A new Executive Committee led by Dr. Ajay Lodha as President, assumed charge of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) during the 34th annual convention in New York, NY on Sunday, July 3rd, 2016 In his inaugural address, Dr. Lodha, who rose through the ranks of AAPI after being a member of AAPI and in almost every body of AAPI in the past 10 years, stated that he wants AAPI to be “more vibrant, united, transparent, politically engaged, ensuring active participation of young physicians, increasing membership, enabling that AAPI’s voice is heard in the corridors of power, and thus taking AAPI to new heights.”
Along with Dr. Lodha, Dr. Gautam Samadder as President-Elect, Dr. Naresh Parikh as Vice President, Dr. Suresh Reddy as Secretary, and Dr. Manju Sachdev as Treasurer of AAPI, assumed charge in the presence of leading luminaries from across the nation at the annual convention of AAPI in New York. Dr. Madhu Agarwal assumed charge as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Aditya Desai as YPS president and Atul Nakhasi as MSRF President along with a diversified group of regional directors. “AAPI is fortunate to have a very congenial team this year of like-minded people who believe in working together, and bringing cohesiveness in AAPI. Their leadership will help us move forward with our current and future initiatives, I salute to the new leadership of AAPI,” Dr. Lodha said.
In his capacity as President of the largest ethnic organization of physicians in the United States, Dr. Lodha vowed to take the more than three decades old organization to the new heights and “bring all the AAPI Chapters, Regions, Members of the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees to work cohesively and unitedly for the success of AAPI and the realization of its noble mission.”
Acknowledging that leading AAPI is a daunting challenge, Dr. Lodha said, “I’m very honored, privileged and consider myself fortunate to announce that I have an excellent group of dedicated, hardworking, and loyal officers and executive committee members who are with me to take AAPI to new heights.”
The New York-based physician and leader, who was honored with the prestigious Ellis Island Medals of Honor on May 7th, is a recipient of Lawrence J. Scherr Award of Excellence for being an Outstanding Physician. He has also been honored for Outstanding Contributions to Research & Hypertension Department at the Flushing Hospital, NY. In 2008, he was bestowed with the Nargis Dutt Memorial Foundation Physician of the Year Award.
Dr. Ajay Lodha, a past President of AAPIQLI hides a power house of entrepreneurial skills. Dr. Lodha has extensive background of overseeing quality assurance and quality improvement. A graduate of RNT Medical College, Udaipur, Rajasthan, completed his residency at Flushing Hospital, NY, and Founder and President of Queens Medical Services, a primary care practice with two locations serving Queens, NY, Dr. Lodha is the past President AAPIQLI, RAJMAAI, RANA. He is also credited with founding the COO of NYS Elite ACO, as well as being a partner in two skilled nursing facilities on Long Island.
Soon after assuming office as the President of AAPI, Dr. Lodha declared that he will make every possible effort to restore AAPI’s image and enhance cohesiveness among different Chapters and Regions of AAPI. “When our founders first conceived of AAPI, they could not have imagined how well it would grow and develop. Let us not forget the achievements of those who have come before me. Their hard work and dedication serves as both an inspiration and a challenge to me,” he stated with gratitude and appreciation for the founders of this noble organization.
Dr. Lodha is committed to upholding and further augment the ideals for which AAPI stands. “I am confident that my experience, work ethic and firsthand experience in organizing Conventions and fundraisers are best suited to carry on the responsibilities and lead this noble organization to new heights.”
Dr. Gautam Samadder, AAPI’s President-Elect, built his career on hard and dedicated work in the private and public sectors. His passion for knowledge, determination and perseverance brought him to the United States for higher education. After graduating from Government Medical College in Jabalpur and completing residency in internal medicine and Fellowships in Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine from Medical College of Pennsylvania, he founded and serves as the President/CEO of Columbus Sleep Consultants. He spearheaded the formation of Indian Sleep Society and is actively involved in promoting Sleep Research and Awareness both nationally and Internationally including India. He recently collaborated with Fisher & Paykel to establish diagnostic centers in major Indian cities.
“In my capacity as the President-Elect of National AAPI, I want to support the growth of global and Indo-US relationship and to support and promote charitable activities through AAPI both in the US and India,” Dr. Samadder says. “As I have shown over the past decades in my roles as a Regional Director, Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President and now President Elect of AAPI, I will continue to work to create advocacy and community services, escalating profitability, productivity and popularity of AAPI. I will also promote globalization of education as well as work towards creating awareness and promote the level of involvement of the Indian American Medical Community and to foster the increasing strength and grown of our beloved Nation.
While working in close cooperation with AAPI at all levels, we will together address the issues affecting the physicians at the state and national level. I envision promoting health care advocacy and community services, escalating profitability, productivity and popularity of AAPI,” he adds.
Dr. Samadder wants to “amplify participation among young physicians and medical students, strengthen AAPI’s financial security through profitable corporate sponsorships and facilitate collegial cooperation between local and state chapters, as this will increase AAPI’s global stature and eminence, which will ultimately make healthcare more efficient and effective in USA and India.”
His “work ethic, integrity and self-reliance will help propagate AAPI’s mission and instill renewed energy and participation. My leadership experience demonstrates in the private and nonprofit sectors will be advantageous in increasing participation, chapter cooperation and awareness of exchange programs. I am dedicated to helping chart a course toward AAPI’s true mission.”
It’s been a gradual journey for Dr. Naresh Parikh from being an ordinary member to a local leader of AAPI to being elected to be an executive member of the national AAPI. Graduated from Nagpur Medical College in 1972 and a cardiologist by profession, Dr. Naresh Parikh is serving as the CEO of Georgia Clinic, a multi-specialty organization, founded in 1998, with 11 locations, Dr. Parikh was instrumental in starting IPA in 2016 with 53 participating providers and is active in DRS ACO. Dr. Parikh is also involved with Cigna Health Spring as a counsel to improve Hedis score and improve MRA scoring for Georgia Physicians. He started Atlanta’s first Charitable Medical Clinic in 1996 and was the Medical Director for 10 years. He was the Chair and Convenor for the AAPI annual convention in 2006. Has been leading many health fairs and contributed in fund raising events for AAPI in their mega shows by Shankar Mahadevan, Shreya Ghoshal and Hema Malini.
Dr. Parikh says, “It’s been an honor and privilege for me to be associated with AAPI because I recognize the tremendous role that is being played by AAPI in promoting friendship between India and the United States. As members of AAPI, we have not forgotten our roots and are engaged in several activities such as conducting Indo-US Healthcare Summit that has shown us a new trail in healthcare sector in India and will continue to pave way for new frontiers in public private partnership.”
As the Vice President of AAPI, “I would devote time to maintain integrity of membership database and scrub data. With an effort to increase membership, I will give my time and energy to encourage physicians and dentists to join AAPI, while providing enhanced membership benefits including liability insurance carrier, billing, collection company, cardiac remote monitoring, and credit card transactions through reputed banking services. One of my goals is also to be actively engaged in the SEWAK project in India.” And, Dr. Parikh will “carry forward my duties of AAPI Office and keeping transparency, accountability and branding of AAPI. “Under the current dynamic and decisive leadership of Dr. Ajay Lodha and his team of executives, we strive to achieve standards for AAPI and chosen agenda. I am committed to working with the AAPI Team to establish AAPI’s image in the US and globally.”
Dr. Suresh Reddy, the Secretary of AAPI, earned his medical degree from Kakatiya Medical College, Andhra Pradesh, India in 1988 and underwent residency training in Diagnostic Radiology at Osmania General Hospital, Hyderabad and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He completed research and clinical fellowships in diagnostic Neuroradiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, TX and spent a further two years at State University of New York at Stony Brook, pursuing a fellowship in Diagnostic
Neuroradiology with an emphasis in Neuro-interventional training. Dr. Reddy is extensively trained in Neuroradiology and Interventional Radiology and Interventional Neuroradiology.
Dr. Reddy, honored with the Resident Research Award at the (RSNA) Radiological Society of North America’s 2000, has presented widely at national meetings. Dr. Reddy is also honored with several other awards especially for his excellent teaching interests including “Fellow of the Year” award for the year 2001, “Faculty of the Year” and, “Excellence in Teaching the Harvard Medical Students” awards for the years 2002, 2003 and 2004. Dr. Reddy holds the distinction of winning these prestigious awards in three consecutive years. He also mentored several Harvard Medical School Students and Residents. Dr. Reddy was the Chief of Interventional Neuroradiology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center / Harvard Medical School for more than ten years. He is always committed to do the best he can to provide quality care to patients while looking for ways to forge bonds with other disciplines to help the overall health care delivery to those who need it the most.
Dr. Reddy says that one of his goals for future is to strengthen ties between the “sub chapters” and AAPI, His vision for AAPI includes, “bridging the next generation of physicians of Indian origin with the current members of AAPI and to serve as a link between AAPI and people of other ethnic origin.” He is committed to “showcasing unity in diversity” for AAPI, and wants to work towards making AAPI a “purely an academic and research society.”
Dr. Manju Sachdev, Treasurer of AAPI, was born and raised in Newfoundland, Canada where she completed her education, and obtained her MD. After meeting her husband, Dr. Harish Chandna, she moved to the United States in order to pursue her residency in Pediatrics, and subsequently began a private practice in Victoria, Texas. Actively involved in the local media as a medical host, writer and producer of numerous health segments and television programs — most notably, “Health is Wealth” and “AAPI and Your Health” for TV Asia, Dr. Sachdev’s involvement in AAPI began when she became a Patron Member in 2002, and since that time “I have continued to serve in many different capacities, including: Chair for Women’s Physicians Committee, SW Central Regional Director, and Board of Trustees. I was extensively involved in the planning and organizing for the Annual Women’s Conference in Dallas, TX (2011) and the Annual AAPI Convention in NYC (2011), as well as serving as an Emcee for subsequent conventions.”
Dr. Manju Sachdev says, “I am deeply honored to have been elected as the AAPI Treasurer for 2016-2017, and to be given the opportunity to serve alongside my esteemed Officers, the Executive Committee, and the Board of Trustees. My primary goal in AAPI will be to work for the organization with utmost respect, dignity and humility.”
Dr. Sachdev says, she “derives genuine pride from my Indian heritage, which will remain a part of me forever. My inherent diverse background motivates me to work and strive for an AAPI which is all encompassing – regardless of one’s age, gender, race, or religious views. As the newly elected Treasurer, my focus will be to maintain accountability and transparency while overseeing all income and expenses. I sincerely encourage our organization to have greater involvement in charitable causes and to influence legislative decisions which impact our physicians, residents and medical students. Collectively we have the will and the power to make our voices heard and to unite as a people for the greater good of the organization!”
Dr. Madhu Aggarwal, the chairwoman of the Board of Trustees, AAPI, is a board certified practicing OB GYN. She has been actively involved with AAPI for over 25 years in different roles, including her roles as the Committee Chair; Regional Director; Trustee and now, chir of the AAPI’s BOT. in her current role as the Chair of AAPI Charitable Foundation, Dr. Aggarwal is entrusted with the task of initiating and overseeing AAPI’s charitable programs across India and in the United States.
According to Dr. Aggarwal, “AAPI is the largest ethnic physicians organization, and we can make big impact in health care policy and decisions. Our members are well qualified over achiever and passionate about their work. Our local chapters of AAPI are involved in various charity activities for the local communities. AAPI charitable foundation runs many free clinics in India and our goal is to have a clinic in each state as well as to organize free health camps here in United States and in India.”
Dr. Aaditya Desai, President of the AAPI-YPS, is a graduate of Rutgers University in New Jersey with a major in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry in 1999. He completed his medical school from Midwestern University/Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2003. He then went on to form and be first graduate of the combined Emergency Medicine/Family Medicine residency program in Chicago, IL from Midwestern University/CCOM – Olympia Fields/Cook County Hospital in 2008. Having received his board certification in Family Medicine in 2009 and Emergency Medicine in 2011, Dr. Desai is a practicing emergency medicine physician at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Paterson, NJ and at St Peters University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ. In addition, he is also a member of the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physician and other various organizations. He has been a member of AAPI for the past 20 years.
As a President of the AAPI-YPS , Dr. Desai’s “goals are to promote a strong bond between physicians and other healthcare providers of Indian origin in the country, and to help promote a balance between professional life and personal life.” He wants to help physicians branch out to other areas of society outside of medicine and “help steer parent AAPI into a global leader for all Indian physicians in many fields of advocacy, health, and charity especially for the next generation of leaders.”
Dr. Atul Nakhasi, AAPI-MSRF, president is a current resident physician at UCLA Ronald Reagan hospital in internal medicine. He originally hails from Iowa, born and raised, and completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Iowa. During this time, he led the movement to galvanize youth voters in the historic US Presidential Election of 2008. His leadership was recognized by the Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, ABC World News, and BBC. After Iowa, Atul attended Johns Hopkins School of Medicine for his medical degree and Harvard Kennedy School of Government for his policy degree. He is deeply passionate about engaging physicians in healthcare advocacy within their local communities and helping mentor aspiring physician advocates. Atul currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
“The Medical Student, Resident, Fellow Section (MSRF) looks forward to hosting their 4th Annual Winter Medical Conference in February 2017 to continue investing leadership training for physicians,” says Dr. Atul Nakhasi. “The MSRF also hopes to host another successful research symposium this year, build its grassroots activism on critical healthcare policies, and spur membership engagement in communities across the country.”
The growing influence of doctors of Indian heritage is evident, as increasingly physicians of Indian origin hold critical positions in the healthcare, academic, research and administrative positions across the nation. With their hard work, dedication, compassion, and skills, they have thus carved an enviable niche in the American medical community. AAPI’s role has come to be recognized as vital among members and among lawmakers. AAPI is also transitioning into a multiyear thinking and behavior by maintaining core continuity. Physicians of Indian Origin in the United States are reputed to be leading health care providers, holding crucial positions in various hospitals and health care facilities around the nation. Leading an organization that represents more than 100,000 physicians and Residents of Indian Origin in the US, and being their voice and providing a forum to its members to collectively work together to meet their diverse needs, is a major challenge. American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI has made its presence felt and is now set to take this largest ethnic group of physicians in the United States to the next level of continued growth and stability.
The growing influence of doctors of Indian heritage is evident, as increasingly physicians of Indian origin hold critical positions in the healthcare, academic, research and administrative positions across the nation. With their hard work, dedication, compassion, and skills, they have thus carved an enviable niche in the American medical community. AAPI’s role has come to be recognized as vital among members and among lawmakers. AAPI is also transitioning into a multiyear thinking and behavior by maintaining core continuity.
Dr. Lodha urges all AAPI members to join in this historic journey: “AAPI’s mission is clear, our programs will continue to strive and our impact is infectious on benefiting society. Today I ask you to set aside your differences, and join me in this noble journey to make our mission possible. A new era has begun. AAPI will continue to discover her own potential to be an active and vital player in shaping the landscape of national healthcare delivery system with a focus on health maintenance than disease intervention,” Dr. Lodha said.