Transforming public health through social innovation – Harvard Gazette

Of the 16 Harvard students who have been awarded the 2022 New World Social Innovation Fellowship, awarded by the Social Innovation Change Initiative of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, eight are from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. The scholarship provides students committed to solving pressing social problems in new and creative ways – known as Cheng Fellows – with mentorship, seed funding, and other opportunities.

Harvard Chan School Cheng Scholars

Sook Ning Chua, MPH ’23, is the founder of Relate Malaysia, a non-profit organization that provides accessible and affordable mental health services nationwide. “It’s important to me that anyone who needs help gets it, and that mental health is seen as a basic human right for everyone,” she said.

Mengti Gu, MPH ’23, started the FarmTime project to connect people with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities with farms in China, which provide a slow-paced and stimulating environment. “Our work focuses on building a win-win, sustainable partnership between local farms and the rehabilitation[ilitation] facilities,” she said.

Samantha Hay, MPH ’23, plans to start a non-profit organization to provide social services to hospital emergency room patients who are homeless or homeless. “I was struck by the inability of the system to create safe discharge plans for patients, especially COVID-19 positive patients who were housing insecure and homeless,” she said. .

Adele Houghton, Dr.PH. ’23, developed the ArchEPI software tool. “Right now, designers are bombarded with information about how buildings influence human health in the abstract, but no technical advice on how to translate that information into strategies,” she said. In response, ArchEPI is gathering open source data on neighborhood environments, demographics and health.

Tayana Jean Pierre, MPH ’23, founded Sante Tifi, a nonprofit that works in rural Haiti to provide reproductive health education, fight gender-based violence, and support women entrepreneurs. “Our goal is to break down cultural barriers and fundamentally change Haitian culture to establish a gender-equitable society,” she said.

Tobias Lorch, MPH ’23, aims to improve the management of medical product expiration dates because their premature disposal leads to reduced treatment options, financial losses, and public health risks from hazardous medical waste. “I believe the world is in a situation where we can no longer afford to waste resources,” he said.

Amber Nigam, SM ’23, co-founded tech startup basys.ai with Jie Sun, SM ’22. The company’s software tool uses artificial intelligence to track, predict and intervene in the health of patients with diabetes. “Our goal is to impact as many people as possible,” Nigam said.

Keona Wynne, Ph.D. ’23, founded Community Cares to improve preventive and primary care, as well as reduce the incidence of chronic disease, in Black American communities. “I wanted to build a company that sees positive health as essential to reducing the health disparities between black and white people,” she said.

Jessica Lou

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