Sarath Gunatilake, MD, Dr. P.H is an American Board Certified Occupational and Family Medicine Physician, who is a Professor and the former Chair of the Health Science Department at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). He has also served as the Medical Director of Metropolitan State Hospital (1054 beds) in Norwalk, CA, for nine years.
Professor Gunatilake has been a consultant to many International Health Organizations, such as the World Bank, USAID, UNICEF, World Health Organization, the South Pacific Commission, CARE International, and the Asian Development Bank, in thirteen countries.
He was the co-principal investigator for the CSULB, CDC-HRSA grant on Curriculum Development for Bioterrorism. He was a member of a panel of consultants who assessed the damage to the health care sector during the South Asian Tsunami in Sri Lanka.
Dr. Gunatilake also held two adjunct Professorships in two medical schools: the Ross University School of Medicine and the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine.
Areas of Expertise
- Emergency Management
- Occupational and Environmental Health
- Sustainable Development
- Family Health and Nutrition
- Mental Health
- Health Manpower Development and Training
- Health Promotion and Risk reduction
- Program Planning Evaluation
- Electronic Patient Records
- Leadership Training, Small group Facilitation Skills, Survey Design and Social Research
Professor Gunatilake has Published widely and contributed many guest lectures, publications, and consultation services in Occupational and Mental Health Disaster Management and International Health, to a number of local, national and international journals and organizations.
Peer-reviewed publications on chronic kidney disease:
- Glyphosate, Hard Water and Nephrotoxic Metals: Are They the Culprits Behind the Epidemic of Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology in Sri Lanka?
- Drinking well water and occupational exposure to Herbicides is associated with chronic kidney disease, in Padavi-Sripura, Sri Lanka
- International Journal of Food Contamination: Presence of arsenic in Sri Lankan rice
- Phosphate fertilizer is a main source of arsenic in areas affected with chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology in Sri Lanka
- Reverse osmosis plant maintenance and efficacy in chronic kidney disease endemic region in Sri Lanka
- Simultaneous exposure to multiple heavy metals and glyphosate may contribute to Sri Lankan agricultural nephropathy
- Chronic interstitial nephritis in agricultural communities: a worldwide epidemic with social, occupational and environmental determinants
Accomplishments and Awards
In 2007, Dr. Gunatilake was awarded the Ruth and Milton Roemer Award for Excellence in Public Health Practice by the Southern California Public Health Association. In 2011, the Sri Lanka Government Recognized Dr. Gunatilake for the outstanding services rendered to the Sri Lankan Health Care sector with a special awarded presented by the Counsel General in Los Angeles. In 2013 Dr. Gunatilake was appointed as a special advisor to the Special project's ministry dealing with the Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown origin (CKDu) and was involved in drafting a special cabinet paper designing a comprehensive multidisciplinary program to deal with this problem. In 2014, the California State University awarded the “Research Accomplishment of the Year Award” to Dr. Gunatilake for his research that resulted in the identification of the main contributory factors for CKD that has affected many agricultural nations in three continents. In 2015 the American Public Health Association’s Occupational Health and Safety section awarded Dr. Gunatilake with its International Award in recognition of his research on CKD. This award is given to the individual who has contributed most to the health and safety of workers outside the United States. In 2019 Prof. Gunatilake received the “award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility” from the American Association for Advancement of Science.