Second Annual Nehal A. Shah Memorial Global Health Award Commemorated Oct. 16

The second award from an endowment fund established in memory of University of Arizona College of Medicine student Nehal Shah will be awarded to Sanjay Sinha of the Class of 2011.
Nehal Shah, MDTUCSON, Ariz. – The second award from an endowment fund established in memory of University of Arizona College of Medicine student Nehal Shah will be awarded to Sanjay Sinha of the Class of 2011.

Like. Shah, Sinha was the co-director of the student Global Health Forum in his second year of medical school.  After acceptance to the College of Medicine,  Sinha postponed his entry in order to travel to India and Tanzania, in the process of founding and leading the non-governmental organization  called International Alliance for the Prevention of AIDS.

The announcement of the Nehal Shah Memorial Global Health Award by Ronald Pust, MD, director of the College's Global Health Distinction Track, commemorates what would have been Nehal's 26th birthday on Oct. 16.

Sanjay SinhaNehal died May 4, 2009, in Phoenix following a long struggle with depression, 11 days before her College of Medicine graduation date.  Shortly after her death, Nehal's parents and her classmates started a memorial fund in her name. The Nehal A. Shah Endowment for Global Health Education, in the UA Department of Family and Community Medicine, assists College of Medicine students to actualize their commitment to service in Global Health.

"Nehal always wanted to get to the root of everything; she wanted to make a difference," remembered her father, Anil Shah of Phoenix. He said Nehal hoped to better society by extending her knowledge of medicine to the less fortunate, locally and globally.

"What inspires me is the belief that healing involves more than treating individual health needs, but rather means to fight for humanity, human dignity and justice," Nehal wrote in her personal statement, which led to her admission to the UA College of Medicine.

"She was the most brilliant person I have ever met," said her medical school Professor William Adamas-Rappaport, MD, of the UA Department of Surgery. "What's more, she didn't talk about things – she did them."

Her short life was full of accomplishment. Nehal graduated from high school in only three years.  She then earned her bachelor's degree in molecular and cellular biology from the UA. At age 20, she traveled to the slums of Mumbai, India, to care for those in need. During medical school, she also started and managed a medical magazine, attended the AIDS Leadership Institute and helped plan the American Medical Student Association National Circle of Healers Retreat.

Gifts to the Nehal A. Shah Endowment for Global Health Education may be made out to UAF: Shah Endowment, and mailed to UA College of Medicine, P.O. Box 245018, Tucson, AZ 85724-5018. For more information, please call (520) 626-2827.