SAPHA has five working committees– Advocacy; Communications; Membership and Event Planning; Research; and Development and Sustainability– 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: Swati Rayasam, Afrida Faria
The Advocacy Committee collaborates with South Asian community-based organizations and national coalitions to highlight priorities of South Asian communities that directly and indirectly impact health. The committee advocates for South Asian communities through building relationships with advocacy organizations, raising awareness on integral topics, and engaging in healthcare and public health advocacy.
- Provide education, awareness, and support for specific legislation
- Develop policy statements, press releases, and op-eds, including in collaboration with organizational partners.
- Engage elected officials on issues important to the community that impact health
- Support the initiatives of other organizations relevant to SAPHA’s mission (e.g., sign-on letters)
- Build relationships with national and local community and/ or advocacy organizations to highlight priorities of South Asian communities that directly or indirectly affect health.
- Conduct internal political education efforts around relevant issues
Co-Chairs: Hema Karunakaram, Harini Padmanaban
SAPHA’s Communications Committee strives to increase awareness and knowledge, amplify and elevate South Asian voices, and strengthen SAPHA’s national presence as a leader in South Asian health in the United States through SAPHA’s website, social media platforms, and newsletters. The Communications Committee translates South Asian research into easily digestible facts and graphics that can be used as an advocacy tool to raise awareness and inform community members with the information needed. The committee is responsible for managing SAPHA’s website, sharing relevant public health information through effective awareness campaigns, and disseminating current research in South Asian public health through SAPHA’s newsletters, Google Group, and social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
- Support SAPHA committees by sharing research, events, professional opportunities, fundraising campaigns, advocacy efforts, and all other achievements
- Collaborate with partners in the South Asian space to amplify and elevate South Asian public health issues
- Manage SAPHA’s social media platforms by conducting evidence-based awareness campaigns on relevant South Asian public health topics and engaging in international and national awareness.
Event Planning and Professional Development
Co-Chairs: Anita Balan, Mushira Khan
The Event Planning and Professional Development Committee works to grow the organization, connect individuals with shared interests, provide networking, and learning opportunities for SAPHA members, and build partnerships with local and community organizations working to advance the health of South Asians in the United States (in collaboration with other committees). 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. 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.
- Hold professional development (with or without continuing education credits) and networking events eg: programs/ webinars with partners that are open to members and general public
- Organize Chai and Chat during APHA or other conferences
Co-Chairs: Anto Paul, Aisha Bhimla
The Research Committee provides 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; disseminating current and emerging evidence and best practices pertinent to improving South Asian health, and developing strategic partnerships with research coalitions and organizations with similar vision 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 practitioner’s essay, Unmasking An Invisible Community: Unique Influences On And Consequences Of COVID-19 Among South Asians In The United States.
- Track newly published academic literature updates of acan literature on South Asian health
- Collaborate with other committees to synthesize knowledge on topics of importance to South Asian communities
- Publish research resources/ fact sheets on South Asian health
- Present at research conferences to discuss South Asian health research and highlight the work of South Asian researchers
- Work with the Advocacy committee to connect researchers and communities to determine research priorities for the community
- Maintain partnerships with relevant organizations and coalitions
Development and Sustainability
Co-Chairs: Namrata Madoor, Payal Sawhney
The Development and Sustainability Committee oversees SAPHA’s development activities and leads efforts to promote SAPHA’s mission and vision through strategic sustainability goals. The Committee establishes and broadens funding streams from diverse sources, along with identifying and maintaining information on existing and potential donors.
- Develop and implement annual development strategies
- Apply for grants in collaboration with other committees to support campaigns, events, future research, and SAPHA sustainability
- Coordinate and lead fundraising campaigns throughout the year
- Collaborate with EC to create and update development and organizational sustainability strategic plans annually
- Cultivate partnerships with external entities for development strategies