Grace  had been interested in finding a non-profit organization to support when a friend told her about Pardada Pardadi Educational Society (PPES). Although she hadn’t envisioned traveling to South Asia, Grace says, “When I learned that PPES was involved in advancing education and other services for girls in a challenging part of India, I was intrigued.”

Curiosity soon led to a conversation with Prana Health Center’s Medical Director, Dr. Charles Sheehan. Since Grace was experienced in health-related information technology, they talked about how valuable it would be for PPES and the Center to have a dependable system for recording and storing medical records electronically. Such a system “…would allow the school nurse, doctors, and others to record the students’ overall health and clinic visits consistently over time,” Grace explains.

“By the time I left the Center, the staff was comfortable using the new computerized system,” she says. Later that year, Grace was invited to join the US Advisory Board of the Prana Health Center.

In reflecting on her fortuitous involvement with PPES, Grace describes the girls it serves as “beacons of light.” “They are sources of great joy, and I appreciate why so many people have gone back to Anupshahr so many times. It was a gift just to spend time with them, and I was given far more than I was able to offer.”

As the school reopens post-Covid, Grace hopes to help the Prana Health Center staff transition to a new, more sophisticated medical-records system. “The capabilities of PPES have advanced,” she says, “so now is a good time for the medical-records system to advance as well.”

Grace Coventry is head of  Information Technology Services at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.