Tasneem Malik, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

When nurse practitioner Tasneem Malik isn’t at her full-time job at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, she is most likely helping out at a free health care clinic in metro Atlanta.

Her parents taught her that a life of service is a life well-lived, and she strives for that daily.

Malik volunteers about 10 hours a week at the Clarkston Community Health Center, providing primary care services and getting to know her patients and their families. That familiarity encourages patients to receive the comprehensive care they need.

She strives to build relationships with each patient and takes all the time she needs in the exam room.

“A lot of it is education. We can take care of medical issues, but a lot of their medical issues revolve around socioeconomic factors,” Malik said.


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Malik has worked at the CDC for more than two decades, and her current position is with the Employee Occupational Health Clinic.

“Her public health career has taught her that diseases and their etiologies often start with factors that have nothing to do with biology,” explained Gulshan Harjee, Malik’s colleague and supervisor at the Clarkston center.

“She brings her public health knowledge to her clinical practice, asking and probing to help patients find doable solutions to manage their health,” she added.

Harjee nominated Malik for an Atlanta Journal-Constitution Excellence in Nursing Award because of her service to the Clarkston health center.

Malik helped establish a COVID-19 drive-thru testing site at the center and was there on Sundays swabbing patients.

She also helped the center obtain several grants to continue giving comprehensive services to more than 5,500 uninsured patients.

“Tasneem has taken a huge role at the bedside, writing flyers in various languages. She also is often known to call patients after hours, checking on them and tweaking medicines and counseling,” Harjee said.

Malik said she loves the collaborative atmosphere at the Clarkston clinic. She said the work is interesting and rewarding, a “nice balance” to her public health work.

She also volunteers at a free clinic in Norcross, making personal connections with patients and fielding their calls on nights and weekends.

“Working with uninsured individuals is often about social work — connecting people to services, jobs, low-cost medication programs, food pantries and specialty care if needed,” Harjee said.

Some patients want to see only Malik. Once, when she was on leave to visit her ailing father, her patients waited for her to return.

“This is a testament to her dedication and passion,” Harjee said.

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Tasneem Malik, Centers for Disease Control and Prevent. Courtesy of Crew Atlanta

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Meet the other award winners:

Vicky Hogue, Wellstar Paulding Hospital. Winner of the Nurse Leadership Award, sponsored by Mercer

Rochanda Crawford, Grady Health System

Beth Dziczkowski, Northside Hospital Cherokee

Clayton Fowler, Wellstar Kennestone Hospital

Danielle Giaritelli, Emory Healthcare

Jody Leonard, Southern Regional Medical Center

Kathleen LePain, Piedmont Healthcare Athens

Laura Moss, Wellstar Spalding Regional Hospital

Laurie Pazda, Wellstar Kennestone Hospital

Laura Toops, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta