Tanya Khemet Taiwo: Community builder

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Tanya Khemet Taiwo quote

Tanya Khemet TaiwoTanya Khemet Taiwo, PhD, MPH is co-director of the Community Engagement Core at the UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Center. Dr. Khemet Taiwo is a newly minted PhD graduate in epidemiology from UC Davis, who studied how socioeconomic and psychological stress in moms-to-be affected the health of their babies.

Dr. Khemet Taiwo brings with her an expertise in women’s and children’s health from decades of experience working as a licensed midwife. As a midwife, Khemet Taiwo co-founded a network of women’s health clinics in medically underserved areas of Sacramento, California. To address the multi-faceted needs of low-income women and their children, the clinics provided compassionate care through programs to prevent abuse and foster family cohesiveness. They were the only prenatal providers in this community committed to a model of respectful, preventative care that was both empowering and collaborative.

Looking to close the gap on health disparities she witnessed in the trenches, Dr. Khemet Taiwo also designed a home health visitation program for Black infants through First Five Sacramento, as well as a clinical gestational diabetes program based on Sweet Success/Dulce Exito.

Dr. Khemet Taiwo is an assistant professor of midwifery at Bastyr University, and a research fellow at The Birth Place Lab at the University of British Columbia. At the Birth Place Lab she’s collaborating on the Giving Voice to Mothers Study, a research project that examines how race, ethnicity and birthplace affect maternity care in the United States.


Email: tmkhemet@ucdavis.edu

Phone:  530-758-4992

Social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube

Positions at UC Davis

Co-director, Community Engagement Core, Environmental Health Sciences Center

Areas of expertise

  • Autism
  • Children’s health
  • Community-engaged research
  • Environmental justice policy
  • Epidemiology
  • Health disparities
  • Women’s health

Khemet Taiwo is on the Executive Committee of Project TENDR (Targeting Environmental Neuro-development Risks) and Co-President of the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives.

Major research papers

Vedem S et al. 2019. The Giving Voice to Mothers Study: Inequity and mistreatment during pregnancy and childbirth in the United States. Reproductive Health 16:77. https://rdcu.be/bH3gQ

Maternal Prenatal Stress and Child Neurodevelopment, Dissertation, Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology, University of California, Davis (2019)


  • PhD, Epidemiology, University of California, Davis (2019)
  • MPH, California State University, San Jose (2012)
  • CPM, Seattle Midwifery School, Seattle, Washington (1999)
  • BS, Systems Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology (1986)