July 20, 2017

Wayne State University’s Dr. Sonia Hassan selected as national health care leader

The Washington, D.C.-based organization The Aspen Institute has selected Sonia Hassan, M.D., Wayne State University School of Medicine’s associate dean for Maternal, Perinatal and Child Health, as a national health care leader for its third class of the Health Innovators Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization and a global forum for leaders established in 1949. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Health Innovators Fellowship Program was created in 2015 to strengthen the leadership of innovators across the United States health care system and to connect, inspire and challenge them to create new approaches that will improve the health and well-being of all Americans.

“The opportunity to work with The Aspen Institute, the Health Innovators Fellows and the entire Aspen Global Leadership Network is one for which I am very grateful,” said Dr. Hassan, professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the School of Medicine “I look forward to making a significant impact as a part of this inspiring community.”

Fellows are selected from a variety of industries and sectors, including medicine, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, mental health, government, health care venture capital and veterans’ health. During a two-year period they will attend seminars in Colorado, South Carolina and Maryland exploring leadership, core values, desired legacies and their vision for health care. Each fellow commits to launching a leadership venture that will stretch and challenge them, and have a positive impact on health care in the U.S.

“I am thrilled to recognize an extraordinary group of leaders who reflect the best of passion and commitment in the U.S. health care system,” said Rima Cohen, managing director of the Health Innovators Fellowship. “The fellows bring a diverse set of life experiences and skills to their work; we’re delighted to be able to give them a platform from which they can address significant system challenges at this critical time in health care.”

Dr. Hassan, also serves as director of the Wayne State University Perinatal Research Initiative, and is founder and director of the Center for Advanced Obstetrical Care and Research. She is the project site manager for the Perinatology Research Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health, which is located at WSU.

She is the author or co-author of more than 300 publications and was the lead author of a multi-center, international, randomized controlled trial of vaginal progesterone for the prevention of preterm birth, which demonstrated that the use of vaginal progesterone decreases the rate of preterm birth before 33 weeks of gestation by 45 percent and respiratory distress syndrome by 61 percent.

In addition to her roles with WSU and the PRB, Dr. Hassan is the founder of Make Your Date, a nonprofit organization launched with the city of Detroit to reduce preterm birth, the leading cause of infant mortality. She also is co-chair of the State of Michigan’s Infant Mortality Advisory Council.

She was the National Arab American Medical Association’s Michigan Healthcare Professional of the Year in 2015 and was recognized in 2014 with the WSU School of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2014, Dr. Hassan was named a Health Care Hero by Crain’s Detroit Business and was selected as a Michiganian of the Year by The Detroit News. She received the March of Dimes Michigan Prematurity Prevention Hero Award in 2013.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and her medical degree from the Wayne State University School of Medicine.

The Aspen Global Leadership Network is a growing, worldwide community of entrepreneurial leaders from business, government and the nonprofit sector, with more than 2,400 fellows from more than 50 countries who share a commitment to enlightened leadership and to using their extraordinary creativity, energy and resources to tackle the foremost societal challenges of our times. All share the common experience of participating in the Henry Crown Fellowship or one of the dozen Aspen Institute leadership initiatives it has inspired in the U.S. Africa, Central America, India, the Middle East and China. For more information, visit http://agln.aspeninstitute.org/about.

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.


Phil Van Hulle
Phone: (313) 577-6943
Email: pvanhulle@med.wayne.edu

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