In Loving Memory of Anum Karim

Anum Karim, MHA '20, was diagnosed with grade 4 brain cancer shortly after graduation. She lived a life of intention, devoted to the causes she cared about - advancing medical research and expanding healthcare access. Anum fought the disease incredibly hard - chemotherapy and radiation at MSKCC followed by numerous experimental treatments. Sadly, after a 19-month long battle, Anum passed away on July 4, 2023. The department extends their deepest condolences to Anum's family and friends. You can make a donation in Anum's memory to MSKCC. 

Read more about the incredible person Anum was, through faculty and peers below:

Anum was an excellent student with exceptional critical thinking skills. However, my fondest memory of her came after she had graduated, just as the pandemic was peaking in New York. She reached out to me about making a voluntary contribution to the work we had been doing with disadvantaged populations across NYC. This was not required nor was there even any funding to provide her. She simply contacted me, said she knew this was something we were working on, and asked how she could help. This was during some of the hardest days in 2020, and she simply dropped in, offered to help, and needed almost no support in doing so. In a very short time, she had produced an exceptional policy report, with lots of digestible information and infographics so that the work was not only innovative, but accessible to lots of users. Her passing is a tremendous loss to the health of the communities where she would have worked, as she was intending to proceed with a PhD in clinical psychology after some time working in the private sector. While I recognize her family and friends will be the most affected by her passing – and I again express my sincere condolences for their loss – we also acknowledge the roles she played (and would have played in the future) in her community.
          -Dr. Kai Ruggeri, Professor in Health Policy & Management


Melissa Vajanaphanich (MPH ‘20), Alexandra Witt (MHA ‘20), Anum Karim (MHA ‘20), Madeleine Marshall (MHA ‘20)

Anum lit up the world with her intelligence, humor, and kindness and is missed beyond measure. She was without a doubt the most innovative and strategic thinker of the MHA class of 2020, winning “most likely to start a think tank” as her graduating superlative. I had the privilege of working with Anum on a number of group projects as well as alongside her at Deloitte Consulting following graduation. Not only did Anum produce the highest quality work, but she made her classmates and colleagues smarter by poking holes in ideas, asking thought provoking questions, and challenging people to think outside the box. Anum was great about looking about the big picture, and her infectious passion for improving the complex healthcare system rubbed off on her classmates. However, equally important, Anum remembered the little things and was a true friend. She was always the first person to wish classmates a happy birthday or wish them a happy holiday, even if it was a holiday she herself did not celebrate. She was extremely warm and intentional, and it was evident how deeply she cared for others, both friends and strangers. Despite her time on earth being cut short, her impact was not. The world is a better place because of Anum, and the MHA class of 2020 will continue to do good in the world because of all the values and lessons she taught us. 
           -Madeleine Marshall, MHA ‘20

Alumni Profiles

  • Michelle AU, MPH '19

    "My public health background has been invaluable, not just to me as a practicing physician, but now as a state Senator. Social determinants of health lie at the core of every piece of legislation that crosses my desk, and having a deeper understanding of how to apply a public health lens to policy has made a more effective lawmaker."

    Dr. Michelle Au is an anesthesiologist at Emory-St. Joseph’s Hospital and a State Senator representing Georgia’ 48th District. GA. Senator Au received her MD at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and stayed on for residency training in both pediatrics and anesthesiology. A decade later Dr. Au returned to Columbia to study at the Mailman School of Public Health, focusing on healthcare management and policy, and graduated with a Masters of Public Health in 2019. Dr. Au is involved in physician advocacy with the Medical Association of Georgia and is an alumna of the Georgia Physician Leadership Academy. She has helped advocate on issues around public health and policy at the state and federal level. In November 2020, she was elected to the Georgia State Senate for District 48, running on a platform on improving access to care and health outcomes in Georgia. Her interests include enhancing quality healthcare access, improving public health communication, and focusing on social equity as a key determinant of community health.

  • Richard Beaton, MHA '20

    "The MHA program in HPM prepared me with the academic training I needed to successfully pivot into healthcare administration and consulting. The professors, career center, and alumni network helped me identify and pursue the best path for me, which eventually led to my work on the internal strategy team of a health system before pursuing a role in provider consulting at ECG."

    Richard Beaton currently works at ECG as a Senior Consultant and has an established track record in operations, strategy, and health economics. He has spent his entire career focusing on healthcare and is well-versed in working with hospitals, health systems, and life sciences organizations. Before ECG, Richard was a manager in strategy and operations for Boston Medical Center Health System. There, among other responsibilities, he was on the COO’s strategy implementation team that developed critical performance improvement analyses and strategic system-wide change for a 514‑bed AMC. Additionally, Richard worked with the CEO and senior VP of ambulatory services to draft a business case demonstrating the clinical and economic value of a $1 million violence intervention program. 

  • Tatiana Blue Dixon, MHA ‘19

    "The Part Time MHA program gave me life long friends and professors who I can tap for career advice and guidance, who continue to help expand my understanding and love of public health, and who find true pleasure in lifting as they climb."

    Tatiana Blue Dixon is a Program Manager in Enterprise Technology at Peloton, coordinating infrastructure builds for Field Ops and Supply Chain programs. She also assists with social impact and health and wellness initiatives across the organization.  Prior to Peloton, she was a Manager of Digital Health and AI projects at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. In that role, she oversaw the implementation of AI for improvement of patient experience across call centers, as well as leading the enterprise team in the evaluation of Digital Health interventions across NYP, Weill Cornell, and Columbia. Tatiana graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Health and Societies with a concentration in Public Health and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health with an MHA. 

  • Samuel Meyer, MPH ‘20

    "My favorite part about the HPM experience was getting to learn from such experienced and dedicated faculty members, as well as my classmates who all brought their own unique expertise and backgrounds to the table. I’m grateful for the chance to know and work with so many talented, committed present and future public health professionals."

    Samuel Meyer serves as a project coordinator for the New York State Department of Health’s Office of the Commissioner, where he oversees planning of special projects and assists with day-to-day operations that span the Department’s focus areas. Prior to Mailman, Sam served as a legislative assistant for the Iowa State Senate and as a legislative communications intern at the Iowa Department of Public Health in Des Moines, Iowa. He graduated from HPM with a certificate in Health Policy Analysis and holds a BS in Biology from Drake University.

  • Atef Rafiuddin, MHA '18

    "After graduating from the Mailman School of Public Health, I felt prepared with an understanding of health system fundamentals as well as the framework of evaluating and developing approaches to the challenges that affect our systems. My time in HPM gave me the foundational knowledge for my career."

    Atef Rafiuddin is a public health professional working in hospital operations. As a Manager of Business Operations at NYC Health + Hospitals, Atef drives operational improvement and efficiency by leading enterprise wide initiatives. Prior to joining NYC Health + Hospitals, he served as a Project Manager and Administrative Fellow at Mount Sinai Morningside. Often wearing many hats, he was responsible for managing the Cardiac service line budget and nursing initiatives. As an Administrative Fellow, he was involved in various patient experience, ambulatory, and hospital operations improvement efforts. Most notably, Atef was a member of the hospital’s Incident Management Team where he played an integral role in COVID surge planning and managing the daily operations of the COVID Vaccine POD. Atef remains active as an alum in HPM, participating in mock interviews, acting as a facilitor on Practicum Day and serving as a mentor to HPM students.

  • Nidhie Singh, MPH '12

    "Without a doubt, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without my time at Mailman."

    Nidhie Singh currently serves as the Executive Director and Chief of Staff to the Southern California Regional Chief Executive at Providence. Immediately after graduate school she joined Deloitte as a health care management consultant. Post-graduate school, Nidhie continued to build upon her education with targeted Epic trainings and certifications from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Nidhie has extensive experience transforming organizations to propel culture while developing a positive landscape in diverse and ever-changing environments. Additionally, she demonstrates a proven record of success developing and implementing enterprise strategies to drive strategic direction, profitability, growth, quality, and performance. Nidhie continues to propel strategic direction, profitability, and performance, as she works closely with executives and functional areas to improve the patient experience.