RISE Scholars

Saria Hassan, MD, CPH
Yale School of Medicine
RISE Cohort 6


As a primary care physician at a Federally Qualified Community Health Center, I witnessed first-hand the burden of non-communicable diseases on minority populations. Furthermore, I was astounded by the reported, and experienced, health disparities -- with increased morbidity and mortality, across several diseases, in pediatric and adult racial/ethnic minorities. The rates of poorly controlled asthma and obesity among black and Hispanic children were astounding; and, my daily patient panel in the clinic reflected those reported statistics. When I subsequently moved to, and worked in, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania I was still confronted with health disparities, most evident across the socioeconomic divide. However, the most impactful of my experiences in Dar Es Salaam, was my exposure to the effectiveness of implementation science. In collaboration with RTI International, I worked on an implementation science project that integrated HIV care into a methadone maintenance program at the national hospital. HIV, today is a chronic disease, and I witnessed first-hand how the implementation of evidence-based interventions could impact HIV-related morbidity. For this reason, upon my return to New Haven, I made a career shift into research and now have the opportunity to study health disparities at the Yale Equity Research Innovation Center. It is my work at the Yale Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center for Health Disparities focused on Precision Medicine (Yale-TCC), where the demonstration project program seeks to implement evidence-based interventions in region, that re-ignited my excitement about implementation science. Furthermore, my research interest is in pediatric obesity and asthma disparities, with a focus on the obese-asthma phenotype, a field that lends itself well to implementation science methods. The PRIDE RISE program is a wonderful opportunity for me to merge these interests; additionally, it provides me with concrete skills, networking and mentorship to achieve my goals.