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Student attends White House briefing on mental health initiatives

Oct. 10, 2013, 10:03 AM

Pratik Talati, a student in the Vanderbilt Medical Scientist Training Program, recently attended a White House Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Briefing on Suicide Prevention and Mental Health.

He and a student from another institution were invited to learn about the Obama administration’s efforts to prevent suicide and to address mental health issues within the AAPI community.

“It was a great experience to meet with key people in the Obama administration, including Kiran Ahuja,” Talati said. Ahuja is the executive director of the White House Initiative on AAPIs.

Talati was selected to attend this briefing through his position on the National Board of the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA). He serves as chief financial officer of the non-profit organization.

Vanderbilt University currently has five students who are elected to the national board, including Talati. Calvin Sheng, VMS III, is the junior membership vice-president; Shannon Koh, VMS III, is the secretary; Samaiya Mushtaq, VMS III, is the South Asian Liaison co-chair, and Jennifer Best, VMS IV, is in charge of public relations.

APAMSA is committed to addressing the unique health challenges of the AAPI community and serves as a forum for student leaders to engage these health issues and develop initiatives and projects addressing those needs.

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