Washington, D.C., November 4, 2007
— Jay D. Bhatt, MPH, received the 2007 Jay S. Drotman Memorial Award honoring the work of a young public health professional at the American Public Health Association (APHA) 135th Annual Meeting & Exposition.
Bhatt is immediate past-president and chair of the board of trustees of the American Medical Student Association. The national president of the association, Michael Ehlert, MD, said in a letter nominating Bhatt for the Drotman award that Bhatt has "defined what a physician should be." He praised Bhatt’s active roles in both APHA and the American Medical Student Association and his work to educate and empower medical students about issues such as health disparities, HIV/AIDS and the field of public health, among others.
Bhatt created lobby days, international study opportunities and health policy institutes for his fellow medical and public health students, placing “the tools for change firmly into the hands of influential and very insightful students,” Ehlert said.
APHA member Paul Farmer, MD, PhD, of the Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals, said in a nomination letter that “Jay is ceaseless in his commitment to public health advocacy and human rights, through activism and research.”
In addition to serving as president, he has been vice president and task force coordinator for the American Medical Student Association. He has organized many projects and worked hard to ensure their success, including a humanitarian mission to El Salvador, student initiatives for cultural competency and health care access, the Chicago Smoke Free Health Professional Student Coalition and the Philadelphia Coalition for Smoke Free Places.
In 2002, Bhatt served as a fellow in the office of Rep. Donna Christensen, D-Virgin Islands. He is advisor or board member for many groups, including Physicians for a National Health Program and the American College of Preventive Medicine.
At APHA, Bhatt has served on the Governing Council and the Action Board. He has contributed to his community through AIDS fundraisers, the Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago and Habitat for Humanity. His peers have praised his gift for diplomacy and tireless energy on behalf of many public health causes including universal health coverage and international AIDS awareness. He is completing his studies at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.