Pediatric Research: Primary Care

Susmita PatiSusmita Pati, MD MPH, Professor of Pediatrics

Dr Pati is the principal investigator for this scientific portfolio and a nationally recognized physician-scientist with expertise in population health analytics, innovation, and system transformation to achieve health equity. Her leadership and management experience includes roles and responsibilities to develop and advance the clinical, educational, and research missions at the departmental, school, university, and health-system levels in large academic medical centers.

Dr. Pati is a tenured professor of pediatrics, the division chief of Primary Care Pediatrics, and the Chief Medical Program Advisor for the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science® at Stony Brook University. She earned an AB cum laude in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard University and completed her MD at the University of Connecticut. Her clinical training consisted of pediatric residency and chief residency at Columbia University, followed by a general academic fellowship (mentored by general medicine internists) at Columbia University during which she earned an MPH in epidemiology. 

As a physician-scientist with more than 20 years of experience in leading and building cross-disciplinary research teams, Dr. Pati has a broad and diverse research portfolio with a successful track record of leveraging institutional resources, forging strategic collaborative relationships, and engaging faculty and trainees at multiple levels. Her population health research focuses on developing and testing new modalities in primary care to achieve health equity, implementing and evaluating the impact of inter-professional health service delivery models, and evaluation of quality and performance of primary care at practice, plan and program levels. She has led several NIH, CDC, and foundation-funded large-scale population-based studies in hard-to-reach populations and achieved high retention rates. 

Dr. Pati has served as principal investigator, mentor, and project director for more than 15 clinical and translational projects that leverage her population health expertise. She created, implemented, and evaluated the nationally-recognized Keeping Families Healthy program, an enriched medical home service whereby community health workers supported families to become self-sufficient in following clinical care recommendations. This program won the 2017 Healthcare Delivery Award from the Academic Pediatric Association for its “innovation in linking the medical home with the community, engaging learners at multiple levels, and conducting academic work in concert with care delivery to at-risk children.”  The program is featured on the American Academy of Pediatrics website for Patient/Family-Centered Medical Home. 

Dr. Pati has leveraged her expertise to support the development of the healthcare workforce. She led an NIH-funded School of Medicine Dean's task force initiative at the University of Pennsylvania to support the recruitment and retention of women faculty that produced more than 100 recommendations to improve the work environment for faculty. She currently leads a multi-disciplinary and multi-pronged institutional initiative to promote workforce resilience training programs funded by the Healthcare Resource and Service Administration (HRSA)—one of 30 cooperative agreements in the United States. She officially joined the Alda Center in 2018 because her more than 20 years of experience has strengthened her belief that communication is fundamental to success in building strong health care delivery teams that, in turn, lead to joy and fulfillment at work. A 2018 recipient of the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Mentorship at the Renaissance School of Medicine, she has mentored more than 35 trainees from all healthcare disciplines and is often sought out for her leadership skills, mentorship ability, and analytical expertise.

Pediatric Faculty by Department

Quality Improvement Initiatives to Achieve Health Equity for Children

Investigator Research Theme
Leora Allen, MD Quality Improvement Initiatives to Achieve Health Equity for Children
Laura Lindenfeld, PhD Healthcare Team Communication
Susan Walker, MD Narrative Medicine, Clinician Well-Being

Collaborative Research

Investigator Research Theme
Heidi Preis, PhD Impact of Maternal Stress on Infant Outcomes
Jessica Schleider, PhD Single-Session Interventions to Improve Adolescent Mental Health
Beth Tarini, MD MS Healthcare Workforce Development

Current Collaborators at Stony Brook University

Laura Lindenfeld, PhD Professor and Dean, School of Communication and Journalism; Executive Director, the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science®

Heidi Preis, MSW PhD, Research Scientist, Department of Psychology and Assistant Professor of Research, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Medicine

Jessica Schleider, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

Current Funding

Ongoing Research Support

Health Resources and Services Administration 

1/1/22-12/31/24 Pati, S (PI)

To create, implement, and evaluate multi-disciplinary and multi-pronged institutional training programs to promote resilience amongst the healthcare workforce.

Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation                Schleider, J (PI)                              8/1/19-7/31/23

Evaluate the impact of web-based single session interventions for adolescents with mild depressive symptoms on symptom management and treatment adherence. 

Role: Co-Principal Investigator

Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science®        Lindenfeld, L (PI)                            1/1/18- present

Evaluate the impact of communication training that leverages improvisational theater techniques on health care team (i.e. inter-professional) communication.

Role: Chief Medical Program Advisor

Completed Research Support 

Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services                  Pati, S (PI)                                 12/01/16-12/31/18

Evaluates the impact of promoting asthma self-management using trained community health workers making home visits on preventable emergency department visits and hospitalizations

Role: PI

Recent Publications

Preis H, Lobel M, Mahaffey B, Pati S. Discrimination and healthcare experiences predict incomplete infant vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic. JAMA Pediatrics, 2021 Nov 22:e214710. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.4710. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34807252; PMCID: PMC8609456.

Preis H, Yin D, Yang J, Pati S. Program, cultural, and neighborhood factors related to attrition from a community-based enriched medical home program in the United States. Health & Social Care in the Community. 2021;00:1-12. Online ahead of print. DOI: 10.1111/hsc.13582. 

Gendelman R, Preis H, Chandran L, Blair RJ, Chitkara M, Pati S. Healthcare workforce transformation: implementing patient-centered medical home standards in an academic medical center. BMC Med Educ 21, 313 (2021). PMID: 34078360.

Preis H, Mahaffey B, Pati S, Heiselman C, Lobel M. Adverse perinatal outcomes predicted by prenatal maternal stress among US women at the COVID-19 pandemic onset. Annals of Behavioral Medicine 2021 Mar 20;55(3):179-191. doi: 10.1093/abm/kaab005. Online ahead of print. PMID: 33724334.

Bianchi-Hayes JM, Cataldo R, Schoenfeld ER, Hou W, Pati S. Caregivers’ perceptions of the relationship among weight, health status, and asthma in their children. J of Child Health Care 2020 Dec 31: 1367493520985719. doi:10.1177/1367493520985719. Online ahead of print. PMID: 33382353. 

Schleider JL., Dobias ML., Fassler J, Shroff A, ​& Pati S. (2020; Stage 1 Registered Report)​. Promoting treatment access following pediatric primary care depression screening: Randomized trial of web-based, single-session interventions for parents and youths. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 2020 Jun;59(6):770-773. doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2020.01.025. Epub 2020 Apr 28. PMID: 32666919 

For a complete list of publications:


Undergraduate students interested in health equity, healthcare quality, and healthcare workforce research are welcome to join our lab to gain research experience, which they may also apply for credit as part of their degree. Any student interested in our laboratory research experience may contact the PI by email and submit their CV and personal statement.  

Medical residents and fellows interested in translational or clinical research related to health equity, healthcare quality, and the healthcare workforce are encouraged to contact the PI and inquire about current research opportunities for medical trainees in our lab. 

Positions for postdoctoral associates in health equity, healthcare quality, healthcare workforce or related fields become periodically available, and are posted on the Talent Management System of Stony Brook University and other sites. Interested researchers may contact the PI by email for any inquiries. 

Important Dates and Events

Pediatric Resident Annual Autumn Research Fair

Annual Pediatric Research Day (May)

Pediatric Academic Societies Annual meeting - our team members regularly attend this meeting

Contact Information


100 Nicolls Road, Health Science Center Level 11, Suite 20, Department of Pediatrics, Stony Brook, NY