New Class Of Early Career Researchers Set To Improve Health Care Delivery

New class of early career researchers set to improve health care delivery

Postdoc program provides unique pathways for career development

 

By Sue Rochman

This fall, the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research added 4 new postdoctoral research fellows. Three joined the Delivery Science Fellowship Program and one entered the T32 Training Program in Diabetes Translational Research.

The 2 programs, led by research scientists Richard W. Grant, MD, MPH, and Julie A. Schmittdiel, PhD, provide research and career mentorship to young investigators who are interested in improving how patient care is delivered.

“We look for people who are very excited about the scientific process and want to develop their skills in formulating and answering important scientific questions,” said Schmittdiel. “We also look for people who are enthusiastic about leveraging the incredible resources we have at Kaiser Permanente to really do fantastic science.”

Meet the new fellows and learn more about their research goals:

Loretta Hsueh, PhD, research fellow, Division of Research.

Loretta Hsueh, PhD

Why were you interested in the postdoctoral program offered at the Division of Research?

From my perspective, the Bay Area draws its strength from the rich diversity of its community members. Yet, our communities also face significant health threats rooted in structural inequality. As a PhD student developing my program of research in immigrant and racial/ethnic minority cardiometabolic health, I admired the innovative work taking place at the Division of Research examining the role of the health care system in addressing racial and ethnic disparities in diabetes care. Naturally, I was excited when the opportunity to come train opened up. Over the next 2 years, I will be expanding my research portfolio to focus on health information technology interventions aimed at improving health care access and utilization among newly arrived immigrants, patients with limited English proficiency, and racial/ethnic minority groups.

What hobbies, interests, and activities do you enjoy in your free time? 

Wandering different Oakland neighborhoods, reading, and when it is safe to do so again, traveling.

What would you like to have accomplished by 2025?

I see myself leading a team of multidisciplinary collaborators, producing research, and advocating for policies that improve the health and social conditions in which people live. I have also had the privilege of excellent mentorship, from undergraduate to postdoc, so it is important to me to pay it forward and mentor the next generation of researchers.

 

Sidney Le, MD, research fellow, Division of Research.

Sidney Le, MD

Why were you interested in the postdoctoral program offered at the Division of Research?

I am in the midst of my general surgery residency training at Kaiser Permanente Oakland. I am stepping away from my clinical training to pursue this research training. I am attracted to Kaiser Permanente’s rich data systems and the potential to translate new knowledge into systems changes that can enrich patient care. Kaiser Permanente has long felt like a professional “home” for me, as I trained in Oakland and Richmond extensively in medical school and residency. I am excited about the opportunity to step back from day-to-day patient care and focus on the systems challenges that impact Kaiser Permanente’s patients and providers.

What hobbies, interests, and activities do you enjoy in your free time? 

I enjoy cooking and travel, especially to Vietnam!

What would you like to have accomplished by 2025?

I hope to have completed my clinical training in general surgery as well as my subspecialty fellowship training, and to be an attending surgeon at Kaiser Permanente who has the skills to infuse informatics into surgical systems.

 

Luis Rodriguez, PhD, MPH, RD, research fellow, Division of Research.

Luis Rodriguez, PhD, MPH, RD

Why were you interested in the postdoctoral program offered at the Division of Research?

I was interested in the T32 program because its focus on diabetes prevention research aligns perfectly with my research interests, the mentorship, and the wealth of opportunities to conduct health disparities research with a diverse patient population.

What hobbies/interests/activities do you enjoy in your free time?

When I am outdoors, I enjoy running and biking, and have ran a number of full and half marathons. When I am indoors, I enjoy cooking for my family, playing and watching movies with my twin toddlers, and reading.

What would you like to have accomplished by 2025?

To have transitioned into an independent researcher at an academic or health care institution, and to have conducted research that informs clinical and public health practice and policy.

 

Mai Sedki, MD, research fellow, Division of Research.

Mai Sedki, MD

Why were you interested in the postdoctoral program offered at the Division of Research?

It became quite evident to me that I had a passion for research early on in my medical career. As I delved more into it, I came to realize that one vital step that was often lacking was the translation of the findings from the research I was involved in, to actual clinical practice. That’s when I realized that this Delivery Science Fellowship will enable me to solidify my research foundation and provide me the skills necessary to build a career in research and delivery science.

What hobbies, interests, and activities do you enjoy in your free time? 

Exercise in all its forms — especially running, high-intensity interval training, weightlifting, and Pilates — and playing sports, when I can find people; spending time with my family, and enjoying my 8-month-old daughter; traveling with my husband; and learning new languages.

What would you like to have accomplished by 2025?

I hope to have a career in gastroenterology after completing a research-focused gastroenterology and hepatology fellowship and be on my way to applying for an NIH early-career research award. On a more personal level, I hope to have a healthy and happy 5-year-old who is so well disciplined that she parents us rather than us parent her, and to have traveled to at least 7 new countries, fingers crossed.

To learn more about Division of Research fellowship opportunities and how to apply, visit the Delivery Science Fellowship Program page and listen to the podcast, “Delivery science fellowship fuels future researchers.

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