Episode 21 – The South Asian Health Research Hub: “For the Community, By the Community”

“Serving Humanity with Medicine”

– Leah Sarah Peer

On this episode of Peer Med, we welcome Public Health Scholars from the South Asian Health Research Hub, Dr. Ananya Tina Banerjee, Shudipta Islam & Amina Khan to speak about their organization, their activities and the importance of understanding the social determinants of South Asian health in Canada. As researchers, they design health promotion programs that produce positive change and health equity. All of their work is guided by the principles of the socio-ecological framework, intersectionality, community-based participatory research and cultural safety. South Asian Health Research Hub exists because they believe that research ought to be shaped “For the Community, By the Community”!

Introducing the South Asian Health Research Hub (SAHRH)

  • To address health issues disproportionately affecting South Asian populations based on social determinants of health and through an equity-focused lens.
  • To design health promotion initiatives that promote individual health behaviour change and awareness of societal influences on health.
  • To conduct research and provide mixed-methods data on the disparities of health outcomes present in the South Asian community.

Notable Projects

Beyond the Body: PhotoVoice Exhibit

Youth Health Awareness Council

Sri Lanka Tamil Migrants and Diabetes Study (SLMDS) 

South Asian Adolescent Diabetes Awareness Program (SAADAP)

Disparities in diabetes prevalence in South Asian immigrants in Canada

Mosque-Based Physical Activity Intervention for South Asian Muslim Women

Meet the Guest Speakers!

Dr. Ananya Tina Banerjee is Assistant Professor at the School of Population & Global Health, McGill University and Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLPSH), University of Toronto. She is the founder of the South Asian Health Research Hub a unique program of interdisciplinary research that embeds a strong emphasis on community-based participatory research (CBPR), which is rooted in collaboration and partnership. The current research questions she is pursuing are community-defined problems in the context of the social determinants of diabetes and health equity funded by the Social Science & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). 

Engaging with South Asian community partners, she examines epidemiologic trends, conducts qualitative research, designs evidence-based health programs and produces compelling digital stories that integrate multimedia materials including photos, participant voices, drawings, and music to inform policy implementation. She serves as the National Consultant Editor, Social Determinants of Health for the Canadian Journal of Diabetes.
Twitter: @ananya_tb

Shudipta Islam holds a Master of Public Health from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health with a dual specialization in Global Health and Community Development. Her personal and professional interests lie at the intersection of health, social justice, and policy. She is particularly passionate about how race and racialization interact with social determinants of health to create stark health disparities across communities, and how policies can shape healthy social and built environments. 

Shudy has worked at the City of Toronto, conducting research to assess the sociopolitical landscape of the Ontario Works program; and at Youth Research & Evaluation eXchange, providing consultations to Ontario’s grassroots youth sector on developing and conducting evaluations. Currently, Shudy works at the Wellesley Institute as a Researcher, where she is examining the mental health impacts of community violence on urban youth in partnership with the City of Toronto. Additionally, as a member of the South Asian Health Research Hub, she conducts qualitative diabetes research amongst South Asian youth using community-based participatory research and arts-based knowledge translation, alongside a network of researchers, health professionals, and academics.

Amina Khan is a Master of Public Health graduate from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Her experiences in health promotion span from grassroots to government. Amina’s research interests lie in youth and young adult health, community development, public policy, as well as the South Asian community. She holds a strong passion for the arts and finding ways to merge this with health. She currently works as a Policy Analyst at the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Renewal Hub

For More from the South Asian Health Research Hub or to volunteer check out their website.

Published by peermedfoundation

The Peer Medical Foundation strives to advocate for marginalized, and vulnerable patient populations. We aim to provide healthcare resources as well as information that is culturally-sensitive, anti-oppressive, and multilingually available to patients in order to address healthcare disparities.

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