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New Board Member Sara Schulwolf

Empowering Public Health in Hartford and HMS


Sara Schulwolf is a promising force in the realm of healthcare and public health, bringing both medical expertise and a deep commitment to making a meaningful impact. As a fourth-year medical student at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Sara's journey has combined her passion for clinical work with a devout interest in the broader issues that shape the healthcare landscape.

As a fourth-year medical student, Sara is taking a year "off" from medical school to pursue a master's degree in public health, which underscores her need for a holistic knowledge of complex issues within the field. She is a recipient of the U.S. Public Health Service's 2022 Excellence in Public Health Award, a testament to her dedication to the betterment of public health.

Her connection to HMS began when they funded a research project during her second year of medical school. The warm welcome and support she received were pivotal in sparking her involvement. This connection eventually led to her appointment as a member of the Board of Directors, where her unique background and experiences will undoubtedly bring a fresh perspective to the organization.

Sara Schulwolf's healthcare journey is distinguished by her exceptional dedication to public health. Her active involvement in the Hartford Medical Society highlights her role as a healthcare advocate with the potential to make a lasting impact on the lives of many. After taking the time to sit down with Sara, we had the privilege of exploring her unique perspectives and forward-thinking approach, where she offered a glimpse into the future she envisions for HMS and the Greater Hartford medical community.

(HMS) Tell me about your background and experience in healthcare.

(SS) I'm a fourth-year medical student and I'm taking this year “off” from medical school to do a master's degree in public health, both of which are at UConn. I have been really interested in public health prior to starting medical school. I believe that gaining a systems-level understanding of healthcare issues and their solutions is important. That's why I saw the opportunity to earn a public health degree at UConn as a perfect complement to my medical education, setting the stage for a meaningful and impactful career.

How did you get involved with HMS? 

During my second year of medical school, I had my first encounter with HMS when they graciously funded a research project I conducted during the summer between my first and second year of medical school. At UConn, many students engage in research and receive funding, which is fantastic. The process of how funding is assigned to specific students remains a bit of a mystery to me; I don't know if it was just a happy coincidence or if they found my project interesting. Their warmth and generosity continued when they extended an invitation for me to attend their Annual Meeting in 2022. They made me a part of the evening and invited me to bring as many friends and family as I wanted. This experience forged a connection, and I've remained in touch and actively engaged with HMS ever since.

How will your experiences and accomplishments inform your contributions and perspective as a newly appointed member of the Board of Directors? 

As a newly appointed board member, I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to learn from our seasoned colleagues on the board. As a student, I’ll be able to come in with an open mind and gather as much information as I can. Being part of the younger generation of healthcare professionals, I have a pulse on what issues today's medical students, graduates, and residents are concerned about. I’m hoping to bring those issues to the board to pitch them as possible problems we could focus future events around.

Throughout medical school, I've held various leadership positions, some of which involved organizing educational and social events, so I have gotten an idea of what sorts of programming students enjoy and what they're going to take time out of their busy schedules to attend. I aim to contribute this knowledge and integrate it with the well-established traditions at HMS. While our veteran board members bring decades of experience, the new board also offers a fresh outlook on the current challenges and trends in medicine.

What is your long-term vision for HMS, and how do you see the organization evolving to meet the changing needs of the Greater Hartford region? 

I appreciate how HMS has a focus on history. It's often said that understanding the past is essential to avoiding repetition, and I find this aspect of HMS to be particularly remarkable. In conversations with some of our veteran board members, I learned about how HMS was used as a social hub where individuals came together to discuss journal articles and the latest advancements in medical literature. Ideally, I see HMS evolving to promote mentorship in the Greater Hartford area and also focusing on service. We have such a great medical community here so what better way to honor that than to give back both through mentoring the next generation of physicians and leaders and giving back to the community that it serves.

How do you envision balancing cultivating a dynamic, empowered younger generation of healthcare professionals and preserving the cherished history and traditions that define our organization?

It all boils down to a foundation of mutual respect and a shared commitment to learning from one another. I think there's so much value in understanding and honoring history and established traditions. Simultaneously, we should maintain a forward-thinking perspective and find innovative ways to propel HMS into the future. Open and constructive dialogue is important and embracing and respecting input from all sources is undoubtedly the most effective approach for continuous growth.

In what new ways should HMS foster a culture of innovation and collaboration among healthcare professionals within the community, especially those just starting their careers?

Maintaining an open channel of communication to welcome fresh ideas would be beneficial. HMS does a great job already of hosting these wonderful events where people can come and start to get to know each other and communicate. The goal is to create platforms and opportunities for individuals to come together, sparking creativity and innovative thinking. We're actively adapting to the digital age by embracing social media. Just keeping our pulse on what is new in the field and what issues are important to the people that are currently in it is going to be essential as well.


Sara Schulwolf's commitment to healthcare and public health will bring a fresh perspective to the Hartford Medical Society. Her distinct approach, rooted in both medical expertise and a genuine passion for public health, is poised to reshape healthcare in the Greater Hartford region.

As we delve into Sara’s remarkable journey and her vision for HMS, we extend an open invitation for you to become a valued member of our thriving community. Joining HMS means more than just being part of an organization; it's becoming a dynamic participant in a forward-thinking collective. Your ideas become the driving force for progress, your experiences a source of inspiration, and your contributions an avenue toward a brighter future in healthcare. Much like Sara Schulwolf, who throughout her career will greatly impact medicine in our region, your journey with us promises to be a distinct and influential experience, playing a vital role in shaping the ongoing evolution of healthcare in Hartford and beyond.