Accomplishments

Brief Summary of Accomplishments (2013-2014)

SATHI has held two groundbreaking conferences:

  • Addressing Health Disparities and Health Literacy Challenges in South Asian Community (Oct 2010) (Total external funding $ 47,350 : Funded in part by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NJ Health Initiatives, Verizon Foundation, Eli Lilly, Merck and Novartis )
  • Caring for South Asian Families: Maternal and Child Health Issues in Clinical Practice (April 2013). ( Total external Funding : 10,745 : Funded in part by March Of Dimes, Novo-Nordisc and New York Mid-Atlantic Consortium for Genetic and Newborn Screening Services)

Both conferences were well attended (over 100 attendees), validating the significant interest within the professional and non-professional community regarding South Asian health issues, that often do not receive wide recognition.

In fall of 2013, SATHI started a semiannual seminar series entitled GLOBAL CROSS ROADS: Seminars on South Asian Culture, Ecology and Health. In collaboration with South Asia Studies program at Rutgers, the Global Crossroads Seminars explore the socio-cultural and environmental determinants of health in the global South Asian community. Invited experts discuss broad ranging topics with the goal to engage interested faculty, students, researchers and community members and provide opportunity for networking.

Community Outreach Grants:

  • Disabilities in South Asian Community (A radio Outreach Program). Funded by The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation $ 13,000 4/08-12/08
  • “Stay On Track”- Promoting Healthy Nutrition in Children. Funded by Novartis and America Association of Physicians from India (AAPI) $ 10,000. 2009

  • Chronic Disease Self-Management Funded by NJ State, Office of Minority and Multicultural Health. Grant Number: 10-1016-OMH-E-0 Grant Period 10/01/09 Through 06/30/10 $ 25,000

  • Community Based Stroke Prevention: A Culturally Tailored Program for South Asian Communities funded by NJ State Office of Minority and Multicultural Health $76,000 2013-2015

Current Projects

SATHI-Infectious Disease Outreach Project (Survey of South Asian community members and physicians regarding attitudes and behaviors related to HIV) (PI: Sneha Jacob)

Project SAHAS (South Asian Health Awareness about Stroke) (PI: Sunanda Gaur)

Global Crossroads: Seminars on South Asian Culture, Ecology and Health. (PI: Sunanda Gaur)

Evaluation of birth Outcomes in South Asians (PI: Sheenu Chandwani)

Past Accomplishments:

Advisory Board Member, Jigna Rao, speaks at the Global TB Institute in Newark, NJ

Ms. Rao was invited by Dr. Lee Reichman, Executive Director of the Global TB Institute to speak at their TB Intensive Workshop, on Thursday, September 15, 2011.  Ms. Rao provided a patient perspective and shared her personal story.

SATHI Co-director, Naveen Mehrotra, MD, MPH attends the Hindu American Seva summit in Washington, DC.

Dr. Naveen Mehrotra, representing SATHI, attended a two-day summit titled, “Energizing Dharmic Seva: Impacting Change in America and Abroad” from July 30th-31st in Washington, DC.  This summit was a call to individuals, NGO and civil society groups, press, business, faith and secular communities, and state and local government to join and partner for change across America and globally.  He served as a panelist in the afternoon session, "Impacting Local Communities:  A Case Study of Seva in the Garden State" moderated by Upendra Chivikula, NJ State Assemblyman.  This summit was organized by the Hindu American Seva Charities Organization led by Anju Bhargava.

Visit the Hindu American Seva Charities site

SATHI advisory board member, Aparna Kalbag, PhD invited to present at the Bruhan Maharashtra Mandal bi-annual meeting.

Dr. Kalbag presented her research findings at a forum entitled "Mental Illness and Substance Abuse in the Indian and Maharashtrian Population in North America" at the Bruhan Maharashtra Mandall (BMM) bi-annual meeting, held in Chicago from July 21 - 24, 2011.  This forum was held with support from the South Asian Mental Health Awareness in Jersey (SAMHAJ) program of the National Alliance on Mental Illness - New Jersey chapter.

Addressing Health Disparities and Health Literacy in the South Asian Community- A one-day conference held on October 9th 2010, in Princeton New Jersey (NJ) addressed the current state of health disparities and health literacy challenges in the South Asian community. The conference was co-sponsored by the South Asian Total Health Initiative at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (UMDNJ-RWJMS), the Center for Healthy Families and Cultural Diversity (UMDNJ-RWJMS), and the Office of Minority and Multicultural Health of the Department of Health and Senior Services of New Jersey (OMMH). This conference heralded a significant advance in our understanding of the health disparities that exist in the South Asian population since it was devoted entirely to this community.  

Click here for Conference Summary and Recommendations   Click here for Conference Evaluation

SATHI was awarded a $25,000 grant for the provision of "Take Control of Your Health - Chronic Disease Self Management Program" to be conducted October 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010.  This grant will enable community based minority-serving organizations to implement the "Take Control of Your Health" a Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) developed by Stanford University.  SATHI's program will teach skills in self-management of chronic diseases, especially those considered priority focus areas such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, HIV, etc.

SATHI attends the 2009 Annual Indian Health Camp of New Jersey at Sri Venkateswara Temple in Bridgewater, NJ!  The Indian Health Camp of New Jersey conducted a free health event in which attendees were offered health screenings for basic health care check-ups. The physicians who were present screened attendees for basic vital statistics (i.e. blood pressure) along with other tests such as blood tests to measure blood sugar and cholesterol levels. There were over 200 attendees. The SATHI Team consisting of Dr. Naveen Mehrotra, Dr. Aparna Kalbag, and 4 SATHI student volunteers manned a table to distribute pamphlets and brochures on health information. The SATHI team also administered its general health survey and mental health survey. The results of these surveys will be used to better assess the health care needs of the South Asian population.

The South Asian Total Health Initiative (SATHI) held its first networking and capacity building event on March 26, 2009 at the Arleen and Henry Schwartzman Courtyard at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey. This event was held to create awareness of SATHI among the various constituents of New Jersey, providing a forum to build partnerships and identify health related issues and projects in and for the South Asian community. SATHI's Advisory Board Poonam Alaigh, MD, Geetha Ghai, PhD, MBA, Robert C. Like, MD, MS, and Jigna Rao, along with Co-directors Sunanda Gaur, MD and Naveen Mehrotra, MD, introduced SATHI to invited dignitaries and members of community organizations. 

Keynote speaker Heather Howard, New Jersey's Commissioner of Health and Senior Services welcomed SATHI as an incredible resource for the department of health. "SATHI recognizes that religious beliefs and cultural customs do affect the health care decisions of our citizens and providers. Patients need help to understand health risks, health needs and health options. SATHI will help us do that in a culturally-competent way," Howard said. She added that while diversity is one of New Jersey's strengths, it also presents challenges, risks and barriers in health care. Other invited dignitaries recognized the importance and need for SATHI in the state of New Jersey where the population of South Asians is increasing at a phenomenal rate. These dignitaries included Peter S. Amenta, Dean, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Upendra J. Chivukula, Deputy Speaker, New Jersey State Assembly, Assemblywoman Joan M. Quigley, Majority Conference Leader, Kris Kolluri, Esq, CEO, New Jersey Schools Development Authority, and Linda Holmes, Executive Director, Office of Minority and Multicultural Health . Although Governor Corzine was not able to attend this event he did send his best wishes and congratulations. 

Community Education and Media Outreach

  • South Asian Total Health Initiative (SATHI) website: Development of a website with the latest and most relevant literature on health topics as they relate to the South Asian population. In addition, the website will attempt to consolidate and develop a database of health educational materials in different South Asian languages (ongoing).
  • South Asian Disabilities Resource Center: Development of a centralized resource center for South Asian parents dealing with autistic children. This program is being developed in collaboration with the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN) www.spannj.org and several prominent neurodevelopmental pediatricians: Dr. Vidya Bhushan Gupta, Dr. Uday Mehta, and Dr. Kapila Seshadri (ongoing).
  • Cancer education program: An educational research oriented outreach program developed in collaboration with Middlesex County Health Department (MCHD) and Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS Swaminarayan Temple) to raise cancer awareness on various types of cancers (breast, cervical, colorectal, skin, prostate, and oral). The first event on prostate cancer (June, 2009) successfully screened about 75 men with Digital Rectal Exams and blood Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test with the help of UMDNJ-Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) physicians. This program is currently being developed further with CINJ office of community outreach, MCHD, and the Indian Health Camp of New Jersey (ongoing).
  • Disabilities in the South Asian population: An educational media outreach to the South Asian community on disability related topics. Supported by “A Quality of Life Grant” received from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. The project is a radio campaign focused on raising awareness around disabilities issues in the South Asian population. An ongoing biweekly program which was aired on EBC 1170 AM radio, a local South Asian radio station completed in June, 2009.
  • Ongoing attendance and organization of various health fairs in New Jersey: SATHI has been attending various health fairs throughout New Jersey in collaboration with Edison Township Municipal Alliance, the Indian Health Camp of New Jersey, The Indian Nurses Association, BAPS, and others to provide community education on cardiovascular problems, diabetes, childhood disorders, asthma, mental illness, cancer, and other illnesses.
  • Cancer awareness day held on September 13, 2008 in collaboration with the Middlesex County Health Department (MCHD): a one day conference symposium held to raise health and cancer awareness in the local community. Guest speakers Jigna Rao and Dr. Sunanda Gaur provided a panel discussion on Tuberculosis.
  • Childhood obesity in the South Asian community: A media outreach program aired on November 29, 2007 on EBC 1170 AM Radio. Discussion focused on the nutritional aspects and prevention of obesity.
  • Childhood obesity: A community outreach program organized on Thursday, November 29, 2007 in collaboration with Edison Township at the Edison Council Chambers, Edison, NJ. The featured guest speaker was Fred M. Jacobs, MD, JD, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services, in addition to several other nutrition and obesity experts.
  • Participant in the South Asian Community and Disabilities Conference: Raising Awareness, Facing Challenges, Accessing Resources on June 15, 2007 at the Hyatt, New Brunswick. The conference was organized by the UDMNJ-Elizabeth M. Boggs Center, to help organizations and agencies that provide services and support to people with disabilities and their families to develop a deeper and better understanding of South Asian cultural considerations and to inform members of South Asian disability communities in NJ about the resources available to them.
  • A Celebration of Abilities: A Pre-Conference Reception and Celebration at The Zimmerli Art Gallery, Rutgers University held on June 14, 2007 featuring Natvar Bhavsar, South Asian artist, Sujeet Desai, a musician with Downs syndrome, and Pramila Balasundaram, founder of SAMHADHAN, speaking on the artistic creativity and empowerment activities of her organization, based in New Delhi, India.
  • Domestic Violence in the South Asian Population: A radio outreach program which featured discussions with SAKHI, a South Asian organization that addresses issues of domestic violence (2009).
  • Prenatal Care and Healthy Pregnancy: A radio outreach program featuring Health Commissioner Heather Howard on issues surrounding pregnancy and prenatal care. The importance of proper prenatal care to ensure healthy pregnancy outcomes was discussed (2009).
  • In collaboration with NYMAC (New York Mid-Atlantic Consortium for genetic and newborn screening) developed a Thalassemia outreach and education project for South Asians (2010-2011).
  • In collaboration with the Elizabeth M. Bogg’s Center provided technical assistance in development and administration of the Traumatic Brain Injury Needs and Resources Assessment Survey for South Asians (2010-2011).
  • SATHI members, Naveen Mehrotra and Jigna Rao invited by New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services to roundtable discussion of report release entitled “The Health of the Newest New Jerseyans: A Resource Guide” (March 1, 2011).
  • SATHI member, Jigna Rao, invited by Results, a non-profit organization, to present at World TB Day Advocacy Tour. This Tour was funded by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (March 23-24, 2011).
  • SATHI member, Jigna Rao participated in the TB Intensive Workshop at The Global TB Institute of New Jersey (April 14, 2011).

Medical Education Training

  • SAMADHAN exchange program: Developed a UMDNJ-RWJMS medical student elective program rotation at SAMADHAN (a Non-Government Organization in New Delhi, India which provides early intervention services to disabled children). Two students have participated in this elective. An NYU student went to SAMADHAN in July, 2009 and implemented a Parenting Stress Index questionnaire- a survey tool to assess the parental stress level due to a disabled child in the family. The data for this survey is currently being analyzed. A second student went to SAMADHAN in 2011 and conducted a survey of physicians’ attitudes toward patients with disabilities.
  • Provider Training on South Asian Health: Training of health care providers to educate them to be able to better deal with health problems in South Asians. Training sessions led by Dr. Naveen Mehrotra, were conducted for the NJ Public Health Association (December, 2009), Statewide Consortium of Cultural Competence (February, 2010), Central NJ Maternal and Child Health Consortium (March, 2010), Amerigroup Community Care (May, 2010), and Monmouth County Cancer Coalition (June, 2010).
  • Elective Rotations arranged at Sitapur Eye Hospital (Uttar Pradesh, India), SN Medical College (Jodhpur, Rajasthan); King George Medical College (Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India): Students at UMDNJ-RWJMS and other universities are eligible to take a two-to-four week rotation to get an exposure of the practice of medicine in the South Asian countries. One student took this elective in spring, 2011 and another student will be going to Jodhpur in the fall, 2011.
  • Addressing Health Disparities and Health Literacy in the South Asian Community- A one-day conference held on October 9th 2010, in Princeton New Jersey (NJ) addressed the current state of health disparities and health literacy challenges in the South Asian community. The conference was co-sponsored by the South Asian Total Health Initiative at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (UMDNJ-RWJMS), the Center for Healthy Families and Cultural Diversity (UMDNJ-RWJMS), and the Office of Minority and Multicultural Health of the Department of Health and Senior Services of New Jersey (OMMH). This conference heralded a significant advance in our understanding of the health disparities that exist in the South Asian population since it was devoted entirely to this community.   Click here for Conference Summary and Recommendations   Click here for Conference Evaluation

Awards/Recognition

  • NJ BIZ Health Care Heroes Finalist, 2009.
  • Received proclamation from NJ State Assembly for conducting the “Addressing Health Disparities and Health Literacy in the South Asian Community” Conference in October, 2010.
  • 2010 Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) Health Council award recipient for making a difference in the South Asian community through charity care/social service.

Click here for a list of SATHI's accomplishments to date.