(Chicago, IL: August 1st, 2015) A new Executive Committee led by Dr. Seema Jain as President, assumed charge of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) during the 33rd annual convention in Orlando, FL on Saturday, June 20th, 2015. In her inaugural address, Dr. Jain, who rose through the ranks of AAPI after being a member of AAPI and in almost every body of AAPI in the past 15 years, stated that she believes that “Now, it’s time for us to mainstream AAPI. From being an ethnic organization, we need to be a mainstream organization that is committed to the cause of ethnic Indian American physicians and many noble causes that we are committed for.”
Dr. Seema Jain was administered the oath of office by Dr. Jayesh Shah, past President of AAPI in the presence of Dr. Ravi Jahagirdar, immediate past President, as the more than 2,500 delegates cheered loudly, greeting the new President of AAPI, the largest ethnic medical association in the United States. Along with Dr. Jain, Dr. Ajay Lodha, President-Elect, Dr. Gautam Samadder, Vice President, Dr. Naresh Parikh, Secretary, and Dr. Suresh Reddy, Treasurer of AAPI assumed charge in the presence of leading luminaries from across the nation. Dr. Aravind Pillai was administered the oath of office as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, AAPI by the out-going chairman, Dr. Ajeet Singhvi. Dr. Rupak D. Parikh will serve as the President of the YPS while Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali will be the President of MSRF for the 2015-2016.
With over two decades of excellence and dedicated service to the cause of physicians of India origin in the United States, Dr. Seema Jain, brings a wealth of experience and vision clubbed with infectious zeal and unwavering integrity and commitment. A woman leader in a predominantly men’s club, Dr. Jain’s motivation for joining American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) in 1987 was that “AAPI needed young charismatic leaders that had the service and leadership qualities needed to unite and bring Indian physicians to new levels in American society.” In the past 33 years of AAPI’s existence the organization has had only two women physicians leading this largest ethnic organization of physicians in the US, and Dr. Jain is the third woman President in its history.
Dr. Jain believes “bridging the gap between clinical research and medical practice is central to AAPI’s mission, while working towards sustaining & securing financial growth. In addition, growth & empowerment of women leaders will guide AAPI to new heights. As Indian physicians in the United States it is our duty to nurture the present for a prosperous future.” Dr. Jain, a Board Certified Psychiatrist, is confident that the challenges can be met by a strong organization, working closely with American Medical Association and THE Political Health committees on Capitol Hill.
According to Dr. Jain,, as an organization “we need to strive to give importance to ideas and not people. I wish to strive to make AAPI an organization where people feel proud to contribute their time and energy for the greater good of the members and the society.” “I have the confidence,” she says. “I have a solid team to work with. I was raised in a way that I am given the freedom. I really would like to have an open debate on every issue that confronts AAPI. Moving forward, there will be disagreements, but will work our ways together. I believe, I have the ability to change people’s minds. People have seen me, heard me and they have the confidence in me.”
Dr. Jain gives full credit to her family for supporting at every step of the way. “I want to thank my family and my husband, Dr. Sanjay Jain, who has stood behind me solidly at step of my way. I have very good friends in AAPI, who have full confidence in me and I can trust them for guiding me through all stages in leading AAPI.”
Dr. Aravind Pillai, Chair, Board of Trustees, AAPI, has been entrusted with the role after having served AAPI in various capacities. Very unassuming and down-to-earth, Dr. Pillai, says, “I have been impressed by the degree of support I have received from the outstanding leadership. I am grateful for their knowledge and support, which helped my transition from patron member to co-chair of the AAPI convention in 2008 to Board of Trustees member. For the past 20+ years, he has been working with various local and national organizations to help improve the health care system both in the US and India. Dr. Pillai had served as the past President and Convention Chair for the Association of Kerala Medical Graduates (AKMG) in 2006. In 2008, I co-founded the Central Florida Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (CAPI), and has been the Chair of the Awards Committee and convener of the most successful fund raising Shreya Ghoshal show.
“With active participation from regional directors and chapter presidents, I would also like to establish an AAPI Yoga clinic,” Dr. Pillai says. “The clinic will serve as a treatment center for chronic back pain, migraines, breathing problems and generalized anxiety/depression. Once established, we hope to get as many AAPI physicians as possible to participate in the clinics, so that we can assist undeserved children and adults. I think the AAPI Yoga clinics can become an integral part of the preventative health initiative in the United States.”
In the coming year, as Chairman, Dr. Pillai wants to “discharge my duties without bias or prejudice. I hope that AAPI President Dr. Seema Jain, entire executive committee and I will continue to work together to improve AAPI’s image in USA and India. We will continue to provide active guidance to new immigrant physicians from India and support them as they go through the residency process. We will help local chapters to create endowment funds to distribute scholarships to deserving students. I would also like to start a country-wide AAPI awareness campaign. In order to continue to grow and flourish, it is important that we support our Young Physicians Section in any way possible,” DR. Pillai adds.
Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali , the President of MSRF, recently graduated from his Dermatology residency at Mount Sinai/ St. Luke’s-Roosevelt hospitals. During his training, Dr. Bhanusali published numerous research studies and has presented worldwide. Recently, Dr. Bhanusali spent time working at the ABC News medical unit in New York City, served as an advisor at Doximity, and is the CEO of Health Digital, a rapidly growing digital health startup based out of NYC and Tampa, Florida.
He recalls, when he was younger, “I fondly remember heading to AAPI meetings with my family and seeing the deep relationships forged each year. The sense of pride and camaraderie was distinct, it was as if we were all a large family. Whether on capital hill or in your local hospital, I will work tirelessly to further enhance the reputation of our organization and bring it to new and exciting heights.”
His vision for AAPI is bring AAPI to the forefront of the medical community. “Utilizing our strong leadership and incredible membership, we will be building a strong mentorship platform to help the youth of our organization. We owe it to our future generations to create an environment that enables success moving forward,” he says.
As the President of the YPS for 2015-2016, Dr. Rupak D. Parikh plans to implement a myriad of initiatives on behalf of AAPI’s Young Physicians. His focus will be providing meaningful leadership development opportunities, along with connecting the multiple generations of Indian Physicians throughout the country in both networking and mentorship capacities. He firmly believes that the YPS will directly impact the future of healthcare on a national level.
It is his goal to create a platform through AAPI to advance young physicians, accelerate their achievement, and champion efforts which positively progress medicine. Dr. Parikh earned a position at an acclaimed Interventional Pain and Musculoskeletal Fellowship Program. His vision to create a superior model of sub-acute care propelled him to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors in lieu of the fellowship. In 2010,
Dr. Parikh founded (ARC) Advanced Rehabilitation Care. Combining his business background in strategy and marketing with a core philosophy rooted in patient-centric post-acute care, he successfully developed an innovative treatment model; this specialized sub-acute program helped improve patient outcomes while simultaneously significantly reducing preventable re-hospitalization rates. Rupak currently spearheads the regional evolution and national expansion of ARC serving as its Executive Director.
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.
AAPI members represent a variety of important medical specialties. Many of the physicians who represent AAPI have excelled in different specialties and subspecialties and occupy high positions as faculty members of medical schools, heads of departments, and executives of hospital staff. AAPI physicians who are leaders in their fields and play an integral part in the decision-making process regarding new products and service.
Dr. Jain calls upon 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. We as physicians make significant contributions for the betterment of people’s lives. As members we can make these contributions through the 4 E’s: Excellence of Education, Empowerment, Enlightenment, and Evolution. Today I ask you to set aside your differences, and join me in this noble journey to make our mission possible! We make history – starting today!”