AAPI-GAPI Diwali Banquet & Governing Body Meeting In Atlanta Raises Funds For Suicide Prevention

Over 250 delegates from around the nation attended the annual Governing Body Meeting and Diwali- Dussehra Celebrations organized jointly by the national American Association Of Physicians Of Indian Origin (AAPI) and the Georgia Association Of Physicians Of Indian Origin Chapter from October 7th to 9th, 2022 at the Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway Hotel in Atlanta, GA.

India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, Shree V. Muraleedharan and the  Consul General of India in Atlanta, Dr. Swati Kulkarni were the chief guests at the Gala, which began with the lighting of the traditional lamp, symbolizing the celebration of India’s national festival, Diwali that represents celebrating Light over Darkness.

CME topics encompassing recent advances were well received by the AAPI fraternity. Meticulous planning of the events made the delegates feel that they were attending a national convention with the most delicious food, elegant decorations, unique entertainment, great CME and late nite Mehfil. The Bollywood and Garba Nite by popular artists led by Samir and Dipalee was the icing on the cake.

The gala began with Dr. Uma Johnnalagadda, President of GAPI, Dr. Sreeni Ganagasani, and Dr. Raghu Lolabhattu, welcoming community members, family, friends, colleagues, and sponsors.  “We, the AAPI-GAPI team worked hard to stick to the mission of AAPI, for education and charity to serve humanity. We thank each and every member that attended and supported the event. Our special thanks to all our Sponsors,” Dr. Jonnalagadda said. 

In his presidential address, Dr. Ravi Kolli, president of national AAPI thanked “GAPI leadership Drs. Uma Jonnalagadda, Sreeni Gangasani, Raghu Lolabhattu, Raj Alappan, Tarak Patel, Amol Takalkar, Syamala Erramilli, Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, Brahma, Amol, Chandana, Mukul,  Uday and the rest of the organizing committee for the wonderful & fantastic teamwork for a masterful Governing Body, GALA & Fundraising Campaign.”  While lauding their efforts, Dr. Kolli said, “You certainly raised the bar for the next meeting. We had a productive meeting with thoughtful and helpful discussions from all EC BOT & GB members and senior leaders. As always our speaker Dr. Goyle masterfully managed the meeting.”

September is recognized as “National Suicide Prevention Month.” AAPI Women’s Forum initiated a fundraiser to support Suicide Awareness programs. During and post Covid, physician burnout and the suicide rate among physicians had gone up. Every year about 200 + physicians die by suicide. Suicide has a devastating effect on the lives of family members, friends, co-workers, and society. In 2021, in the US alone, more than 47,000 people lost their lives to suicide, Dr. Udaya Shivangi, Chair of AAPI’s Women’s Forum pointed out. “By learning the signs, starting conversations, understanding barriers, and sharing resources we can all contribute to preventing this loss of precious life.”

The amount, of $15,000 raised during the Gala has been donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Georgia Chapter whose mission is to help save lives and bring hope
to those affected by suicide. A check was presented to the Board Chair for the Georgia chapter of AFSP Cheryl Cloar during the GAPI-AAPI Gala on October 8th. Dr. Shivangi thanked all, especially the Women’s Forum members, Dr. Gita Mehta, Dr. Manju Sachdeva, Dr. Sapna Aggarwal, Dr. Anupama Bhatt, Dr. Sunitha Polepalli, Dr. Hetal Gor, Dr. Shubha Jain, Dr. Uma Jonnalagadda, Dr. Pooja Kinkhabwala, Dr. Malti Mehta, Dr. Ammu Thampi Susheela, Dr. Indira Veerisetty and Advisor, Dr. Anjana Samadder for their hard work. 

While urging the AAPI members and the medical fraternity to use all the resources available to prevent suicide, Dr. Anjana Samadder, President-Elect of AAPI said, “We must become aware of, utilize and help others become aware of and use all the resources available that will help prevent suicide.”

In his address, Dr. Satheesh Kathula, Vice President of AAPI said, “Thank you Drs. Sreeni Gangasani, Raghu Lolabhattu, Uma Jonnalagadda & the entire GAPI Team for a fabulous event. AAPI made the right choice by choosing Atlanta once again for the governing body meeting.”

Dr. Kolli urged AAPI members to come and attend the next edition of the Global Healthcare Summit planned to be held in Vishakapatnam, in Andhra Pradesh from January 6th to 8th, 2023. “I need all of your input and participation to make it a grand success. I know I can count on all of you for that and registration has been open for GHS. Pre-GHS Vietnam. Cambodia and Kaulampur family CME tour spots are filling up fast and will be sold out soon. So I request you all to join our AAPI GHS from January 6-8th 2023 in Visakhapatnam.”

The GHS 2023 will focus on Mental Health, Infant and Maternal Mortality as well as Medical Jeopardy, and Research Poster presentations by medical students, panel discussions by International Medical Education experts and National Medical Council Board officials, Mentoring of Young Professionals, CEO forum on Equity, Ethics and Physician Burnout Issues, Women’s Forum on Gender bias and Leadership, TB Elimination Projects in India, Latest Advances CME, ENLS, Discussions on Research Methodology and Scientific Writing by Academic Experts, Advocacy on Stigma and Suicide Prevention and Chronic Disease Reversal and Prevention, Rural Health Initiatives and Global Health Issues including Climate change and health and many more current topics along with delicious food and enchanting cultural and popular entertainment programs. 

“It will be one-of-a-kind experience at a unique and novel location where you will be guaranteed to have a most memorable experience of a lifetime. Do not miss it. Limited early bird registration is open and filling up fast. We are looking forward to your participation, suggestions, and support,” Dr. Ravi said. For more details, please visit: www.aapiusa.org/ And to register for the GHS 2023, please visit: www.summit.aapiusa.org 

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