Welcome to Doctors for Healthy Communities! We are a nonprofit resource dedicated to improving the health and well-being of our community.

As our organization grows, so will the resources on this website, so come back often to see what’s new.

In the meantime, if you have questions please contact our president, Dr. Muhammad Babar.


Our mission is to improve the health of communities by strengthening and advocating for local health departments.


Dr. Muhammad Babar


Muhammad Babar is board certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He is also board certified in Geriatric Medicine and completed fellowship training from UofL in 2005. Dr Babar has also completed MBA (UMass) and MSc (UofL). He is certified as a medical director with the society for post acute and long term care. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor with UofL Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine. Dr. Babar is also serving the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Long Term Care Task Force.

Dr. Babar is actively involved in community service and advocacy. He has served many boards including Fund for the Arts, Louisville Public Media, Metro United Way, International Charter of Compassion and member of the board of governors at the Speed Art Museum. He is currently serving as a board member at Dare to Care, Family Community Clinic, Center for Interfaith Relations, Muhammad Ali Center and Council for post-secondary education. He is a member of Louisville Downtown Rotary Club and has served as a board member. He is a founding member of Compassionate Louisville and is acting as its Chair of the board of trustees. He is also a founding Co-Chair of the Muslim Jewish Advisory Council.

Dr. Babar is founding President of Muslim Americans for Compassion, an interfaith and charitable organization based in Louisville, Kentucky. He is a devoted interfaith and peace advocate who strives to bring people together across different faith traditions. He has established collaborative relationships among Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist and other faith communities of Louisville. He is also founding president of Doctors for Healthy Communities which is a non-profit organization dedicated to promote health equity. DHC actively supports JCPS students in whatever way needed and has performed free physical examinations on over one thousand students in 2019 before the Covid pandemic.

In 2010, in recognition of his work in the community, Dr. Babar received a Global Visionary Award from the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana. In 2013, he was recognized by Kentucky One Health for excellence in community service at the annual Doctor’s Ball and also received Directors Community Leadership Award by FBI Director Comey. In 2014, Dr. Babar received the MOSAIC award by Jewish Family and Career services and in 2016 the Americana Dreamer Award for Excellence in Community Service. In June 2017, he received the Blanche B. Ottenheimer Award presented by the Jewish Community of Louisville for his efforts in pursuit of social justice.

Dr. Babar is a graduate of FBI Citizen academy and has established a joint forum to have regular meetings between local Muslim leaders and FBI to address issues like hate crimes and counter terrorism. He often contributes his opinion in The Courier Journal on different issues ranging from current political affairs to community relations.

Email Dr. Muhammad Babar.

Dr. Waqar Saleem

Vice President

Waqar Saleem MD, CMD, FAAFP graduated from King Edward Medical College, Lahore, Pakistan in 1995. He completed a residency in Family Medicine at the University of Louisville in 2000. He is board certified in Family Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Care and Addiction Medicine. He serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor at University of Louisville and Clinical Faculty, AHEC program at University of Kentucky. In addition to clinical practice and teaching, he also serves as secretary at The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure and member of the Differential Item Functioning Panel at the American Board of Family Physician. During the pandemic, he served on AMDA State Task Force and Kentucky State Task Force for COVID-19. He is currently vice president of Muslim Americans for Compassion promoting better interfaith understanding, Doctors for Healthy Communities with emphasis on health equity and a volunteer physician at Family Community Clinic providing indigent care. Dr. Saleem is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He is a Certified Medical Director with AMDA – The Society of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, currently serving on the membership committee. He served as President of KMDA – Kentucky Society of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine and formally incorporated the chapter. He currently serves as Medical Director in several long-term care facilities and provides ambulatory care in a family medicine setting at the University of Louisville.

Email Dr. Waqar Saleem.

Debra Kay Harper, RN, BSN, CRRN

Executive Director

Debbie Harper is a graduate of Jefferson Community College, where she received her RN in 1990, and Indiana Wesleyan College, where she received her BSN in 2000. She has spent most of her nursing career in the field of geriatrics and rehabilitation, focusing on orthopedic, neurologic and chronic disease progression. Debbie recently retired after 35 years in the field of nursing. She also serves as a faith community nurse for her parish, Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

Aaron Burch

Communications Director

Aaron Burch is a communications specialist with a degree in journalism from Western Kentucky University. He currently serves as Communication Specialist for the American Probation and Parole Association. Aaron previously served the Greater Louisville Medical Society and managed Louisville Medicine magazine for five years. He lives in Frankfort with his wife, Jessica.

Dr. Naveed Chowhan

Board Member

Dr. Naveed Chowhan is a Medical Oncology specialist in New Albany, Indiana. He attended and graduated from medical school in 1982, having over 38 years of diverse experience, especially in Medical Oncology.

Dr. Syed Tahir Raza

Board Member

Syed Tahir Raza is an interventional cardiologist at Baptist Floyd Hospital in New Albany, Indiana.
He is involved in several civic engagements in the city of Louisville. He serves as a member of the Louisville Metro Police Department Foundation Board of Trustees.

Ozair Shariff

Board Member

Ozair Shariff is an attorney with Churchill Downs Incorporated, an industry-leading racing, online wagering and gaming entertainment company anchored by its iconic flagship event, the Kentucky Derby.

Before joining Churchill Downs, Ozair practiced as an attorney in the Louisville office of Stites & Harbison, PLLC where he was a member of the Health Care Service Group. His practice was devoted to a wide range of issues affecting health care providers and business owners with a focuses on regulatory, compliance, privacy and data security, physician contracting, antitrust, and general transactional and corporate matters. Ozair was named to Lawyers of Color magazine’s Hot List 2014, Louisville Business First’s “20 People to Know in Health Care” list in 2015 and “Forty Under 40” in 2016, was recognized as a New Voice in Philanthropy by The Voice-Tribune in 2017 and as Kentucky Super Lawyers® Rising Star in 2020.

Dr. Lindsay Shafer

Board Member

Dr. Lindsay Shafer is an obstetrics and gynecology physician at Norton Women’s and Children’s Hospital.  She graduated from medical school at the University of Louisville in 2009. She completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology in 2013 at the University of Louisville and became board certified in obstetrics and gynecology in 2015.  She serves as adjunct clinical faculty at the University of Louisville, School of Medicine where she instructs resident physicians. She works with several organizations that address food insecurity and animal adoption.

Eva Stone

Board Member

Selected as the 2019 Kentucky Nurse Association Nurse of the Year and named a 2020 Louisville Business First Health Care Hero, Eva is the Manager of District Health for Jefferson County Public Schools and is an adjunct professor with the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. She has worked in public school health for 20 years where she has experience supervising nursing as well as other student support programs. She has successfully advocated for Kentucky to amend the state Medicaid plan to allow for expanded billing for school health services as a means to help increase access to care for children.

Eva earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from West Virginia University & her Masters and Doctorate degrees from the University of Kentucky. She is passionate about the need to address health as a means to ensure students are ready to learn and to increase educational outcomes for children as a measure to improve their long-term health.

Nondiscrimination Policy: The Officers, Directors, committee members, and employees of the Corporation shall be selected entirely on a nondiscriminatory basis with respect to age, sex, race, religion, national origin, and sexual orientation. It is the policy of the Corporation not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, ancestry, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical disability, veteran’s status, political service or affiliation, color, religion, or national origin.