A Coffee Table Book, chronicling the history of AAPI was released during the MINI Convention and the Fall Governing Body Meeting of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin on Saturday, September 26th, 2020 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel, Chicago, IL. Arun Kumar, Consul General of India in Chicago, along with Dr. Suresh Reddy, Immediate Past President of AAPI and Dr. Ranga Reddy, Chair, AAPI History Task Force & Past President, 1997-98, who is the author of the book, released the book in the presence of AAPI delegates from around the nation.
“This coffee table book is dedicated to all the “First Ladies” who have sacrificed innumerable hours of their family time for the sake of AAPI,” Dr. Suresh Reddy, while releasing the Book, said. “My sincere gratitude and appreciation to all of the leaders of AAPI, and in particular to Dr. Ranga Reddy for being the “Shrusti-Kartha” of this book. He chronicled the history of AAPI. Spending thousands of hours in the past 25 years, making sure this book saw the light of the day. He wrote the biographic sketches of each past President with inputs from most of them. It is an honor and privilege for me to be included in this club of the Past Presidents of AAPI.”
Dr. Ranga Reddy, who was honored during the Convention, in his remarks, stated, “The journey to the land of opportunities by Physicians of Indian Origin began in the early 1960s and the 1970s and began establishing themselves across the United States. It was tough and challenging for the pioneers to establish practice and find suitable job opportunities in the US. Faced with instances of overt as well as subtle discrimination in Residency recruitment and License Reciprocity, physicians of Indian Origin organized themselves in several states to fight the unfair treatment.”
“It was a passion for history” that made this historic moment a reality, said Dr. Ranga Reddy, Medical Graduate of Kurnool Medical College, where he had obtained MBBS and M.S Degrees. Dr. Ranga Reddy had his Training in Anesthesiology at SUNY in New York. Starting his career at St. Louis University School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, he later on, moved to Springfield, Illinois to join practice in Memorial Medical Centre, where he served as the Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology.
Dr. Ranga Reddy served AAPI in various capacities including as its President and as a member of the Board of Trustees. During his Presidency “One Member One Vote” policy was introduced for electing the leaders making the process truly democratic.
During his Presidency, in order to comply with AAPI’s 501 (3) C status, AAPI’s Political Action Committee was replaced with Legislative Affairs Committee. He led efforts to create AAPI’s Patron Trustee Membership to support AAPI Charitable Foundation and raised over $600,000 during his Presidency. The Annual Convention held in Dallas, highlighted participation of the second-generation physicians into AAPI for the first time.
In India, Dr. Ranga Reddy started an AAPI Charitable Clinic in a remote village called Ellayapalle to provide medical services to the indigenous people. He promoted “Adopt the Primary Health Care Center of Your Native Place” in Andhra Pradesh. He co-sponsored a water project with Nandi Foundation to supply clean water to the villagers.
Dr. Ranga Reddy was invited to the White House in 1995 by President Bill Clinton on behalf of AAPI Leadership. He is the recipient of the AAPI Distinguished Service Award, Distinguished Public Service Award by American Telugu Association and Leadership Award by the Association of International College of Physicians.
Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, current President of AAPI, while summarizing the history and the growth of AAPI, said, “Over the past 37 years, AAPI has grown and is now the largest ethnic medical society in the United States, representing the interests of over 100,000 Indian American physicians and Fellows. AAPI has come to be recognized as a vibrant, united, transparent, politically engaged organization, ensuring active participation of young physicians, increased membership, enabling that AAPI’s voice is heard in the corridors of power.”