How Leaders are Engaging Religious Identity in Healthcare Spaces
November 3, 2022
Emerging Leaders joining us for the conversation
Muzzammil Ahmadzada is a current research fellow at the NIH’s National Cancer Institute. Muzzammil holds a Bachelor of Science from Johns Hopkins University, where he studied Molecular and Cellular Biology and found his passion for the intersection of health and faith. This passion drove him to establish and direct “Anees”, a patient-visitation service conferring spiritual companionship and emotional availability to hospitalized Muslims. His interests are in medical education, health policy, health disparities, and in the intersections between spirituality and healthcare.
Laura Holford, RN MSN, is an oncology certified nurse, nursing educator, and patient advocate committed to working to reduce nursing burnout and moral distress, and the reassembly of responsibility and accountability in healthcare. Liberation theology led her to train as a masters prepared nurse at University of San Francisco. She currently teaches nursing at Concordia University and works as a community health nurse.Throughout her experience as a patient facing off with a melanoma diagnosis, and chronic health disease, she became increasingly interested in the whole-person/biopsychosocial approach to health and is interested in shaping health outcomes through behavioral, social, spiritual, and emotional determinants, not only for the patient, but the caregiver as well. Combined with her background as a campus minister with InterVarsity & lay community pastor of a Christian Interfaith church, she enjoys nothing more than accompanying people on their healing, reflective, and spiritual paths. During her time as a front-line COVID RN, at the crescendo for her moral distress, she co-founded Introspective Spaces with longtime friend Dr. Anu Gorukanti, to build reflective spaces for women in healthcare. Like many mystics before her, she believes that contemplation and action cannot be separated and finds herself naturally helping others’ build reflective, imaginative, and spiritual practices to ground their action and work in the world.
Anu Gorukanti, MD (she/hers) is a public health practitioner, pediatric hospitalist, and co-founder of Introspective Spaces, a social venture committed to building reflective space and community for women in healthcare. She is also a member of the Sacred Journeys and Witness fellowships. She cares deeply about the well-being of her colleagues in healthcare and is passionate about healthcare reform to create equitable and compassionate care for patients and communities. In her free time, she loves to photograph landscapes, learn to dance and spend time with her wonderful husband, friends and family.
Janice D’Souza was born and raised in South India and is professionally a mixed-methods researcher and evaluator with a focus on gender, sexual-reproductive health, religion, and social inequities. She has worked at these intersections at the CDC, NYC Department of Health, a girls’ education program in India, and other similar organizations. She also works as an evaluator with national advocacy groups on matters of safe abortion and family planning and instructs youth, parenting adults, and teachers in sex education. She has a Master of Public Health from Emory University with a focus on sexual & reproductive health and a B.A. from Berea College in Gender Studies. She is happiest reading Bollywood gossip, twisty mysteries, and in kitchens.