Sandra J. Winter, PhD, MHA, is currently the Director of the Wellness Living Laboratory (WELL) and a Social Science Research Scholar at the Stanford Prevention Research Center. The goal of the WELL for Life initiative is to build the scientific evidence base about wellbeing by engaging thousands of participants from various parts of the world to help improve our understanding of the key determinants of wellbeing. In addition to measuring the factors that impact wellbeing over time, researchers on the WELL team will conduct interventions and experiments designed to improve wellbeing. Bio-samples will be gathered from some WELL participants to determine potential genetic components of wellbeing. WELL for Life investigators will work closely with community members and organizational partners who will be engaged as citizen scientists to inform the development and testing of lifestyle and environmental changes aimed at lowering risk for chronic diseases and promoting health and quality of life among all segments of the population.
Sandi was born and raised in Zimbabwe, then moved to Cape Town in South Africa where she was a successful entrepreneur, owning and operating a number of businesses in the advertising industry. In 2003 Sandra moved with her family from Cape Town, South Africa to Lexington, Kentucky where she completed a Master of Health Administration in May, 2006 and a PhD in Public Administration (Health Policy Track) in December, 2009 at the University of Kentucky. Her graduate research work focused on the health care that is provided to prison inmates in Kentucky.
In 2009 Sandra moved from Kentucky to California where she started working at the Stanford Prevention Research Center (SPRC). At SPRC Sandra has held a number of positions including Fitness assessor, biometric screener and wellness advisor with the BeWell program; Social Science Research Assistant with Abby King’s Healthy Aging Research and Technology Solutions (HARTS) lab; Project Manager for the SPRC/Qassim University College of Medicine, Saudi Arabia collaboration,and Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.
Sandra's research areas of interest include wellbeing, community-based interventions among under resourced populations; reducing health disparities (particularly in a global context); the role the environments in which we live, work and play affect our ability to lead healthy active lives; and how we can use technology to encourage and support health behavior improvements.