How do you create a healthier rural community? Collaboration is certainly a key ingredient to making that happen, but how do you go about that? Dr. Sameer Vohra and his team of collaborators are trying to make a difference in rural Southern Illinois with the ‘Building a Healthier Rural Illinois’ initiative.
“People in rural areas were more likely before the pandemic to die from the five leading causes of death in America.”
~Dr. Sameer Vohra
Dr. Vohra was born and raised in Chicago and received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Northwestern University. He then went on to receive a dual degree from Southern Illinois University’s Medicine and Law Dual Degree Program, as well as traveling to India on a United States Department of State Fulbright Scholarship.
He has a passion for improving people’s health as well as the one-on-one connection that comes with being a physician, fueled by his desire to understand how he could work to improve society’s health. Dr. Vohra would go on to attend the University of Chicago where he was the first to follow the pediatric public policy track, where he trained as a general pediatrician and received advanced public policy training.
Dr. Sameer Vohra settled back into Southern Illinois University and began his journey into population health and science, taking steps to make a concrete difference in the communities he served. He was able to lead the creation of the Office of Population Science and Policy to determine if there would be support, funding, and interest in the community to launch the office as an academic department. The Department of Population Science and Policy was officially launched in July 2018, and is only one of 25 such departments in the country.