Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Sandra D. Stratford
Dr. Sandra D. Stratford is a recipient of the NMF Corporate Citizen Award. She serves as Chief Medical Officer for Raytheon and is a leader in occupational medicine, a field that may not be familiar to many and one that focuses on the health and wellbeing of employees in their work environments. Dr. Stratford started out practicing internal medicine but soon began to question whether that was the right career path for her. She thought that she might be suited to working in a corporate setting and she liked the idea of having a greater impact with a more focused population, but she wasn’t sure what kind of opportunities existed for her to apply her skills doing that kind of work.
Reaching out to other physician friends for guidance, she eventually connected with Dr. Phil Lewis, who was a corporate medical director for the Rohm and Haas Corporation. Dr. Lewis arranged a meeting, provided background on the field and encouraged her to seek additional training in public and preventative health to prepare to work in the field.
Since then, Dr. Stratford has worked for companies such as Exxon and IBM before joining Raytheon in 2007. Through the management of 25 occupational health centers, international case management and travel health, health policy and crisis management and management of wellbeing programs – wellness, work life and Employment Assistance Services (EAP), she crafts solutions for health-related issues for approximately 67,000 employees Her proudest achievements include growing the well-being program, which helps employees engage in healthy behaviors and address health and home-related challenges through work-site health screenings, child and elder care back-up support, parenting resources, financial well-being seminars and assisting internationally deployed employees negotiate local healthcare systems. The diversity of responsibilities has kept her at Raytheon for close to 12 years.
Dr. Stratford’s corporate role has facilitated her engagement with organizations that share her interest in improving healthcare access. She serves as a Trustee of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute where she co-chairs the Community Programs Committee and as a Board member of the Dimock Health Center, which provides health services for the underserved communities of Boston. She is also an Advisor for the Museum of Fine Arts and a former Board member of the Museum of Science. She notes the importance of her “personal community” of friends and colleagues in helping her build a successful career in a field she didn’t even know existed when she was in medical school. Both peers, like the physician friend who connected her to Dr. Lewis, and elders like Dr. Lewis and colleagues in the companies where she’s worked have been instrumental in helping her make key decisions. That message resonates so much with the NMF community, in which our Alumni, Scholars, and Friends do so much to support each other in so many ways.
Congratulations, Dr. Stratford, and thanks so much for all you do!