Project Staff & Volunteers

Administrative Team




Taqiyya Alford, MPH 

Operations/Volunteer Manager & Project Manager, UHI Fellow,

Emory University Rollins School of Public Health

Clinical Research Coordinator, Emory University School of Nursing


Taqiyya Alford volunteers at Emory’s Urban Health Initiative (UHI) as a Project Manager on the Cancer Detecting Dogs Project. She has a diverse background in Rehabilitation, Clinical Research, and Pharmaceutical with hands on experience and knowledge combined. Taqiyya has worked at a Clinical Research Site for Mental Disorders (ADHD, ADD, Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Alzheimer’s, Depression, etc.) as well as a Global Pharmaceutical Organization (CRO).Taqiyya completed her Associate Degree in Medical Assisting, a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, and an MPH from Rollins in March 2020. 


Sabrina Flores

Operation Team Coordinator 

Sabrina Flores is a current junior at Emory University studying Psychology and Human Health with a concentration in Health Innovation. As the daughter of Vietnamese mother and Nicaraguan father, she has always been passionate about health equity and empowering minority populations. Last semester, Sabrina participated in a multi-country study abroad program, where she studied the ways in which community- based organizations responded to gaps healthcare quality and access. This experience motivated her to desire to pursue graduate studies in Healthcare Management. Sabrina is excited to volunteer with UHI to learn how research, evaluation, and access healthcare services can impact the greater Atlanta community.




Shivani K. Bhagat

Shivani Bhagat is a recent graduate from the Georgia Institute of Technology where she completed her B.S. in Neuroscience and minored in Computing and Intelligence.  Through her courses, Shivani is familiar with neuroscience research methods and lab work as well as fundamental programming as well as machine learning and artificial intelligence. 

Her interest in public health led her to the foundation of Georgia Tech's Undergraduate Public Health Association, which she led for two years. Moreover, her passion for people is reflected through her work with first-year students as a mentor and advisor through her roles as an Orientation Leader as well as a Resident Assistant for first-years. 

She is currently set to start at NCR Corporation as an IT Analyst working in Data Engineering. She has interned at NCR for the past two summers, gaining critical Information Technology as well as collaboration experience. Her interest in UHI comes from her passion for serving people and public health as well as her love for the Atlanta community, in general. She is currently working on the Read-to-Me, the Healthy Pregnancy Spacing and the Atlanta Doula Connect projects.



Allayna DeHond

Allayna DeHond is currently a student at Emory’s Rollins School of Public health working towards her Master’s in Public Health. She is working towards her Master’s in Global Health while getting a concentration in Community Health Development. Allayna served as Peace Corps Volunteer for 3 years in Malawi and Zambia implementing various health programs focused on HIV, adolescent reproductive health, nutrition, and financial literacy. Through this and other experiences she has developed skills in program management and evaluation, curriculum development, community organizing, and facilitation.

Allayna is passionate to promote health equity in the communities she is a part of. She is interested in joining UHI to join them in working with communities throughout Atlanta to provide health programming and resources. She will be working on the Evaluations team, Support for Pregnant Teens program and the Community Teaching Gardens project. 




Amitej Venapally

Amitej Venapally graduated from Georgia Tech spring 2020 with a B.S. in computer science and biochemistry. He has experience with software and app development, and is working on the Atlanta Doula Connect app for UHI.
Amitej is interested in the Urban Health Initiative because he is very interested in public health, and wants to help address some of the concerns in the Metro Atlanta community. He hopes that his skill set would be an asset to UHI.