Getting to Know: Sara Gray, Associate, Programs

Following is a Q&A to get to know Sara Gray, Associate, Programs who began working at the National Health Council (NHC) in May 2020.   

Putting Patients First (PPF) Blog: Why did you want to work for the NHC? 

Over the past few years, I have worked with a few different health-focused nonprofits, where I have been able to explore my passions for public health and improving the health care system. I wanted to continue that work, and the NHC was the perfect opportunity for me. I knew that I would get invaluable experience with the variety of projects and working with the larger membership. I also was excited to learn more about the health policy world and issues that matter most to patient groups. I plan to go to graduate school later, and I know that this job will help me get there. 

PPF Blog: What upcoming projects are you excited about working on?  

I have been working on a research project communicating with patient group members to learn how COVID-19 has impacted their constituents. It’s been interesting to learn about the data they have collected and to see the unique impact the pandemic has had on certain patient populations. This project has been a great collaboration, and as we move forward with it, I think it will be informative for our membership.  

PPF Blog: What’s your favorite thing about working at the NHC?

I love the overall diversity of the NHC, the diversity in staff, membership, projects, etc. I have had the opportunity to connect with many different people and have learned so much about health policy and our membership. I know that as I go along, I will continue to learn and experience new opportunities with each developing project. 

PPF Blog: You help coordinate the NHC’s Real-World Evidence portfolio. Tells us about that project and why it’s important.  

Our main project is our PCORI RWE Capacity Building project, where we will be hosting a series of webinars and developing tools to help the patient community engage with real-world data (RWD) and real-world evidence (RWE) studies. With the publication of the FDA guidance on this topic, RWD and RWE are becoming increasingly relevant and important with health care decision-making and drug approval. It is vital that the patient community understand it and be able to engage with it moving forward. We are creating the tools to help them do that. 

PPF Blog: Tell us something about you personally. What do you do outside of work?  

I love reading, discovering new music, and exploring DC. I also love to travel and got to check Greece off my bucket list last summer. I’m excited to travel more when everything becomes safe again.