Q: Who can be a member of SAHRI?
A. Anyone can join SAHRI if they are interested in South Asian health. The proposed membership structure will be of health care providers or health care consumers. The Providers can join based on interest and subject qualifications. Our current proposal for providers is that there will be “mentors,” and “student learners”.
Q: How will membership to SAHRI benefit me?
A: SAHRI will provide access to valuable resources on South Asian health for consumers as well as providers which can be used by all.
Q: What do the terms Mentor and student learner mean?
A: A Mentor is someone who has subject matter expertise and is willing to work with a student learner to help them become subject matter expert. In a sense they are teachers. A Student learner is someone who is interested in a subject matter and is willing to work with and learn from a mentor.
Q: Are the role of mentor and learner fixed?
A: Absolutely not! Our goal is that with the help and guidance from mentor(s), the student learner will become an expert in the subject matter and “graduate” to become a mentor. Also, a student learner in one topic can be a subject matter expert in another. For example: a medical student may have limited knowledge on the subject of breast cancer and will work with a mentor with expertise in breast cancer.
Q: That seems sort of arbitrary, what do you think?
A: Yes, it is. But it helps us develop a resource list that can give us a snap shot of the resources available in the community. If you have a suggestion to improve on this model, please let us know.
Q: Do I have to be South Asian to participate?
A: Absolutely NOT! All that is needed is the interest in the community. We believe that by studying this population, we will not only improve the health of the community, but also may find way to improve the health of other communities as well.
Q: Are you afraid of misuse of the information available on SAHRI?
A: Yes, and we will have to guard against it. Our goal is to provide an infrastructure (starting with information) for everyone to use — to achieve this goal, we have to make information freely available. Anytime there is a free platform, there is a potential for misuse and abuse. We will have to self-police ourselves and do the best we can.
Q: What about duplicity of work and research material by SAHRI?
A: We hope that when someone uses the information and data from our database, they will let us know of their intention for use by updating the database of “ongoing research.” If there are multiple members interested in the same topic (e.g., critical review of all publications dealing with “diabetic nephropathy”). They will be encouraged to collaborate. Again, we are hoping that those who will join us believe in our values of collaboration and openness. We hope that those who are doing medical research will do so ethically. Due to the paucity of the data (and thus many many more questions to be answered), there will be enough projects to work on for everyone.
Q: How does SAHRI support research? Does SAHRI provide funding?
A: At this time, we support research by providing information (database of medical knowledge), guidance, and a list of possible collaborators. We currently do not provide financial support, but may do so in the future as the organization matures.
Q: If I work on a project at my university, How do I acknowledge SAHRI?
A: First of all, if you use our infrastructure, we hope that you will acknowledge us in some manner. Clearly, the entity that provides you financial support, will be the listing entity in your publication. But we hope that you will acknowledge the any type of support that SAHRI provided (idea, inspiration, information, collaborators etc.). It will help us become more visible and encourage others to join in our effort. This in turn will help us develop into a mature and financially stable project. It is our ultimate goal to have SAHRI members collaborate to generate primary research
Q: Why such reliance on technology?
A: For the work that we want to do (get as many people as possible involved) and how we want to proceed (collaborating across the globe) technology will be the most important ENABLER for us. As we mature, the technologies mature, our use will also change.
Q: How does SAHRI work with other organizations?
A: We plan to work with all the organizations that already exist or will start. All the organizations, whether they are professional, cultural, religious, or educational, if the goals are in the same direction, we will work with them, By no means do we want to replicate work done by others. We want to provide a platform that will allow other organizations to work better.
Q: How do I benefit from being involved with SAHRI?
A: It absolutely depends on what your goals are. If your goal is to work with or for the community, there is certainly a place for you. How you benefit will depend on what you want to accomplish. We hope that we can provide support in your efforts, you have to let us know how.
Q: Why so vague on the above question?
A: Well, there are some concrete examples that we can give now, but details of each individual’s benefit will be different. For example, if you are a medical student or a resident and want to work in an area… you can benefit by finding mentors who are working in your area of interest…. you can work with the mentor to develop a project… you can work with the mentor and other support staff to finish and publish the project.
If you are a community organization, you can benefit by finding experts in your area who are willing to spend time and advise on how to improve the community’s health.
If you are an IT organization, see the answer to the next question.
Q: Show me the money! (or how do I REALLY BENEFIT from being involved with SAHRI?)
A: The spirit of entrepreneurship that you have will have to dictate how you really ($) benefit. As you get involved with the projects, we will identify “needs of the community” or “needs of the professionals.” A business plan may be developed to fulfill those needs (i.e., gym, health food store, cardiac rehab centers for the community; online health management systems for the professionals and the community).