Bijoya (Bijou) Basu, a student in the Medical Scientist Training Program, received the Robin G. Kramer Student Volunteer Award.
This award serves as a lasting tribute to the late Robin G. Kramer, a 21-year staff member at Case Western Reserve University whose commitment to volunteerism set a standard for distinguished service. The award recognizes a CWRU undergraduate or graduate student who has demonstrated a passion and commitment to community service and made a positive contribution to others.
Basu was recognized with the award for her work with the national advocacy organization Doctors for America and No Longer Voiceless, an organization she started.
In spring of 2020, as a first year MD-PhD student, Basu started a 501(c)3 nonprofit called No Longer Voiceless. The purpose of this organization is to help people who are at the end of life, and who have chronic diseases tell their stories and create a legacy and have autonomy over how they are remembered. She has built this organization from the ground up, mobilizing Case Western Reserve student volunteers and partnered with various local nonprofits to find patients in need of this service. Through this organization, Basu and her team have created over 30 books for patients who are at the end of life or have chronic illnesses. She runs this organization entirely on donations and provides this service for free to the Cleveland community.
In 2020, Basu also joined Doctors for America (DFA), a national organization of healthcare providers dedicated to advocating for health justice and equity. In 2020–21, Basu served as the co-chair of the women’s health workgroup. During this time, she lobbied for DFA to focus on gender-affirming care and LGBTQ+ healthcare advocacy. In this role, Basu also helped plan DFA’s national conference, helped create advocacy workshops on reproductive rights and advocated for policy changes that would improve healthcare access for all patients.
In 2021, Basu was asked to become the chair of the new Health Justice and Equity Impact Area. She wrote articles and created videos for various advocacy efforts, moderated panels, and organized numerous workshops regarding health justice and equity. Topics that she advocated for included reproductive rights, gender-affirming care, immigrant health justice and access to affordable care.