Sarah Tsay, ’23
From: Silver Spring, MD
Degrees Held: MPH, Columbia University
BS, University of Maryland
Sarah Tsay is a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) candidate at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Prior to Harvard, Sarah was the Emergency Operations Center Program Manager at NYC Emergency Management (NYCEM), where she guided internal policies in emergency response and led agency monitoring and evaluation efforts. This included managing the after-action review process for large emergencies in order to improve planning and response. By integrating response operations with public health research methods, she created innovative planning efforts at NYCEM, such as a mixed-methods approach in addressing healthcare surge for nursing homes and a tool to estimate citywide EMS transportation time during large-scale evacuations. Ms. Tsay held a crucial role as the Health and Medical Emergency Support Function Coordinator in NYC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, addressing immediate needs across the healthcare sector with local, state, and national partners. These needs encompassed healthcare staffing, procurement, and distribution of critical resources (e.g., pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, and personal protective equipment), healthcare transportation, fatality management, and development and support of alternate care sites. She also relayed key epidemiological information to the agency and developed daily executive reports that summarized healthcare needs across New York City.
Originally from Silver Spring, MD, Sarah holds an MPH in Epidemiology (with a certificate in Public Health and Humanitarian Assistance) from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and a BS in Biochemistry from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She began her career in pharmaceutical consulting, focusing on health outcomes research and clinical trial data management, then transitioned to the fields of global health and humanitarian assistance upon pursuing her MPH. Ms. Tsay conducted research at several NGOs, including epidemiological work at Epicentre (Médecins Sans Frontières), a global malnutrition study at IRC, and analysis of Myanmar’s National Child Protection Database at Save the Children Myanmar. She plans to pursue a leadership role after the DrPH program in which she will utilize evidence-based policies and practices to effect change across sectors in emergency management and humanitarian response, with the objective of improving global health security. Her goal is to leverage her background, along with the opportunities provided at Harvard, to lead the charge in an evidence-based, resilient, agile, and collaborative response to managing future public health emergencies.
Student News and Publications
Sarah Tsay, DrPH ’23, collaborated and contributed to Professor Satchit Balsari’s Team at Crisis Ready, a translational data readiness group that was created at Harvard and Direct Relief during COVID-19 response