Award-winning Global Health Expert
She was recently named the ‘Top Global Health Advocate 2022’ by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) for her outstanding leadership, dedication and commitment to the healthcare industry worldwide. More than an award, this was a culmination of three decades of unwavering service by Dr. Padmini (Mini) Murthy, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., FAMWA, FRSPH, Physician, Activist, and Certified Health Education Specialist.
She was also bestowed ‘The Elizabeth Blackwell Medal’ in 2016; the American Medical Women Association’s highest honour, in recognition of her work in promoting women’s health globally. She is the first Indian born American to receive this award in seventy five years!
Dr. Murthy has practiced medicine and public health for the past thirty years across various countries and continents. Her areas of expertise include Global Health, Women’s Health, Maternal Healthcare, Human Rights, Promoting the Practice of Safe Motherhood, Activism to Improve the Health of Women in Underserved Communities, Her areas of work encompass Social Determinants of Health, Public Health, Distance Education, Social Media, HIV/ AIDS, and Global Health Diplomacy.
Based in the US, Dr. Murthy was born in India and completed a part of her education and professional training in the country. Her upbringing played a crucial role in her success in later life. “My younger sister and I were raised to respect people from all backgrounds and social status. My parents were very hospitable and hosted many visitors from Europe and USA if they needed a place to stay when they visited my home town of Hyderabad. My parents travelled widely internationally and my father stressed the importance of self-dependence, dignity of labour, and executing perfection in whatever chore we undertake. I have worked in different countries and enjoyed working with people from diverse cultures; while learning the importance of cultural competence, keeping an open line of communication, and why teamwork is crucial to the success of any undertaking.”
Dr. Murthy is a well respected member of the Academic Community, Global NGO Leader, Women’s Health Expert, and a sought after Motivational speaker. Yet, her journey was like any other – fraught with obstacles and disappointments. “I have faced many challenges professionally and personally and continue to do so till date. For instance, not being taken seriously when I gave my opinion because I am a woman, jealousy from male superiors on my success, etc. My family, especially my parents, sister and daughter, have been a strong support and have encouraged me to pursue my dreams. In addition, I have had some great friends and mentors who have been there for me and believed in me. I have learnt that positive thinking, determination and being optimistic are important, especially when facing challenges. I am also a spiritually inclined person and believe that faith can move mountains. Regular exercise, introspection and meditation help me as well.”
Dr. Murthy feels that professional women have no choice but to multi-task and wear different hats to balance their personal and professional lives. “Personally, I had to turn down two great career aspects since they involved extensive travel. I do not regret it as I wanted to spend time raising my daughter. It is important to prioritize what one wants and make sure one is happy with the choices made.”
She lists the two women who have inspired her towards leadership – 1. Her late beloved mother Krishna Kashinath, a French Professor, who shaped and molded Padmini in many ways 2. Dr Elizabeth Blackwell, the 1st Women Physician in the United States, who broke barriers and paved the way for many others to follow their dreams.
Dr. Murthy has done them both proud with her four strengths Determination, hard work, optimism and persistence. She currently serves as chair elect of the intersectional Council of American Public Health Association (APHA) and is immediate past chair of the International Health Section. In her role as Non governmental representative of American Medical Women Association to the United Nations , She has been working with UN ambassadors and missions and other NGO colleagues for twenty years to promote women’s health on various projects with local efforts in Malawi, India, Suriname, Grenada, Liberia, and Nepal. In addition, she has made over 250 presentations and published in peer reviewed journals, authored book chapters and two books and edited two additional books. She has also been interviewed as a public health expert by national and international media.
Little wonder then that her list of global recognitions and awards is extensive. Some of which include : Jerusha Jirad Oration Award; National Council of Women USA Distinguished Leadership and Achievement Award in the arena of Women’s Health; Sojouner Truth Pin; President of The United States Lifetime Achievement Award for Volunteer Service. Murthy had the honor to represent the United States as an official non-government advisor member of the US delegation to the United Commission of Women in 2022.
“My desire to do my best and excel in everything I do, both professionally and personally, so that I can make a difference in my life and in those of others, is what drives me. I am my harshest critic.”
Leaving us with a golden message, she says, “The darkest hour is before dawn, and glass ceilings are meant to be shattered!”