A large four-building hospital being built in the dang District in the Indian state of Gujrat by Dr. Ashok Patel, DMD, a dentist based in Nashua, NH, is being named after Indian-American philanthropist and donor, Dr. Kiran C. Patel.
“After Dr. Kiran Patel’s firm commitment to complete the remaining construction of the building and timely financial help, I have decided to name the facility after Kiranbhai’s approval as: Dr. Kiran C Patel Multi-Specialty Hospital,” said Dr. Ashok Patel. “The facility is just about to be completed…The usual norm in India is to name the facility after a principal donor.”
Dang district is a circular area of less accessible terrain that includes hilly jungles and dense forest wedged between Gujarat and Maharashtra. It has a population of about 4 lakhs including 50,000 school-aged children, with practically no or very limited health care services. We have identified very high incidence of sickle cell anemia, oral cancer, and severe eye related problems. The lack of coordinated healthcare has resulted in a high rate of infant deaths and poor health of pregnant women.
Dr. Kiran Patel, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is a Zambia-born India-educated cardiologist, who has initiated and funded several noble projects in India, the US and Africa.
Dr. Ashok Patel said that there is another significant reason of naming the facility besides financial help and that is the role NSU has played in taking the project to newer heights.
Back in December 2014, first medical team from NSU came to Ahwa in the Dang district of Gujrat for a week long medical camp and noticed a facility being built keeping in mind medical and dental norms of USA. NSU has since then committed to send a team every year in December. NSU medical school is now renamed after Dr. Kiran Patel’s unprecedented financial gift, as Nova Southeastern University Dr. Kiran C Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine.
“It makes perfect sense to me to name the facility in Dang, India, after his name. It is very likely that the hospital in Dang will become a rotation site for interns and residents and researchers from NSU KCP COM,” said Dr. Patel. “Keeping in mind there are a large number of medical students, interns, residents, and faculty members in many University Medical schools of USA, there is always going to be sustained interest in participating in the welfare of poor tribal people using the world class facility in Dang. Not only it is a great learning experience but a great gratifying one and an eye-opening cultural experience also.”
Dr. Ashok Patel, founder of Nashua, NH-based Nashua Implant Reconstruction Center, started the project after one of his patients, Richard Condorell, had died and left a will, giving away his entire savings of $100,000 to Dr. Patel.
The hospital, is nearly complete and is scheduled open to the public in 2019. Located in Ahwa in the Dang district, the hospital aims to benefit thousands of underprivileged and poor people in the area.
Dr. Ashok Patel said that Dr. Kiran Patel committed the financial assistance that was needed to complete the remaining construction of all four buildings of the complex. “Accurate estimates were obtained from the Architect, engineer, contractors and dealers and were verified by a close friend in India. A time line to complete the remaining construction and accurate cost was presented to Kiranbhai. He has donated every month from February, 2018 to October, 2018, the required amount needed to take construction a step further,” said Dr. Ashok Patel. “Till to date his individual contribution for the project is a huge amount of $ 546,000. Without Kiranbhai’s timely generous help, it would have been very difficult to expedite remaining construction.”
He said the project is developed in a way to change the entire healthcare scenario of the impoverished and neglected tribal communities of Dang district and surrounding areas. The fully functional clinic and several camps along with village outreach programs have already started show tremendous amount of difference.
“It is our hope that the government of India will consider this as a model project and implement in other needy tribal areas of the country. The project certainly has the merit and support from USA as well as India to be considered as a national mandate for the benefit of millions of poor tribal people of India,” said Dr. Ashok Patel. “Our emphasis is on prevention and community based programs. The functional clinic next to the building, several medical camps, village outreach programs and school health program for 53,000 school children of Dang district have already started showing very positive and promising changes.”
It is our desire to provide very well coordinated and documented preventive, corrective, and long term healthcare to 50,000 school going children and other needy adults. The task is vast, demanding, and expensive, but sustainable through compensation from various government initiatives and programs for the betterment of the tribal population, as well as private donations from industrialists in India and from healthcare professionals in India and the USA alike.
The project will provide a tremendous opportunity to young, aspiring American students entering the healthcare field to do community work, retiring physicians/dentists to do unlimited amount of research activity, and active physicians and AAPI members to provide their services and expertise when visiting India. Dang is a very scenic region with unparalleled natural beauty. The only hill station of Gujarat is Saputara, which is some 35 kms from the project site and located at the southern tip of Dang.
The project has some philanthropic value as one of the goals is to use the facility to train 25-30 high school graduated tribal girls as Dental Assistants, Nursing Aides, X-ray Technicians, etc. and to find them employment opportunities at both the facility and other locations. There is a severe shortage of well trained auxiliary staff in hospitals, private clinics, and government establishments in deep tribal areas. Our efforts can bridge a gap between providing a talented tribal girl (who has otherwise no future) proper training and helping our healthcare friends/colleagues with a decent well trained auxiliary person. It may help the government reduce the financial burden and uplift the tribal area with renewed prospects of opportunities.