California Pan-Ethnic Health Network Announces Harbage Fellows

Author Details

Monika Lee

Senior Communications Manager
(858) 353-7271

For Immediate Release 
June 9, 2021 
Contact: Monika Lee, (858)-353-7271 

Sacramento, CA – The California Pan-Ethnic Health Network is pleased to announce not one, but two, Harbage Fellows for the year long tenure in partnership with the Peter Harbage Fellowship. CPEHN is the 2021-2022 host for the fellowship, where candidates who are about to graduate from or recently graduated from a public policy or public health graduate level program at universities in California and the University of Michigan work with a health organization to strengthen their skills and knowledge.  

The Fellowship committee shared the following insight about each of our fellows: 

Andrea Mackey (MPH ‘21), UC Berkeley, “has a strong track record not only as a capable MPH student but as an activist and advocate as well. Her commitment to health equity issues in general and to the Filipino community in particular are exemplary. Andrea’s previous experience as a community health worker, her insights on the power of social determinants of health in influencing health outcomes and her experience using networks to influence systems, make her quite ready for this fellowship opportunity and a great fit for CPEHN.” 

Ruqayya Ahmad (MPP ‘21) Ford School University of Michigan, “stood out for her compelling personal connection to health equity issues, her cross-section of experiences including legislative, executive and community professional roles. Professors and supervisors have noted her ability to critically engage with topics, successfully apply her interdisciplinary training and exceed high expectations in academic papers and project work. All of this combined with her commitment to health equity and a calm caring hardworking demeanor made her an amazing choice for CPEHN and the fellowship.” 

“We were blown away by all of the amazing applicants this year. Each brought their own wisdom, expertise, and experience and we were obviously so impressed we ended up choosing two fellows this year,” said Ingrid Aguirre Happoldt, executive director of the fellowship. “Andrea and Ruqayya will not only have an amazing opportunity to learn from Kiran and CPEHN over the course of the year, but they will also have the opportunity to learn from each other as they strengthen their public health work.”  

“We are so pleased to welcome two stellar change-makers in partnership with the Peter Harbage Fellowship. CPEHN is proud and excited to host these two young women of color, who have dedicated their lives and educations to improving health outcomes,” said Kiran Savage-Sangwan, executive director of CPEHN. “Andrea and Ruqayya will fit right in at CPEHN and we look forward to strengthening their advocacy and community coalition building skills, addressing systemic racism in health outcomes, and preparing them for long and impactful careers in public health.”  

The California Pan-Ethnic Health Network is a statewide health advocacy organization dedicated to addressing racial and ethnic health disparities. Through community-based coalition building, state, federal, and local advocacy, and research and report creation, CPEHN fights for a world in which all communities regardless of their income, sex, race, ethnicity, primary language, LGBTQ+ status, disability or immigration status, have the opportunity to live with optimal physical, behavioral, oral, and overall health and well-being, and to thrive.  

The fellowship is the vision of Peter Harbage, who was a leader and innovator in California’s health policy field for decades until his untimely death in 2015. Peter had a gift for bringing together diverse stakeholders to solve problems and develop innovative policy. In the process, he became a friend and resource to many colleagues and a mentor to many young people entering the health policy field. The 2018 fellow worked with Health Access California, and Anthony Wright. The 2019 fellow worked with Mayra Alvarez and The Children’s Partnership and Kevin Prindiville and Justice in Aging are currently hosting the 2020 Fellow.