Mona Hanna-Attisha, M.D., Res. ’06, M.P.H., F.A.A.P., is the pediatrician who, in 2015, discovered the elevated lead levels in the blood of children living in the city of Flint, Mich.
Dr. Hanna-Attisha, assistant professor of Pediatrics at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, is now one of the strongest voices and most recognized faces in the conversation about the once-booming industrial city’s water crisis, how the drinking water became contaminated and what is still needed to repair the city of 100,000.
Her research, published in the American Journal of Public Health, showed that blood lead levels in Hurley Medical Center’s youngest patients doubled from 2.4 percent to 4.9 percent after Flint switched its water supply from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to the Flint River in April 2014.
Recognizing her role in discovering the Flint water crisis, TIME magazine named her to its 100 Most Influential People list in April 2016. She also received the Michigan Education Association’s Distinguished Service Award, the organization’s highest honor, in May. She won the Crain’s Detroit Business “Health Care Heroes” physician category in July, and was named to its 100 Most Influential Women list in June.
After earning a medical degree from the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine based at the Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Dr. Hanna-Attisha completed her Wayne State University residency at the Detroit Medical Center Children’s Hospital of Michigan, serving as chief resident from 2005 to 2006. She received her master’s of Public Health degree from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She directs the Hurley Medical Center’s pediatric residency program and the Michigan State University/Hurley Pediatric Public Health Plan Initiative.