Celebrating 20 Years of Inspiring the Next Generation of Health Services Researchers

Sascha Murillo, SUMR '08

Sascha Murillo

Sascha Murillo, SUMR '08

Accepted into the 2008 SUMR cohort as a Penn Arts & Sciences school freshman studying Health and Societies, Sascha Murillo spent the summer mentored by Penn RWJF Health and Society Scholar James Macinko, PhD, studying how immigration and acculturation affected Mexican female immigrants' health. After graduating Penn with a BA in Anthropology and Biology, she worked for a year in Washington, D.C., as a Wellstone Fellow at Families USA, a national health care advocacy non-profit. Before being accepted into Yale School of Medicine, she worked for two years as a Health Justice Community Organizer in the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest organization. One of the issues that earned her New York media coverage was her analysis of the connections between physical education classes and student learning (above). She served as the 2019 Executive Director of HAVEN, a free medical clinic staffed by Yale medical, nursing and public health students. She will receive her MD at Yale next year.

"SUMR set me on a path that led me to engage with racial disparities in health care as a policy advocate, community organizer, and now as a medical student," Murillo said. "In the process I developed a social justice framework for addressing these issues. I plan to pursue a career in community-based primary care and hope to use the skills I've learned along the way in the service of advancing health justice and equity." 

A native of Rhode Island, she was a certified "doula" there, or pregnancy care coach who serves as a personal, non-medical assistant to women before, during, and after childbirth.