Dr. Ajay Lodha honored by AAPI BOT for outstanding leadership

Brahmakumari Sister Shivani urges physicians to be “healing angels”
Yoga transforms your life: Baba Ram Dev tells AAPI delegates
 Atlantic City, NY: June 24, 2017: During the AAPI convention on June 24th at the AAPI Board of Trustees Luncheon Gala, Dr. Ajay Lodha, President of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) was honored for his outstanding leadership, commitment to AAPI’s mission, and for carrying the entire AAPI family together, as well as for his contributions to realize the lofty goals of AAPI, by Dr. Madhu Aggarwal and the entire Board of Trustee members as the entire audience numbering over 1500 cheered him.
At the BOT luncheon, physicians with distinguished achievements and community services were honored. Winners of the Research/Poster Presentation from across the nation who had presented the abstracts of their research on diverse medical topics, were honored with cash awards.  While addressing the audience, Rep. Leonard Lance praised the contributions of Indian Americans and the achievements of the Indian American community and in particular that of the physicians of Indian origin in the US. While criticizing the GOP Bill being considered by the US Senate,
Rep. Lance urged the lawmakers to work unitedly to fix the system rather than repeal the Obama Care.
Expressing his gratitude to AAPI’s executive committee members, including Dr. Gautam Samadder President-Elect; Dr. Naresh Parikh,  Vice President; Dr. Suresh Reddy, Secretary; Dr. Manju Sachdev, Treasurer; Dr. Madhu Agarwal, Chairman of the Board of Trustees; Aditya Desai, YPS president; and Atul Nakhasi, MSRF President; Dr. Raj Bhayani,  AAPI’s 2017 Convention Chair; various committee chairs and members, volunteers and sponsors for their continued dedication and visionary leadership in their efforts to make this convention truly a historic one for all, Dr. Lodha, said. “The organizing committees have been working hard to make the AAPI Convention of 2017 rewarding and memorable for all with Continuing Education Meetings, National and India based Health Policy Forums, Youth Seminars, New Physician and Resident Student meetings. Physicians attending this convention will benefit not only from cutting edge CME, but also the camaraderie of their alumni groups and share in our common heritage. Social events are all being planned meticulously so that maximum benefit can be accomplished.
Earlier, the day began with Yoga led by Baba Ramdev, the world renowned yoga guru known for his work in ayurveda, business, politics and agriculture.  Later on during a packed session, the famous guru addressed the audience for over 70 minutes, leading them to learn and practice simple ways of living healthy. According to him, the source of happiness is to “enjoy whatever you do.” He told the told the physicians of the glorious past of the Indian civilization that gave birth to the most advanced forms of practicing medicine thousands of years ago, and urged them to be knowledgeable to be AYUSH.
To make yoga known around the world, Ramdev said, “We will make yoga popular in the entire world. We will open 10,000 Patanjali Wellness and Health Centers in the world, starting with 1,000 centers in the country in a short time.” he said.
During an inspiring discourse by Brahmakumari Sister Shivani on June 23rd, the Indian spiritual teacher and inspirational speaker and a member of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University challenged the physicians to be “healing angels.” In an hour long address, she appealed to the delegates “to work on the inner thing. You can do whatever you want to do, provided you can keep the right state of emotion.”
According to her, “Happiness is only possible when we are able to accept everyone as they are, at every moment, in every situation. That means an end to judging or resisting others, an end to complaining and blaming, an end to criticizing and controlling and an end to competing with anyone. It means the awakening and the acceptance of self-responsibility. It is only when we choose thoughts and feelings aligned with our true nature of purity, peace and love that we shift from asking to sharing; holding on to letting go; expectations to acceptance; past & future to being in the now. We create a life of joy, contentment and bliss, because we have the choice and the power. Happiness is a Decision.”
As physicians, she told the delegates, “you can learn to stay peaceful inside and share that feeling with your patients, staff and everyone you work with, so that they can free themselves from their own anger.  If someone throws something at me, like an insult or an angry comment, I can just let it drop and leave it lying there. By not picking up another person’s anger, I protect myself and at the same time give them the chance to take it back,” she said.  By staying in my own peace and patience and keeping my self-respect, I help others to do the same. By seeing people’s good qualities, I empower both myself and them. This is true generosity.”
She said, “When I create sweetness inside, I can share it with others. For this I need to spend time in silence and really get to know and love my true, spiritual self and connect with the Divine. At the Brahma Kumaris, we use the words, ‘Om shanti’, which mean ‘I am a peaceful soul’, to remind us of who we really are – no matter what is happening around us.  To be peaceful is to be powerful.”
She was part of the Women’s Forum, which has come to be a major attraction among the delegates at the annual conventions, and was led by Dr. Rachana Kulkarni, Dr. Udaya Shivangi, and Dr. Purnima Kothari. Panelists at the Women’s Forum included, Dr. Madhu Aggarwal, Chair, AAPI BOT; Poonam Alaigh, MD – Acting Under Secretary for Health, Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs; Ambassador Mrs. Riva Ganguly Das Consul General, NY; Dr. Jayesh Mehta, Chair of MCI, India; Dr. Ratna Jain; and Neha Kakkar, Bollywood Singer. The distinguished panelists discussed on the challenges for women in the 21st century; do women lack leadership skills? How did each of them rise above and became leaders in their own fields?
During the luncheon, Dr. Prasad Srinivasan, who is currently serving his fourth term as the State Representative in Connecticut and is a candidate aspiring to be the next Governor of the state, in his passionate address, challenged his colleagues in the medical profession to be hardworking, dedicated to public cause, family-oriented and stay focused, which are keys to becoming state and national elected officials. “We have the choice to be at the table or on the table. Given our heritage, we the Indian Americans belong at the table. Get actively involved in the affairs of the local community and that’s the path to larger role in the nation,” he said.
During the evening gala that was attended by over 15,000 delegates, AAPI officers were honored for their dedication and contributions for the mission of AAPI. Speakers at the gala included, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthy, who spoke passionately about the fast growing Indian American community. “The Indian-American community is often hailed as one of the most successful ethnic groups in the United States. According to census data, its members have obtained income and education levels far above the national average. But this socio-economic achievement has not translated into commensurate political clout, as shown, for example, by the community’s lack of success in federal elections.”
Congressman Tom Suozzi spoke about his close association with the Indian American community and praised their contributions in his home state and around the nation.
Ambassador Ravi Ganguly Das Consul General, NY lauded the many initiatives AAPI both in India and the United States, while wishing them a successful convention.  “You have excelled in your fields of medicine, and thus make significant contributions through hard work, commitment and dedication to your profession and the people you are committed to serve,” she said.
The Town Hall Meeting with Congressmen Frank Pallone and Tom Suozzi provided insights into the current Healthcare Bill and how it’s going to be affecting the way healthcare is expected to be delivered in the coming years, if the Bill becomes law. Both the members of the US Congress passionately spoke about the deficiencies in the current Bill in the working, While acknowledging the limitations in Obama Care, they both showed the delegates that how the GOP will affect patients, physicians, hospitals and the entire delivery system. They answered several questions from AAPI delegates on issues that affect physicians.

At the Dinner gala, AAPI Charitable Foundation Fundraising helped raise nearly $175,000 for the various causes around India. Dr. Madhu Aggarwal, who passionately led the fund raising urged the delegates to help AAPI establish at least 1 clinic in every Indian state. The long nite on Friday was filled with spectacular performances by Bollywood singers Neha Kakkar and
Sreeramachandra. For more information on AAPI and the 34th convention, please visit: www.aapiconvention.org

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