South Asian Public Health Association


In This Issue
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.
Join Our Mailing List
Become a SAPHA Member! 

We invite you to join us! 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: 


1. Communications

2. Fundraising

3. Membership

and Partnerships

4. Research


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 committees page!

Board Members
Memoona Hasnain

Yousra Yusuf
  Vice President

Saman Aziz

Syed Shahrukh Hashmi
Membership and Partnerships Chair

Samira Khan

Trushna Rao

Shibani Ray Mazumder
Membership and Partnerships 

Shipra Singh

Priya Thaker
Communications Co-Chair
Newsletter prepared by  SAPHA Communications Committee

SAPHA New Logo  
Dear SAPHA members,

Welcome to the SAPHA Winter 2019 newsletter! We thank you for your continuing support of our mission and the issues surrounding our communities. Please do continue to follow us on Facebook and Twitter , share our posts, and please do let us know how we're doing! Your feedback is vital to our success.

2019 has been an important year for SAPHA, as it marks the 20th anniversary of our organization! We had a lovely gathering at this year's American Public Health Association (APHA) conference to celebrate our journey and also kicked-off the "Partners in South Asian Health" Fundraising Campaign   w ith a goal to raise $100,000 by 2020. Among other initiatives, SAPHA intends to conduct workshops, webinars, mentoring program and an annual public health conference to promote the South Asian community's well-being.

We're also looking to expand our team with the recruitment of two interns to assist with website design and supporting the Research and Communications committees.

For our organization spotlight, SAPHA is excited to feature the South Asian Digital Archive (SAADA),  a non-profit organization that seeks to create a more inclusive society by giving voice to South Asian Americans through documenting, preserving, and sharing stories that represent the community's unique and diverse experiences. 

As always, we welcome your interest and would love for you to become a part of the SAPHA team to further our goal of improving the health of South Asian communities in the U.S. We are currently looking for volunteers for our various committees. Please contact SAPHA at   if you have any questions or want to learn more about how to get involved!

Our success is contingent on having strong and involved members, and we encourage you to invite your friends and colleagues who are interested in South Asian health issues to become SAPHA members at

With warm wishes,

The SAPHA Board 
Message from SAPHA President

Dear SAPHA Community,

I hope this note finds each of you well. I am deeply honored t o have served  as your President of the South Asian Public Health Associ ation (SAPHA). As I near completion of my term as President, and after se rving many years on the Board, my heart is filled with pride and gratitude t o have worked with such an inspirational group  of people, who have c ontinued to motivate me professionally and personally. I would like to thank all the am azing Board members and other SAPHA colleagues who I have had the opportunity to work with and learn from. In addition to the friendships and collegialit y, o ur co mmunity has shown me how important it is to be surrounded by people who are willing to act with conviction, and come together in difficult times with immeasurable compassion and resilience.

One of the most satisfying feeling as a leader is to know your successors in leading an organization into which you have devoted so much time, effort and energy will take that organization to new levels of growth and excellence. I am confident that the new SAPHA leadership team will continue important work in education and awareness, advocacy, partnership building, diversity and inclusion, as well as research and scholarship to advance the health of South Asians in USA.

On behalf of SAPHA Board, I strongly urge you to continue to participate and share your ideas with us, and to invite your colleagues to join SAPHA. As a non-profit organization, SAPHA's work relies on your support to help improve the health and well-being of South Asian Americans. I encourage you to consider making a donation to SAPHA to support our work. A gift of any amount makes a difference. No donation is small, your tax-deductible donation is a gift in any amount and is very much appreciated. Please consider making a donation today .

We are stronger together! As Margaret Mead wisely said, " Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has ."

With your continued support, SAPHA has a strong future. Whether you donate your tax-deductible donation or your time, I look forward to seeing progress in addressing important health priorities for the South Asian Community in the United States. SAPHA is grateful to count you among our Community of Learning and Practice.

I wish you and your families the very best in health, happiness, joy, peace, meaning and success in this Holiday Season and the New Year.
Warmest regards,

Memoona Hasnain, MD, MHPE, PhD
President, SAPHA
Professor and Interim Head,
Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, 
University of Illinois at Chicago

Fundraising Campaign: Opportunity to Be Part of Improving Health of South Asians in the United States

2019 marks 20 years of SAPHA's contributions to the health and well-being of South Asians in the United States. To mark this celebratory milestone, and to raise funds for our ongoing work, we are launching the "Partners in South Asian Health" Campaign
with a goal to raise $100,000 by 2020.

Among other initiatives, SAPHA intends to conduct workshops, webinars, mentoring program and an annual public health conference to promote the South Asian community's well-being. We would like to welcome you to help us meet our common goal of improving the health of South Asians and the communities in which they live.

Your generous, tax-deductible monetary donations will support SAPHA to further its mission. Your gift will have a direct impact on the programs and services we provide.  All donations will be tax exempt, SAPHA will provide a tax exemption letter. All donors will be acknowledged on our website and in SAPHA newsletters.

Thank you for your consideration!  
SAPHA Internship Openings! 
We're looking to expand our team with the recruitment of two interns to assist with website design and supporting the Research and Communications committees.
Number of Openings:  2

Research and Communications Intern
SAPHA needs an intern to contribute to research, writing and/or editing of SAPHA communications and social media (SAPHA website, newsletter, Facebook, Twitter and other social media). We're looking for someone with experience in Constant Contact and/or Microsoft Publisher and other Office Tools.

Website Design Intern
SAPHA also needs an intern to help with website design, specifically someone with experience managing front-end development of WordPress websites. We're looking for someone who has experience designing website layouts and competency with HTML to add and update content.

Contact Name:  Yousra Yusuf
Web Address:
How to Apply: Please send your resume and a paragraph on why you are interested in applying to  by  January 10, 2020.
The Health of South Asians in the United States: An Evidence based Guide for Policy and Program Development, published by Routledge, a division of Taylor & Francis.

Dr. Memoona Hasnain, Professor and Interim Head in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is the lead editor of the book, with co-editors Punam Parikh of UCLA School of Medicine and Dr. Nitasha Chaudhary Nagaraj of The George Washington University. Dr. Hasnain says that while South Asian Americans are one of the fastest growing minority populations in the U.S., there is a disturbing lack of research dedicated to health care issues specific to this group. "For many years, South Asian Americans were considered a 'model minority'; this erroneous perception that people from South Asian countries always achieve social and economic success has created a gap in our understanding of the significant health disparities experienced by this group." Hasnain serves as the president of SAPHA and previously served as the Chair of SAPHA's Research Committee. She credits the ongoing work of this group to expand the body of research available about South Asian American health care issues as the inspiration for the new book.

The Health of South Asians in the United States: An Evidence-based Guide for Policy and Program Development defines South Asian Americans as people living in the U.S. with ancestral roots in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. "South Asian Americans bring with them unique languages, cultures, religions and perspectives that directly impact their health related practices," Hasnain said. "Unless we take the time to understand patients as whole people, it will always be a challenge to provide patient-centered and culturally-competent care, specifically in this increasingly understudied and vulnerable population." Of the major health disparities discussed in the book, Hasnain and her colleagues call attention to the significantly high rates of chronic conditions and co-morbidities, intimate partner violence and tobacco use in the South Asian American community. The book outlines these and other health disparities and discusses research-based recommendations to help improve and support the health and well-being of South Asian Americans.

"This book builds on our continuum of education, awareness, scholarship, advocacy and action to address the health needs of minority and vulnerable populations at the patient, provider and systems levels," Hasnain said. "We hope the information in this book will be widely used and applied for best practices, teaching and would spark for future research. We also hope this work will advance our understanding about interdisciplinary approaches to enhancing health and well-being of South Asian Americans and continue our efforts to reduce health disparities for minority populations."

The book is available both on and
SAPHA Local Partnerships Campaign

Do you, or anyone you know, work at a local or national non-profit, medical, or public health organization dedicated to advocating for the needs of South Asian Americans? SAPHA is currently broadening its scope to engage with more South Asian professionals, and those dedicated to issues concerning South Asian Americans, with an overarching aim to improve the health and well-being of our communities. 

SAPHA is striving to forge new connections and build new relationships with similarly-minded organizations. Through the partnerships we create, we hope that we will be able to work together to promote the health and well-being of the community. We hope that these partnerships will provide a mutually beneficial working relationship to share resources, communicate healthy lifestyle education, promote materials, and collaborate on future research initiatives. 

If you or anyone you know is interested in learning more about what partnering with SAPHA entails, please feel free to contact us at today.
Organization Spotlight: South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA)

The South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA), a not-for-profit organization based in Philadelphia, PA, was established in 2008 with a mission to create a more inclusive society by giving voice to South Asian Americans through documenting, preserving, and sharing stories that represent the community's unique and diverse experiences.
SAADA hopes to ensure that the struggles of past and current generations for equality, inclusion, and representation are not the same struggles we leave to our children. The largest publicly accessible archive of South Asian American history, SAADA hosts more than 3,700 items, including journal and periodical articles, oral histories and audio recordings, photographs, and home movie reels that emphasize the rich contributions of South Asians to American society.
Current SAADA projects include: TIDES magazine , an online publication that seeks to connect the past to our understanding of the present; the First Days Project , a platform where immigrants can share their first experiences in the United States; and, the Road Trips Project where individuals can submit photos and stories of their travels across the country. SAADA also hosts engaging events, screenings, and live discussions .
To learn more about the Digital Archive, visit the website:

Thank you dear colleagues, friends and students for joining us at APHA this year to celebrate SAPHA's 20 years of education, research, advocacy and community outreach to improve health of South Asians in the U.S. 

Join a SAPHA Committee
Our committees  meet via conference call at least once a month to discuss how to help promote the work of SAPHA and advocate for our members. By participating in a committee, you can gain invaluable experience working with experts in the field that could advance your professional goals!
Please note that you must be a SAPHA member (paid annual membership dues) to be eligible to participate on a Committee and vote. For more information, please email the Chair of the Committee you would like to join. Each Committee Chair's contact information is available on our website. Contact us at if you would like to join a committee. 

SAPHA's success depends on the commitment and hard work of its committees and look forward to your participation! 

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Stay updated with SAPHA's latest news, events and happenings by  liking our Facebook Page

Con nect with other colleagues in the field by posting questions or comments on the wall.

And don't forget to follow SAPHA on Twitter: @saphainfo
U pcoming
Public Health Conferences and 
Events 2019-
The 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 information about an event or research posted here!