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
MD, - Medicine, University of California San Francisco
Honors and Awards
  • 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. 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

  2. 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

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Rita Hamad, Daniel F. Collin, Rebecca J. Baer, Laura L. Jelliffe-Pawlowski. Association of Revised WIC Food Package With Perinatal and Birth Outcomes. 2020. PMID:

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

  19. 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

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

  21. 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

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

  23. 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

  24. 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

  25. 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

  26. 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

  27. 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

  28. 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

  29. 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

  30. 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

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

  32. 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

  33. 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