Students (2018-2019)

Jackie Xu, Project Coordinator

Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy, Class of 2019

As a member of GANDHI for the past 3 years, I have followed our cohort’s growth from global to national disability research, and now implementation on a local level. I am beyond excited to continue work with this group of high-achievers in understanding change from policy levels to on-the-ground work. I know the GANDHI Bass Connections team has amazing potential to shape the way we approach systems change in healthcare. Working with this team has been an incredible training experience, as I prepare to launch a career building stronger health systems around the world.


Deepti Agnihotri

Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and Global Health, Class of 2020

Over my past two years at Duke, I have grown very interested in disability issues and health policy. From increasing disability representation in art to researching mental health outcomes in women and children, my experiences have fueled my interests in both subjects. GANDHI bridges those two areas together into an engaging, innovative project that I am really excited to join. As I hope to continue working on community-based health projects in the future, I look forward to working with the GANDHI team to improve patients’ integration back into their communities.


Lillian Blanchard

Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Minor in Global Health, Certificate in Child Policy Research, Class of 2019

As a second year member of the GANDHI team, I have developed an interest in understanding how healthcare is connected to overall individual and community functioning. As a psychology major I am fascinated by the intricate connections between physical and mental health. Different cultural and environmental contexts can have an important role in determining how these two factor interact. As our team moves to exploring implementation science I look forward to examining ways to enhance individual and community functioning through implementing and scaling up innovative healthcare solutions.  


Cherie Conley

Doctoral Candidate, School of Nursing

In my current research, I am trying to find ways to make community based interventions more sustainable and effective by optimizing community resources. What led me to this was reading literature on interventions that were implemented in community organizations like churches. After ending, the participants were left with few resources to continue the program or maintain the results. In one article a participant asked once the study was over “…are you going to kick us to the curb now?”. I found that interventions which were very resource intensive and resulted in positive outcomes, did not have close to the same impact when they were implemented under more practical conditions using community members themselves. Because of these challenges, I see a great benefit in working on the GANDHI team to focus on how we can better implement effective and sustainable community-based interventions to address chronic disease disparities.


Isabelle Doan

Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy, Class of 2020

I’m thrilled to be joining the GANDHI team for another year as we turn our focus toward implementation. As a pre-medical student with a strong interest in health policy, I hope to be able to improve health outcomes through policy practices and public health measures, especially for individuals living with disabilities. Through our interdisciplinary research on acute disability in global health systems and the care continuum, GANDHI will bridge the gap between my public policy and health related interests.


Sarah McMahon

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Bachelor of Arts in Global Health, Class of 2019

Through my studies at Duke, I have developed a strong interest in better understanding health systems and how to approach improving access to care. The Bass Connections GANDHI project team presents an opportunity to focus on the implementation of comprehensive initiatives aimed at improving health outcomes. I look forward to joining this interdisciplinary research team focused on health innovation and I am excited to have this opportunity to learn from the prior experience and expertise of the faculty and fellow students.


Sahil Sandhu

Program II: Health Disparities, Class of 2020

In my self-designed degree, I study how to use evidence-based practice to design, implement, and evaluate new health innovations. Through my previous coursework, I was struck by how often proposed interventions fail in practice. Even when new health approaches are proven to be effective, they are not always adopted in policy and systems. As a result, I look forward to exploring our GANDHI question for the year: “What makes innovation stick?”  Ultimately, GANDHI will give me hands-on experience in implementation science, scale-up, and quality improvement.


Veronica Sotelo

Masters in Public Policy, Class of 2019

As a master’s student in Public Policy I am interested in understanding ways in which underserved populations can increase access to health and social services. Prior to the pursue my masters I worked with lower income individuals and homeless population, implementing system changes, and finding innovative ways to increase access to services.  I am excited to start GANDHI 3.0 and learn about public health measures and health policy.


Athina Vrosgou

Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology, Minor in Chemistry, Certificate in Science and Society, Class of 2019

My interests are rooted in the development of cultural competency in the context of health and serve as a driving force behind my decision to study Cultural Anthropology on a pre-medical track. GANDHI offers a collaborative landscape to apply a combined education in natural sciences and anthropological foundations to global disability research. Cultural competence can be a vehicle for reducing disparities in health care access and quality in health care systemic structure, leadership, workforce, and clinical applications. This year’s focus on implementation science and social intrapreneurship is vital to my growing understanding of how to scale up health-care initiatives within existing systems towards self-sustainable, adaptable community health models.


Jeremy Yi

Bachelor of Science in Economics, Class of 2021

GANDHI is a great introduction to the world of healthcare innovation, an area that I hope to become more involved in during my time here at Duke. Working closely with the Duke Institute for Health Innovation (DIHI) last spring has opened my eyes to the rapidly changing field of healthcare. Hearing their incredible ideas to overhaul the outdated components of our health system has inspired me to become a major proponent of that change too. I am especially excited to explore how social intrepreneurship and global health intertwine within a health-related field to create innovation that actually “sticks”.


Natalie Yu

Program II: Cognitive Science, Class of 2020

Healthcare has been an integral part of my research and community outreach work for a long time. I am excited by GANDHI’s transition from global to local, as it will give us the chance to put best practices we have learnt from health systems around the world to work here in Durham. I would like to contribute my knowledge on healthcare systems in Singapore specifically, and also to learn as much as I can from passionate teammates and faculty members.


Amy Zhao

Bachelor of Science in Biology, Bachelor of Arts in Global Health, Class of 2021

Through my current studies and community involvements, I have explored interventions that target various aspects of the care continuum. Particularly, I have seen how community-based programs can augment the care that patients may receive in a clinic setting. As an aspiring physician, I believe that understanding the well-being of patients in the community context will be just as important as treating disease in providing comprehensive care. Thus, I am excited to join such an interdisciplinary team and help patients recover from illness, trauma, and injury as they transition from the hospital back to their communities.