Ayako Miyashita Ochoa is an Adjunct Professor at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, Department of Social Welfare. She serves as Co-Director of Luskin’s new Center, UCLA Hub for Health Intervention, Policy and Practice (UCLA HHIPP). UCLA HHIPP’s mission is to co-create research that informs policy and practice and addresses intersecting oppressions in order to improve community health. As Co-Director for the Southern California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Center (SCHPRC), Professor Miyashita collaborates on interdisciplinary research with community and academic partners to bring the most relevant and timely evidence to bear on California’s efforts to develop and maintain efficient, cost-effective, and accessible programs and services to people living with or at risk for HIV, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections and overdose. Her research interests focus on HIV and other related health disparities at the intersection of race/ethnicity, sexual and gender identity, and migrant status.
In addition to serving as a faculty representative to the LGBTQ Affairs Committee at UCLA, Professor Miyashita is Co-Director of the Policy Impact Core for UCLA Center for HIV Identification, Prevention and Treatment Services (CHIPTS) as well as a Faculty Affiliate of UCLA California Center for Population Research (CCPR). Her teaching includes courses at UCLA Luskin, including LGBTQ Health, Law and Public Policy, Education and the Law, and Social Welfare Law and Ethics—a newly designed course.
Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA Luskin, Professor Miyashita directed the Los Angeles HIV Law and Policy Project, a legal services collaborative dedicated to addressing the unmet legal needs of primarily low-income people living with HIV (“PLWH”) in Los Angeles County. As a Director in the Clinical and Experiential Learning Department at UCLA School of Law, Professor Miyashita taught courses on the attorney-client relationship, client interviewing and counseling, and HIV law and policy. As the HIV Law and Policy Fellow at the Williams Institute in 2013-2015, her research included studies on HIV criminalization, unmet legal needs of PLWH in addition to issues related to HIV privacy and confidentiality.
In her legal practice, Professor Miyashita provided direct legal services to low-income clients living with HIV in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles counties. This included assisting clients in obtaining disability benefits and other supports necessary to live independently. Her legal expertise runs a broad spectrum of public benefits including income support, health coverage, and other support services necessary for individuals living with disabilities. Professor Miyashita regularly provides training and education to clients, advocates, health and social service providers, and legislative and policymaking bodies.
Professor Miyashita earned her Juris Doctor from U.C. Berkeley School of Law and was admitted to the State Bar of California in 2009.