Master of Public Health Student
Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Lilongwe and Kampala: These are the cities where Devan Jaganath has pursued a career in public health. However, his greatest explorations have been more conceptual than geographic. As an undergraduate studying basic science, he was captivated by cultural theory and community-based arts, so he started a program to provide free piano lessons to underserved youth. In Lilongwe, Malawi, he worked with artists to explore how performance art can address the sociocultural obstacles to HIV prevention. Back home in Los Angeles while attending medical school, he founded Art Moves, a program that uses art to teach students in underserved high schools about HIV. Most recently, Jaganath spent a year in Uganda studying AIDS and tuberculosis, in particular how complications are shaped by age, gender and regional socioeconomics. In all of these endeavors, “I have sought to understand local culture to develop a methodology for health promotion that is both relevant and engaging to the community,” he says.
Now, Jaganath has come to Baltimore to investigate how food security, gender and population growth determine the risk for disease, and to continue to employ unique methods for HIV/AIDS education and prevention. “My training and experience are just beginning,” he says.