“You don’t have to be afraid to show up as yourself or to lead from your lived experience. I have only recently learned how to trust others with my story — about being an immigrant and growing up in a family experiencing poverty that could still be incredibly resourceful, about generational trauma and how that shows up in our lives and gets passed down. I am learning that our life experience connects us as human beings and is a gift.” – Somava Saha
“As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Somava Saha.
Somava Saha, MD, MS (aka Soma Stout) has dedicated her career to improving health, wellbeing and equity through the development of thriving people, organizations and communities. She has worked as a primary care internist and pediatrician in the safety net and a global public health practitioner for over 20 years. While difficult, she has witnessed and demonstrated sustainable transformation in human and community flourishing around the world.
Currently, Soma serves as Founder and Executive Lead of Well-being and Equity in the World (WE in the World), as well as Executive Lead of the Well Being In the Nation (WIN) Network, which work together to advance inter-generational well-being and equity. Over the last five years, as Vice President at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Dr. Saha founded and led the 100 Million Healthier Lives (100MLives) initiative, which brought together 1850+ partners in 30+ countries reaching more than 500 million people to improve health, wellbeing and equity. She and her team at WE in the World continue to advance and scale the frameworks, tools, and outcomes from this initiative as a core implementation partner in 100MLives.
Previously, Dr. Saha served as Vice President of Patient Centered Medical Home Development at Cambridge Health Alliance, where she co-led a transformation that improved health outcomes for a safety net population above the national 90 th percentile, improved joy and meaning of work for the workforce, and reduced medical expense by 10%. She served as the founding Medical Director of the CHA Revere Family Health Center and the Whidden Hospitalist Service, leading to substantial improvements in access, experience, quality and cost for safety net patients.
In 2012, Dr. Saha was recognized as one of ten inaugural Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Young Leaders for her contributions to improving the health of the nation. She has consulted with leaders from across the world, including Guyana, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, Tunisia, Denmark and Brazil. She has appeared on a panel with the Dalai Lama, keynoted conferences around the world, and had her work featured on Sanjay Gupta, the Katie Couric Show, PBS and CNN. In 2016 she was elected as a Leading Causes of Life Global Fellow.”
By Yitzi Weiner
Published November 17, 2022, in Authority Magazine