Rita Hamad, MD, PhD, MPH

Associate Professor

Dr. Rita Hamad is a social epidemiologist and family physician in the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and the Department of Family & Community Medicine at UCSF. As the director of the Social Policies for Health Equity Research Program (https://sphere.ucsf.edu), her research focuses on the pathways linking poverty and education with health disparities across the life course. In particular, she studies the health effects of social and economic policies using interdisciplinary quasi-experimental methods. She also investigates the mechanisms through which adverse socioeconomic conditions get "under the skin" to cause disease.

Dr. Hamad is the Associate Director of the Center for Health Equity. She is also a member of the steering committee of the UCSF Population Health Data Initiative, serving as the Faculty Lead for the development of data infrastructure to advance population health research on campus. She previously served as the Policy Lead of the UCSF Preterm Birth Initiative, spearheading an agenda to reduce disparities in preterm birth by addressing its upstream determinants. Dr. Hamad mentors trainees at all levels in population health research, and she supervises family medicine residents at the Family Health Center at San Francisco General Hospital. She also serves on the Communications Committee of the Interdisciplinary Association of Population Health Sciences.
AB, - Chemistry, Harvard University
PhD, - Epidemiology, Stanford University
- Family Medicine, UCSF - Contra Costa Family Medicine Residency
MPH, MS, - Health & Medical Sciences, University of California Berkeley
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion Training, University of California San Francisco
MD, - Medicine, University of California San Francisco
Honors and Awards
  • Outstanding Impact in Health & Social Justice Alumni Award, UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program, 2022
  • James C. Puffer, M.D./American Board of Family Medicine Fellowship, National Academy of Medicine, 2020-2022
  • Irene Perstein Award, UCSF, 2018-2021
  • Hellman Fellowship, UCSF, 2018-2020
  1. Foverskov E, White JS, Frøslev T, Sørensen HT, Hamad R. Risk of Psychiatric Disorders Among Refugee Children and Adolescents Living in Disadvantaged Neighborhoods. 2022. PMID: 36094528

  2. Brown EM, Fernald LCH, Hamad R, Hoskote M, Jackson KE, Gosliner W. Pandemic-related socioeconomic disruptions and adverse health outcomes: a cross-sectional study of female caregivers. 2022. PMID: 36221110

  3. Hamad R, Lyman KA, Lin F, Modrow MF, Ozluk P, Azar KMJ, Goodin A, Isasi CR, Kitzman HE, Knight SJ, Marcus GM, McMahill-Walraven CN, Meissner P, Nair V, O'Brien EC, Olgin JE, Peyser ND, Sylwestrzak G, Williams N, Pletcher MJ, Carton T. The U.S. COVID-19 County Policy Database: a novel resource to support pandemic-related research. 2022. PMID: 36217102

  4. Karasek D, Raifman S, Dow WH, Hamad R, Goodman JM. Evaluating the Effect of San Francisco's Paid Parental Leave Ordinance on Birth Outcomes. 2022. PMID: 36231264

  5. Torres JM, Alcala E, Shaver A, Collin DF, Franck LS, Gomez AM, Karasek D, Nidey N, Hotard M, Hamad R, Pacheco-Werner T. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and birth outcomes in California: a quasi-experimental study. 2022. PMID: 35906553

  6. Kim MH, Schwartz GL, White JS, Glymour MM, Reardon SF, Kershaw KN, Gomez SL, Collin DF, Inamdar P, Wang G, Hamad R. School racial segregation and long-term cardiovascular health among black adults in the US: A quasi-experimental study. 2022. PMID: 35727819

  7. Foverskov E, White JS, Norredam M, Frøslev T, Kim MH, Glymour MM, Pedersen L, Sørensen HT, Hamad R. Neighbourhood socioeconomic disadvantage and psychiatric disorders among refugees: a population-based, quasi-experimental study in Denmark. 2022. PMID: 35597890

  8. Wang G, Schwartz GL, Kim MH, White JS, Glymour MM, Reardon S, Kershaw KN, Gomez SL, Inamdar PP, Hamad R. School Racial Segregation and the Health of Black Children. 2022. PMID: 35434734

  9. Jackson KE, Yeb J, Gosliner W, Fernald LCH, Hamad R. Characterizing the Landscape of Safety Net Programs and Policies in California during the COVID-19 Pandemic. 2022. PMID: 35270441

  10. Hamad R, Glymour MM, Calmasini C, Nguyen TT, Walter S, Rehkopf DH. Explaining the variance in cardiovascular disease risk factors: A comparison of demographic, socioeconomic, and genetic predictors. 2021. PMID: 34799480

  11. Raifman JR, Raderman W, Skinner A, Hamad R. Paid Leave Policies Can Help Keep Businesses Open And Food On Workers’ Tables 2021. PMID:

  12. Collin DF, Shields-Zeeman LS, Batra A, White JS, Tong M, Hamad R. The effects of state earned income tax credits on mental health and health behaviors: A quasi-experimental study. 2021. PMID: 33740636

  13. Guan A, Hamad R, Batra A, Bush NR, Tylavsky FA, LeWinn KZ. The Revised WIC Food Package and Child Development: A Quasi-Experimental Study. 2021. PMID: 33495370

  14. Riley AR, Collin D, Grumbach JM, Torres JM, Hamad R. Association of US state policy orientation with adverse birth outcomes: a longitudinal analysis. 2021. PMID: 33408163

  15. Arons A, Pomeranz J, Hamad R. Identifying Novel Predictors of State Legislative Action to Address Obesity. 2019. PMID: 31415263

  16. Hamad R, Öztürk B, Foverskov E, Pedersen L, Sørensen HT, Bøtker HE, White JS. Association of Neighborhood Disadvantage With Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Events Among Refugees in Denmark. 2020. PMID: 32821923

  17. Hamad R, Penko J, Kazi DS, Coxson P, Guzman D, Wei PC, Mason A, Wang EA, Goldman L, Fiscella K, Bibbins-Domingo K. Association of Low Socioeconomic Status With Premature Coronary Heart Disease in US Adults. 2020. PMID: 32459344

  18. Collin DF, Shields-Zeeman LS, Batra A, Vable AM, Rehkopf DH, Machen L, Hamad R. Short-term effects of the earned income tax credit on mental health and health behaviors. 2020. PMID: 32735990

  19. Chiang J, Arons A, Pomeranz JL, Siddiqi A, Hamad R. Geographic and Longitudinal Trends in Media Framing of Obesity in the United States. 2020. PMID: 32475076

  20. Raphael E, White JS, Li X, Cederin K, Glymour MM, Sundquist K, Sundquist J, Hamad R. Neighborhood deprivation and mental health among immigrants to Sweden. 2020. PMID: 31977591

  21. Lee BC, Modrek S, White JS, Batra A, Collin DF, Hamad R. The effect of California's paid family leave policy on parent health: A quasi-experimental study. 2020. PMID: 32179364

  22. Hamad R, Collin DF, Baer RJ, Jelliffe-Pawlowski LL. Association of Revised WIC Food Package With Perinatal and Birth Outcomes: A Quasi-Experimental Study. 2019. PMID: 31260072

  23. Hamad R, Batra A, Karasek D, LeWinn KZ, Bush NR, Davis RL, Tylavsky FA. The Impact of the Revised WIC Food Package on Maternal Nutrition during Pregnancy and Postpartum. 2019. PMID: 31094428

  24. Hamad R, Nguyen TT, Bhattacharya J, Glymour MM, Rehkopf DH. Educational attainment and cardiovascular disease in the United States: A quasi-experimental instrumental variables analysis. Volume 16 of Issue 6. 2019. PMID: 31237869

  25. Hamad R, Nguyen TT, Glymour MM, Vable A, Manly JJ, Rehkopf DH. Quality and quantity: The association of state-level educational policies with later life cardiovascular disease. Volume 126. 2019. PMID: 31195021

  26. Hamad R, Templeton ZS, Schoemaker L, Zhao M, Bhattacharya J. Comparing demographic and health characteristics of new and existing SNAP recipients: application of a machine learning algorithm. Volume 109 of Issue 4. 2019. PMID: 30949659

  27. Hamad R, Collin DF, Rehkopf DH. Estimating the Short-Term Effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit on Child Health. Volume 187 of Issue 12. 2018. PMID: 30188968

  28. Vable AM, Eng CW, Mayeda ER, Basu S, Marden JR, Hamad R, Glymour MM. Mother's education and late-life disparities in memory and dementia risk among US military veterans and non-veterans. Volume 72 of Issue 12. 2018. PMID: 30082424

  29. Glymour MM, Hamad R. Causal Thinking as a Critical Tool for Eliminating Social Inequalities in Health. Volume 108 of Issue 5. 2018. PMID: 29617596

  30. Pomeranz JL, Siddiqi A, Bolanos GJ, Shor JA, Hamad R. Consolidated state political party control and the enactment of obesity-related policies in the United States. Volume 105. 2017. PMID: 28865810

  31. Hamad R, Walter S, Rehkopf DH. Telomere length and health outcomes: A two-sample genetic instrumental variables analysis. Volume 82. 2016. PMID: 27321645

  32. White JS, Hamad R, Li X, Basu S, Ohlsson H, Sundquist J, Sundquist K. Long-term effects of neighbourhood deprivation on diabetes risk: quasi-experimental evidence from a refugee dispersal policy in Sweden. Volume 4 of Issue 6. 2016. PMID: 27131930

  33. Hamad R, Rehkopf DH. Hamad and Rehkopf Respond to "Income and Health: Financial Credits as Instruments". Volume 183 of Issue 9. 2016. PMID: 27056960

  34. Hamad R, Rehkopf DH. Poverty and Child Development: A Longitudinal Study of the Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit. Volume 183 of Issue 9. 2016. PMID: 27056961

  35. Basu S, Hamad R, White JS, Modrek S, Rehkopf DH, Cullen MR. The EARN-Health Trial: protocol for a randomised controlled trial to identify health effects of a financial savings programme among low-income US adults. Volume 5 of Issue 10. 2015. PMID: 26443663

  36. Hamad R, Modrek S, Cullen MR. The Effects of Job Insecurity on Health Care Utilization: Findings from a Panel of U.S. Workers. Volume 51 of Issue 3. 2015. PMID: 26416343

  37. Hamad R, Rehkopf DH. Poverty, Pregnancy, and Birth Outcomes: A Study of the Earned Income Tax Credit. Volume 29 of Issue 5. 2015. PMID: 26212041

  38. Hamad R, Modrek S, Kubo J, Goldstein BA, Cullen MR. Using "big data" to capture overall health status: properties and predictive value of a claims-based health risk score. Volume 10 of Issue 5. 2015. PMID: 25951622

  39. Hamad R, Pomeranz JL, Siddiqi A, Basu S. Large-scale automated analysis of news media: a novel computational method for obesity policy research. Volume 23 of Issue 2. 2014. PMID: 25522013

  40. Moseson H, Hamad R, Fernald L. Microcredit participation and child health: results from a cross-sectional study in Peru. Volume 68 of Issue 12. 2014. PMID: 25180005

  41. Hamad R, Fernald LCh, Karlan DS. Health education for microcredit clients in Peru: a randomized controlled trial. Volume 11 of Issue 1. 2011. PMID: 21261988

  42. Hamad R, Fernald LC. Microcredit participation and nutrition outcomes among women in Peru. Volume 66 of Issue 6. 2010. PMID: 21051776

  43. Fernald LC, Hamad R, Karlan D, Ozer EJ, Zinman J. Small individual loans and mental health: a randomized controlled trial among South African adults. Volume 8. 2008. PMID: 19087316

  44. Hamad R, Fernald LC, Karlan DS, Zinman J. Social and economic correlates of depressive symptoms and perceived stress in South African adults. Volume 62 of Issue 6. 2008. PMID: 18477753