Meet Sandi Winter

From her parents, Sandi Winter, PhD, MHA, learned an adage that has become an underlying philosophy in her life: “If it is to be, it is up to me.”

Sandi was born and raised in Zimbabwe and moved to Cape Town, South Africa after her marriage to her high school sweetheart, an internal medicine specialist physician. In Cape Town, Sandi was a successful entrepreneur, owning and operating a number of businesses. She juggled challenging work with the demands of raising two sons and a daughter. Despite her hectic schedule, Sandi has always made it a priority to incorporate physical activity into her routine. In 2002, she completed a year-long program through the Exercise Teachers Academy (ETA) in Cape Town to qualify as a personal fitness trainer. 

In 2003, Sandi moved with her family to Lexington, Kentucky. The relocation provided her with an opportunity to take a new career path combining her professional organizational and administrative expertise with her personal passion for health promotion and wellness. She enrolled as a student at the University of Kentucky (go Wildcats!) and completed a Masters of Health Administration in May 2006 and a doctorate in Public Administration (Health Policy Track) in December 2009. Her graduate research work focused on the health care provided to prison inmates in Kentucky. One of the projects she is most proud of is the successful implementation of an inmate wellness program at a corrections-based substance abuse program. 

In 2010, Sandi moved to California. While working on her PhD dissertation, she began conducting fitness assessments with the BeWell program. Sandi has continued to work part-time with the BeWell program as a biometric screener and wellness advisor as she transitioned into other roles at Stanford. For two years, Sandi was the Project Manager for a partnership between the Stanford Prevention Research Center (SPRC) and the Qassim University College of Medicine in Saudi Arabia. She then spent two years at SPRC as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Healthy Aging Research and Technology Solutions (HARTS) lab of Abby King, PhD. Sandi has recently been appointed as the Program Director of the Wellness Living Laboratory at SPRC. This bold new initiative will harness the world-renowned expertise of SPRC researchers and use state-of-the-art technologies and innovative approaches to build the evidence base of wellness at the individual and population level.

Sandi’s research interests include the effect of neighborhood environments on people’s ability to lead healthy active lives and the use of technology to promote physical activity in older adults. She is particularly interested in working in underserved communities and in borderless global health promotion.

Sandi continues to incorporate physical activity into her routine. She enjoys participating in the BeWell group activity classes and signs up for different ones each quarter to sample the variety of classes available. She also participates in sprint triathlons, half marathons and loves to walk on the beach near her home in Half Moon Bay.  


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