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Zainab Garba-Sani

Zainab Garba-Sani

Expert by Experience, Sickle Cell Society / NHS England / Genomics England / Medscape

Zainab is an alumna of the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme and holds an M.Sc. in Health Policy from Imperial College London. Upon completing her B.Sc. in Clinical Sciences at the University of Bradford, she was introduced into the policy world through her elected role as Academic Affairs Officer. Here, she was responsible for representing and upholding students’ interests at a senior management level. More recently, Zainab was Clinical Innovation Manager at NHS England, where she was responsible for a range of programmes that aim to transform healthcare through supporting the ideation, development, and adoption of innovation. In addition, she cochaired the NHS Muslim Network, acted as Partnerships Lead for TEDxNHS, and volunteered with the Muslim Scouts Fellowship.

Today, Zainab is a Commonwealth Fund Senior Harkness Fellow in Health Policy and Practice. With specialist interests in AI and innovation; community engagement; diversity and inclusion; and health equity, the focus of her fellowship was in exploring how a person’s identity such as ethnicity and culture influences their perception of the use of AI in health and care. Now leading a wider international initiative based out of Stanford University, Zainab continues to work towards community-centred AI implementation as she strives to increase the capability of cross-disciplinary stakeholders to collectively identify and respond to population-specific enablers and barriers of AI-enabled healthcare. Her intention is to help ensure AI advances (rather than worsens) health equity by maximizing engagement in AI development, use and evaluation from diverse populations, and enabling inclusive and trustworthy approaches through policy and practice.

As a passionate advocate for equity and justice, in July 2018, Zainab was honoured with a U.K. Prime Minister’s Points of Light Award for her work in increasing the number of people of colour registered as potential blood stem cell donors. In her capacity as a patient advocate, Zainab continues to work with charities, communities, healthcare professionals, industry, governments, and policymakers globally to improve care for sickle cell. She is a Trustee of the U.K.'s Sickle Cell Society, Chair of NHS England's Sickle Cell Transformation Patient Advisory Group, Co-Chair of Genomics England’s Diverse Data Advisory Board and Faculty for Medscape’s Rare Disease Committee.

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