Sarah L. Patrick, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor of Epidemiology
Research Interests: Epidemiology
Courses: PUBH 235 Contemporary Issues in Global Health; EPI 523 Applied Epidemiology; EPI500 Introduction to Epidemiology; PUBH-497-01-Directed Research Public Hlth; EPI 512 Global Noncommunicable Disease Epidemiology
Education History: MPH, PhD, University of Pittsburgh BS, University of Illinois,
SLU faculty since: 2011
Sarah Patrick, PhD, MPH is an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology. She was trained at the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Diabetes Registries, Research, and Training at the University of Pittsburgh.
For over twenty years, she has toggled service as a public health practitioner and as an academician and researcher. In practice, she served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assigned to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, State Epidemiologist in South Dakota and later in Missouri, and a contract epidemiologist for the Aberdeen Area Indian Health Services and the Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network (TEPHINET), working with the field epidemiology training programs in the Middle East and Northern Africa.
Academically, she has directed the Institute of Rural Health Studies at Idaho State University and the Center for Rural Health Improvement at the Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota, where she also was director of the Center of Excellence in Women's Health. She has taught global health to undergraduates and various epidemiology, research methods, and scientific writing courses to students in MPH and PhD public health programs, medical students, physical therapy doctoral students, and practicing medical epidemiologists.
Community-based participatory research methods are key to her research efforts and topics mirror the needs of communities with which she has worked. Some examples include: type 1 diabetes incidence in Hawaii, a social network analysis of syphilis among young adults and youth, substance abuse prevention among children of substance using parents, motor vehicle crash deaths among adolescents, factors associated with seat belt use among adolescents, human papillomavirus infections among women in rural and frontier areas, factors associated with primary care provider participation in immunization registries, pertussis case control study among children 0-60 months of age, and factors associated with the increase in heroin-related deaths in a metropolitan area.
Intercultural features implicitly exist in almost of all of this work, though the need for practical resolution to pressing and real health problems was the impetus for the collaborative, team efforts. She believes field epidemiology work is part of the ‘nitty gritty' with which we are asked to engage and she is honored to do so.
"Solidarity is learned through 'contact' rather than 'concepts'. Students in the course of their formation, must let the gritty reality of this world into their lives, so they can learn to feel it, think about it critically, respond to its suffering and engage it constructively. They should learn to perceive, think, judge, choose and act for the rights of others, especially the disadvantaged and the oppressed."