IAMA event raises $100,000 for the under-served

IAMA Charitable Foundation team officials, volunteers and supporters
IAMA Charitable Foundation team officials, volunteers and supporters

CHICAGO: It was once again a successful annual effort on the part of Indian American Medical Association Charitable Foundation of Chicago (IAMACF) to raise funds for its charitable operations hosting a gala banquet here as it helped it raise over $100,000 in pledges and donations.

The event themed “Basic Healthcare for the Uninsured,” was held on Sunday, April 28 at the Waterford Banquet Hall in Elmhurst (a north-west Chicago suburb). The Chicago elite – physicians, politicians, prominent businessman, community leaders blending with general public – were present to show their support to the organization and extend help to those in need mostly uninsured, under served, low-income population.

IAMACF free community health clinic is located on Peterson Avenue in Chicago. West Ridge community has been providing free, basic primary healthcare services on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 2 for over 18 years. As of March 2010, it also started providing extended hours on Wednesday evenings from 4 pm. to 7 pm.

According to Dr Rambha Radhakrishnan, the clinic’s medical director is run by volunteer physicians from the Indian American Medical Association and medical students, coordinated by New Life Volunteer Services, providing medical services to any and all that walk through its doors. The total patients visiting in the year 2012 were over 3000.

The three-hour program was embellished with the keynote address from Julie Hamos, Director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, and live entertainment from Bollywood Sargam and Hitesh Master’s Orchestra Saregama. Emcees for the event were Ravi Baichwal of ABC’s Channel 7 and IAMACF’s very own, Dr Annita John, a former President.

In her keynote address, Julie Hamos shared vital information on the Affordable Care Act, the state of Illinois’ healthcare system, challenges it faces and the vital role the medical community plays in delivering healthcare services to the uninsured. IAMA President Dr Rajinder Arora in his welcome address exhorted members of the medical fraternity to participate, get involved and volunteer in various IAMA functions, including the Charitable Clinic.

He urged young physicians of Indian origin to become members and provide the organization a strong voice to deal with the health care issues and successfully implement innovative ideas in tackling today’s challenges and preventing tomorrow’s problems.

Dr Sanjay Amin, Dr Letticia Gunaratnam and Dr Vijay Khiani received Awards for their outstanding dedicated selfless volunteerism to advance the goal of the organization.

Following dinner, Raju Bankapur, known as Kishore Kumar of Chicago and Partibha Jairath entertained the audience with their melodious voices rendering one after another popular Bollywood tunes accompanied by Hitesh Master’s Orchestra. There was a lot of variety in the show; from slow romantic numbers to fast dance numbers.

CS Zala & Asian Media USA