Why Politics and Health are Inseparable: Addressing HIV through Political Leadership

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I want to share a piece that I had the honor of writing with my mentor, Dr. Tom Coates, released yesterday for World AIDS Day in PLoS. We are calling for renewed political leadership in Sub-Saharan Africa (the region with 2 of every 3 HIV cases worldwide) during times when most people in our own country are terrified of what the political institution threatens to undermine for health and human rights. We believe that politics and health have the potential for synergy, and that strong leadership is essential for turning the tide in HIV.

More Coverage on The GHW

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I wrote about The Global Health Watch on Boston-based medical news website STAT News a few weeks ago. We are starting to see substantial interest in the project, and are always looking for new collaborators. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health later covered the story as well. screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-12-09-57-pm

In short, we are trying to create ground-level accountability for organizations in global health and development through leveraging the student volunteer workforce, and linking them with the voices of the poor.

How did Obamacare try to Improve Healthcare Quality, and What Can We Learn?

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My latest piece looks at how the ACA (Obamacare) tried to improve the quality of healthcare in our country, why this issue is so complex, and what we might learn from these efforts. This post was inspired by my health policy course at Harvard- many of the cited works are from professors in my department, Health Policy and Management.

The Global Health Watch–Let’s Tell the Story of Corruption

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Corruption in global health has been noted as the single largest barrier to improving healthcare, yet we have almost no robust data on the scope of this problem.

I am starting a movement to use personal narrative to tell stories (anonymous) of corruption so we can initiate a much larger dialogue with actionable change to follow.

We are utilizing an anonymous survey tool, found here, and we are hoping for several hundred stories to be written over the next few months. This needs to happen, and it needs to start now. Please share this widely.

Here is the website URL for the project: http://theghwatch.wordpress.com

Here is a short op-ed I wrote about the project: http://www.globalhealthhub.org/2016/09/30/going-corruption-global-health-lets-tell-story/

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UCLA Medical School Graduation Speech Video

On one of the most memorable days of my life, I had the privilege of addressing my class as the President of the Student Body at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. Our Commencement Speaker was Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.

Here is the text of the speech (June 2016)

Good evening! On behalf of the Class of 2016, welcome to all of our family and friends—all of the people who love us, and who are here today to celebrate us. More importantly, you all are the very people who made it possible for us to be here in front of you, and so we are here, in many ways, to celebrate you. Continue reading

Returning to an Old Chapter

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It has been 5 years since I was in India, beginning my fellowship to study prostitution, sex work, and everything in between in women specifically. I collected days worth of interviews; I learned immensely about how people conceptualize life, and their place in it; and I left for medical school. I tried intermittently to work on analyzing my data but was unable to complete the write-up of a manuscript to summarize my findings. I am finally back to working on this and hope to have it completed in the next few months. In the picture above, my students are caught mid-pose learning bhangra dance. Always brings a smile to my face.