor
B.A. in Psychology at Gallaudet University; M.A. in Psychology at the University of Houston; and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of Houston. Postdoctoral training in Public Health Services and Preventive Medicine at the University of Washington and University of Rochester Medical Center.

Dr. Poorna Kushalnagar directs the Center for Deaf Health Equity at Gallaudet University.

She is the principal investigator of National Institute of Health (NIH) awards that total over $3 million dollars. These grants support studies aligned with her primary research interests in deaf patient-reported and health outcomes.

Meet the Team


Raylene Paludneviciene, Ph.D.

Cultural Adaptation and Translation

Gideon Firl, B.S.

Health Communication Specialist
Deaf Health Equity Center

Julia Velasquez, B.S.

Project Coordinator
Deaf Health Equity Center

Ai Takayama, RN

Graduate Assistant