Our Committees

Our Committees

SAPHA has five working committees that focus on different areas to help SAPHA work toward its mission. Committees meet via conference call once a month to discuss ongoing projects and progress.

Join a SAPHA Committee by contacting the chair for more information. We look forward to your enthusiasm and expertise and hope your service will also help you achieve your professional goals. Please note that you must have paid SAPHA membership dues in order to be on a committee. Read more about our current committee members on our SAPHA Volunteers page.


Chair: Neelum T. Aggarwal, MD
Interns: Susmita Paul & Melanie Wathugala

SAPHA’s Communications Committee strives to increase awareness and education about important health issues affecting South Asian communities in the United States while also connecting community members with the latest news and professional opportunities in the public health field. To this end, the Communications Committee undertakes a range of activities, from the upkeep of SAPHA’s website to promoting community health education through user-friendly health factsheets and keeping the field updated with the latest news and happenings through quarterly e-newsletters and the use of social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.

Local Partnerships

Chair: Nazeera Dawood, MBBS, MPH, CCRC
Committee members: Smita Banerjee, Priya Bhat-Patel, Mudita Dave, Syed Shahrukh Hashmi, & Phani Veeranki

The Local Partnerships Committee works to establish partnerships with local and community organizations working to advance the health of South Asians in the United States. In particular, this Committee identifies related organizations to leverage expertise and resources to carry out common objectives. In addition, SAPHA is exploring opportunities to facilitate the revival and establishment of local chapters in universities and cities across the U.S.

Membership and Nominations

Chair: Dhara Thakar Meghani, PhD
Committee member: Isha Weerasinghe

The Membership Committee works to grow the organization, connect individuals with shared interests, and provide networking and learning opportunities for SAPHA’s members. Membership in SAPHA is open to a broad range of students, professionals, and community members who are dedicated to enhancing the overall well-being of the South Asian community in the United States. The Membership Committee works in conjunction with the Communications Committee to facilitate connections among SAPHA members and to provide news about South Asian health through SAPHA’s website, Google Groups listserv, Facebook, and Twitter.

The Membership Committee chair also leads the annual effort for Board nominations starting with a call for nominations in September and elections in November. Individuals interested in Board membership must have paid SAPHA dues by October 1st for the year in which they plan to run.


Chair: Memoona Hasnain, MD, MHPE, PhD
Committee members: Punam Parikh Modha & Sejal Patel (Intern)

The Research Committee aims to provide leadership and guidance for matters pertaining to SAPHA’s strategic vision and operations for research and development of South Asian public health. The Committee 1) promotes research by identifying and prioritizing focus areas relevant to the health of South Asians; 2) creates a forum to disseminate current and emerging evidence and best practices pertinent to improving South Asian health; and 3) develops strategic partnerships with organizations with similar vision and mission to foster SAPHA’s mission. The Research Committee has been working on the second edition of the Brown Paper, which is due to be released in late 2015.


Chair: Phani Veeranki, MD
Committee members: Ananya Banerjee, Rozmin Jiwani, Yesha Malik, Mary Modayil, Divya Talwar, Nikhita Thaper, & Yousra Yusuf

The Sustainability/Fundraising Committee oversees SAPHA’s fundraising activities, leading efforts to promote SAPHA’s mission and vision through existing and new funding streams. The Committee is currently involved in developing annual and long-term fundraising goals for the organization, along with identifying and maintaining information on existing and potential donors.