AAPI Meet call to give back to society & Motherland India

Dr Ravi Jahagirdar, President of AAPI, delivering his address at AAPI's India Engagement Forum
Dr Ravi Jahagirdar, President of AAPI, delivering his address at AAPI’s India Engagement Forum

ORLANDO, FL: Members of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) pledged their wholehearted support to give back to the society here and back home in India at the 33rd annual convention held in Orlando on Thursday, June 18.

Attended by more than 2,500 delegates from across the nation, the annual convention was held from June 17 through June 21 at the Renaissance Orlando at the SeaWorld Orlando, Florida. It turned out to be a huge success.

“The 2015 AAPI Annual Convention & Scientific Assembly offers an exciting venue to interact with leading physicians, health professionals, academicians, and scientists of Indian origin,” said Dr Amish Parikh, Chairman of the AAPI convention.

Dr Ravi Jahagirdar, President of AAPI, in his opening remarks at the India Engagement Forum said that “a major objective of AAPI has been about giving back to India, our motherland.” Pointing to several members of AAPI devoting their time, talents, skills and resources to help and support numerous projects and programs, he added “AAPI India Engagement is a way of coordinating these individual efforts for the sake of streamlining them and to make it easier and sustainable in a way that more members can contribute and help make a positive impact in the lives of millions of Indians.”

Dr Ravi alluded to the Pilot Projects for Head-Injury Program in India. “The response to our initiative has been fabulous,” he said. “More than 40 organizations – 27 from India and the rest from the US – have joined our efforts and we have harnessed our connections to have Superstar Bachchan to be the face of our program on creating awareness on Trauma and Brain Injury.”

Anwar Feroz, Honorary Advisor of AAPI, while moderating the session, which focused on enhancing collaboration between physicians of Indian origin and India, updated the audience on the many initiatives AAPI has taken in the past decade in their efforts to give back to their motherland, India.

“AAPI’s Engagement Forum was a way to strategize AAPI’s health initiatives and make it most effective.”

Dr Jogi Pattisapu, in his remarks praised the dedication of AAPI members. “The passion we see in this room is incredible,” he said. Describing the Project on Neurotrauma, he said, India has the highest number of accident death rate anywhere in the world.

Elaborating the goals of ASMART, which stands for Achievable, Scalable, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, Time Bound, he said, with collaboration of government of India, during a historic Delhi Workshop, a Guidelines Development Team with leading parishioners and institutions has been set up.

“We see the passion, and AAPI the leadership is committed to carry forward this partnership in working towards awareness, prevention, free hospitalization and rehabilitation of trauma and brain injury.

Dr Rakesh Srivastava, President of the American Surgical Society of India, told the audience about his initiatives in bringing affordable surgical process in India, with particular reference to the Trauma and Brain Injury Guidelines proposed in the state of Jharkhand, chosen as the pilot program.

The same theme of giving back to India echoed in the evening at the Classical Music Concert by legendary playback singer, Dr K.J. Yeshudas.

Devoted to the collective efforts coordinated by the AAPI Charitable Foundation, Dr Rakesh Gupta, Chair of the Foundation, gave a brief description of the numerous initiatives of the Foundation in India and the US.

AAPI has always been present when calamities strike whether it is the Tsunami, Katrina, or Earthquakes of Gujarat and Maharashtra. AAPI is supporting three cancer centers and has developed three major trauma centers and a hospital in Bhuj. AAPI has raised funds to help cyclone victims in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, earthquake victims in Maharashtra and Gujarat and Nepal as well as the Kargil Jawan fund and the Prime Minister’s Fund. AAPI runs 17 clinics serving millions of people in 12 states; Dr Gupta said the goal is to have a minimum of one medical clinic in each of the 29 states in India.

He appealed to AAPI members to support the Foundation by raising $100,000. AAPI delegates came out instantly pledging instantly on the spot helping raise the amount the Foundation needed. “It was very remarkable and truly amazing that AAPI members were able to rise up to the occasion and help the Foundation raise the required money instantly in less than 10 minutes to support the projects for the next one year,” Dr Seema Jain, the incoming President of AAPI, applauding the generosity of AAPI members, said.

The annual AAPI convention offers its members a forum to deliberate on ways to enhance their own professional growth and identify ways to network and stay united and offer a unified voice to protect their rights as well as explore possibilities to give back to the society, she said. “We always did work but did not have structure and sustained collaboration,” Dr Jahagirdar had said.

AAPI, the largest ethnic medical organization in the United States, represents the interests of over 60,000 physicians and 15,000 medical students and residents of Indian heritage in the United States. For over 30 years, Indian physicians have made significant contributions to health care in this country, not only practicing in inner cities, rural areas and peripheral communities but also at the top medical schools and other academic centers.

For more details, and sponsorship opportunities, please visit: www.aapiconvention.org and www.aapiusa.org

India Post News Service