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Thu, 2015-05-28 21:08

In Memoriam: Seema Sonnad

Authored By: Sonnad Family

Sonnad, Seema Subash, 52, died on May 27, 2015, in Renton, Wash. Seema suffered a cardiac arrhythmia while running an ultra-marathon, and passed away at Valley Medical Center with her husband, brother and sister-in-law at her side.

Seema will be greatly missed by many. With seemingly boundless energy, she was passionate about sharing her knowledge, interests and experience with everyone around her. Seema was devoted to her career, horses and running, but shared her love of fine wine and ballroom dancing with her beloved husband and soul mate, Henry.

Seema was a dedicated researcher and prolific author. She led and participated in research leading to more than 140 peer-reviewed publications, including work in surgical outcomes, women in academic medicine, technology diffusion, meta-analysis and guidelines implementation. Seema loved teaching, but will be remembered best as a generous mentor and champion of women and minorities in science, medicine and research.

Seema was an accomplished horseback rider in the sport of three-day eventing, competing through the Intermediate level and re-training thoroughbreds off the track. She was a member of two owner syndicates for Sally Cousins and Caitlin Silliman, but true to her generous spirit and commitment to sharing her passions, Seema sponsored and mentored countless young riders over the years. She was also determined that the importance of volunteers be recognized in the sport, and in addition to being a USEF ‘r’ Eventing Technical Delegate and super volunteer in Area II, Seema was a tireless advocate for better recognition and education of volunteers.

Seema was an extraordinary athlete, a talented dancer, a lighthearted yogi and phenomenal endurance runner. In recent years, Seema enjoyed becoming part of the ultra-running community and travelled all over the country to compete with new friends.

Seema was born in Kalamazoo, Mich. on January 27, 1963. She completed her undergraduate degree at Stanford (’84), masters’ degrees at the University of Washington (’88) and Stanford (’92), and in earned her PhD in Health Services Research and Policy Analysis at Stanford (’97). Before embarking on her research career, Seema co-founded a medical diagnostics company and worked in business development at Stanford University Hospital. Her first academic appointment was at the University of Michigan where she founded and co-directed CHOICES, an outcomes research core lab for the medical school. In 2002, Seema moved to the University of Pennsylvania, where she created and directed a newly established health services research program in the Department of Surgery. Her most recent appointment signaled a change in direction towards implementation science. In her role as Director of Health Services Research at Christiana Care’s Value Institute (’12), Seema was able to combine her creativity and training with her desire to apply research findings in real-world settings, while continuing to mentor trainees and junior faculty. Seema was an active member of ISPOR and SMDM (serving in recent years as co-director of the national meeting and trustee).  She served as a reviewer and advisor for NIH, AHRQ and most recently PCORI.

Seema is survived by her beloved husband of 12 years, Henry Glick, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania; by her father, Subhash Sonnad; by her brother Rahul and his wife Kathy; and by her two nieces, Emina and Hanna, and nephew Hayden.

Memorial service details will be forthcoming. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the Seema Sonnad Junior Rider Development Fund, c/o USEA, Inc., 525 Old Waterford Road NW, Leesburg, VA, 20176.

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