SAPHA - South Asian Public Health Association - logo
SAPHA - South Asian Public Health Association - logo

Newsletter - Spring 2016

South Asian Public Health Association
SAPHA Quarterly Newsletter

Spring 2016

In This Issue

SAPHA is the premier South Asian-related public health organization in America, in existence since 1999. SAPHA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of South Asians and the communities in which they live in America.
Join Our Mailing List

Become a SAPHA Member! 

We invite you to join us! You can start by becoming an active part of our free listserv, joining and asking your colleagues to join SAPHA as a member, and volunteering to help one of SAPHA's committees. 

Being part of SAPHA is an opportunity to network with other professionals invested in the health of South Asians in the United States and to promote the health of South Asian communities. Be sure to visit our membership page at to get more information on how to become a member of this exciting organization.

Join a SAPHA Committee!
Business Meeting
SAPHA is currently seeking dedicated professionals to join one of SAPHA's Committees:




Membership/ Nominations

Partnerships/Local Groups


SAPHA Committees meet regularly via conference call to discuss how to advance the mission and goals of SAPHA and to better serve the South Asian community. For more information visit SAPHA'S committee's page!

Simran Sabherwal
Sana Hashim
Monideepa Becerra
Punam Parikh Modha
Isha Weerasinghe 
Shibani Ray-Mazumder
Partnerships Chair
Shipra Singh
Communications Chair
Memoona Hasnain
Research Chair
Phani Veeranki 
Sustainability Chair 
Dhara Thakar Meghani 
Memberships Chair
Vaibhav Jain 
 Yousra Yusuf

  Vice President

Nazeera Dawood
Newsletter prepared by Susmita Paul,
Shipra Singh,
and Stefanie Joseph
SAPHA New Logo
Dear SAPHA Members, 
Happy Spring! As your semesters and quarters wind up before they wind down, we hope you are taking the time to enjoy the warmth, sunshine, and longer days afforded to us by Daylight Savings. We are happy to present you with the SAPHA Spring 2016 newsletter, for your reading pleasure as you soak up the sun (but with SPF 100 sunscreen, of course)!
Below, you will have the opportunity to learn more about three campaigns that SAPHA is currently leading. First, we describe SAPHA's progress in its work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to promote its Health Talker program, titled Destination India, focusing on South Asians in the NY/NJ/CT tri-state area. We are also starting our first-ever membership campaign: we are offering a 20% discount on both our student and professional memberships. With your new or continued membership, you will have early access to our forthcoming book, titled "Health of South Asians in the US: An Evidence-based Guide for Policy and Program Development." You'll also be supporting SAPHA's programming efforts at the American Public Health Association's 2016 Annual Meeting. Read below to learn more!
Finally, our Partnerships Committee, in conjunction with Memberships and Communications, is forging new connections with other South Asian non-profit organizations. For all of these campaigns, we welcome any and all volunteer work you, as a SAPHA member, would like to provide. Even sharing our posts on social media helps us--and while we're on the topic, follow us on
Facebook and Twitter!
For its spotlight, SAPHA is excited to feature Manjusha P. Kulkarni, Esq., the Executive Director of the South Asian Network (SAN) and the American Muslim Health Professionals (AMPH) for the good work they do for South Asian American communities in the United States.
We'll be in touch this summer to share more details about SAPHA's programming at the APHA 2016. In the meantime, happy reading!
SAPHA Board 2016

SAPHA Membership Campaign

Join SAPHA's cause, and get 20% OFF the membership fee!
Until the end of August 2016, SAPHA is offering discounted memberships for both professionals and students. Both professionals and students have 20% off the original annual membership fee: Professionals pay $40, and Students only $24. 

SAPHA depends on its members and their donations to continue to do its work. Your donation goes back to the South Asian American community in the United States. This is done through: SAPHA's work with fellow partner organizations; its research, programming, and advocacy; and its sustained connections and collaborations with important stakeholders in American medicine and public health.

Please consider renewing your membership today. And if you are already a member, consider sharing the news of our discounted membership with your friends, colleagues, and extended networks, whether through school or work.

We thank you in advance for your help.

SAPHA-CDC Partnership: Travelers' Health

As spring and summer approach, many of us are planning to travel to visit our friends and family in South Asia. We may not be aware of the health risks associated with travel to India, such as typhoid, hepatitis A, and malaria, to name a few. Many of these diseases are preventable, but less than 30% of travelers visiting friends and relatives in India see a doctor before they travel. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sees these travel-related illnesses in returning travelers from India. Hence, they have launched their Destination India pilot program to help educate travelers through volunteer "Health Talkers." For more information on the project, please see here.

SAPHA is partnering with the CDC to help spread this awareness by word-of-mouth. We are glad that we are able to serve
as one of three premier organizations, along with United Sikhs and NYU CSAAH, to increase awareness among people about staying healthy and precautions to be taken while traveling to South Asian countries.
And we need your help! If you are located in the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut tri-state area, or have family or friends who are traveling to India in the coming months or years, we would appreciate your time. We are continuing to have conversations with the CDC to expand their reach beyond India, after this pilot project period ends. In the meantime, p
lease consider supporting our campaign and protect our community by becoming a volunteer and spreading the word. Any and every conversation helps-no step is too small to make a difference.

SAPHA Partnerships Campaign

Do you, or anyone you know, work at a local or national non-profit, medical, or public health organization dedicated to advocating for the needs of South Asian Americans? SAPHA is currently broadening its boundaries to engage with more South Asian professionals, and those dedicated to issues concerning South Asian Americans today, with an overarching aim to improve overall health of our communities.
SAPHA is striving to forge new connections and build new relationships with similarly-minded institutions. Through the partnerships we create, we hope that we will be able to work together to promote the health and well-being of the community. We hope that these partnerships will provide a working relationship to share resources, communicate healthy lifestyle education, promote materials, and collaborate on future research initiatives.
If you or anyone you know is interested in learning more about what partnering with SAPHA entails, please feel free to contact us at today.

Spotlight On: Manjusha P. Kulkarni, Esq.
Manjusha P. Kulkarni, Esq. is the Executive Director of the
South Asian Network (SAN). SAN serves the needs of individuals of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Nepalese and Sri Lankan descent in the areas of civil rights, violence prevention and health and health care access. Located in Artesia, California, the non-profit works to break the stigma of mental health problems in the South Asian community. SAN develops outreach programs to educate its clients about the agencies and organizations that they can use as a resource.
Before working at SAN, Kulkarni served as Senior Attorney at the National Health Law Program (NHeLP), where she worked to improve access to quality health care for low-income individuals. Kulkarni also worked at a civil rights law firm and has taught classes on health care access, civil rights and policy advocacy at Stanford Law and Medical Schools, University of California at Los Angeles and University of Southern California. In 2014, Kulkarni received the White House Champions of Change award for her dedication to improving healthcare access for South Asian Americans. SAPHA is honored to highlight her work and SAN, and encourage SAPHA members to learn more about their work.

Spotlight On: American Muslim Health Professionals (AMHP)

SAPHA is proud to highlight American Muslim Health Professionals (AMHP), an organization we have written to you about before. AMHP is a national nonprofit organization that focuses on the unique needs of American Muslims, through offering professional development, health education, and greater advocacy for it and other minority and underserved communities. Founded in 2004, AMHP has worked tirelessly to help mobilize Muslims to organize for better health policy issues to the Obama Administration, to champion community-based research, to create and disseminate resources for disabled Muslims, to help break the stigma surrounding mental health, and to create exciting networking opportunities for medical and public health professionals in cities across the nation. 
AMHP leadership has contributed to numerous publications, such as The First Lady's blog and Huffington Post. Their mission is to empower Muslim health professionals to improve the health of Americans. As AMHP works towards its vision to be a leader in improving public health, SAPHA commends them for all their hard service to this date.
We are honored and proud to highlight our sister organization, and we look forward to working with them more in the future. 
Please like AMHP on Facebook, learn more about them here, and consider supporting their efforts here.

Spotlight: Concussion Destruction

SAPHA is proud to highlight a group of teenagers, Anoop Gundala, Rishabh Ghora, and Dhruv Atri, from Northview High School, in Johns Creek, Georgia, who are doing important work with concussion advocacy. See below for their story: 
"One evening, our dear friend Omkar blacked out 
unexpectedly on the sidewalk as he was walking his dog. At first, we stood there startled and confused; doctors later traced this horrifying event to an unrecognized concussion from a collision Omkar had while playing football two weeks prior.
Worried about this incident, our team conducted research about concussions and found it to be a prevalent issue within our community. Over 50 of our own high school students, 70% of whom are South Asian, are victimized by mild traumatic brain injuries every year. This type of brain trauma goes unnoticed over 90% of the time. In fact, from 2010 to 2012, 198 Georgia children endured non-vehicle related head injuries causing concussions, mostly from sports. The rising concern of this phenomenon has led to many lawsuits fighting to pass Georgia legislation about a "return to play" law. 
This inspired us to educate athletes, students and people about the severity of this issue. From creating an iOS app that accurately diagnoses if a person displays concussion-type symptoms, to partnering with local businesses in order to host community events to even advocating at our city government, our organization Concussion Destruction has seen unprecedented growth over the past few months and we wish to sustain this momentum going on in the future."

SAPHA commends them on all their work thus far. You can follow Concussion Destruction on Facebook and Twitter. Best of luck, Anoop, Rishabh, and Dhruv!


The American Public Health Association (APHA) will be hosting its 2016 Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, from October 29 to November 2nd, 2016. We hope you will join SAPHA there. Like last year, we will host our annual Chai & Chat, to reflect on the last year and to begin planning for the next. In our upcoming newsletters, we will announce details about SAPHA's programming at APHA. At that time, we will distribute a compendium of abstracts that relate to South Asian American health and medicine, a list of all events sponsored by the Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus (APIC), and if you would like, information about workshops or presentations that SAPHA members are leading. Stay tuned for more information!

Join a SAPHA Committee
Our committees meet via conference call at least once a month to discuss how to help promote the work of SAPHA and advocate for our members. By participating in a committee, you can gain invaluable experience working with experts in the field that could advance your professional goals!
Please note that you must be a SAPHA member (paid annual membership dues) to be eligible to participate on a Committee and vote. For more information, please email the Chair of the Committee you would like to join. Each Committee Chair's contact information is available on our website.
SAPHA's success depends on the commitment and hard work of its committees and look forward to your participation!

Check out our new website and our blog! 
SAPHA launched our new website during the Chai & Chat at the American Public Health Association conference in November 2015, which you can view here. We welcome any feedback you may have as you peruse the site.  

We are also excited to debut SAPHA's blog, Voices of SAPHA. Voices 

is a place where writers can share and discuss their experiences working with different South Asian populations across the US. The blog is meant to humanize the academic works that have been published about the population. The editor-in-chief is Pavitra Krishnamani, an MD candidate at Thomas Jefferson University. If you are interested in sharing your past work, or contributing your future writing, consider contacting "Voices of SAPHA" here for more information.

Facebook LogoStay updated with SAPHA's latest news, events and happenings by liking our Facebook Page

Connect with other colleagues in the field by posting questions or comments on the wall.
And follow SAPHA on Twitter: @saphainfo.
Health Conferences
1) 39th Annual Rural Health Conference May 10-13, 2016. Minneapolis, MN.
2)   Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) Conference May 11-14, 2016, New Orleans, LA.
3)   USPHS Scientific and Training Symposium May 16-19, 2016, Oklahoma City, OK. The theme of the conference is "Gimme Five: Building a Better Tomorrow through Prevention Today".
4)   Bringing Public Health and Primary Care Together May 22-24, 2016, Bethesda, MD.
5)  AAPCHO AA&NHPI Health Summit, May 24, 2016, Atlanta, Georgia
6)   Policy Surveillance Summer Institute June 9-10, 2016, Philadelphia, PA.
10)  AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, Boston, MA.
11)  NACCHO Annual Conference July 19-21, 2016, National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), Phoenix, AZ.
12)  Public Health Informatics Conference August 21-24, 2016, Atlanta, GA.
MicrophoneThe events listed in this section are for informational purposes only. 
SAPHA does not necessarily endorse the organizations or events listed.  
Email SAPHA if you would like an event or research posted here!
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