President of India Honors FXB Fellow*

Photo courtesy of Satchit Balsari

Dr. Satchit Balsari received a prestigious 2016 Dr B.C. Roy National Award from Pranab Mukherjee, President of India, at a ceremony in New Delhi on March 28, 2017. He was honored for outstanding services in the field of sociomedical relief.

Dr. Balsari has long had an affiliation with the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, currently as a Research Fellow. He is also an alumnus of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Until recently, he served as Director of the Global Emergency Medicine Program at Weill Cornell Medical College/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

His interdisciplinary interests in mobile technology, disaster response and population health have been informed by his clinical practice in New York City and his field work around the world including, more recently, in Jordan, Iraq, South Sudan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India. His research has resulted in innovative applications of mobile, cloud-based technology to address public health challenges in mass gatherings, disasters, and humanitarian crises.

At the FXB Center, Dr. Balsari’s research has contributed to advocacy on behalf vulnerable populations affected by disasters and humanitarian crises, including children in Haiti, refugees in Jordan, and the Rohingya in Bangladesh. He is currently part of Professor Jennifer Leaning’s team assessing the impact of the Syrian war on medicine and public health in the region, including the Lancet/American University of Beirut (AUB) Commission on Syria: Health in Conflict. He plays a significant role in the Commission’s Research and Documentation Team, working with data visualization, modeling, primary data collection, and evaluation and analysis of secondary data. He was instrumental in a March visit to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of medical personnel who had worked during the siege of Aleppo; the visit coincided with the publication of the Commission’s report on the weaponization of healthcare.

At Harvard, Dr. Balsari co-teaches a university-wide course “Entrepreneurial Solutions to Intractable Social and Economic Problems,” led by SAI Director Professor Tarun Khanna; and “Societal Response to Disaster and War”, with Professor Leaning at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Balsari recently published two co-authored reports, Exchanging Health Information and Task Shifting in Healthcare: Reframing the Ayush Debate. Both published by Harvard’s South Asia Institute (SAI) and focused on India, they form part of an approach to advancing healthcare equity in India through technology, task shifting, and training (3T).

In the summer of 2017, Dr Balsari will join the faculty of emergency medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

*A shorter version of this post first appeared on the South Asia Institute website, with which Dr. Balsari frequently collaborates.

Courtesy of the Lancet/AUB Commission on Syria

Read more about the FXB’s work with the Lancet/American University of Beirut (AUB) Commission on Syria: Health in Conflict.

Read about Weaponization of war.

Read Stories from Aleppo.

Link to the Commission.



Read more about Dr. Balsari’s recent work relating to Indian healthcare:

Read Exchanging Health Information.                                                   

Read Task Shifting in Healthcare: Reframing the Ayush Debate.




Post modified afternoon April 3 to correct current affiliations and add more on the Lancet/AUB Commission on Syria.