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Dr. Anita Chopra
June 24, 2022

Faculty Spotlight: Anita Chopra

Our faculty spotlight is on Dr. Anita Chopra, clinical instructor in the Division of General Internal Medicine.
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General Internal Medicine clinical instructor Dr. Anita Chopra is an internist at UW Primary Care Shoreline, and a hardworking advocate for community health and health equity.

Her inspiration for her work comes from community engagement and her family.

“My daughters are an enormous motivating force for me,” she said. “They not only inspire me towards my community outreach, but are also my partners in this work.”

Community based Covid-19 response

Within her primary care practice, Chopra saw firsthand as the Covid-19 pandemic began and evolved and quickly sprung into action. She treated and learned from her patients, providing them with Covid prevention information in understandable and accessible ways.

“What I enjoy the most in all my roles – as a clinician, teacher and with my community engagement”, she said, “is the opportunity to engage with people and learn from them--to be a part of their journey and to make a difference to them.”

She carries this same philosophy when communicating important health information within the community. As part of the ‘community conversations’ program of UW Medicine, she helps organize virtual and in-person town hall sessions that are open to the public. The sessions host expert physicians and scientists to provided trusted information, answer questions and provide resources around Covid-19.

In addition to being a source of information, Chopra had the opportunity to work with her daughter on a project installing “street sinks”, mobile and permanent public hand washing units, to make handwashing more accessible throughout Seattle.

She kept this momentum when vaccines became available and worked with community networks to ease vaccine hesitancy and help make appointments for those having trouble navigating the system.

“COVID-19 has unearthed and exposed many cultural, language, educational, technological and financial disparities. What we used to read in scientific literature we saw in reality. The biggest barrier was the lack of trust in the scientific community,” Chopra explains in the recent profile ‘Anita Chopra’s Mission to Increase Vaccine Equity’ from the UW Medicine Huddle.  

Responding to the changing phases of the pandemic, Chopra has recently begun working in the Post-Covid Clinic at Harborview Medical Center seeing patients with long-Covid symptoms. “I am looking forward to partnering with our Long-Covid Clinic team to develop the UW Medicine long-Covid  program further, and to address this enormous need in the community,” she said.

Promoting community health

Chopra is excited to continue promoting health equity and improve access for underserved communities by organizing an upcoming free health fair on Sunday July 17th. With the goal of bridging gaps and bringing preventive, primary and secondary care to people who lack access, the health fair will bring together multiple providers and health systems. They plan to provide service including dental, vision, health screens, mammograms, internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics and specialties like  cardiology, endocrinology, dementia and mental health services.

Extending outreach for healthcare equity to the larger region, Chopra is a founder of the Northwest Health and Wellness Camps. Northwest Health and Wellness camp hosts an annual event and various education and outreach opportunities that serves thousands of people In Snohomish and King county. Their mission is to work with community networks to provide accessible healthcare services to people who are most affected by lack of employment, insurance, and access to basic health needs.

She is also co-founder for the South Asian Health Board that has participated in vaccination events in coordination with the gurudwara, HealthPoint-Renton, and Public Health – Seattle & King County. The event brought vaccination services to the Gurudwara Singh Sabha, a gathering place for members of the Sikh faith, most of them immigrants from the Punjab region of India.

Professional service

Chopra is an active member of the American College of Physicians (ACP) Washington Chapter, serving as the Chair for the Primary Care Council, on executive council, and co-chairing the primary care and international medical graduate council. She is also chairing this year’s ACP Annual Meeting in the fall.

“We have put together an exciting and educational conference, bringing together distinguished Internal medicine and specialist physicians for this event on Nov 4-6 in Seattle.”

Chopra is a member of the Department of Medicine Diversity Council and has been an essential leader in UW Medicine’s community Covid-19 response. Her dedication to her patients and community earned her the 2021 Internist of the Year award by the ACP Washington Chapter.