Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Department of Family Medicine

Richard Casey (Rick) Sadler, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine who engages in Flint public health research through the MSU College of Human Medicine’s Division of Public Health. A Flint native, he attended the University of Michigan-Flint (BSc, 2007), then earned his PhD in geography from the University of Western Ontario in 2013.

Dr. Sadler’s research is aimed at strengthening the understanding between the built environment and health behaviors/outcomes, with the goal of shaping land use policy to build healthier cities. His work is integrated with community organizations, and uses qualitative and spatial analysis to address disparities in the social determinants of health. He says, “My experiences growing up in the Flint region–where industrial growth, subsequent deindustrialization, and fragmented planning practices have had a profound influence on the built form–shaped my drive to resolve inequalities that arise from imbalances between the salutogenic and pathogenic properties of urban areas.”

He adds, “My work is underpinned by an upbringing oriented around compassion and stewardship, experiential training in cultural competence, and a recognition of historical processes of discrimination which have exacerbated spatial and health inequalities.”


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Assistant Professor
Division of Public Health
200 East 1st St., Room 337
Flint, MI 48502