SAPHA has five working committees– Advocacy; Communications; Membership and Event Planning; Research; and Fundraising and Business Development– focused on various efforts to achieve SAPHA’s vision and mission. Committees meet on a monthly basis to discuss ongoing and upcoming projects.
Co-Chairs: Nehanda T.
The Advocacy Committee works to collaborate with local and national organizations to highlight priorities of South Asian communities that directly and indirectly impact health. The committee advocates for our communities through building relationships with advocacy organizations, raising awareness on integral topics, and engaging in healthcare and public health advocacy. Responsibilties include developing sign-on statements/ content; engaging elected officials on issues important to the community that impact health; tracking time and money spent on this; providing education, awareness, support for specific legislation; partnering with local and national community organizations to highlight priorities of South Asian communities that directly or indirectly affect health; signing on to other sign-on letters relevant to SAPHA’s mission; ensuring we are active members on coalitions (NCAPA, NCSO, HEC); building relationships with national and local advocacy organizations; and internal political education efforts around these issues.
Co-Chairs: Supriya Misra, Gayatri Malhotra, Tauhid Mahmud
SAPHA’s Communications Committee strives to increase awareness and education about important health issues affecting South Asian communities in the US 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 newsletters, SAPHA’s google group listserv, and social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Membership and Event Planning
Co-Chairs: Paroma Mitra, Anita Balan
The Membership and Event Planning Committee works to grow the organization, connect individuals with shared interests, provide networking and learning opportunities for SAPHA members, and establish partnerships with local and community organizations working to advance the health of South Asians in the US. 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 US. 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 US. Responsibilties include professional development; networking; programs/webinars with advocacy and research partners; lead SAPHA’s annual Chai and Chat event at APHA; and membership functions (member privileges, member-only content, member database).
Co-Chairs: Shipra Singh, Anto Paul, Saman Aziz
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 promotes research by identifying and prioritizing focus areas relevant to the health of South Asians; creates a forum to disseminate current and emerging evidence and best practices pertinent to improving South Asian health; and develops strategic partnerships with organizations with similar vision and mission to foster SAPHA’s mission. In 2017, the Research Committee led the publication of the book, Health of South Asians in the United States. In 2020, former and current SAPHA board members wrote a practioner’s essay, Unmasking An Invisible Community: Unique Influences On And Consequences Of COVID-19 Among South Asians In The United States.
Fundraising and Business Development
The Fundraising and Business Development 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. Responsibilties include create a fundraising strategy for the short-term and long-term; run fundraising campaigns throughout the year; apply for grants in collaboration with the Membership and Event Planning committee to host events for members; and apply for grants in collaboration with the Research and Advocacy committees.