Sarah Huf

2017/2018 Recent Returners


Sarah Huf

Sarah Huf

Sarah Huf  M.B.B.S., M.R.C.S., Ph.D.,

Prior to Sarah’s fellowship she was a clinical research fellow in the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London, where she completed a Ph.D. under the supervision of Professor Lord Ara Darzi.  Her doctoral research involved applying behavioral economic theory to the field of breast and cervical cancer screening to improve public participation rates. Sarah’s collaboration with the Department of Health and Public Health England, led to her work informing regional screening policy. As a result text message reminders have been introduced for women due for cervical screening across London. Sarah was a clinical advisor to the HELIX Centre for Health Design based at St. Mary’s Hospital London where she partnered with designers and clinicians to trial and implement innovative healthcare designs within the health system. She has trained clinically in the NHS for six years and is a registrar in general surgery with a specialist interest in breast cancer surgery. Sarah completed her medical degree at Imperial College London.

For her fellowship Sarah studied at the University of Pennsylvania – Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation. Her project titled “A multi-modal, behavioral economic approach to improve colon cancer screening rates, A randomized controlled trial.”

Sarah chose to conduct this study, because bowel cancer screening rates continue to fall below national targets both in the US and the UK, despite good evidence that bowel cancer screening saves lives and the vast majority of the public (>90 percent) believe taking part is important. Particular subgroups, such as ethnic minorities and those with low socioeconomic status, continue to have lower participation rates in both countries, contributing to poor cancer outcomes. Her project, in a low income, ethnically diverse population, involved a randomised controlled trial in a Federally Qualified Health Centre (FQHC) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The study tested the effect of behavioral economic theory informed multi-modal approaches using text message reminders and mailed home test kits against the current outreach practice.

Sarah’s results will be published in Autumn 2018.

Sarah has extended her stay in the US during which time she will set up two further randomised controlled trials with a second FQHC in Los Angeles, which will lead on from her research conducted during the fellowship. Sarah will then be taking some time for maternity leave in January 2019 before returning to complete her clinical surgical training later in 2019