Dr. Prerna Mona Khanna
Prerna Mona Khanna, M.D. is a founding member of the Department of Homeland Security, and a quadruple board-certified practicing physician humanitarian worker who specializes in humanitarian aid as well as responding to disasters. She has volunteered providing medical care in more than 15 countries beginning with the Kosovo refugee crisis in 1999. Over the past 20 years+, she has volunteered to provide hands-on medical care after 5 hurricanes, 4 earthquakes, 2 tsunamis, 1 monsoon flood, 1 plane crash, 1 terrorist attack, 1 typhoon, 1 war, 2 pandemics and 2 wildfires.
The CoViD-19 outbreak was hitting rural America hard in the fall of 2020, so Dr. Khanna volunteered to help augment a critical access hospital in a Wisconsin community with a 22.7% test positivity rate. Prior to that, she worked in a high-risk congregate correctional facility in California. Efforts to prevent a CoViD-19 outbreak there included implementing pandemic movement restrictions for inmates, weaning of inmates from opioid substances, implementing a mandatory mask code, limiting inmate fraternization, updating adult immunizations in inmates, and establishing strict screening protocols for staff.
This was not her first voluntary pandemic assignment. From March of 2015 through June of 2015, she served as the World Health Organization’s head of occupational health and safety for Liberia during the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) epidemic. More than 4,000 Liberians had died from EVD and the WHO was looking for someone with the occupational medicine qualifications to help strengthen Liberia’s workforce capabilities to fight the disease. She helped train the workers responsible for burying the EVD-deceased and for disinfecting facilities across the country as well as training other staff to assist them. Remarkably, no EHTs were diagnosed with EVD, despite their work exposing them to patient with the highest viral loads.
Dr. Khanna has served on 4 U.S. disaster teams — Illinois Medical Emergency Response Team, IL Task Force 1 Urban Search & Rescue Team, HHS Disaster Medical Assistance Team and the Texas State Guard — as well as the non-governmental humanitarian organizations Red Cross, Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team, Global Health Program at Rush University, International Medical Corps, Project Hope, Service d’Aide Médicale Urgente, and Gospel for Asia. She is on call for national and international deployment within 24 hours. Her medical relief efforts and leadership in disaster resins have earned praise from Congress, the Illinois Secretary of State, the Veterans Administration, cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas and California governors, and counties of San Bernardino and Riverside. For her medical mission work, she was named a 2015 Chicagoan of the Year and recognized with the 2016 Ellis Island Medal of Honor for Contribution by Immigrants. She has spoken about her experiences to students in all grades, from elementary school to medical school. She has given dozens of presentations to residents and fellow physicians at specialty society meetings and universities in an organized leadership effort to help recruit like-minded volunteers for global humanitarian service.
Dr. Khanna is triple residency trained in public health/preventive medicine, internal medicine, and occupational medicine, and has achieved the distinction of Fellowship in these 3 specialties. She is licensed to practice medicine in Illinois, California and Texas.