FOLLOW US ON:

Board of Directors

SAPHA Board
The Board of Directors is an elected group of professionals representing a diverse set of disciplines, skills, and expertise and is committed to furthering SAPHA’s mission. Our Board members serve a maximum of four two-year terms. If you are interested in running for the Board or have other general inquiries, please contact us.

Samira Khan, MPH

President
Samira Khan is the Assistant Director of Research & Clinical Initiatives in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at Mount Sinai where she has been working with divisional leadership towards developing a Respiratory Service Line, tracking quality metrics and health outcomes, implementing quality and performance improvement projects, and assisting with the development of new clinical and research initiatives. She also simultaneously continues in her role as a research manager for Dr. Neomi Shah’s lab, where she oversees research operations, grant applications, project development, and data management. She received her Masters in Public Health from Hofstra University. Her public health interests include advocating for health equity to reduce health disparities especially in immigrant populations, and social and behavioral determinants of health.

Ayesha Azam, MSHIA

Vice President
Ayesha Azam is a patient advocate and healthcare strategist, dedicated to solving problems in healthcare faced by vulnerable children and adults. Most recently, Ms. Azam served as executive leadership at the Patient Access Network Foundation, formulating programmatic strategy and providing clinical oversight to help the underinsured population gain access to their prescribed medications. Ms. Azam holds a Master of Science degree in Health Informatics Administration from the University of Maryland University College and is a certified Lean Six Sigma black belt. Her public health interests include reducing access to care barriers, increasing access to improve social determinants of health, and advocating for health equity, especially among seniors with low incomes.

Trushna Rao-Nadig, MS(ENT), MBA

Treasurer
Trushna Rao Nadig is an ENT specialist and public health advocate, dedicated to community service and public health awareness. She has practiced in India, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, and has global experience in working with disadvantaged communities. She currently serves as the Medical Lead of the Safety Committee Member for the International Day of Yoga Celebration NPO (501c3) held annually in Atlanta, Georgia by the Indian Consulate, as Yoga Lead for We-Impact.org and for the past 2 years as Yoga Instructor to Juvenile Youth at Gainesville Youth Detention Center, GA, where she also serves as Secretary of the Advisory Board. Dr. Nadig completed her medical and ENT training at M.S. University in India, and earned her Master of Business Administration, specializing in Technology and Healthcare Management, from the University of North Georgia Mike Cottrell College of Business. Her public health interests include mentoring nursing and medical students and promoting the health benefits of yoga.

Naveen Shoaib, MPH

Secretary
Naveen Shoaib is a public health practitioner passionate about health justice, community-based advocacy, and approaching solutions with the structural determinants of equity. She currently serves as a Women’s Health Coordinator at Northwell Health, focused on community interventions using implementation science frameworks and combating strategies against oppressive systems, with an emphasis on the BIPOC community to decolonize public health. She graduated with a Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Health Policy and Management from New York University and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health and Safety from Stony Brook University. With a strong emphasis on policy, Naveen is determined to bring awareness to the South Asian community around mental health, substance use, and health promotion.

Hena Bajaj, MBA

Partnerships Coordinator
Hena Bajaj serves as Managing Operations Consultant at Inspira Health Network. She obtained her MBA from Rutgers Business School with a dual concentration in Strategy and Healthcare and a Bachelor of Science in Health Administration from Rutgers University. During her time at Rutgers, Ms. Bajaj was the Secretary for the MBA Student Government Association and frequently speaks on the student panel for the part-time MBA new student orientation. Her public health areas of expertise and interest include population health, community health, readmission, value-based programs, patient access services, grant-funded projects, and process improvement.

Aisha Bhimla, PhD, MPH

Research Committee Co-Chair
Aisha Bhimla is a Health Quantitative Senior Analyst at Abt Associates based out of Rockville, Maryland. She is a public health researcher with experience conducting community-based interventions and assessments related to chronic disease and cancer, physical activity, mental health, cognitive functioning, and teen pregnancy/STI prevention. She is specifically passionate about using epidemiological methods to investigate how social determinants of health, such as the neighborhood and built environment are associated with chronic health conditions among racial and ethnic minority populations. She holds a Ph.D. in Kinesiology from Temple University, an MPH from the University of South Florida, and a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology from the University of Toronto.

ANTO PAUL, RN-BC, MS/MPH, CDE, CPHQ

Research Committee Co-Chair
Anto Paul is a population health nurse with a public health background, passionate about chronic disease management. In his current role at Catholic Health Services, Mr. Paul coordinates the chronic disease data available through disease-focused registries and reports to design and develop public health interventions to reduce the impact of chronic diseases. He previously worked as a diabetes educator in South Asian community-based research programs and was instrumental in developing the first South Asian diabetes education program in a primary care setting in New York City. Mr. Paul completed his Master’s in Public Health from Hunter College New York and is a Certified Diabetes Educator and Board Certified Advanced Public Health Nurse.

Anita Balan, MPH

Event Planning and Professional Development Committee Co-Chair
Anita Balan is a project director at the American College of Preventive Medicine. She manages grants to strengthen public health systems and national partnerships and oversees the development of a curriculum to help physicians integrate population health principles within work settings. Ms. Balan has developed workshops, webinars, and other educational opportunities for physicians on health systems transformation, CDC’s 6|18 initiative, and the National Violent Death Reporting System. She earned her Master of Public Health from George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, a Bachelor of Art in Political Science from Rutgers University, and she is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist. Her public health interests include chronic disease prevention, health education and promotion, and eliminating health disparities.

Mushira M. Khan, PhD

Event Planning and Professional Development Committee Co-Chair
Mushira Mohsin Khan is a health and aging researcher, passionate about community-engaged research. Currently, Dr. Khan is a Senior Researcher at the Mather Institute, conducting applied research to support the organization’s mission of promoting the overall health and well-being of older adults. She has worked on several federally-funded research projects in the US and Canada, including barriers to healthcare access in ethnic minority older adults, caregiving and intergenerational support exchanges in immigrant South Asian families, and challenges to the uptake of health promotion interventions among older immigrants. Dr. Khan previously worked at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center and the Joint Commission and holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Victoria.

Sheikh Rubana Hossain, MPH

Advocacy Committee Co-Chair
Sheikh Rubana Hossain works in the field of Geriatric Research at the Department of Veterans Affairs, focused on understanding the unique challenges of older veterans with complex chronic conditions. Previously, she worked with BRAC Bangladesh, MSK’s Immigrant Health and Cancer Disparities Service, and was a John D. Solomon Fellow for Public Service with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Ms. Hossain graduated with her Master of Public Health in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Her research interests include understanding and reducing mental health stigma and health disparities in immigrant populations. She also writes strong voice-driven stories to advocate for mental health, colorism, and the impacts of COVID-19 on the Bengali community in NYC.

Anmol Sharma, MGH

Advocacy Committee Co-Chair
Anmol (she/her) is a Case Manager with Ashiyanaa, a DC metropolitan area based nonprofit that provides culturally sensitive support services to the South Asian community, particularly survivors of interpersonal violence, and seniors and their caregivers. Prior to that, she worked on the COVID-19 Response Team at the Schenectady County Public Health Department in Schenectady, NY. Anmol received her Master of Global Health from The University of Sydney in 2020 and a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology from The University at Albany. Her passion for public health stems from her lived experiences growing up in the South End neighborhood in Albany NY (traditional Mohican lands), a community that experienced food apartheid until very recently. She is particularly passionate about menstrual health, advocating for environmental justice for BIPOC communities, and decolonizing the global health and public health landscape. Anmol currently resides on the traditional lands of the Piscataway people where she enjoys hiking and being outdoors with her pupper, Amli, practicing radical rest, crocheting, and spending time with her many plant babies.

Tarun Mohan Lal, MS

Development and Sustainability Committee Co-Chair
Tarun Mohan Lal is the current President and diplomate of Society for Health Systems and a Board member for New Leaf Behavioral Health and the Bridge International. Mr. Lal has a decade of healthcare experience, including as Chief Analytics and Solutions Officer and Vice President at Atrium Health and leadership roles including analytics, research, strategic planning, and service line operations at Mayo Clinic. He earned a Master of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Systems engineering from Manipal University. Mr. Lal has authored several publications and is a strong advocate of community support, mentorship, and the power of coaching.

Payal Sawhney, MHA, MSW, LCSW

Development and Sustainability Committee Co-Chair
Payal Sawhney is the founder, President, and Executive Director of SAAHAS (Courage) for Cause. Her work focuses on issues related to older adults and their mental health, women’s abuse and domestic violence, and youth advocacy through culturally sensitive and education programming.  Ms. Sawhney has a background as a mental health practitioner, community organizer, and social worker. She holds Masters’ degrees in social work from Pune University and Health Administration from the University of Cincinnati. Her research interests include error preventing in healthcare, understanding acculturation of South Asian immigrants to the US, and the impact of the COVID-10 pandemic on mental health.

Thoin Begum, PhD

Communications Committee Co-Chair
Thoin Begum is an environmental epidemiologist and a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Asian Health at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University. Her primary research focus examines health disparities associated with cancer health outcomes among Asian American, Black/African American, and Latinx communities.  Dr. Begum holds a Ph.D. and Master’s degree in Environmental Health Sciences from the University of Albany. She is passionate about conducting research with minority populations and believes that everyone should have a voice in research to make impactful social and political changes.

Nishka Bommareddy, MPH

Communications Committee Co-Chair
Nishka Bommareddy is a Project Coordinator at CityMatCH. She provides technical assistance to teams across the United States for data analysis, health equity work, and sustainable maternal and adolescent health initiatives. Ms. Bommareddy has a Master’s in Public Health, with concentrations in Global Health and Maternal and Child Health, from Saint Louis University and a Bachelors in Biochemistry from the University of Houston. She is passionate about advocating for community-based programs and services, health equity and justice, and educating on the importance of mental health support in the South Asian community.