From AIDS Quilt to AbsoluteCare

Going Beyond Medicine™ with Sarah Smith
Associate Medical Director, Philadelphia

When Sarah Smith was in high school, two events converged to spark her interest in healthcare. First, though she was a four-sport athlete in adolescence, she had suffered two major sports injuries that drew her to athletic training. In addition, she said, “The AIDS Quilt visited my high school and, although I didn’t fully realize it at the time, it spired a lifetime commitment to people living with HIV.” These informed her desire to become a Physician Assistant specializing in community medicine and infectious disease.

Sarah chose to fulfill her dream at AbsoluteCare. She had spent her entire career caring for vulnerable community members, but being part of “an innovative organization doing groundbreaking work” excited her.

As a leader, Sarah prides herself on being “the consummate team player: I believe you go where the work is and help, regardless of your primary role or responsibilities.” She also is a fierce believer of honesty and transparency, so she tries to create an environment where teammates feel comfortable approaching her. Delivering on her commitments means following through on every challenge sent her way, despite its “perceived importance.”

Sarah would like to see justice in healthcare for everyone, regardless of socio-economic status. This means “addressing health inequities so that every patient gets support and accommodation individualized to them.”

So it stands to reason that her favorite quote is that of Martin Luther King Jr.: “Of all forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhumane.”