AAPI’s 41st Annual Convention in Philadelphia with Focus on “True and Total Health is the Wellbeing of Mind, Body, and Spirit” Concludes

The 41st annual American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) Convention and Scientific Sessions with the major theme “True and Total Health is the Wellbeing of Mind, Body, and Spirit” concluded at the iconic Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia, PA with the new leadership of AAPI assuming charge under the leadership of Dr. Anjana Samadder on July8th, 2023.

“I am committed to your well-being and dedicated to advancing AAPI’s mission for a brighter future,” Dr. Anjana Samadder, the new President of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) declared during her Presidential Inaugural address in Philadelphia, PA.

Along with Dr. Anjana Samadder, Dr. Satheesh Kathula assumed charge as the President-Elect; Dr. Amit Chakrabarthy as the Vice President; Dr. Sumul Raval as the Secretary; Dr. Sreeni Gangasani as the Treasurer; and Dr. Lokesh Edara as the Chair of the Board of Trustees.

A Gastroenterology Specialist in Columbus, OH, Dr. Anjana Samadder is the spouse of AAPI’s past President, Dr. Gautam Samadder. Dr. Anjana Samadder is affiliated with Mount Carmel West and Mount Carmel East and is a winner of the Gastrointestinal Surgery Excellence Award.

The Convention was officially inaugurated with the chanting of the Sanskrit Mantras, seeking blessings from above, Ribbon cutting and lighting of the traditional Lamp by AAPI leaders and distinguished guests on July 7th, 2023 in Philadelphia, the birthplace of US Independence.

Addressing the over 1,000 delegates from around the nation, Dr. Ravi Kolli, Immediate past President of AAPI spoke about the origins of AAOI 41 years ago and how the physicians of Indian origin have been sought after for their excellence in Medicine. “I applaud you and thank you for your support all through the year. And your presence here with your blessing and your goodwill and warm wishes for the successful 41st Ave annual convention here in our brother City of Brotherly Love Philadelphia,” Dr. Kolli said.

“AAPI has a long and illustrious history of 41 years of existence.  Started by a few physicians of Indian origin as they started their journey to this land of opportunities, today, they have succeeded beyond anybody’s expectations. And they have been contributing to our communities and our societies in every possible way. And they’re the most respected physicians of any group that we can call. So, we all should be proud of our heritage and our dedication to our patient care and our successful transition from one to another world and being a role model and almost model citizens in the United States,” Dr. Kolli added.

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In his farewell address, Dr. V. Ranga, immediate past Chair of the BOT, “AAPI is stronger and in safer hands. AAPI is an umbrella organization that has nearly 250 local chapters, specialty societies and alumni organizations. For over 40 years, Indian physicians have made significant contributions to health care in this country, not only practicing in inner cities, rural areas and peripheral communities but also at the top medical schools and other academic centers.”

In his keynote address, Shri Venkaiah Naidu, former Vice President of India stressed the importance of giving back to one’s Motherland, Janmabhoomi, one’s native place as way of returning the many blessings one has received.  He highlighted the importance of taking care one’s Mother, Janmabhoomi and Motherland. Praising the many initiatives of AAPI, Shri Naidu said, “AAPI’s programs are more centered around addressing the issues related to the stigma of mental illness and the importance of the practices such as meditation, and yoga, which is a connectivity between the body and the mind.”

The unique event served as a platform for the AAPI members to learn and practice the importance of meditation in resolving one’s pressing health concerns and how Ayurveda, Yoga, and Meditations, the ancient traditions of India offer solutions to the most pressing health problems of the world.

“The secret of meditation is in letting go,” Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar told the gathering, which included AAPI members and their families. “Stress arises when we have too much to do, and not enough energy or time to do it. We can neither change time nor the number of things we need to do. So, the only option is to increase energy levels. And this can be accomplished through yoga, breathing techniques and meditation,” Sri Sri told the delegates. “A happy mind lets you stay calm; make better decisions and improve the overall quality of life,” he told the Doctors, acknowledging that they lead a stressful life. “You live on average ten years less than the patients you treat, as a consequence of the stressful life you lead,” he told them.

In his address, Rep. Shri Thanedar, the 5th member to join the Samosa Caucus in the US House praised the great contributions of the physicians who worked so hard, especially during the Covid, saving millions of lives.” Congressman Thanedar, who has been instrumental in starting the Hindu Caucus in the US House with the intention of eradicating discrimination on the basis of religion or any other means, wowed to “fight for the transformation of the broken immigration system in the US.”

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Mr. Vivek Ramaswamy in his address passionately spoke about the reasons for his Presidential ambitions. Leaving his successful business, the young and talented Ramaswamy said, “I stepped down from my job as a biotech CEO to focus on a different kinds of cancer. Not a biological cancer, but a cultural cancer that threatened to kill that dream that Martin Luther King had 60 years ago, and that tried to kill the dream that allowed me to achieve everything I had in my life You do get ahead in this country, not on the color of your skin, but on the content of your character and your contributions. A dream that says that any child no matter who they are, where their parents came from, or how long their last name is that we still achieve what we want in this country through our own hard work, our own commitment, our own dedication, that’s the American dream.”

Dr. Willie Underwood, American Medical Association Chair-Elect praised the contributions of Indian American physicians. He said, “You have a lot to celebrate today, not just the past 41 years, but all the work that you do everyday to improve the health outcomes of all Americans. While we have differences and divisions throughout this country,  one thing we do share is our desire to be physicians that improve health and healthcare outcomes. I know that together, we can lead this nation forward since we have more in common than differences, with one mission and one goal and that is to improve the health and the health care of this nation.”

Dr. Prem Reddy was honored with the Special Presidential Appreciation and Achievement Award for his Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Philanthropy. Dr. Ranga Reddy, past AAPI President was conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Manmeet Ahluwalia was the recipient of the AAPI 2023 Most Distinguished Physician Award; AAPI’s 2023 Most Distinguished Service Award was bestowed on Dr. Udaya Shivangi; Dr. Soumya Reddy Neravetla was the recipient of the AAPI’s 2023 Most Distinguished YPS Award; and, AAPI’s 2023 Most Distinguished MSRF Award was given to Mehul Mehra; Mary Shaya, President of J & B Medical  was honored with the prestigious AAPI Presidential Humanitarian Award 2023; and, Stephen Shaya, M.D., Managing Director of Akkad Holdings and Executive Servant Leader at J & B Medical was bestowed with the prestigious AAPI Presidential Healthcare Leadership Award 2023.

The convention included CMEs with accredited courses as well as a variety of panel discussions, presentations and a research and poster competition. There were forums for AAPI Young Physicians Group (AAPI YPS) and for AAPI MSRF for medical students, residents and fellows. A nearly sold out Exhibitor Hall included medical and pharmaceutical products, devices and equipment, insurance and tourism, art, and medical and dental practice-related services.

Led by Dr. Sreeni Gangasani, AAPI CME Chair and Dr. Brahma Sharma, AAPI Convention CME Chair, the CME program provided the highest-level scientific sessions for AAPI delegates. In addition, there was the popular parallel track for Lifestyle Medicine, with focus on Mind- Body side, making it a wholesome CME session, giving everyone something that they loved.

The Women’s Forum led by Dr. Udaya Shivangi had an esteemed panel of successful women leaders. The CEO Forum was moderated by Dr. Achintya Moulick and had eminent leaders from the healthcare and technological industries, who shared their insights on saving healthcare cost, the usefulness and limitations in using AI in the healthcare sector and the need for leadership of Indian Americans in larger political world to address the major concerns of the larger population.

Dr. Raghu Lolabhattu, Chair and CEO of the Convention praised the wonderful team who have been planning for months and organizing the event to make the 2023 annual convention a memorable experience. “I’m glad to be serving as the convention chair. We have been working hard to put together an attractive program for our annual get together, educational activity and family enjoyment. We are fortunate to have a dedicated team of convention committee members helping us to make this event truly historic.”

During the convention held from July 6th to 9th, attendees from across the nation got to engage with an impressive lineup of notable speakers and cutting edge medical and scientific information blended within a rich cultural backdrop of authentic Indian cuisine, fashion, yoga and entertainment from top Indian performers. The event also included AAPI’s Got Talent, organized by the AAPI physicians, was an opportunity for the delegates at the convention to participate and compete in a talent show led by Dr. Amit Chakrabarty and Dr. Seema Arora.

The young and rising artists from the Arya School of Dance performed brilliantly showcasing the history of Bollywood films from the 1960s through the present. The grand finale was the performance by the internationally famed artist, Milka Singh. The long day’s events came to a close with Mehfil & Khaas.

One in seven patient encounters in the United States is with a physician of Indian origin. The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) is the largest ethnic medical organization in the United States, representing over 100,000 physicians of Indian Origin in the United States. “Welcome to you all to the  42nd Annual Mega Convention, the largest ever in the history of AAPI, to be held at the heart of New York City from July 18-22nd, 2023,” said Dr. Anjana Samader,  the new President of AAPI. For more information on AAPI and its many programs and activities, please visit: www.aapiconvention.org/ www.appiusa.org

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