Chakoma Haidari, a TRIO Rising Scholars alumna and current graduate student in the Master of Health Science program at Boise State, has been selected for the Idaho Public Health Association’s 2020 Student Excellence Award. The award recognizes exceptional students who contribute to the health and well-being of their communities.
Chakoma was raised in Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, but now considers Boise her home. She received her undergraduate degree from Boise State and is now pursuing her Master’s here as well.
For nearly six years, she has worked in various roles for Central District Health. Currently, she is a health policy analyst, focusing on education and local policies centered around tobacco prevention, tobacco cessation and comprehensive cancer. In this role, she has implemented smoke-free parks and facilitated cancer coalitions. She also is passionate about understanding and addressing health disparities in communities.
“I think systems and environmental changes are important. However, if health equity is not considered, it can benefit certain groups but leave out those with the greatest need,” she said. “This equity is a passion of mine because it helps me understand health disparities and make sure programs and policies are designed in a way that give everyone an equal opportunity to live their best life.”