Keyana Zahiri

Keyana Zahiri has put her heart into healthcare since she was a child.

“From a young age, I have been incredibly fascinated by the heart,” says Zahiri, a 2019 Most Valuable Student scholar and 2023 Gunther and Lee Weigel Medical School Scholarship recipient. “I find comfort in its predictability, its consistency.”

Zahiri turned her attention to making a difference. While attending Brown University, she worked with Connect for Health, a community-centered organization that works with local hospitals to connect patients from under resourced households to basic necessities, such as food, clothing, housing and free clinics. She managed patient intake, directed patients to resources, and collaborated with community partners to expand the database of resources used to provide those necessities.

Zahiri’s work with Connect for Health proved to be deeply inspirational and helped her realize that working in healthcare is more than fixing the problems found in medical records.

“To me, being a physician is a lifestyle of humanitarian pursuit,” says Zahiri. “It is a profession in which one’s role in society is as equal human beings, companions, experts, and healers that transcend and encompass the beauty of human life. Treating a patient, rather than merely a disease.”

As an Elks scholar, Zahiri recognizes the pivotal role that the Elks National Foundation has had in her journey.

“These feats would not have been possible without the opportunities I gained as an Elks scholar, for which I am incredibly honored and grateful,” says Zahiri. “The support and assistance I received from the Elks National Foundation’s scholarship has been helped me afford my undergraduate education at Brown, particularly during the difficulties of the COVID pandemic.”

Zahiri will be attending the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, where she will specialize in cardiothoracic surgery. As she learns more about the heart and how to treat it, she will always hold her Elks family close to hers.

“I truly feel proud of being a part of the Elks family and strongly believe in our mission to promote service and leadership. The Elks community has played a huge role in making my undergraduate career a success, and I sincerely hope to pay it forward.”

Back to top