Henna Budhwani

COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Henna Budhwani wants to promote discussion about science and policy.

As an assistant professor in the Department of Health Care Organization and Policy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Budhwani’s goal is to establish an environment that challenges students’ assumptions about how the world operates in a manner that stimulates them to be active rather than passive participants in the learning process. She also believes learning requires a balance between sharing information and experiencing it.

Budhwani, who holds a doctorate in medical sociology and an MPH in Health Care Organization and Policy from UAB, will bring that balanced approach to the Mississippi University of Women this week with a presentation entitled “Global Health 101” that is part of the Miller-Burdeshaw Lecture series. The event will be at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday in Pohl 206.

Budhwani is director of Caribbean Projects at UAB’s Sparkman Center for Global Health. Prior to joining the ranks of faculty in 2013, Dr. Budhwani was a senior statistician with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama and its subsidiary Cahaba Safeguard Administrators, where she was part of an analytic team that identified provider fraud, waste and abuse by applying retroactive statistical analyses and predictive models to Medicare and Medicaid claims data.

“I am committed to providing an excellent learning experience for all students,” said Budhwani, 42, who was born in Chicago and raised in a northwest suburb of Chicago. She is of Pakistani descent. “I believe through the teaching endeavor, I contribute to the development of the global intelligentsia and future discourse on science and policy.”

Budhwani teaches PUH 202: Introduction to Global Health at UAB. She said the course, which is her favorite to teach, is a public health undergraduate requirement that is part of the university core. She said she is responsible for pushing her students to learn in a way that they are continuously supported and remain optimistic, even when learning becomes challenging.

Dr. Budhwani’s current health equity research agenda seeks to translate scientific findings to impactful policies and to identify behavioral interventions (with social supports) to improve the health and well-being of highly stigmatized, often victimized populations both in the United States and abroad. To accomplish these tasks, Dr. Budhwani works closely with community partners that are interested in improving population health, particularly in the areas of stigma reduction, adolescent health, HIV, LGBT health, minority and immigrant health, mental health and preventative health behaviors. To date, Dr. Budhwani has worked in more than 15 countries and has published studies from Pakistan, Nepal, India, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cameroon.

For her commitment to local and global communities, Dr. Budhwani has received multiple accolades. In 2015, she was a finalist for Birmingham Young Professional of the Year. In 2016, she was named one of Birmingham’s Top 40 under 40 and was awarded the Vulcan Award by the Mayor of Birmingham. In 2017, she was honored by the Women’s Fund and was a nominee for Delta Zeta International Woman of the Year. In 2018 and 2019, Dr. Budhwani was a finalist for the UAB School of Public Health President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching for her contributions to undergraduate and graduate global health education.

Dr. Budhwani has received numerous awards for professional and civic achievements. In 2016, she was named one of Birmingham's Top 40 under 40 and was awarded the Vulcan Award by the Mayor of Birmingham. In 2017, she was honored by the Women's Fund and was a nominee for Delta Zeta International Woman of the Year. In 2018 and 2019, Dr. Budhwani was a finalist for the UAB School of Public Health President's Award for Excellence in Teaching for her contributions to undergraduate and graduate global health education.

Dr. Mark Bean, a professor in and the chair of the Department of Kinesiology, said the presentation will be a primer on global health and demographics. He said it is the responsibility of educators to teach about the world beyond our local communities, how our global neighbors live and characteristics of population health internationally. He hopes the presentation motivates young scholars to explore the world, experience life, build bridges into communities that were previously unfamiliar, seek scientific solutions to problems they did not previously know existed and encourage attendees to find ways to leave the world better than they found it.

“The purpose of the ‘lecture’ is to bring to campus professionals from the fields of Public Health or Kinesiology to give students exposure to information that they may not receive in their academic programs,” Bean said. “It also provides information to the community.”

The Miller-Burdeshaw Lecture series, which has been held annually for more than 40 years, is held in honor of Dr. Mary Kate Miller and Dr. Dorothy Burdeshaw, both of whom served as chair of the Department of Health & Kinesiology (H&K).

Miller was chair of the department from 1955-73. It was the Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation then. The lecture title changed to the Miller-Burdeshaw Lecture to honor Burdeshaw upon her retirement. She was chair of the department from 1973-94.   

The presentation is free and open to the public. A light lunch will be provided. Contact the Dept. of H&K at 329-7225 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you plan to attend.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2019
Contact: Adam Minichino
(662) 329-1976
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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