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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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Hala Madanat, SDSU's vice president for research and innovation, was honored with award from the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency. (SDSU)

SDSU VP Receives San Diego County’s Public Health Champion Award

Hala Madanat recognized for exemplary contributions promoting health in San Diego.
By Sarah White

The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) has named Hala Madanat a Director’s 2023 Live Well San Diego 22nd Public Health Champion in recognition of how the initiatives she has spearheaded have benefited the health of San Diego residents.


As San Diego State University’s vice president for research and innovation, Madanat stewards the university’s expansive research enterprise and leads the development of the SDSU Mission Valley Innovation District.


"This richly deserved recognition of Hala is a testament to how academic research and innovation at SDSU have direct and profound impacts on the people of San Diego,” said SDSU President Adela de la Torre. “Hala and SDSU’s School of Public Health have created a collaborative approach with the County that is a model for other universities and municipalities to follow.”


Last fall, Madanat and SDSU School of Public Health Director Eyal Oren led the effort for the first national Academic Health and Human Services Department, a joint venture between SDSU and the County of San Diego Health and Human Services. This collaboration established the Live Well Center for Innovation and Leadership to address the need for a diverse workforce pipeline and the health disparities pervasive in our community today.


“I am grateful for this recognition of SDSU’s efforts to improve the health of all of our city’s residents, including the most vulnerable populations,” Madanat said.


“I am also excited about the future advancements in medical care and technologies that will be made possible through the university’s partnerships with QuidelOrtho, the Naval Health Research Center and the Family Health Centers of San Diego that are planned for Mission Valley Innovation District.”


From 2016 to 2020, Madanat directed SDSU’s School of Public Health. During her tenure, the school itself earned a Public Health Champion award and its U.S. News graduate school ranking rose to No. 19 for 2023. Madanat is also a distinguished professor of health promotion and behavioral sciences, whose research addresses health disparities through community-engaged research. 


“Dr. Hala Madanat has been an incredible partner to the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, championing initiatives from contact tracing efforts to the Live Well Center for Innovation and Leadership,” said Nick Macchione, County of San Diego HHSA director. “She is a visionary leader who doesn’t just have a can-do attitude; she goes beyond that and always asks how we can go big for big impact. We are proud to honor her with the Director’s 2023 Live Well San Diego 22nd Public Health Champion award.”


In previous years, HHSA also awarded professors Gregory Talavera, Susan Levy, Tracy Finlayson, and Penelope “Jenny” Quintana, SDSU’s Project Save, SDSU’s Institute for Behavioral and Community Health and the university’s contact tracing and preventative COVID-19 efforts.


The awards ceremony held on Monday, April 3 is the first in a series of local events held in observance of National Public Health Week. The theme for 2023 is “Centering and Celebrating Cultures in Health.”