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Hawa Ozien Abu, MD, PhD, MPH

Date published: April 3, 2024

April Fellow Spotlight: Hawa Ozien Abu, MD, PhD, MPH

In this month’s Fellow Spotlight, we highlight Hawa Ozien Abu, MD, PhD, MPH, a Geriatric Medicine fellow. Here, Dr. Abu describes her clinical and research interests, why she chose UMass Chan for her fellowship and her favorite place to travel with her family. 

Worcester, Massachusetts 

What are your clinical and research interests? 
Improving the overall well-being of older adults by addressing complex interwoven multimorbidity, polypharmacy, and social determinants of health including religion, spirituality, and cultural beliefs that impact clinical and patient outcomes, while taking into consideration "what matters most to my patients?" through shared decision making.  

Why did you choose UMass for your fellowship?
I underwent my doctoral research training in the Clinical and Population Health Research Program at UMass Chan (2016-2019) and was particularly drawn to the culture of collegiality and great support from the faculty and my colleagues and found it appropriate to return "home" after my Internal Medicine Residency at Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester. The UMass Chan Geriatric Medicine fellowship remains my ultimate choice as the program provides holistic training tailored to enhance my career trajectory as a geriatric physician-scientist and enables me to function at the intersection of the things that I love, compassionate service for older adults through medicine and clinical research. The Geriatric Medicine Outpatient Clinic delivers evidence-based care to older adults while incorporating the 5Ms framework and implementing a longitudinal design that fosters a strong patient-provider relationship with remarkable patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes. For older adults in nursing facilities for long-term care, each fellow has a panel of nursing home residents where we provide longitudinal management of patients while working closely with their families and an interdisciplinary team of nursing aides, nurses, social workers, dietitians, physical and occupational therapists, for an optimal experience. Finally, there is a strong and dedicated faculty mentorship with tremendous emphasis on clinical education and unique patient diversity while managing complex medical conditions, addressing polypharmacy, and advocating for patients within a multidisciplinary team – with the goal of making me an all-around geriatrician! 

Are you involved in any other groups or activities at UMass that you’d like to highlight? 
As a post-doctoral research fellow, I was a member of the Minority Academic Advancement Group at UMass Chan with the goal of increasing the recruitment and retention of under-represented minorities.

Where is your favorite place to travel for vacation and why? 
Florida. I had the most amazing time at Disney World with my family. It was such a fantastic moment together with no worries! 

Who is your favorite author?  
Jafaru Samuel Abu (My dad is currently publishing his first book on "The Greatest American President").