South Asian Public Health Association SAPHA Quarterly Newsletter


In This Issue
Welcome 2013 SAPHA Board
Meet and Greet
SAALT Summit Update
Brown Paper 2nd Edition
SAPHA Happenings
Quick Links
SAPHA is the premier South Asian-related public health organization in America, in existence since 1999. SAPHA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of South Asians and the communities in which they live in America.
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Being part of SAPHA is an opportunity to network with other professionals invested in the health of South Asians in the United States and to promote the health of South Asian communities. Be sure to visit our membership page at to get more information on how to become a member of this exciting organization.

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SAPHA Committees meet regularly via conference call to discuss how to advance the mission and goals of SAPHA and to better serve the South Asian community. For more information visit SAPHA'S committee's page!

SAPHA 2013 Board Members

Neelum Aggarwal
(Communications Committee Co-Chair)
Nasiya Ahmed
(Communications Committee Co-Chair)
Nitasha Chaudhary- (President
Aparna Badkas
Karishma Dhru-
(Membership Committee Chair)
Nazeera Darwood
(Local Chapters/ Partnership Committee Chair)
Bindu Garapaty (Secretary)
Memoona Hasnain- (Research Committee Chair)
Srilekha Palle-
(Vice President)
Ami Shah-


SAPHA New Logo 

Dear SAPHA Professionals,  

It is our great pleasure to welcome you to the South Asian Public Health Association (SAPHA) Spring 2013 Newsletter!


Since SAPHA's last correspondence, we have been busy moving forward with activities for this year. First off, SAPHA is pleased to announce our new SAPHA Board Members (see below) and newly elected SAPHA Executive Committee:

  • Nitasha Chaudhary, MPH - Chair
  • Srilekha Palle, PT, DPT - Co-Chair
  • Ami M. Shah, MPH - Treasurer
  • Bindu Garapaty, PsyD - Secretary


Congratulations to all new and continuing Board Members. Your enthusiasm and experience will undoubtedly serve our community well! 


What is SAPHA Planning?

Next, it is important for us to let you know what the Board has been strategizing in terms of roles and responsibilities for this year and beyond. In this regard, we thought it would be helpful to highlight some of what we have planned for this year:

  • SAPHA is working to publish the 2nd iteration of the Brown Paper (see more below).
  • SAPHA continues to work on its membership base through a variety of efforts, including expanding our base of listserv members (which will continue to be at no cost) as well as our dues-paying members.
  • SAPHA continues to expand its local chapter base and continues to foster strong partnerships at the national and local levels.
  • SAPHA is sustaining its efforts to raise awareness and impact policy by taking on issues related to South Asian public health including highlighting gaps in data and research.
  • SAPHA will continue to "tell our story" of the work we do and the commitment we have to advancing our field through a variety of means including engagement with strategic partners, interfacing at various venues, and increasing relationships at the local level.
  • SAPHA kept its members apprised of ongoing South Asian-related public health activities, spotlighting both programs and professionals engaged in this work, by successfully issuing quarterly newsletters;
  • SAPHA will continue to engage in SAALT's Advocacy & Community Engagement Training, allowing to build the skill set of the current SAPHA Board to better help serve our members!


While SAPHA has accomplished a tremendous amount of work in the past, you will note we have much more to do and we want to work with you to help us achieve optimal health for our communities and our field.


What Can YOU do?

In addition to joining a committee, if you have not already done so, please ask your friends/colleagues to join the SAPHA listserv as well as visit our website at, to stay updated on SAPHA related-happenings. You can now also stay updated with SAPHA's activities on Facebook.


We invite you to join us in meeting our common goal of improving the health of South Asians and the communities in which they live in America - let's continue to move forward!!


Thank you


SAPHA Board 2013

Welcome the New 2013 SAPHA Board of Directors!    

Please join us in welcoming the new 2013 SAPHA Board of Directors! This new and exciting Board includes diverse professionals with backgrounds that will undoubtedly help move SAPHA forward.


Remember that only dues paying SAPHA members can vote for the Board! And soon, only dues paying members will be eligible to be nominated for the Board. For more information on SAPHA memberships, please click here.


The following new Board members will serve a two-year term from 2013-2015:

  • Aparna Badkas, B.Th.O, OTR, CYI- Occupational Therapist, HCA Reston (Chantilly, VA)
  • Nazeera Dawood, MD, MPH- Health Promotion Division Director, Fulton County Health and Wellness (Decatur, GA)
  • Bindu Garapaty, Psy. D.- Co-Founder/Partner, The Happy Leader, LLC (South Bay, CA)

The following 2012 SAPHA Board of Directors will continue their term into 2013:

  • Neelum Aggarwal, MD - Communications Chair
  • Nasiya Ahmed, MD - Local Chapters/Partnership Committee Chair
  • Nitasha Chaudhary, MPH- SAPHA President
  • Karishma Dhru, CHES-Membership Committee Chair
  • Memoona Hasnain, MD, MHPE, PhD- Research Committee Chair
  • Srilekha Palle, PT, DPT- SAPHA Vice President
  • Ami Shah, MPH- SAPHA Treasurer
We have also hired our first intern! SAPHA is proud to have Asra Azam Salim on board! Asra has been instrumental in helping with the Brown Paper.

For complete bios of all our Board members, please visit

Meet and Greet: Asra Azam Salim, MPH, CPH 
Hello SAPHA Professionals! My name is Asra Salim, and I'm the new SAPHA Intern for 2013. I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of SAPHA and to work with the board members to promote their mission of strengthening and building the health of South Asian communities. I initially became involved in Public Health because of my interest in prescription drug and antibiotic misuse and abuse. That led me to pursue my MPH, where I was surrounded by so many other staples of public health that I had always been passionate about, but hadn't been exposed to within the context of health. My research work with prescription drug misuse led me to a career in infection prevention - I currently as an Infection Preventionist in a community hospital in Lodi, California. Infection Prevention touches upon so many aspects of public health, but within the hospital environment instead of the greater community. Because I get to do a little bit of everything that makes up Public Health on a daily basis, I absolutely love my job. The local community I work in has a large South Asian population, and being the only healthcare facility in the area, I know the work that I do in the hospital affects them directly. I strive to promote culturally competent healthcare, education on different infectious disease processes, and a safe and friendly environment to receive their care. While my job and public health passions keep me busy, I am also an avid reader and amateur photographer. I run a photo booth and graphic design business on the side with a close friend, so in my free time I have the opportunity to celebrate in others' memorable occasions and help create happy memories. I'm looking forward to what's to come and all the projects SAPHA is working on - it's going to be an exciting year! 

SAALT Summit Update  
SAALT Summit
Ami Shah (SAPHA Treasurer), Srilekha Palle (SAPHA Vice President), and Rabia Syed (DOTORG Consulting, an affiliate of the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA)) at the SAALT Summit.


SAPHA is a proud member of the National Coalition of South Asian Organizations and as part of NCSO, SAPHA board members, Bindu Garapaty, Srilekha Palle and Ami Shah were honored to represent SAPHA at the 2013 SAALT Summit this past April 2013. The Summit offered relevant skills-based workshops on advocacy and social media, and important panel discussions on topics including but not limited to, health care reform, implications of the recent Boston bombing on profiling, healing our community after the Oak Creek massacre, domestic violence, celebration of the 100 Gadar revolution, and how many are documenting South Asian contributions to the American landscape. The issues current, relevant and provided breathe and depth of content that was specific to our community. We especially appreciated the fact the panels not only offered information but tools to build on and enhance SAPHA's efforts to achieve our strategic goals.


SAPHA members also participated in Advocacy Day, which focused on immigration reform and making sure the South Asian voice was represented in parts of the bill. This was an exciting opportunity to meet with representatives' staff to express our concerns and share our experiences.

Most impressive of all were the amazing conference attendees. We continue to be awe of my fellow South Asian peers - in terms of the commitment to the American dream, the democractic system and our nation as one. This was an excellent opportunity to meet with leaders of the South Asian community from various cities and we hope to continue to engage with them to build SAPHA's strategic and local partnerships and participation.  

The SAALT Summit was inspiring and we thank all of the SAALT staff and members, on behalf of SAPHA, for helping us organize and together have a collective voice in America's history.


Brown Paper 2nd Edition
SAPHA New Logo
Brown Paper 1st edition was published in 2002, and was the first report of its kind to evaluate and summarize existing knowledge and key health indicators for South Asian Americans. The initiative was completed entirely by volunteers made up of public health students and leading expert public health professionals around the country. The authors made recommendations for policymakers, health care providers, and community outreach workers, based on their research and analysis of each of the topics.  


There has been much progress in the area of South Asian American health research since the original publication, and so the SAPHA Board is in the process of updating this groundbreaking compendium. If you are interested in being an author for Brown Paper 2nd Edition, please
contact us. Stay tuned for a call for authors in the near future.   


You can currently access the complete Brown Paper 1st edition 
online by clicking here.
SAPHA Happenings

Join a SAPHA Committee!

Our committees meet via conference call once a month or less to discuss how to improve those areas to help promote the work of SAPHA and advocate for our members. We also hope that by participating in a committee, it will help you in your professional goals!


Please note that you have to be a Supporting member of SAPHA ($30 annual dues) to be eligible to participate in a committee. For more information or if you are interested, please click on a committee above to email the committee chair. SAPHA's success depends on the commitment and hard work of it's committees!


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