The South Asian Health Network is a Canadian network dedicated to providing educational health resources to South Asian and other racialized communities. The network exists for physicians, healthcare workers and advocacy workers to help remove the structural inequities that exist in healthcare. They provide virtual town halls, events and general resources to educate communities about the pandemic, vaccines and other health-related topics.
“As a family doctor,” Dr. Priya Shah, one of the South Asian Health Network Co-Founders, says, “I have seen many immigrant families from diverse backgrounds who have English as a second language and cannot communicate effectively. It’s a serious barrier to proper healthcare for them. Our goal with the South Asian Health Network is to have medical information accessible for these immigrants, especially COVID-related assessments and medical help, and to encourage people to get vaccinated.”
Through The Prosperity Project’s Matching Initiative, the South Asian Health Network was connected with a volunteer who leveraged her expertise in strategy to develop short- and long-term plans for the organization. However, she quickly realized the South Asian Health Network was also struggling to manage its social media and develop its website effectively, so she brought on her colleague for support, who was also a Matching Initiative volunteer.
“Anytime you can bring in other unique perspectives, I look at that as a success,” commented Dr. Shah on her experience with the Matching Initiative.
The new volunteer had vast experience in the needed areas and created a set of infographics to educate the communities the organization serves about the pandemic and assisted with setting up a social media management process.
When asked about the organization’s experience with the volunteers, Dr. Shah commented, “The South Asian Health Network is primarily made up of science people, so both volunteers brought a strategic background that was missing. The second volunteer that our initial volunteer introduced us to is fantastic. He really understands our audience and our online presence is much stronger because of his work.”
With two volunteers supporting the South Asian Health Network and a third coming on board in the near future, the organization is well equipped to continue to enhance the health and well-being of South Asians and other racialized communities that it serves.