See all

Elna Nagasako, MD, PHD, MPH

Assistant Professor in Medicine



Related Links


  • faculty


Dr. Elna Nagasako is a faculty member in the Division of General Medical Sciences in the Department of Internal Medicine at Washington University. Dr. Nagasako’s primary focus is on building hospital system capacity to incorporate the social and community factors that impact patients’ health into strategic planning, quality improvement, and community partnership activities.

Dr. Nagasako’s work with BJC HealthCare includes hospital system disparities reporting strategy development and access strategy development, including collaborative engagement of internal and external stakeholders throughout the data and metric development process, and supporting hospital leadership and community partner access to data on non-clinical health factors to inform strategy and program development and implementation. Dr. Nagasako is also directly involved in program development, including pilots to increase access to mental health care in rural Missouri and to improve transitions of care between the academic medical center and community health centers.

Her work also includes collaboration with the Missouri Hospital Association Hospital Industry Data Institute to evaluate the effect of sociodemographic factors on hospital readmission rates and to make data on sociodemographic and other non-clinical health factors widely available to hospitals, community-based organizations, and local public health agencies via the Missouri ZIP Health Rankings project. With her background in consumer engagement, one of Dr. Nagasako’s primary emphases in this project was incorporating the input of a community advisory board and community end-users into model development.

She has served on national, state, and regional committees including the County Health Rankings Sub-County Data Collaborative, Missouri Hospital Association Population Health Task Force, Missouri Hospital Association Missouri Medicaid Emergency Department Utilization Program Workgroup, the St. Louis Integrated Health Network Transitions of Care Task Force and the St. Louis Invest Health Advisory Board.

Dr. Nagasako received her MD from Washington University, a PhD from the University of Rochester, and an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health in Health Care Policy and Management. She completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and has completed post-graduate training in administrative data research, qualitative research, and human-centered design. As a Commonwealth Fund Mongan Fellow in Minority Health Policy at Harvard Medical School, she worked with the consumer advocacy organization Community Catalyst on the issue of meaningful patient input into health system innovations. She previously served as the founding director of the Global Health Scholars in Medicine program at Washington University School of Medicine.

Research publications (PubMed):