Susan Standfast, MD, is a board-certified preventive medicine practitioner, epidemiologist and researcher with more than four decades of dedication to the field of public health. She was inspired to her career by her father, who was a rural general practitioner and radiologist. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in biology and chemistry from Wells College, she was awarded her Doctor of Medicine by Columbia University in 1961. She completed a medical internship at Seattle’s King County Hospital and a residency in pediatrics at the University of Washington before continuing her education at the University of California Berkeley, graduating in 1965 with a Master of Public Health in epidemiology. She relocated to New York after her graduation, spending the next two years as a senior resident in epidemiology with the New York State Health Department and an instructor in Albany Medical College’s department of community health.
Dr. Standfast would remain with Albany Medical College until 1991, rising to assistant professor of preventive and community medicine and epidemiology consultant in 1968, adjunct professor in 1975, and associate professor in 1980, in addition to consulting for the school’s department of family practice from 1983 until her departure. During this time, she began working with the New York State Department of Health, joining the Bureau of Cancer Control as a research physician in 1975. From 1983 until 1985, Dr. Standfast was the director of the New York State Department of Health’s cancer surveillance unit in addition to clinical work as a public health physician serving the community of Albany. She was named assistant director of the New York State Department of Health’s division of epidemiology in 1985 and director of the division’s injury control and disability prevention programs the following year. From 1991 until her retirement from the New York State Department of Health in 1995, Dr. Standfast served as a consulting epidemiologist in the division of family health.
Dr. Standfast’s commitment to health care education has led her to instructor positions at the College of Community Medicine in Lahore, Pakistan; the London School of Hygiene; G.S. Memorial College in Mumbai, India; and more than a decade as adjunct faculty and co-director of the Master of Public Health program at the State University of New York. She is a fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine and the American College of Epidemiology and has consulted for numerous public health task forces and committees throughout her career with organizations including Planned Parenthood and Physicians for Social Responsibility. In recognition of her accomplishments and lifelong dedication to advancing public health, Dr. Standfast has been presented with the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, named a Distinguished Alumna of Wells College, and presented with a 2002 Volunteer Service for Health Award. She remains an active volunteer at the Glen Eddy Retirement Community and enjoys travel, photography and time spent in nature.