Dr. Sajani Shah, A Second Generation Physician Of Indian Origin Becomes Chair Of BOT, AAPI

(Chicago, IL – August 22, 2020) “We are extremely happy that Dr. Sajani Shah, a second generation physician of Indian Origin, and the first ever from the Young Physicians Section, has become the Chair of BOT, AAPI for the year 2020-21,” Dr. Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, President of AAPI announced here. “I am so proud that this historic milestone by AAPI has occurred during my Presidency.”

Dr. Sajani Shah assumed charge as the Chair of Board of Trustees, AAPI during the first ever Virtual Summit on July 12th. Also, Dr. Ami Baxi was sworn as the President of YPS and Dr. Kinjal Solanki as the AAPI MSRF President. In her farewell message, Dr. Seema Arora, outgoing BOT Chair, said, “I congratulate and wish the very best to three incoming Trustees – Dr. Jagdish Gupta, Dr. Raghu Lolabhattu and Dr. V. Ranga, the incoming President, Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda and the incoming BOT Chair, Dr. Sajani Shah and entire AAPI leadership & membership to take AAPI to further heights in the future.”

Dr. Shah is a general surgeon from Boston, MA who specializes in minimally invasive Bariatric Surgery. She earned her executive MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Currently, she is serving as the Chief of Minimally Invasive Bariatric/Surgery and is the Medical Director of Weight and Wellness, Obesity Treatment Program in New England. Dr. Shah is an Associate Professor of Surgery at Tufts University School of Medicine. As the Board Chair, Dr. Shah “will focus on what is best for the AAPI organization by facilitating board leadership and governance by setting the direction and priorities of the board for the upcoming year.”

“An organization can only survive to its fullest potential when it is financially independent,” says Dr. Shah, who lives in Boston with her family and enjoys traveling and visiting her family in New York. “The trustee account from which we have been drawing each past year will deplete someday, therefore, it’s vital that we work on strategies to help strengthen the financial well-being of AAPI.” Dr. Shah promises to focus on academic excellence, without compromising AAPI’s financial well-being or the fact that AAPI is an organization of friends and families.” Dr. Shah wants to “work with her board to help engage the younger generation of physicians to the organization and overall increase in AAPI membership.”

Dr. Sajani Shah, a past president of IMANE, a subchapter of AAPI, has been serving as a member of BOT, AAPI since 2018 and involved in AAPI since the 2007 in several capacities including regional director, co-chair of the academic committee and chair of the women’s forum, “hopes to continue molding the organization’s culture, mission and work ethics.” Working in coordination with She is excited for a wonderful slate of board members and looks forward to actively engaging the board members, building upon each member’s individual strengths to accomplish great things this year.” Dr. Shah is confident that “working collaboratively under the guidance of the AAPI president and his executive team, AAPI will be lifted to new heights. As a second generation Indian and youngest to serve as the Chair of the Board of Trustees, I am truly humbled, honored and excited to start my tenure as the new BOT Chair.”

Dr. Ami Baxi, AAPI YPS President, is a board certified psychiatrist, based in New York City. During Residency, she had served as Chief Resident in her final year, Dr. Baxi has advanced up the chain of hospital administration at Lenox Hill Hospital, a prestigious Upper East Side hospital, part of the Northwell health system.  After serving as Director of Inpatient Psychiatry for five years, Dr. Baxi is now Director of Ambulatory Services within the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Baxi’s keen interest in the training and education of future doctors resulted in an appointment as the Director of Medical Student Education, overseeing medical students and residents from Downstate Medical College, Westchester Medical Center, New York Medical College, and Staten Island University Hospital. Dr. Baxi’s work has not gone unnoticed by her trainees as they have often appointed her Faculty of the Year. Finally, Dr. Baxi also most recently graduated from Northwell’s esteemed Physician Leadership Development Program.

 Dr. Baxi has been familiar with AAPI, growing up in a family of physicians and as her own career developed, she naturally took a leadership role as an active member of the Young Physicians Section.  In her first year on the YPS Executive Committee, she served as the convention chair of their Marquee event, the Winter Medical Conference in Las Vegas,  In subsequent years, she served as Treasurer, then President-Elect prior to now being President of YPS.   

In her new role, Dr. Baxi wants to “work towards increasing AAPI membership to sustain the future of the national organization while continuing to enhance value to the YPS constituents, and growing the mentorship program so that members may benefit from each other’s experiences and accomplishments.” While recognizing the challenges of unprecedented times, Dr. Baxi is aware that “flexibility is of utmost importance to successfully implement the goals of our organization.  We plan to leverage our networks and work with national AAPI to organize webinars with well-credentialed industry experts to assure the community and physicians from all over the country benefit from the wealth of information that AAPI has to offer.”  In this way, Dr. Baxi hopes to increase YPS’s visibility and value throughout the nation.  

“Working in close coordination with AAPI leadership, YPS will remain actively engaged with our contemporaries in India via the Global Health Summit to ensure AAPI’s presence on a global stage while also giving back to our motherland,” says the young physician endowed with a vision to serve India.  “We will continue to be a voice for young physicians at next year’s annual convention in Orlando, Florida.  And, of course, our highly acclaimed 8th Annual Winter Medical Conference will be second to none as we bring our members the best and most current content from the country’s most renowned medical professionals.  We are confident these will all be events not to be missed.”

Dr. Kinjal Solanki, AAPI MSRF President is an Infectious Disease Fellow in New Jersey. “I am honored to take over the role as the president for the AAPI medical students, residents, and fellows. As a first-generation Indian-American and an international medical graduate, I truly believe my multicultural experiences have humbled me, cultivated my cultural awareness, and enabled me to relate to others on both personal and professional levels.”  Giving credit to her Indian heritage in shaping who she is today, Dr. Solanki says, “I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to our Indian-American community through my involvement in AAPI these past four years. This upcoming year, I am excited to help develop AAPI as an organization, further advance its mission, and continue to learn from and work alongside all of the AAPI members.”

In her new role as the MSRF President for the year 2020-2021, Dr. Solanki is looking forward “to working with the YPS team and the AAPI Executive Committee on various projects that will interest and benefit medical students, residents, and my co-fellows. This year presents with both academic as well as professional and personal challenges as the world continues to tackle the COVID-19 global pandemic. We plan to hold a series of virtual seminars to educate, discuss, and navigate these challenges. My main goal for this year is to increase awareness and interest in AAPI via the easily accessible virtual platform. I look forward to a great and productive year ahead.”

“We are so excited that all the three leaders Indian American women leaders, who are passionate about AAPI and its noble mission to be the voice of the over 100,000 Physicians of Indian Origin in the United States,” said Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, another woman leader of AAPI, who will become the president of AAPI in 2021.  For more information about AAPI and the many initiatives of AAPI, please visit www.appiusa.org

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