South Asian Public Health Association SAPHA Quarterly Newsletter

Winter 2014

In This Issue
Intern Wanted!
New Membership Levels
Spotlight on Dr. Bhattacharya
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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Become a SAPHA Member! 

We invite you to join us in our work! You can start by becoming an active part of our free listserv, joining and asking your colleagues to join SAPHA as a member, and volunteering to help one of SAPHA's committees. 


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.

Join a SAPHA Committee!

Business Meeting
SAPHA is currently seeking dedicated professionals to join one of SAPHA's Committees: 




Membership/ Nominations

Partnerships/Local Groups



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 2014 Board Members

Neelum Aggarwal
(Communications Chair)
Aparna Badkas
Nazeera Dawood
(Local Chapters/ Partnerships
Bindu Garapaty (Secretary)
Memoona Hasnain (Research Chair)
Dhara Thakar Meghani 
(Membership Chair)

Punam Parikh Modha 
(Vice President)
   Yasin Patel
Ami Shah

Newsletter prepared by Melanie Wathugala


SAPHA New Logo
Dear SAPHA Friends,


The last quarter of 2014 was spent preparing for a groundbreaking 2015!! 


We are delighted and honored to celebrate the long-awaited Senate's vote to confirm Dr. Vivek Murthy as America's new Surgeon General. SAPHA is pleased to have endorsed him and supports him in tackling obesity in America.


We are also thrilled to announce our new Board Members for the 2015-2016 term: Vaibhav Jain, Shipra Singh, Phani Veeranki, Isha Weerasinghe, and Yousra Yusuf.  Five new members from across the nation joined the SAPHA board with passion for health of South Asian Americans and vision towards improving our social media campaign, recruiting new volunteers and members, supporting advocacy efforts and bridging research into community action.  Learn more about the board members here.  


As a result of the SAPHA Board retreat, we have taken on three major goals for 2015 and hope you too will contribute to these efforts:


  1. SAPHA Membership and Volunteer RecruitmentBecome a member and/or volunteer and help SAPHA strengthen its capacity to impact the greater health community!  Your voice is meaningful, and we invite you to increase your participation in SAPHA this coming year through a variety of opportunities on our committees. See below for membership information and new benefits available to paid members starting in 2015. 
  2. Publishing a SAPHA Book. Please see update below
  3. Creating an Alumni Board - We know that our greatest asset are the people who make up SAPHA.  We are thus inviting all past board members to join our Alumni board to help preserve SAPHA's organizational history, build on the successes of our leaders and continue to mentor and create a public health pathway for all next generation of health professionals interested in improving the health and well-being of the South Asian community.  Please contact Bindu at if interested!


We are CONNECTING PEOPLE, IDEAS and RESOURCES and encourage you to join us.  Join the listserv, as a member or volunteer.  Any contribution is a service and we would love to have you as part of the SAPHA family.


We have several opportunities for leadership and are always looking for talent and enthusiasm.

Happy New Year,


SAPHA Board 2014

Intern Wanted!

Please click here to see the requirements and find out how to apply to be a paid intern for the Local Partnerships Committee! 
New Membership Levels in 2015!


SAPHA is excited to roll out new membership levels with a growing number of benefits for paid members in 2015 - become a paid member today by visiting this page.



Membership Type

Annual Cost




  • Access to SAPHA Google Group
  • Quarterly SAPHA Newsletter


$30  (Student)


$50 (Professional)

  • Access to SAPHA Google Group
  • Quarterly SAPHA Newsletter
  • Voting rights in SAPHA Board Elections
  • Eligibility to serve on SAPHA Board and committees (as long as dues are paid by March 1)
  • Access to SAPHA membership directory and job postings on paid members portal
  • Opportunity to participate in SAPHA mentoring program where you can be paired with a mentor or mentee who is interested in similar South Asian health issues as you
  • Reduced cost for SAPHA Brown Paper, 2nd edition (coming in early 2015!)
  • Reduced cost for webinars dedicated to South Asian health issues
  • Invitation to regional and national events hosted by SAPHA and other related groups (e.g., SAALT, APIC)


Questions? Contact Membership Chair Dhara Thakar Meghani at


Spotlight on 

Dhrubajyoti Bhattacharya, JD, MPH, LLM


Professor Dhrubajyoti Bhattacharya, JD, MPH, LLM is the Vice-Chair for the Department of Population Health Sciences, Director of the Master of Public Health Program, and Associate Professor for the University of San Francisco. He joined the University because the Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Professions is a visionary who shares his passion and commitment to provide an exceptional educational experience for the students.

 He says, "I am passionate about my work because public health, as a field, is a noble calling rooted in principles of justice, equality, and respect for all persons. This calling, however, requires me to embrace the notion that health is a social construct and compels me to look beyond disease-specific issues, and address the social determinants of health that often enable health disparities to sustain." While following his passion, he has published two books that challenge the monopolization of domestic health policy by the field of health economics; and the attempt to implement a top-down approach to create a sustainable global health policy as relates to the role of international law. His book on domestic public health policy, Public Health Policy: Issues, Theories, and Advocacy (Jossey-Bass, 2013), introduces his "PEEEL" framework, which encourages practitioners to explore the role of five specific disciplines to identify the pressing issues as relates to any public health policy problem, including: politics, epidemiology and medicine, economics, ethics, and law.  His book on global health law, Global Health Disputes and Disparities (Routledge, 2012) is an advanced treatise for individuals familiar with international law, and explores the role of international tribunals, to advance women's health the role of religion as an opportunity-rather than an obstacle-to advance a health and human rights approach to public health, and argues for a bottoms-up approach that focuses on the local context of health issues to successfully implement health promotion and other public health interventions.

If you have any questions, contact him at 
SAPHA Happenings
  • APHA Conference 

    From Nov. 15-17, 2014, APHA held their annual meeting in New Orleans talking about a variety of public health topics. More than 12,500 public health professionals attended the conference and SAPHA supported APIC in its celebration of 40 years of collaboration in creating the future for Asian and Pacific Islander Health.  To read more about it, visit their blog. Please plan to join SAPHA at the next APHA Annual Meeting, which will be in Chicago from Oct. 31- Nov. 4, 2015.
  • SAPHA Book bookSAPHA Research Committee continues its work towards publishing the Second Edition of the Brown Paper, aiming to be completed in 2015. This new edition will be published as a book titled, "Health of South Asians in the United States: An Evidence-based Guide for Policy and Program Development". Questions? Please contact The complete Brown Paper 1st edition can be accessed online by clicking here 
  • SAPHA Blog
    The SAPHA Blog, "Voices of SAPHA" is a place where we can share and discuss our experiences working with different South Asian populations across the US. The blog is meant to humanize the academic works that have been published about the population. It is very much a work in progress, because its mission is to be shaped by its contributors (all of you!). It has just been launched! Please email to find out more about Voices of SAPHA and about how you can become a part of it!


Health Events

  •  Upcoming Conferences



    For a more complete list of these conferences, please check out our website hereThe events listed in this section are for informational purposes only. SAPHA does not necessarily endorse the organizations or events listed.  

    Email SAPHA if you would like an event or research posted here!