Research in South Asian Health

Current SATHI Projects:

1. Project SAHAS (South Asian Health Awareness about Stroke)

Project lead: Dr. Sheenu Chandwani, Rutgers School of Public Health).

Project team: Varsha Singh, Smita Dhumal, Devangi Shukla, Priya . Medical Students from the American Association of Physicians of India chapter

Funded by NJ State Office of Minority and Multicultural Health.

From November 2013-June 2014, The South Asian Total Health Initiative (SATHI) developed and implemented a culturally tailored stroke prevention program for the South Asian community residing in Central New Jersey. Stroke Prevention Education was conducted in settings that were easily accessible to the South Asian community. The curriculum was delivered in the two most commonly spoken SA languages, Hindi and Gujarati. Four groups (10-15 people/session) of community members of SA ethnicity (age group 35 – 75 years) were educated. Each group went through a special curriculum (3 sessions) of Stroke Prevention Education developed by SATHI: A total of 75 community members participated in the project. Based on the results of the project, a revised curriculum was developed and named SAHAS (South Asian Health Awareness about Stroke). The SAHAS curriculum will be evaluated in through community education session from October 2014-May 2015.

Please see attached poster with results from 2013-2014 sessions

2. Infectious Disease Outreach Project (SATHI-IDO)

Project Lead: Dr. Sneha Jacob, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Project team: Sunanda Gaur, Sunpreet Singh, Shreedevi Shukla, Devangi Shukla, RWJMS Medical Students from the American Association of Physicians of India chapter.

The South Asian Total Health Initiative (SATHI) at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is conducting a brief survey on the knowledge and attitudes of South Asians towards HIV/AIDS . HIV testing rates among South Asians, both nationally and in NJ, remain much lower than expected based on demographic figures. Early diagnosis of HIV through routine testing is the best strategy to achieve optimal outcomes for HIV infected individuals.

Dr. Sneha Jacob, a faculty member at Rutgers and Director of the HIV program at the Chandler Clinic in New Brunswick is conducting this study. The study consists of two surveys: One for South Asian Community members and the other for Health care providers of South Asian origin. The surveys are conducted at various South Asian health fairs in NJ and South Asian cultural events as well. See attached picture from a health fair attended by SATHI members and medical students.


3. Global Crossroads Seminars

Project lead: Sunanda Gaur

Project team: Smita Dhumal, Magdalena Rodriguez

Funded by: Center for Global Advancement and Interantional Affiliations (GAIA) at Rutgers

In fall of 2013, SATHI launched 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.


Past SATHI Projects:

  • General health assessment survey of South Asians: lead investigator, Dr. Naveen Mehrotra, Co-director, SATHI. This survey is currently being implemented in the community to assess the general health practices of the South Asian community and their access to care. The survey is approved through the Institutional Review Board (IRB), UMDNJ. Data collection is completed and data analysis is in progress.
  • Perception of mental illness research study: lead investigator, Dr. Aparna Kalbag, post-doctoral fellow in the Office of Global Health, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, in collaboration with Dr. Sunanda Gaur, co-director of SATHI & Aruna Rao, Associate Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, New Jersey chapter and founder of the South Asian Mental Health Awareness in Jersey (SAMHAJ) program are conducting an ongoing, IRB-approved study of cultural differences in attitude towards and understanding of mental illness symptoms in South Asians.
  • Breast cancer awareness and practices survey module: lead investigator, Dr. Naveen Mehrotra in collaboration with Dr. Sharad Goyal, radiation oncologist, CINJ.
  • Oral Cancer and oral health practices survey module: lead investigator, Dr. Naveen Mehrotra in collaboration with Dr. Satish Mullick, Department of Dentistry, UMDNJ- Dental School, Newark.
  • Prostate cancer perception and practices survey module: lead investigator, Dr. Naveen Mehrotra in collaboration with Dr. Biren Saraiya, Oncologist, CINJ. This survey currently being developed with the help of UMDNJ- Internal medicine residents will assess the understanding of prostate cancer and screening practices in the South Asian men.


South Asian Health Literacy Resources

South Asian Health - Research done in USA
South Asian Health - Research done in Britain