Forum welcomes fellows for 2017-18

The McMaster Health Forum is pleased to announce that Puru Panchal and Fanny Cheng have been selected as Forum Fellows for the 2017-18 academic year. The Forum Fellows program is part of our commitment to prepare action-oriented leaders in addressing pressing health challenges creatively. Each fellow will have the opportunity to support various Forum initiatives, interact with regional, provincial and international health systems stakeholders, and will end their fellowships with an internship through the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship program.

Fanny and Puru are both entering their third year in the Global Health Specialization within the Bachelor of Health Sciences Program. They have both been involved in a number of university-based research projects and community initiatives that have sparked their interests in health systems reform and strengthening.

Puru’s interests in global health stem from his research engagements in cardiovascular health and adverse childhood experiences. Through his studies, he became interested in the various social, cultural and economic conditions that influence patient care in clinical settings. Through his research and community engagements, he has broadened his interests to the level of health systems. Over the summer, Puru will be working at the McMaster Health Forum and Impact Lab and will further explore cardiovascular disease as a research student in the Heart Investigation Unit at Hamilton General Hospital. Working with faculty from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Puru hopes to better understand the complexities of preparing health systems for chronic-disease management and the integration patient perspectives to better inform shared decision-making.

While Fanny began her studies with a rather quixotic view of public health, she has since embraced its gritty complexities and adopted a more practical perspective. This transformation was aided by her various volunteer commitments and her two summers with the Ontario Public Service, where she saw how policies and systems are developed and translated to intended and unintended impacts on individual behaviours. Fanny looks forward to getting involved with the process of translating research to decisions, policies, and programs. She is particularly interested in exploring both reproductive health and healthcare barriers for marginalized populations. She will spend the summer before her fellowship working at the Forum and the Impact Lab.

Both students have diverse leadership experiences with student-based organizations and hope to engage McMaster students in the vast number of opportunities offered by the Forum, including student-led events, courses, and simulation activities.

The fellowships begin in September 2017 and will culminate in a summer internship on the front lines of health system decision-making, working at organizations such as provincial or federal governments, or the World Health Organization.

McMaster Health Forum Fellows 2017-18