Dr hanna with residents
Mona hannah attisha

Mona Hanna-Attisha


New accolades: Dr. Hanna-Attisha named 'Woman of the Century' by USA Today

Hurley Pediatrics Program Director Mona Hanna-Attisha MD MPH is a featured TedTalk-style speaker during the 2014 MSU Rx series. Her talk is titled 'What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?'
Hurley Pediatrics Program Director Mona Hanna-Attisha MD MPH is a featured TedTalk-style speaker during the 2014 MSU Rx series. Her talk is titled “What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?”
Mona Hanna-Attisha MD MPH FAAP is known as the local pediatrician who broke the news about the Flint water crisis, which launched her into worldwide advocacy for clean water and better lives for children in Flint, Michigan, the nation, and the world. Her book on those efforts and her own life has become a bestseller: What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City.

Dr. Hanna-Attisha testified about the water issues multiple times before U.S. Congress, was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, received the PEN Ameria Freedom of Expression and Courage Award, and has advocated for clean water and children’s issues via worldwide media outlets, as well as national, state, and local news providers. She remains a popular speaker and educator.

Yet at Hurley, she is known as Dr. Mona and often can be seen working on projects with resident physicians, medical students and other colleagues.


  • Undergraduate: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • Medical school: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, East Lansing, Mich. (Flint campus for clinical years)
  • Residency & Chief Residency: Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, Mich.
  • Graduate: University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, Mich.


Hanna-Attisha, Mona, author. (2018). What the eyes don't see : a story of crisis, resistance, and hope in an American city. New York:One World, an imprint of Random House.

  • New York Times 100 Notable Book for 2018
  • Best Science Book of 2018 by NPR's Science Friday


Peer-reviewed academic works: See Dr. Hanna's Wikipedia page.

Career Path

Former director of Hurley’s Pediatric Residency Program, Dr. Hanna-Attisha is an active faculty member and researcher. Residents learn a lot during their community pediatrics rotations with her. A Michigan native, Dr. Hanna-Attisha grew up in Royal Oak and first fell in love with Pediatrics while on the Flint Campus during her clinical years as a medical student at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine.

After completing her residency and chief residency at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, she earned a master’s degree in Public Health, concentrating in Health Management and Policy, at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Dr. Hanna-Attisha was an assistant professor at Wayne State University Department of Pediatrics and an associate director of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Pediatric Residency Program prior to returning to Hurley.

In addition to educating the next generation of physicians, Dr. Hanna-Attisha now directs the Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital Public Health Initiative, an innovative and model public health program to research, monitor and mitigate the impact of lead in Flint’s drinking water. She also is associate dean for MSU Public Health and leads RX Kids, which is a first-ever citywide cash prescription program that provides $1500 to pregnant women and $500 per month in the infant's first year, no strings attached. The five-year pilot program is expected to served about 1200 mothers per year (6000 over five years).

Returning to Hurley

“I returned for many reasons: Its dedicated and renowned pediatric faculty, its energetic and committed residents, and the opportunity to improve pediatric public health in the greater Flint area,” said Dr. Hanna-Attisha.

Academic Interests

  • Quality of care
  • Addressing disparities in care
  • Health policy and advocacy
  • Pediatric education – especially the incorporation of technology and online education.


  • 2015-2023 (a selection): 2023 Outstanding American Citizen by Choice Award from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; 2022 Excellence in Instruction Award, Michigan State University & Hurley Children's Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative; 2022 Inaugural Bernard Lown Award for Social Responsibility, Lown Institute; 2022 Inaugural Social Justice Medicine in Action Award - The Blue Flame, Columbia University Postbac Premed Student Council, Social Justice Medicine Club; 2021 100 Most Influential Women, Crain's Detroit Business; 2021 Environmental Hearo Award, Healthcare Without Harm; 2020 Fries Prize for Improving Public Health from the American Public Health Association; USA Today's 2020 list of Women of the Century; 2019 Vilcek-Gold Award for Humanism in Healthcare from the Vilcek Foundation of New York and The Arnold P. Gold Foundation of Englewood Cliffs, N.J.; Medscape’s list of Best Physicians in the World for 2016; TIME 100 Influential Person of the Year; Crain’s Detroit Business 100 Most Influential Women, Health Care Hero; Michigan State Medical Society Public Health Leadership Award; American Pediatric Association Michael Shannon Research Award; Children’s Environmental Health Network Community Child Health Advocate Award; National ATHENA Leadership Award; Michigan State University College of Human Medicine William Weil Jr Endowed Distinguished Pediatric Faculty Award; Michigan State University Inspirational Woman of the Year Award; Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling Award; National Center for Health Research Health Policy Hero Award; National Head Start Hero Award; Chaldean Chamber of Commerce Humanitarian of the Year Award; PEN America Freedom of Expression Courage Award; American Academy of Pediatrics Presidential Award.
Dr. Hanna zip-lining at Camp Copeneconic
Dr. Hanna-Attisha talks about Flint's fight for American's children during a 2016 TedMed Talk.