Master of Public Health candidate
BA, Human Biology and Foreign Affairs, University of Virginia
MD (forthcoming, 2013), University of Virginia School of Medicine
What are your career goals?
I hope to build a career that combines my interests in clinical pediatrics as well as international and community public health. My goal is to provide leadership that bridges the gap between vulnerable communities and their health care systems through effective public health interventions.
What sparked your interest in global health?
As a child I grew up traveling to India and was always struck by the vast disparities in health, opportunity, and wealth I witnessed. From an early age these experiences inspired me to work towards social change. As an undergraduate, I studied abroad in South Africa and became especially interested in the challenges that developing nations face in addressing public health challenges like HIV and AIDS.
How do you see yourself making a difference in public health because of the Global Health Scholarship?
The Global Health Scholarship is making an MPH at Johns Hopkins University possible for me. The MPH will provide me the skills in research, program evaluation, and policy development to improve the health outcomes of marginalized populations across the world. I hope to use these skills to develop culturally sound public health interventions and international health policy.
Who inspires you and why?
I’m inspired by the community groups I have worked with in South Africa, especially Khululeka, a grassroots HIV support group made up of HIV positive men in Guguletu, a township outside of Cape Town. Working with them has showed me how the health system is inaccessible for many men because of stigma, poverty, and other forms of social inequality. Nevertheless, the group has been able to empower and educate other HIV positive men in the community and is part of an important wave of community-based mobilization.