Rita Hamad, MD, PhD

Associate Professor
Institute for Health Policy Studies

Dr. Rita Hamad is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and the Department of Family & Community Medicine at UCSF. She is a social epidemiologist and family physician, and the director of the Social Policies for Health Equity Research Center (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/sphere/). She is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Hamad's research focuses on the pathways linking social factors like poverty and education with racial and socioeconomic disparities in health across the life course. In particular, she studies the health effects of social and economic policies using interdisciplinary quasi-experimental methods to generate actionable evidence to inform policymaking. She was the Associate Director of the UCSF Center for Health Equity. She was 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.

Outside of her academic role, Dr. Hamad is the co-Chair of the Communications Committee of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science and serves as an Associate Editor for the journal Health Affairs Scholar. In 2020-2022, she was also a Fellow at the National Academy of Medicine. She has provided consultation to federal and state legislators on the design of poverty alleviation policies. Dr. Hamad mentors trainees at all levels in population health and health equity research, and lectures in several courses about the effects of social policies on health inequities. She saw patients for 10 years in safety net clinics throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, although she is no longer a practicing physician.


The Pent-Up Demand for Breastfeeding Among US Women: Trends After COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place.

American journal of public health

Hamad R, Collin DF, Gemmill A, Jackson K, Karasek D

Predictors of WIC Uptake Among Low-Income Pregnant Individuals: A Longitudinal Nationwide Analysis.

The American journal of clinical nutrition

Collin DF, Guan A, Hamad R

Sugar-sweetened beverage taxes and perinatal health: A quasi-experimental study.

American journal of preventive medicine

Jackson KE, Hamad R, Karasek D, White JS

Racial and sociodemographic predictors of COVID-19 compared with influenza, appendicitis, and all-cause hospitalization: retrospective cohort analysis.

Ethnicity & health

Raphael E, Azar KMJ, Gu D, Shen Z, Rubinsky A, Wang M, Pantell M, Lyles CR, Fernandez A, Bibbins-Domingo K, Pressman A, Nasrallah C, Hamad R

Unreported SARS-CoV-2 Home Testing and Test Positivity.

JAMA network open

Park S, Marcus GM, Olgin JE, Carton T, Hamad R, Pletcher MJ, COVID-19 Citizen Science Study Consortium

Neighborhood disadvantage and the risk of dementia and mortality among refugees to Denmark: A quasi-experimental study.

SSM - population health

Kim MH, Foverskov E, Frøslev T, White JS, Glymour MM, Hainmueller J, Pedersen L, Sørensen HT, Hamad R

Understanding Take-Up Of The Earned Income Tax Credit Among Californians With Low Income.

Health affairs (Project Hope)

Hamad R, Gosliner W, Brown EM, Hoskote M, Jackson K, Esparza EM, Fernald LCH

Impact of fruit and vegetable benefits on pregnancy outcomes among WIC participants: a natural experiment.

Translational behavioral medicine

Wang G, Seligman H, Levi R, Hamad R

Risk of Psychiatric Disorders Among Refugee Children and Adolescents Living in Disadvantaged Neighborhoods.

JAMA pediatrics

Foverskov E, White JS, Frøslev T, Sørensen HT, Hamad R

Pandemic-related socioeconomic disruptions and adverse health outcomes: a cross-sectional study of female caregivers.

BMC public health

Brown EM, Fernald LCH, Hamad R, Hoskote M, Jackson KE, Gosliner W

The U.S. COVID-19 County Policy Database: a novel resource to support pandemic-related research.

BMC public health

Hamad R, Lyman KA, Lin F, Modrow MF, Ozluk P, Azar KMJ, Goodin A, Isasi CR, Kitzman HE, Knight SJ, Marcus GM, McMahill-Walraven CN, Meissner P, Nair V, O'Brien EC, Olgin JE, Peyser ND, Sylwestrzak G, Williams N, Pletcher MJ, Carton T

The association of residential racial segregation with health among U.S. children: A nationwide longitudinal study.

SSM - population health

Wang G, Schwartz GL, Kershaw KN, McGowan C, Kim MH, Hamad R

Evaluating the Effect of San Francisco's Paid Parental Leave Ordinance on Birth Outcomes.

International journal of environmental research and public health

Karasek D, Raifman S, Dow WH, Hamad R, Goodman JM

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and birth outcomes in California: a quasi-experimental study.

BMC public health

Torres JM, Alcala E, Shaver A, Collin DF, Franck LS, Gomez AM, Karasek D, Nidey N, Hotard M, Hamad R, Pacheco-Werner T

The effect of the 2009 WIC revision on maternal and child health: A quasi-experimental study.

Paediatric and perinatal epidemiology

Pulvera R, Collin DF, Hamad R

School racial segregation and long-term cardiovascular health among black adults in the US: A quasi-experimental study.

PLoS medicine

Kim MH, Schwartz GL, White JS, Glymour MM, Reardon SF, Kershaw KN, Gomez SL, Collin DF, Inamdar P, Wang G, Hamad R

Neighbourhood socioeconomic disadvantage and psychiatric disorders among refugees: a population-based, quasi-experimental study in Denmark.

Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology

Foverskov E, White JS, Norredam M, Frøslev T, Kim MH, Glymour MM, Pedersen L, Sørensen HT, Hamad R

School Racial Segregation and the Health of Black Children.


Wang G, Schwartz GL, Kim MH, White JS, Glymour MM, Reardon S, Kershaw KN, Gomez SL, Inamdar PP, Hamad R

Characterizing the Landscape of Safety Net Programs and Policies in California during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

International journal of environmental research and public health

Jackson KE, Yeb J, Gosliner W, Fernald LCH, Hamad R

Explaining the variance in cardiovascular disease risk factors: A comparison of demographic, socioeconomic, and genetic predictors.

Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.)

Hamad R, Glymour MM, Calmasini C, Nguyen TT, Walter S, Rehkopf DH

Social and Economic Factors Related to Healthcare Delay Among Low-Income Families During COVID-19: Results from the ACCESS Observational Study.

Journal of health care for the poor and underserved

Hoskote M, Hamad R, Gosliner W, Sokal-Gutierrez K, Dow W, Fernald LCH

Paid Leave Policies Can Help Keep Businesses Open And Food On Workers’ Tables

Health Affairs Blog

Raifman JR, Raderman W, Skinner A, Hamad R

Racial Differences in the Association between the U.S. Earned Income Tax Credit and Birthweight.

Women's health issues : official publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health

Batra A, Karasek D, Hamad R

Paid Family Leave and Mental Health in the U.S.: A Quasi-Experimental Study of State Policies.

American journal of preventive medicine

Irish AM, White JS, Modrek S, Hamad R

How does income affect mental health and health behaviours? A quasi-experimental study of the earned income tax credit.

Journal of epidemiology and community health

Shields-Zeeman L, Collin DF, Batra A, Hamad R

The effects of state earned income tax credits on mental health and health behaviors: A quasi-experimental study.

Social science & medicine (1982)

Collin DF, Shields-Zeeman LS, Batra A, White JS, Tong M, Hamad R

The Revised WIC Food Package and Child Development: A Quasi-Experimental Study.


Guan A, Hamad R, Batra A, Bush NR, Tylavsky FA, LeWinn KZ

Association of US state policy orientation with adverse birth outcomes: a longitudinal analysis.

Journal of epidemiology and community health

Riley AR, Collin D, Grumbach JM, Torres JM, Hamad R

Identifying Novel Predictors of State Legislative Action to Address Obesity.

Journal of public health management and practice : JPHMP

Arons A, Pomeranz J, Hamad R

Natural and Unnatural Experiments in Epidemiology.

Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.)

Hamad R

Association of Neighborhood Disadvantage With Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Events Among Refugees in Denmark.

JAMA network open

Hamad R, Öztürk B, Foverskov E, Pedersen L, Sørensen HT, Bøtker HE, White JS

Association of Low Socioeconomic Status With Premature Coronary Heart Disease in US Adults.

JAMA cardiology

Hamad R, Penko J, Kazi DS, Coxson P, Guzman D, Wei PC, Mason A, Wang EA, Goldman L, Fiscella K, Bibbins-Domingo K

Short-term effects of the earned income tax credit on mental health and health behaviors.

Preventive medicine

Collin DF, Shields-Zeeman LS, Batra A, Vable AM, Rehkopf DH, Machen L, Hamad R

Geographic and Longitudinal Trends in Media Framing of Obesity in the United States.

Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)

Chiang J, Arons A, Pomeranz JL, Siddiqi A, Hamad R

Neighborhood deprivation and mental health among immigrants to Sweden.

Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.)

Raphael E, White JS, Li X, Cederin K, Glymour MM, Sundquist K, Sundquist J, Hamad R

The effect of California's paid family leave policy on parent health: A quasi-experimental study.

Social science & medicine (1982)

Lee BC, Modrek S, White JS, Batra A, Collin DF, Hamad R

Association of Revised WIC Food Package With Perinatal and Birth Outcomes: A Quasi-Experimental Study.

JAMA pediatrics

Hamad R, Collin DF, Baer RJ, Jelliffe-Pawlowski LL

The Impact of the Revised WIC Food Package on Maternal Nutrition during Pregnancy and Postpartum.

American journal of epidemiology

Hamad R, Batra A, Karasek D, LeWinn KZ, Bush NR, Davis RL, Tylavsky FA

Quality and quantity: The association of state-level educational policies with later life cardiovascular disease.

Preventive medicine

Hamad R, Nguyen TT, Glymour MM, Vable A, Manly JJ, Rehkopf DH

Comparing demographic and health characteristics of new and existing SNAP recipients: application of a machine learning algorithm.

The American journal of clinical nutrition

Hamad R, Templeton ZS, Schoemaker L, Zhao M, Bhattacharya J

Estimating the Short-Term Effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit on Child Health.

American journal of epidemiology

Hamad R, Collin DF, Rehkopf DH

Paid Family Leave Effects on Breastfeeding: A Quasi-Experimental Study of US Policies.

American journal of public health

Hamad R, Modrek S, White JS

Mother's education and late-life disparities in memory and dementia risk among US military veterans and non-veterans.

Journal of epidemiology and community health

Vable AM, Eng CW, Mayeda ER, Basu S, Marden JR, Hamad R, Glymour MM

Causal Thinking as a Critical Tool for Eliminating Social Inequalities in Health.

American journal of public health

Glymour MM, Hamad R

Consolidated state political party control and the enactment of obesity-related policies in the United States.

Preventive medicine

Pomeranz JL, Siddiqi A, Bolanos GJ, Shor JA, Hamad R

Long-term effects of neighbourhood deprivation on diabetes risk: quasi-experimental evidence from a refugee dispersal policy in Sweden.

The lancet. Diabetes & endocrinology

White JS, Hamad R, Li X, Basu S, Ohlsson H, Sundquist J, Sundquist K

Microcredit participation and women's health: results from a cross-sectional study in Peru.

International journal for equity in health

Hamad R, Fernald LC

Poverty, Pregnancy, and Birth Outcomes: A Study of the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Paediatric and perinatal epidemiology

Hamad R, Rehkopf DH

Large-scale automated analysis of news media: a novel computational method for obesity policy research.

Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)

Hamad R, Pomeranz JL, Siddiqi A, Basu S

Microcredit participation and child health: results from a cross-sectional study in Peru.

Journal of epidemiology and community health

Moseson H, Hamad R, Fernald L

Microcredit participation and nutrition outcomes among women in Peru.

Journal of epidemiology and community health

Hamad R, Fernald LC

Small individual loans and mental health: a randomized controlled trial among South African adults.

BMC public health

Fernald LC, Hamad R, Karlan D, Ozer EJ, Zinman J

Social and economic correlates of depressive symptoms and perceived stress in South African adults.

Journal of epidemiology and community health

Hamad R, Fernald LC, Karlan DS, Zinman J