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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

UTHealth: Student Receives 2019 Excellence in Public Health Award

The American Public Health Association awarded University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health student Ms. Anisha Somani the 2019 Excellence in Public Health Award for her commitment to advocacy, effective policy, and enriching the learning environments of the academic institutions she has attended.

Ms. Somani is an MD/MPH dual-degree student, studying at both UTHealth School of Public Health and McGovern Medical School. For her MPH practicum, Ms. Somani researched within the Pediatric Infectious Disease division. Ms. Somani also designed a study that examined factors associated with a patient’s disclosure of their HIV serostatus to better understand how the psychological factors impact the health of adolescents and mothers who live with HIV. Ms. Sonami’s work was recognized at the 2018 HIV/STD Conference in Austin, Texas, and her oral presentation earned her a nomination for the Student Research Award.

Ms. Somani has also served as policy chair for the American Medical Association/Texas Medical Association (AMA/TMA) chapter at McGovern Medical School, and developed a lecture series to enlighten current medical students on the ways policy can impact healthcare. Ms. Somani currently serves as a clinical volunteer for HOMES, a free clinic for patients who are homeless in Houston, TX.

On her decision to pursue a dual-degree, Ms. Somani says, “My decision to get involved with public health initiatives was about looking at the overall picture. Collaboration between public health and medical professionals is important in order to develop effective, targeted initiatives that can improve the health and well-being of our communities.”

The APHA Excellence in Public Health Award is given each year to a living individual in recognition of his/her exceptionally meritorious contribution to the improvement of the health of people.

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