Wagahta Semere, MD, MHS

Associate Professor

General Internal Medicine, General Internal Medicine ZSFG

I am an Associate Professor of Medicine at UCSF in the Division of General Internal Medicine and a primary care provider in the Richard H. Fine People’s Clinic at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. I am trained in health services research, with a background in quantitative, qualitative, and community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods. My work is focused on developing strategies, informatics-based tools, and using CBPR and computer science to better engage racially/ethnically diverse patients and their caregivers with providers in chronic disease management.

My current work focuses on examining communication between culturally and linguistically diverse patients, their caregivers, and providers. I am analyzing over 400,000 secure messages exchanged over an online patient portal between more than 9,500 ethnically diverse diabetes patients with limited health literacy, their caregivers, and their providers. I have applied machine learning, natural language processing, and novel computational linguistics techniques to characterize secure message communication. As an example, through the application of natural language processing, I have worked with computational linguists to identify caregivers’ “hidden proxy” communication on behalf of patients. We have characterized a socially and medically vulnerable group of patients who rely on proxies. I am particularly interested in leveraging technology-based platforms and clinical informatics methods to develop communication tools that promote safe and effective family-centered care.

Education
Certificate, 2020 - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training, UCSF
MHS, 2016 - Health Services Research, Yale RWJF Clinical Scholars
Residency, Chief Resident, 2013,14 - Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine
MD, 2010 - Medicine, University of Michigan
BSE, 2005 - Biomechanical Engineering, Stanford University
Honors and Awards
  • MERC Emerging Health Equity Scholar, UCSF, 2024
  • NIH Loan Repayment Award, NIH, 2021
  • John A. Watson Faculty Scholar, UCSF, 2017
  • Gold Humanism Society, Yale, 2013
Websites
Publications
  1. Semere W, Yank V, Lisha NE, Lindquist LA, Huang AJ. Older adults with overlapping caregiving responsibilities and care needs in a U.S. national community-based sample. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2024. PMID: 38344822


  2. Semere W, Karter AJ, Lyles CR, Reed ME, Karliner L, Kaplan C, Liu JY, Livaudais-Toman J, Schillinger D. Care Partner Engagement in Secure Messaging Between Patients With Diabetes and Their Clinicians: Cohort Study. JMIR diabetes 2024. PMID: 38335020


  3. El Ayadi AM, Mitchell A, Nalubwama H, Miller S, Semere W, Barageine JK, Korn AP, Obore S, Lucas R, Byamugisha J. The social, economic, emotional, and physical experiences of caregivers for women with female genital fistula in Uganda: A qualitative study. Global public health 2023. PMID: 37671506


  4. Semere W, Althouse AD, Arnold R, White D, Smith TJ, Chu E, Rosenzweig MQ, Schenker Y. Examining Caregiver Outcomes in the CONNECT Intervention for Patients with Advanced Cancer. Journal of pain and symptom management 2022. PMID: 36503155


  5. Semere W, Makaroun LK, Beach S, Schillinger D, Rosland AM. Family caregivers navigating the health care system: Evolving roles during the COVID-19 pandemic. TO REMOVE 2022. PMID: 35549487


  6. Semere W, Kaplan L, Valle K, Guzman D, Ramsey C, Garcia C, Kushel M. Caregiving Needs Are Unmet for Many Older Homeless Adults: Findings from the HOPE HOME Study. TO REMOVE 2022. PMID: 35167064


  7. Semere W, Cemballi AG, Schillinger D, Casillas A, Lemberg M, Lyles CR. "We need to bring them out from the shadows:" A qualitative study of safety net physician leaders' perspectives on caregivers. TO REMOVE 2021. PMID: 34756473


  8. Cemballi AG, Karter AJ, Schillinger D, Liu JY, McNamara DS, Brown W, Crossley S, Semere W, Reed M, Allen J, Lyles CR. Descriptive examination of secure messaging in a longitudinal cohort of diabetes patients in the ECLIPPSE study. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA 2020. PMID: 33236117


  9. Semere W, Althouse AD, Rosland AM, White D, Arnold R, Chu E, Smith TJ, Schenker Y. Poor patient health is associated with higher caregiver burden for older adults with advanced cancer. Journal of geriatric oncology 2021. PMID: 33478890


  10. Brown W, Balyan R, Karter AJ, Crossley S, Semere W, Duran ND, Lyles C, Liu J, Moffet HH, Daniels R, McNamara DS, Schillinger D. Challenges and Solutions to Employing Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning to Measure Patients' Health Literacy and Physician Writing Complexity: The ECLIPPSE Study. Journal of biomedical informatics 2020. PMID: 33316421


  11. Casillas A, Cemballi AG, Abhat A, Lemberg M, Portz JD, Sadasivaiah S, Ratanawongsa N, Semere W, Brown A, Lyles CR. An Untapped Potential in Primary Care: Semi-Structured Interviews with Clinicians on How Patient Portals Will Work for Caregivers in the Safety Net. Journal of medical Internet research 2020. PMID: 32706709


  12. Semere W, Crossley S, Karter AJ, Lyles CR, Brown W, Reed M, McNamara DS, Liu JY, Schillinger D. Secure Messaging with Physicians by Proxies for Patients with Diabetes: Findings from the ECLIPPSE Study. Journal of general internal medicine 2019. PMID: 31428986


  13. Semere W, Nápoles AM, Gregorich S, Livaudais-Toman J, Karliner L. Caregiving for Older Adults with Limited English Proficiency: Transitioning from Hospital to Home. Journal of general internal medicine 2019. PMID: 31236893


  14. Semere W, Agrawal P, Yun K, Di Bartolo I, Annamalai A, Ross JS. Factors Associated with Refugee Acute Healthcare Utilization in Southern Connecticut. Journal of immigrant and minority health 2018. PMID: 28382427


  15. Semere W, Yun K, Ahalt C, Williams B, Wang EA. Challenges in Identifying Refugees in National Health Data Sets. American journal of public health 2016. PMID: 27196649


  16. Semere W, Karamanoukian HL, Levitt M, Edwards T, Murero M, D'Ancona G, Donias HW, Glick PL. A pediatric surgery study: parent usage of the Internet for medical information. Journal of pediatric surgery 2003. PMID: 12677566


  17. Semere WG, Edwards TM, Boyd D, Barsoumian R, Murero M, Donias HW, Karamanoukian HL. The world wide web and robotic heart surgery. The heart surgery forum 2003. PMID: 14721995