We are sad to share the news that Seema Subash Sonnad, PhD, died on May 27. In 2013, Seema was appointed as one of the original members of the PCORI Advisory Panel on the Assessment of Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options. She provided a valuable and unique voice. Over the last two years, Seema brought a creative and thoughtful perspective to the panel’s many discussions of research priorities. Her colleagues on the advisory panel have all spoken about the great regard they had for Seema and how much she will be missed.
Seema was a talented health services researcher, admired especially for her dedication to teaching and mentoring trainees and younger colleagues. She authored more than 130 scientific publications; her academic interests included clinical decision making, surgical outcomes, women in academic medicine, technology diffusion, and implementation of clinical outcomes.
Born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Seema obtained undergraduate, masters, and doctoral degrees at Stanford, completing her doctorate in Health Services Research and Policy Analysis in 1997. She subsequently held faculty appointments at the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania. In 2012, she became Director of Health Services Research at Christiana Care’s Value Institute in Newark, Delaware, while continuing as an adjunct senior fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute. In addition to her service on PCORI’s advisory panel, Seema was an active member of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) and the Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM), served on the SMDM Board of Trustees, and was an Associate Editor of the American Journal of Managed Care.
Seema had a diverse set of interests and passions. She was a marathon runner and an accomplished equestrian, well known in the mid-Atlantic area for her skill in three-day equestrian eventing. She sponsored and mentored many young riders over the years. She was also a skilled ballroom dancer and yoga practitioner.
The PCORI staff extend our condolences to her family and her many colleagues and friends.