“It’s very great joy that I welcome you all who have come to be part of the MINI Convention and the Fall Governing Body Meeting of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin here in Chicago, IL. I appreciate your presence here in spite of the fears of the Covid Pandemic,” Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, President, AAPI, told the AAPI delegates who had come from around the nation on Saturday, September 26th, 2020 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel, in the Windy City.
“Basically organized as the “Volunteers Recognition Ceremony” to honor all those hundreds of volunteers of AAPI, who have worked hard during the year 2019-20, especially during the COVID Pandemic, the Convention has been unique in so many ways,” Dr. Suresh Reddy, Immediate Past President of AAPI and the Chief Organizer of the Convention, said. “A special feature of the Convention has been honoring the hundreds of Volunteers who have dedicated their time, energy and efforts in the past one year for the success the many initiatives under my leadership. All the volunteers have raised the bar of AAPI and we salute your generosity and admire your sacrifices.”
Chief Guest at the Convention, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Honorable Vice President, in his address, virtually, said: “I congratulate the leadership of AAPI and the members for your great contributions to India, your motherland and the United States, your adopted land.” Referring to the Convention, the leader of India said, “This is not just an event but a showcase of a critical health mission that will empower us greatly to tide over the crippling effects of this pandemic.”
“I applaud AAPI for being a dynamic body, spearheading legislative agendas and influencing the advancement of medical care not only in the US but across the globe,” Shri Naidu said. “I am also glad to know that AAPI’s mission for India is to play an important role in making quality healthcare accessible and affordable to all people of India. It is indeed a laudable objective as both accessibility and affordability are the need of the hour, especially in a vast developing country like India with a huge population of middle class and lower middle class,” Shri Naidu said.
India is now facing a huge challenge in the form of rising Antibiotic Resistance. The Vice President of India “urged the AAPI fraternity to share with their Indian counterparts and Indian Medical Association, the invaluable experiences gained by our doctors working abroad, which will help in devising an effective strategy to combat Antibiotic resistance. “I would also urge Indian doctors working abroad to build collaborations in Research and Development to address various health issues, including combating tropical diseases like Tuberculosis and Malaria. Such collaborations will provide a boost to India’s quest to effectively and quickly eradicate these diseases,” India’s Vice President told AAPI leaders.
A dedicated pool of Physicians led by Dr. Meher Medavaram, Convention, Cahir, has been working hard to make the convention a memorable experience for all. “With Corona Virus impacting every aspect of life around the world, posing several challenges in carrying out with numerous plans and programs for AAPI in 2020, Dr. Suresh Reddy, the 36th President of AAPI, has been right on task and has devoted the past one year leading AAPI to stability and greater heights. The deadly pandemic, COVID-19 that has been instrumental in the lockdown of almost all major programs and activities around the world, could not lockdown the creative minds of AAPI leaders,” she said.
A Coffee Table Book, chronicling the history of AAPI was released. “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 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.”
In her farewell message, Dr. Seema Arora, Immediate Past COT Chair, said, “I am honored and humbled to have served our dignified organization working harmoniously together with the Executive Committee throughout this term. We overachieved all missions and goals of our organization in spite of the unprecedented pandemic, which actually brought us together with fresh ideas and creativity, helping to enhance the image of AAPI around the world.”
“Taking the lockdown and the social distancing as a challenge, the organizing committee of the AAPI Mini Convention has put together a unique Convention with Physical Distancing; Universal Masking; and Total Outdoor Setting,” said Dr. Sajani Shah, Chairwoman of AAPI Board of Trustees. Strict Covid precautions as per CDC, state and federal regulations was observed throughout the convention, ensuring the safety and well-being of every participating delegate, she added.
Other main Guests at the Mini Convention included, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, Consulate General of India in Chicago, Honorable Amit Kumar and Dr. Srinath Reddy, President of Public Health Foundation of India.
Describing Indian American Physicians as the “Best of America,” Raja Krishnamoorthi praised them for their dedication and skills. “We are proud of your achievements,” he told AAPI members. Given that a physician of Indian origin sees every 7th patient in this country and every 5th patient in rural and inner cities across the nation, the reach and influence of AAPI members’ contributions go well beyond the Convention, he said, while urging everyone to participate actively during the General Election on November 3rd.
Ambassador Amit Kumar acknowledged with gratitude the contributions of Indian American Physicians, especially during the pandemic. He referred to AAPI members writing over 1,000 prescriptions to the stranded visitors and students from India during the Covid pandemic. Ambassador Kumar thanked AAPI for its numerous initiatives to benefit people in India thorugh AAPI’s collaborative efforts with Apollo Hospital and Tata Trust in India.
Under the leadership of Dr. Vemuri S. Murthy, Chair of AAPI Webinar CME Committee, during the CMEs, eminent and world renowned experts in their respective areas of expertise shared their knowledge and wisdom, enlightening the delegates with new advances in their field of practice.
Physician Wellness: Stress and Burnout was the topic addressed by Dr. Lucky Jain, Professor and Chair at Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics& Chief Academic Officer, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta; and, Dr. Rohit Kumar Vasa, an Attending Neonatologist at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago, Chair of Pediatrics and Neonatology Site Leader, Mercy Hospital and Medical Center, Chicago.
CME on “A Global Health Topic: Learnings for India’s Health System” featured Dr. K. Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India and was moderated by Dr. Navin C. Nanda, Distinguished Professor of Medicine & Cardiovascular Disease at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL; and, Dr. T.S. Ravi Kumar, President, AIIMS, Mangalagiri, AP, India and a Member of WHO Global Patient Safety Experts Curriculum Committee.
The session on Surgical Management of Intracerebral Hemorrhage was led by Dr. Joseph C. Serrone, Assistant Professor, Neurosurgery and Radiology at Loyola University Medical Center & Neurosurgeon, Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Administration Hospital in Maywood, Illinois; and, Dr. Suresh Reddy, Associate Professor of Radiology at Loyola University Medical Center & Chief of Radiology, Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Administration Hospital in Maywood, Illinois.
“The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin Mini Convention offered an exciting venue to interact with leading physicians, health professionals, academicians, and scientists of Indian origin,” Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, President-Elect of AAPI, said. “The General Body Meeting and the Convention had participants discuss and plan activities and program priorities for the current year and beyond,” she added.
“The Mini Convention provided a forum for AAPI members to network, share knowledge and thoughts, and thus, enrich one another, and rededicate ourselves for the health and wellbeing of the people in the US and back home in India,” Dr. Ravi Kolli, Vice President of AAPI, said,
Dr. Amit Chakrabarty, Secretary of AAPI said. “The Mehfil/AAPI Talent Show provided a perfect setting for the AAPI delegates to display their talents. The Convention also featured and honored the “Best Mask; Best Obesity; and, Best Monument Picture.”
“The convention offered a variety of ways to reach physicians and their families. It provided access to AAPI members who attended in person and virtually, regarding new products and services,” Dr. Satish Kathula, Treasurer of AAPI, said.
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 and the world. Known to be a leading ethnic medical organization that represents nearly 100,000 physicians and fellows 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, AAPI members are proud to contribute to the wellbeing of their motherland India, and their adopted land, the United States.
In his Message, calling for Unity, Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda said: “When we come together for AAPI events we meet as friends. We interact with one another with respect, acknowledging the unique qualities and background, each one comes from. We respect their languages, religions, regional backgrounds and work together for what AAPI stands for. We may have differences of opinions; differences of approaches to various issues; our political and cultural affinities are unique. We acknowledge and accord that each of us will work together for the common good of the people we are called to serve and to realize the vision and mission of AAPI,” the President of AAPI added. For more details, and sponsorship opportunities, please visit: www.aapiusa.org