Sarah Heady Anasco, a 2022 Pisacano Scholar, is a 4th-year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM). Originally from Wichita, Kansas, she graduated summa cum laude from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Arts in University Scholars. This holistic education focused on growth in character, community, and cross-cultural experience alongside pragmatic science and language knowledge. It was formative in shaping Sarah’s aspiration to serve as a full-spectrum family physician with marginalized communities, including people of color and people with disabilities.
Sarah’s appreciation for preventive medicine began in middle school when she was diagnosed with moderate scoliosis by her family physician and persevered through three years of intensive back bracing. This experience shaped Sarah’s appreciation for the patient’s experience of medicine. As a high school senior, she was among six students admitted to both undergraduate school at Baylor University and medical school at Baylor College of Medicine through the Baylor-to-Baylor BS/MD Program.
During college, Sarah became increasingly interested in family medicine and in partnering with marginalized populations to address social inequities and the health disparities. At a summer internship in rural Lakin, Kansas, she helped a local hospital expand to meet the needs of local farmers and the immigrant and refugee workers at a nearby meat-packing plant by surveying hundreds of households in English and Spanish. She shadowed full-spectrum family physicians and developed a bilingual virtual breastfeeding support program for mothers across 24 counties surrounding Lakin through the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Throughout college, Sarah also volunteered regularly with Providence Hospice and helped establish a new medical-legal partnership at Waco’s Family Health Center (now Waco Family Medicine) to connect vulnerable populations with low-cost legal resources. She spent two months studying abroad and on mission trips in Hispanic countries, and she further explored global health through a summer program at the National School of Tropical Medicine at BCM and through college courses in tropical medicine and medical anthropology.
As a medical student, Sarah has worked to address maternal health disparities by leading Moms to Moms, a student-led project that empowers underserved mothers of newborns in their native languages in the local Harris Health hospitals. As an Albert Schweitzer Fellow, Sarah led significant expansion of the project, helping to write and translate into Spanish over 60 pages of patient-centered virtual curriculum on maternal and infant health topics like postpartum depression and breastfeeding. Through her school’s Care of the Underserved Pathway, Sarah also led a patient education project addressing high pediatric obesity rates in an underserved clinic.
In her free time, Sarah enjoys playing piano, experimenting with plant-based cooking and sustainable lifestyle practices, learning about a wide variety of humanities and science topics, and spending quality time with her husband, family, and friends.
As a family physician, Sarah aspires to provide patient-centered, evidence-based care to marginalized populations in an interdisciplinary community clinic setting. She further hopes to be involved in public health and quality improvement projects, advocacy for vulnerable populations and environmental sustainability, and mentorship of future medical professionals.