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Meet our dedicated SAPHA volunteers!

SAPHA Volunteers
SAPHA’s volunteers and interns are a diverse group of individuals including undergraduate students, graduate students, and professionals. They contribute to one or more SAPHA committees and help SAPHA forward its vision. If you are interested in volunteering for a committee, please contact us at info@sapha.org.
Ananya Banerjee

Ananya Banerjee, R.Kin (Ont.) PhD

Sustainability/Fundraising Committee
Ms. Shah has been a SAPHA member since 2003, when she helped start the Chicago SAPHA local chapter, and has been a significant part of SAPHA’s leadership ever since. Ami is currently a consultant on a project to redesign primary care for the Los Angeles County Department of Human Services. Her previous employment has included working as a Health Policy Analyst at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) and at the Sinai Urban Health Institute (SUHI) in Chicago, where she led Sinai’s Improving Community Health Survey.
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Smita C. Banerjee, PhD

Local Partnerships Committee
Priya Bhat-Patel

Priya Bhat-Patel, MPH

Local Partnerships Committee
Ms. Bhat-Patel completed her B.S. at the University of California San Diego with a focus in Physiology and Neuroscience and a minor in Health Care and Social Issues (HCSI) in 2010. As she completed courses in the HCSI minor, she realized that her true passion was public health. This led to a Masters in Public Health (MPH) from the University of Southern California (USC) in 2012 with an emphasis in Global Health Leadership. She is currently working at Cerner Corporation as a Wellness Program Coordinator where she helps to develop, implement, and manage corporate wellness programs.
Mudita Dave

Mudita Dave, PhD, MCS, M.Sc.

Local Partnerships Committee
Dr. Dave earned her PhD in Community Health from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research examines health behaviors and outcomes in relation to migration, acculturation, and gender among a diverse group of Asian Indians in the United States. Her teaching and research interests include public and global health, health communications, alternative approaches to health and healing, obesity and chronic diseases, as well as the interactions between culture, environment and health.

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Currently, Mudita teaches in the MPH program at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She earned two Masters degrees, in Microbiology and Communication. Her professional engagements include working in a diverse set of media platforms, including radio, television and print journalism.

Syed Shahrukh Hashmi

Syed Shahrukh Hashmi, MD, MPH, PhD

Local Partnerships Committee
Rozmin Jiwani

Rozmin Jiwani, PhD

Sustainability/Fundraising Committee
Dr. Jiwani is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Restorations and Care Systems Management at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She teaches courses including health promotion, foundation in nursing, and graduate pathophysiology in undergraduate and graduate nursing programs.

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Rozmin received her Diploma in Nursing from Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan in 1993 and moved to the United States in 1996. She received her BSN (December 2005), MSN (May, 2009), and PhD (August, 2013) in nursing from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio University. During her MSN and Ph.D., her specialty focus was on cardiovascular disease and healthcare for minority populations. She pursued her dissertation work with the South Asian community because of the premature incidences of coronary artery disease (CAD) mortality in her own family and community. Her dissertation included 102 South Asians with CAD and is titled Illness Perception, Coping Behaviors and Appraisal of South Asian Immigrants with Coronary Artery Disease: A Mixed Methods Study.

Yesha Malik

Yesha Malik

Sustainability/Fundraising Committee
Yesha Malik is a 4th year medical student at the St. George's University School of Medicine. She earned her Bachelor's degree in International Affairs and Public Health from the George Washington University. During her undergraduate studies, she was involved with Project SAHNA at the GW School of Public Health and also interned at PhRMA. These experiences developed her interest in health disparities and access to healthcare for minorities.

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Before starting medical school, she worked on NIH-funded infectious disease clinical trials in Rockville, MD. While in medical school, Yesha interned with Cisco Systems in India evaluating current and projected need for telemedicine initiatives at rural government health facilities. After completing her medical training, she hopes to work in primary care with a focus on treating underserved urban populations. Yesha has lived in the UK, the Netherlands, Grenada, and the United States. She currently is living in New York City while completing her clinical clerkships.

Sejal Patel

Sejal Patel, MPH

Research Committee Intern
Native to Southern California, Sejal graduated with a B.S. degree in Biology from UC San Diego in 2006 as well as an MPH degree in Community Health Sciences from UCLA in 2009. She possesses a variety of experience in program management, design, and evaluation. Most recently, Sejal served as an Analyst for the County of San Bernardino's Children's Network where she worked in child abuse prevention managing a community engagement program, developing child safety media campaigns, co-chairing the San Bernardino County Child Death Review Team, and creating the agency annual reports.

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Notably, Sejal coordinated the launching of the ABCs of Safe Infant Sleep multi-media awareness campaign. Another accomplishment is Sejal's work as a consultant where she developed the evaluation framework, data collection processes, tools, and conducted the analyses for the City of Azusa's Complete Streets and Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Pilot Program. By establishing local data, she helped the city secure an additional $1 million in funding for the expansion of SRTS programming and infrastructural improvements within the city. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, and learning about spirituality. This January, she moved to Chicago after getting married. Having braved her first winter, Sejal is now very interested in making a difference in Chicago's public health landscape. She's motivated, hard-working, a team player, and goes the extra mile to ensure the best quality work, now working on SAPHA's 2nd Edition of the Brown Paper.

Susmita Paul

Susmita Paul

Communications Committee Intern
Susmita is finishing her final year at Williams College, majoring in sociology and completing the pre-medical track. An Allison Davis Research Fellow, she is writing a senior thesis in medical sociology on the competing definitions of cultural competency, with a majority of the fieldwork based in her hometown of Jamaica, Queens, in New York City. This past summer, she was an intern at the NYU Center for the Study of Asian American Health, working with Bangladeshi community healthworkers on the DREAM project: Diabetes, Research, Education, and Access for Minorities, helping Bangladeshi immigrants with their diabetes care and management.

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Susmita is currently applying to MPH and PhD programs in sociomedical sciences (with interests in medical sociology, science and technology studies, and community health) and hopes to enter academia in the years to come. Born in Bangladesh, she moved to the United States when she was four years old and is grateful that her parents encouraged her to speak in Bangla at home. A first generation college student from a low-income background, she is an advocate of mental health and works hard to improve the college experiences of Williams students who are similar to her. When she is not updating her blogs, Humans of Williams and Williams College Class Confessions, she can be found discussing ongoing anti-racism activism.

Divya Talwar

Divya Talwar

Sustainability/Fundraising Committee
Divya is a doctoral candidate at Texas A&M University. She has earned a degree in public health and clinical dentistry. Divya also possesses a solid background in research methodology and practical experience working with diverse ethnic populations in hospitals, civic centers, and local communities. Apart from extensive research and educational work in the United States and India, she has global health experience in the communities of China, Taiwan, Senegal and The Gambia.

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Divya completed her teaching internship at National Taiwan University in Taiwan. Her research experience includes formulating the appropriate research design (qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods), survey development, preparing regulatory documents, community assessments, data collection and analysis. She is a certified Community Health Worker and a trained lay leader to perform community-based outreach work.