UAID is a student-led nonprofit organization that trains students in public health practices and supports them in building community partnerships and developing research-based community projects that improve local health outcomes. Our mission is to empower students and communities to eliminate health inequities locally.
A health inequity is an unjust and preventable difference in health outcomes between groups of people.
UAID was founded in 2009 by Sonia Pandit when she was a sophomore at Yale University. Originally focused on infectious diseases, the organization has evolved over the past six years. However, our members' commitment to doing right by the communities we serve and their continuous efforts to make UAID increasingly effective and efficient in carrying out sustainable solutions has not changed.
One of the most significant changes UAID made was transitioning from running several international trips a year to operating completely domestically. The reason behind this decision was simple: sustainability. We realized that going abroad for two weeks in a year did not truly enact a long-term change that would last the test of time. We fully support international work, but understand our limitations in being agents of change in that capacity as students living in the United States.
Another important change was broadening the scope of our mission from infectious diseases to health inequities. Through the years, UAID has had the privilege of working with several communities. And those experiences taught us that each community is unique - that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the increasingly complex health issues our nation faces. Thus, we altered our approach accordingly. Instead of focusing our efforts on one issue that some communities face more than others, we choose to customize our solutions to the needs of each community.
These types of changes exemplify UAID's truly unique quality: that we are not only willing to learn, but also that we are willing to put that knowledge into action and do anything it takes to truly make a difference in the health of our communities and country.
Over the years, we have aggregated our core beliefs into a set of values we all live by:
Innovative and multidisciplinary thinking
Investment in local communities
Empowerment and sustainability
Initiative and dedication
Commitment to lifelong learning
UAID is an organization created by students for students. To date, we have had over 2000 members, 20 international trips, 15 chapters, 4 national symposiums, and 4 journal publications and an unquantifiable amount of dedication to our mission from our members. We look forward to growth in the future with great enthusiasm and hope you will join us!
What Makes UAID Different
1. Domestic focus on local communities
2. Strong partnerships with communities
3. Commitment to sustainability
4. Interdisciplinary approach to public health
5. Initiatives grounded in research
6. Opportunities for personal development and leadership
7. UAID is student-led
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
- Margaret Mead