Sandra Wei Hwang

Design research
for good.

Public health researcher turned design strategist. Every day, I'm lucky enough to work with groups committed to helping people access the health and wellness they deserve.My partners range from government, nonprofits, design consultancies, to for-profit organizations. Recent projects include patient experience, urban emergency response and preparedness, and environmental sustainability.

ways we can work together:


Design research & strategy

From exploratory research to concept feedback. With an emphasis on the qualitative, this includes study design, recruiting, in-depth interviews, analysis, reporting, and informing opportunities or detailed design.


Mentorship for BIPOC

I offer a (free) mentee program for BIPOC and children of immigrants looking to enter design research. A small number of mentees are selected at a time. Learn more and apply here!

It all starts with carrying a safe space for vulnerability and asking questions with care.

design strategy

Independent | Design Researcher & Strategist, 2022 - PresentSproutel | Senior Strategist, 2020 - 2022, ProvidenceContinuum | Innovation Consultant, Healthcare, 2017 - 2020, BostonJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health | Design & Research, 2015 - 2017, BaltimoreHealth for America | Design & Innovation Fellow, 2014 - 2015, WilmingtonCornell University | Hospital & Environment Design Lead, 2013, Ithaca

health research

Center for Medical Technology Policy | Special Assistant to CEO, 2013 - 2014, Baltimore: Patient-centered outcomes, health technologyGroup Health Research Institute | Research Intern, 2013, Seattle: U.S. health policy implications on cancer screeningMédecins Sans Frontières | Vaccines Access Intern, 2012, New York City: Access to vaccines in developing countriesWorld Health Organization | Access to Medicines Intern, 2012, Geneva, Switzerland: Access to essential medicines in developing countriesPenn State College of Medicine | Research Assistant, 2012, Hershey: Behaviors & perceptions in reproductive & rural health


Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health | MSPH Health Policy, 2015Cornell University | BS Biology and Society, 2013Evidence-Based Design Accreditation & Certification (EDAC), 2013 - 2018

I'm also about:good energy new money identity crises as children of immigrants joy as rebellion


Human-Centered Design for Healthcare:Building the ideal provider experience. American Diabetes Association, Innovation SummitDesign Thinking for Patient Safety Certificate Program, Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety & QualityImproving patient experience in ambulatory care, Johns Hopkins MedicineEmergency code team response redesign, Johns Hopkins HospitalStrategy for quality improvement infrastructure, Howard County General Hospital, Hospital AdministrationStrategy and mission development, Johns Hopkins Directors of Nursing


In Peer-Reviewed Journals:Linking Community-based organizations with each other, and with hospitals and health clinics, to help connect patients with the services they need. Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). 2019.The Baltimore Community-based Organizations Neighborhood Network: Enhancing Capacity Together (CONNECT) Cluster RCT. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2019.Baltimore CONNECT: a randomized trial to build partnership between community organizations and a local health system. Progress in Community Health Partnerships. 2018.How “co-developed” are community and academic partnerships? Progress in Community Health Partnerships. 2017;11(4):387-395.Behaviors of overweight and obese women during pregnancy who achieve and exceed recommended gestational weight gain. Obesity Research & Clinical Practice. 2014; 8(6):e577-83.Primary care physicians' perceptions of barriers to preventive reproductive health care in rural communities. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. 2012; 44(2):78-83.“What my doctor didn't tell me": examining health care provider advice to overweight and obese pregnant women on gestational weight gain and physical activity. Women’s Health Issues. 2012; 22(6):e535-40.

In Books:Nothing-per-oral (NPO) for possible fracture. New Horizons in Patient Safety: Understanding Communication. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2017.Wrong knee replacement. New Horizons in Patient Safety: Understanding Communication. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2017.

Contributions:World Health Organization. Partnership Preparation Package. A practical guide to implementing twinning partnerships. 2018.World Health Organization. Taking Action: Steps 4 & 5 in Twinning Partnerships for Improvement. For health care facility managers, quality improvement teams and institutional health partnerships. 2018.World Health Organization. Health policy and systems research in access to medicines: a prioritized agenda for low- and middle-income countries. 2013.Médecins Sans Frontières. Access Campaign. Issue Brief. Vaccines: Ensuring sustainable supplies. 2012.

On Human-Centered Design in Healthcare:How can we make prenatal care better for parents and providers? Side-by-side views from providers and patients and areas of opportunity. A research collaboration between Continuum and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Obstetrics-Gynecology Department. 2019.The case for humility: Partnership in a changing healthcare landscape. Continuum. 2018.Four ways to save the provider-patient relationship. Continuum. 2017.

Let's connect here.