Professor Tina Sacks is an associate professor at the University of California, Berkeley in the School of Social Welfare. Her scholarly focus is racial inequities in health, social determinants of health, and poverty and inequality, with a focus on the ways that macro-structural forces, including structural discrimination and immigration, affect health. Her first book, entitled Invisible Visits: Black Middle-Class Women in the American Healthcare System, was published by Oxford University Press in 2019. It is a rare examination of the treatment of middle-class Black women in the healthcare system and demonstrates the ways in which overlapping systems of oppression occur in healthcare settings. Invisible Visits received the honorable mention for the 2020 Outstanding Social Work Book Award from the Society for Social Work and Research.
Professor Sacks is also a public scholar, providing content for popular media outlets, including CNN and NPR, and co-producing documentary films. Prior to earning her PhD at the University of Chicago, she spent nearly a decade working for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where she worked on public health policy with special emphasis in environmental and women’s health programs. She also served as the special assistant to the director of the CDC, as well as legislative director of the Baltimore City Health Department and as executive director of a non-profit healthcare organization.
Professor Sacks’ overwhelming passion is her son, whom she affectionately refers to as B. He was less than two years old when he was diagnosed with epilepsy of Doose, a rare and catastrophic epilepsy syndrome. B suffered uncontrolled seizures until he began a modified form of ketogenic diet therapy. Thankfully, B has done exceptionally well on the diet, but it is not a panacea. Professor Sacks hopes to bring her professional and personal experience to the epilepsy community as we seek a desperately needed cure.