AAPI’s Global Healthcare Summit In Manipal Ends, Giving Delegates A Memorable Experience In Scientific Learning And Authentic Karnataka Culture

(Manipal India – Jan. 8th, 2023) The focus of the 17th Annual Global Healthcare Summit by The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) held in Delhi and Manipal’s has been sharing of knowledge and expertise on The Future of Healthcare and Artificial Intelligence, providing hundreds of delegates from abroad and India to interact and learn from one another about the trends in modern technology in healthcare and best practices that can help physicians to provide the best and affordable healthcare to the patients.

The highly acclaimed annual Summit, organized by AAPI in collaboration with AIIMS, Kasturba Medical College in Manipal, the Indian Medical Association, and the Government of the State of Karnataka and the Global Association of Indian Medical Students (GAIMS) was inaugurated with the lighting of the traditional lamp in Manipal, setting the stage for the convergence of profound medical discourse and cultural celebration on January 5th, 2024.

Future of Healthcare and Artificial Intelligence was echoed in every scientific presentation provided by the esteemed speakers from around the world. The multidisciplinary CME conference during the GHS allowed specialists and primary care physicians to interact in an academic forum. World-renowned speakers discussed gaps between current and best practices on a wide-ranging topics during the CME sessions.

“It’s a well-known fact that physicians of Indian origin excel in their respective areas of work and continue to play key roles in patient care, administration, academics and medical research. In order to cater to its diversity of medical specialties, AAPI continues to use a multi-disciplinary conference format. The essence of AAPI is educational,” Dr. Anjana Samadder, president of AAPI, while describing the objectives of CME said. Dr. Samadder expressed AAPI’s commitment to collaborating with prestigious institutes like AIIMS and MAHE.

Dr. Sampat Shivangi, Chair of GHS highlighted the significant Indian involvement in the American health sector and the aim of the global health conference, discussing innovative technologies’ relevance. Stressing the growing focus on AI technology globally, the conference has aimed to explore its possibilities in healthcare, he added.

According to Dr. Shivangi, “The objective of the GHS has translated into numerous Continuing Medical Education (CME) and non-CME seminars by experts in their fields. CMEs during GHS provided comprehensive and current reviews and guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases with the objective of reducing morbidity and mortality and achieve cost effective quality care outcomes. At the end of the GHS, it is expected that attendees have gained an understanding of the causation, diagnosis and the best clinical practices for the management of the diverse groups of diseases.”

AAPI 2024 Collage 7The AAPI Medical Symposium continued its legacy of delivering engaging and informative sessions, bringing together medical professionals and experts to explore various facets of healthcare. On January 5th, CME Sessions in Manipal was Inaugurated by Indian Medical Association National President, Dr. R .V. Ashokan.

The inaugural CME session was led by Dr. Amit Chakrabarty MD, MS (PGI), FRCS (Edin), FICS, Consultant Urologist USA Chairman, Poplar Bluff Urology PC, who presented his insights on: PSA Testing – Quandaries and Conundrums, Dr Tom Devasia’s presentation focused on: Intracoronary imaging in complex coronary interventions: Indian trends with a focus on Manipal, Experience. “SGLT2-I & HFrEF” was the topic presented by Dr. Dyanand Naik MD FACC, Associate Prof. at Columbia University, New York.

Comparison of USA & India Zoonotic Diseases was eloquently presented by Dr. Jois Krishnamurthy DVM, MVSc,MS, M(ASCP), DM – Retired Veterinary Medical Officer & Director – U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington D. C. Dr. Bantwal Suresh Baliga MD, MRCP(UK) Associate, Prof. Mercer School of Medicine, Mercer University, GA USA had his session on Innovative AI management of Diabetes Mellitius. Dr Karthik Udupa’s session was about Principles of Immunotherapy & its application in clinical practice.

Dr. Unnikrishnan opened the 2nd day of the CME with his eloquent presentation on: Role of Artificial Intelligence in achieving sustainable development goals.  Dr. Srinivasan Vijayakumar, Cancer Care Advisors & Consultants LLC University of Mississippi Medical Center, USA presented on Precision population medicine in cancer care: Potential benefits for cancer care in India.

Dr. Yogeesh Kamath’s focus during his session was on AI in the prevention & treatment of arthritis for young and old. Dr. Sanjay Agarwal MD Pulmonary & Critical Care did his presentation on Advanced Technology and AI focused Care in OBA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) & Lung Cancer. A session on Management of Snake Bite by Dr. Chakrapan provided practical solutions to a common problem faced by many.

Insights into Impact of Climate Change on Health Systems was offered by Dr. Vikas Kapil, Chief Medical Officer, Associate Director of Science, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Georgia, USA.

Dr. Krishan Kumar MD FAAP FACEP FAEMS, Prof. Pediatrics & Emergency Medicine, NY College New York, USA educated the delegates on: Emergency Medicine and updates – Weapons of Mass Destruction Relevant to the Current World Order. The final session of GHS 20024 was by Dr. Vani Vijaykumar MD who had her presentation focused on: Transthyretin Cardiac Amyloidosis (ATTR-CA) and Alzheimer Disease & Beyond oncology into Autoimmune Diseases- FDG PETCT role in Systemic Vasculitidis.

AAPI 2024 Collage 9The Lifetime Achievement Award was conferred upon Dr. Ramdas Pai, Chancellor of Manipal Education Institute (MAHE). Dr. Ranjan Pai and Mrs. Vasanthi Pai accepted the honor on his behalf, and lauded Dr. Ramdas Pai’s achievements and invited all attending doctors to MAHE. Prominent personalities present at the event included Manipal Education and Medical Group (MEMG) Dr. Ranjan Pai, Dr. H S Ballal Pro Chancellor, MAHE, and Lt Gen (Dr) M D Venkatesh, Chair, GHS, India.

Dr. Arathi Krishna, Deputy Chairman, NRI Forum, Government of Karnataka, while inaugurating the program expressed her happiness about the health summit being organized in Karnataka. She affirmed the government’s commitment to supporting technological and medical sector development.

On January 4th, entertainment by Manipal Cultural Committee was breathtaking, showcasing the rich classical and folk traditions of southern India. This was followed by Live Music & Entertainment, presented by US delegate Dr. Amit Chakrabarty, Vice President of AAPI.

Saturday, January 5, 2024 began with a visit to Udupi Sri Krishna Temple, seeking blessings on all by the delegates. A visit to the Hastha Shilpa Heritage Village Museum Tour was a unique experience appreciated by all participants. Tour of Manipal University provided participants to see and experience the campus, that stands among the best in the world.

Kavyabhinaya performance om January 5th by Manasi Sudhir, led by Kantara, a fame actress & Team was mesmerizing.  The delegates enjoyed cultural programs featuring a captivating Kavybhinaya performance by Manasi Sudhir and team, renowned for their contributions to the show “Kantara.” The night ended with a Musical Extravaganza by the highly acclaimed Anirudh Shastry. The grand finale on Saturday night was by Dr. Mohan Alva, the Cultural Ambassador of India, a unique NUDISIRI Cultural Gala Show, cherished by one and all.

Authentic and delicious Mangalore dishes served on traditional banana leaf was another memorable experience for all delegates during GHS in Manipal. Welcome Dinner by Manipal (MAHE) was served on January 4th.

AAPI 2024 Collage 10The popular CEO Forum had leaders in both the corporate and healthcare field, including, Ganesh Nayak, Executive Director, Zydus Lifesciences Ltd., Jagadish Tande, Prof. Madhav Das Nalapat, Dr. Vijay Gopal, Cardiologist, and Mr. Jagadish K M, CEO of KMF. The CEO Forum chaired by Dr. Sampat Shivangi, Chair of GHS 2024. The CEO Forum was moderated by Dr. Subra Bhat, who was a lead organizer og GHE Manipal along with his wife, Dr. Anu Bhat.

The much-anticipated Women’s Forum had eminent successful women leaders, including: Dr. Anjana Samadder, President of AAPI;  Dr. Arathi Krishna, Deputy Chairperson, NRI Forum of Karnataka, Guest of Honor; Smt. Lakshmi R. Hebbalkar, Princess of Travancore Lakshmi Bayi Nalapat; and Dr. Annapurna Bhat. Co-Chair of Women’s Forum. The Forum was eloquently moderated by Dr. Udaya Shivangi, Chair of AAPI’s Women’s Forum and a key organizer of the GHS 2024 in Manipal.

Dr. Sampat Shivangi, Chair of GHS 2024 expressed his gratitude to all who have been instrumental in organizing the highly successful GHS in Manipal, particularly Dr. Subra Bhat, Dr. Annapurna Bhat, Dr. Udaya Shivangi, Dr. Ballal, Dr. Venkatesh, Dr. Rohit Singh, Dr, Sharat Kumar, Dr. Raj Alappan, Dr. Bantwal S. Baliga, Dr. Unnikrishnan, and Dr, Padmaraj Hegde.

India is making tremendous progress in the healthcare sector and is building modern medical facilities throughout the country. Physicians of Indian origin have earned a name for themselves in the medical field and India is now being touted as a medical tourism hub. With a rise in population, there is an urgent need to create additional health infrastructure, which entails a higher level of investment in the Indian healthcare market in the coming years.

It’s in this context, the groundbreaking AAPI Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) from January 1-6th, 2024 in Delhi and Manipal, Karnataka, organized with participation from some of the world’s most well-known physicians, and industry leaders becomes very critical and significant. This international healthcare summit is a progressive transformation from the first Indo-US Healthcare Summit launched by AAPI USA in 2007.

AAPI is an umbrella organization which has nearly 160 local chapters, specialty societies and alumni organizations. For over 41 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. Almost 10%-12% of medical students entering US schools are of Indian origin. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois, AAPI represents the interests of over nearly 200,000 physicians, medical students and residents of Indian heritage in the United States. It is the largest ethnic medical organization in the nation. For more details and registration for the convention, please visit:  www.aapiconvention.org and www.aapiusa.org

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Declares Presidential Candidacy in Utah, Gaining First Ballot Access

In a significant move towards the 2024 presidential race, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has officially filed to run as an independent candidate in Utah after successfully meeting the 1,000-signature requirement essential for ballot inclusion. This marks the inaugural state where the prominent anti-vaccine activist and independent candidate has qualified for the upcoming election.

At a campaign event in Salt Lake City, Kennedy, surrounded by volunteers, disclosed the submission of his candidacy in Utah earlier that day. Campaign spokesperson Stefanie Spear affirmed that Utah is the first state where Kennedy’s campaign has submitted signatures and achieved ballot access, with expectations that Arizona might follow suit.

Kennedy seized the opportunity to critique the formidable barriers faced by candidates without major party backing, emphasizing that stringent requirements in certain states create almost insurmountable challenges to challenge the political “chokehold” exerted by Republicans and Democrats in U.S. politics. He asserted, “This process is forcing us to build our army now, and we’re going to have a better army on the street and in the trenches in November 2024.”

The scion of the renowned Democratic Kennedy family, an environmental lawyer by profession, diverged from the party last fall to embark on an independent White House bid. As the son of former senator and U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and a nephew of Democratic President John F. Kennedy, Kennedy brings a unique political lineage to the race.

Kennedy gained prominence during the COVID-19 pandemic for his endorsement of public health conspiracy theories, amassing a dedicated following of individuals who question the scientific consensus on vaccine safety and effectiveness.

Successfully gaining ballot access in Utah, Kennedy’s candidacy rekindles discussions about the potential spoiler role that an independent candidate could play for the eventual Democratic and Republican nominees. While it remains unlikely for an independent or third-party candidate to secure the presidency, they have the potential to divert support from major candidates, influencing the outcome.

Concerns about Kennedy acting as a spoiler have arisen among allies of both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, who are the probable nominees for their respective parties. Both Biden and Trump face challenges in popularity, increasing the prospect that third-party support could sway the results in the 2024 elections.

In an era of escalating political polarization, Kennedy positions himself in the middle, aligning with influential figures on the far right while highlighting his environmentalist background.

The extent of Kennedy’s ballot access across states remains uncertain, as each state establishes its own unique requirements. The process of collecting signatures and navigating legal obstacles can be financially burdensome for candidates lacking support from major parties.

American Values 2024, a super PAC backing Kennedy, has committed to investing up to $15 million to assist him in securing ballot access in crucial states. Kennedy’s success in Utah was facilitated by a legal triumph in a lawsuit filed last month, challenging the state’s candidate filing deadline.

Complicating matters, Kennedy’s anti-vaccine organization is currently entangled in a lawsuit against several news organizations, including The Associated Press, alleging violations of antitrust laws for taking action to identify misinformation about COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines. Although Kennedy distanced himself from the group upon announcing his presidential bid, he is still listed as one of its attorneys in the ongoing lawsuit. The AP and other news entities have sought the dismissal of the lawsuit.

AAPI Confers Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Ramdas Pai, Chair of MAHE During GHS in Manipal

(Manipal, Karnataka — January 6, 2024) During the 17th annual Global Healthcare Summit 2024 by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) being held in Manipal, Karnataka, Dr. Ramdas Pai, Chancellor of Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) was conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his visionary leadership and dedication to quality education in the nation.

His son Ranjan Pai, an educationist and healthcare baron, who manages the Manipal Group, along with his mother Mrs. Vasanthi Pai, received the award from Dr. Aarti Krishna, Deputy Chair of non-Residents Indian Forum, Karnataka, who was the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony of the GHS – Manipal on January 5, 2024. AAPI’s 17th annual Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) 2024 being held at the Kasturba Medical College, Manipal in Karnataka from January 4th to 6th, 2023.

AAPI 2024 Collage 7In her remarks, Mrs. Vasanthi Pai said, “Dr Ramdas M Pai has always set a high bar for the institutions he has set up. She shared with the audience the high regards and appreciation Dr. Pai has for AAPI and its valuable services in promoting healthcare and exchange of knowledge and advocacy of policy initiatives in the US.

Recipient of numerous awards, Dr. Pai was honored with the prestigious awards such as Padma Bhushan from the Government of India, ‘Datuk’ Award from the Government of Melaka, Malaysia and the Golden Peacock Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his contribution in the field of education and healthcare.

In her address, Dr. Anjana Samadder, President of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) said, “I extend my warmest greetings to each and every one of you attending this prestigious 17th annual Global Healthcare Summit in New Delhi and Manipal. As the president of AAPI, I’m honored to welcome a diverse gathering of experts, policymakers, healthcare professionals, and advocates dedicate dedicated to advancing global health. I want to thank was speakers and sponsors for their contributions.”

GHS is being organized by AAPI in collaboration with AIIMS, Kasturba Medical College in Manipal, the Indian Medical Association, and the Government of the State of Karnataka and the Global Association of Indian Medical Students (GAIMS),

Dr. Sampat Shivangi, Chair of GHS 2024 said, “With the rapidly changing healthcare landscape, AAPI has rightly chosen to focus on the Future of Healthcare and Artificial Intelligence during the GHS 2024, and is being organized in collaboration with AIIMs, and University of Manipal, which are in the league of the best academic centers. With the invention of Artificial Intelligence, we want to explore its impact on Medicine and Healthcare in the 21st century.”

In her keynote address, Dr. Aarti Krishna extended her felicitations to AAPI and all the participants at the Global Healthcare Summit in Manipal. She appreciated the special focus being given to the future of healthcare and artificial intelligence, as well as holding a special segment for women. She recalled her long association with AAPI and its leaders during her tenure in Washington DC where she had interacted with several AAPI leaders. She highlighted how “Karnataka has been in the forefront and now the is the foremost state of India in the healthcare sector and has taken numerous and tremendous strides to raise high quality health care to the people of the state. In fact, it has become the hub of healthcare for Indians all over India. I’m confident that initiatives taken up during the GHS 2924 will be mutually beneficial to all.”

AAPI 2024 Collage 8Dr. Krishna said, “AAPI has been a pioneering institution in the United States to support and nurture the Indian American physicians, the pursuit of excellence in professionalism patient care, teaching and research. They steadfastly pursue collective advocacy for furthering the costs of medicine, medical profession, and knowledge of ethics and legislative and regulatory changes in the profession. I’m delighted that AAPI has partnered with India to share the knowledge and progress in both our countries in the field as well as contributing to the health sector in India.”

In a message sent by the honorable Chief Minister of Karnataka Shree Siddaramaiah, he extended his heartfelt greetings to all the participants who are attending the GHS conference in Karnataka. “Karnataka takes immense pride in being at the forefront of health care, and hosting this conference is a testament to our commitment to advancing the field as we bring together minds that have dedicated themselves to the noble cost of healthcare, I am confident that this conference will serve as a dynamic platform for brainstorming and exchanging ideas.”

Lt. Gen. Dr. Venkatesh, Chair of GHS, India described the great achievements of Manipal Academy as one of the most pioneering institutes in the world, among the top six universities in the country, which effectively means that it is number one, multidisciplinary private university in the country. “I think this is a testament to our commitments, more importantly, as the world is grappling with environmental issues, and global warming, we focus on sustainability, targeting our commitment to unwavering support for environment. And today, we are ranked as the number one university in terms of environmental friendliness, and being a green campus,”

Dr. H S Ballal, MAHE Pro Vice Chancellor in his address said, “I’m very happy that AAPI is hosting a scientific conference here in Manipal, today and tomorrow. Congratulations to the more than 100 delegates with their families from the US, who are participating in this conference. Your presence contributes to the richness and diversity to our vibrant community and we are very delighted to have you here.”

The 2 days long sessions in Manipal is packed with top end CMEs delivered by several prominent physicians and academicians who are participating at the GHS and are leading and chairing various academic sessions that are being organized during the summit.

AAPI 2024 Collage 10The awesome hospitality and warmth of the local organizing committee, cultural extravaganza depicting the cultural traditions of southern India, delicious Karnataka special cusine, served on banana leaves and the visits to the local education centers, Temples and cultural sites are added attractions that made the Summit in Manipal unique.

Dr. Sampat Shivangi, Chair of GHS 2024 expressed his gratitude to all who have been instrum ental in organizing the highly successful GHS in Manipal, particularly Dr. Subra Bghat, Dr. Annapurna Bhat, Dr. Udaya Shivangi, Dr. Ballal, Dr. Venkatesh, Dr. Rohit Singh, Dr, Sharat Kumar, Dr. Raj Alappan, Dr. Bantwal S. Baliga, Dr. Unnikrishnan, and Dr, Padmaraj Hegde.

India is making tremendous progress in the healthcare sector and is building modern medical facilities throughout the country. Physicians of Indian origin have earned a name for themselves in the medical field and India is now being touted as a medical tourism hub. With a rise in population, there is an urgent need to create additional health infrastructure, which entails a higher level of investment in the Indian healthcare market in the coming years.

It’s in this context, the groundbreaking AAPI Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) from January 1-6th, 2024 in Delhi and Manipal, Karnataka, being organized with participation from some of the world’s most well known physicians, and industry leaders becomes very critical and significant. This international healthcare summit is a progressive transformation from the first Indo-US Healthcare Summit launched by AAPI USA in 2007.

Providing a forum for innovative opportunities for learning, networking and giving back to our motherland that have now enabled us to plan ahead and prepare for an outstanding event with very prominent and talented physicians and surgeons from abroad, in addition to the hundreds of physicians from India, who are very passionate about serving their homeland, mother India. For more details, please visit: www.aapiusa.org/

AAPI Signs MoU with AIIMS for Collaboration in Research, Student Exchange, and Academics

(New Delhi, India – January 5th, 2024) The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi for collaboration in the areas of Research, Education and Student Exchange for a period of five years during the ongoing 17th edition of AAPI’s Annual Global Healthcare Summit in New Delhi and Manipal Karnataka.

MOU 2The collaboration between the AIIMS and AAPI signed at AIIMS in the presence of representatives from AAPI and AIIMS on January 3rd, 2024, marks a significant initiative to advance research, academia, and the exchange of knowledge, ultimately aiming to enhance patient care in India and has been hailed as a major step forward.

On behalf of AAPI, Dr. Anjana Samadder, President of AAPI signed the MoU, while Dr, M. Srinivasan, Director of AIIMS signed the MoU on behalf of AIIMS marking a new beginning in global collaboration in exchange of knowledge and medical students. Others who were present at the Signing Ceremony included, Dr. Rakesh Garg, Additional Professor in Onco-Anesthesia and Palliative Medicine at Delhi-AIIMS, Dr. Shubham Anand, Chair of GAIMS,  Dr. Ajeeth Kothari and Dr. Gautam Samadder, both past Presidents of AAPI, Dr. Sumul Raval, Secretary of AAPI, Dr. Bhavani Srinivasan, Chair of AAPI Publications, Dr. Inderpal Chabra, President of AAPI QLI, and Dr. Avinash Gupta, a senior leader of AAPI and President of Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) in NY/NJ/CT.

“The meeting today is a great beginning to facilitate collaborative efforts between India and the United States,” said Dr. Samadder. “The MoU between AAPI and AIIMS, India’s most premier Medical Education Institute has been signed for the purpose of furthering cooperation in education, student exchange, and research activities, affirming our intent to promote such academic collaborations and participate in various academic endeavors.”

In his address, Dr, Srinivasan said, “It is my pleasure that we are onboard with AAPI for its 17th annual Global Healthcare Summit. AIIMS New Delhi was established in 1956 to accomplish the trinity of mission, advanced medical education, cutting edge research, and quality patient care. I am certain that this collaboration will act as a platform for exchange of ideas and collaboration across the domains for cutting edge research and breakthrough in medical education. We look forward to meeting professionals, researchers, and experts in the field of healthcare and research from across the globe.”

The MOU envisages fulfilling of the objectives including that AAPI will offer administrative support to AIIMS by cooperation between AAPI and AIIMS and aims at revamping or initiating new fellowship programs at AIMS.

Under the Internship programs at AAPI, undergraduate and post graduate and PhD level students from AIIMS may visit universities/hospitals where AAPI members hold key positions for a period of two to eight weeks to attend Observership programs, specifically designed and offered or as a part of ongoing research at AAPI.

MOU 3Under the Joint Supervision Program, Doctoral level students from either side can be co supervised by faculty members from both the organizations.  AAPI members may permit its members to visit AIIMS for short durations, ranging from one week to one year to teach at AIIMS.

AAPI may invite faculty members from AIIMS to visit AAPI as visiting faculty members as per their designations for research and academic activities at institutions or hospitals where members hold key positions, for limited durations, on mutually agreeable terms.

Through the development and organization of short-term training and certificate courses by AAPI and enabling AIIMS faculty staff or students to take part in ongoing continuing education programs and courses of AAPI.

AAPI and AIIMs will collaborate for the development of new areas of research and extension of technical cooperation the new RP members for infrastructure development, management and upgradation of library and Teaching Research Laboratories

Dr. Rakesh Garg emphasized the importance of evidence-based medicine in the field of medical science. Dr. Garg highlighted the importance of understanding the motivations, findings, and limitations of ongoing studies, allowing for improvements in existing setups and delivering benefits to the broader community and population. He emphasized the efficiency gained through shared knowledge in research and clinical practices.

Featured & Cover MOU 1Dr. Sumul N. Raval, current Secretary of AAPI highlighted importance of the MoU said that this is the most successful outcomes from the GHS 2024 for the purpose of “learning from each other’s experiences, sharing vital insights and collaboration on future endeavors, mutual exchange of ideas, sharing of best practices that are critical for advancing medical education and assuring high standards for protecting public health will positively shape the medical education.”

AAPI hopes the excellence gained through long term vision, insight and hard work with both organizations and exchange of ideas and challenges will benefit the medical education system in India and help tens of thousands of medical graduates coming from India to have recognition in the US, said Dr. Samadder.

Since its inception over four decades ago, AAPI has been in the forefront advocating for medical school education reform and for the medical graduates from India to be treated on par with their counterparts in India. India is already leading the global pharmaceutical industry, and rebooting medical education will help India enter the league of leaders in healthcare around the world.

“The signing of MoU with AAIMS today is a great start, and I look forward to AAPI continuing to lead such efforts in the coming years benefiting the medical fraternity,” said Dr. Samadder. For more information on AAPI and its many initiatives, please visit: www.aapiusa.org

AAPI’s 17th Annual Global Healthcare Summit in New Delhi Concludes with Call to Bridge the Digital Gap In Healthcare Delivery

New Delhi (January 4, 2023): The 17th annual Global Healthcare Summit by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) came to a close with a call and commitment to help bridge the Digital Gap in Healthcare delivery system in India with the effective utilization of modern technology.

The flagship conference with the theme, “Cutting Edge in Healthcare and Artificial Intelligence” held at the pioneering All India Medical Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Le Meriden Hotel was attended by over a hundred delegates from around the world and over 250 physicians and medical students from several Medical Schools and Hospitals from across India was held in New Delhi from January 1st to 3rd, 2024.

AAPI 2024 Collage 5In her welcome address, Dr. Anjana Samadder, President of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) said, “I extend my warmest greetings to each and every one of you attending this prestigious 17th annual Global Healthcare Summit in New Delhi and Manipal. For the first time it is being held in two cities, in collaboration with prestigious institutions, such as AIIMS, New Delhi and MAHE in Manipal. As the president of AAPI, I’m honored to welcome a diverse gathering of experts, policymakers, healthcare professionals, and advocates dedicate dedicated to advancing global health. I want to thank was speakers and sponsors for their contributions.”

For the first time ever, AAPI is hosting the annual Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) in two cities in India, giving delegates, who are coming from the United States to participate and gain a unique perspective and experience India from the North to the South ,

AAPI’s 17th annual Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) 2024 was held at the at the Le Meridien Hotel from January 1-3rd and will be held at the Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, MAHE in Karnataka from January 4th to 6th, 2023. The GHS was inaugurated at the prestigious Le Meridien Hotel in New Delhi with a memorable New Year’s Day Eve celebration on December 31st, 2023.

GHS is being organized by AAPI in collaboration with AAIMS, Kasturba Medical College in Manipal, the Indian Medical Association, and the Government of the State of Karnataka and the Global Association of Indian Medical Students (GAIMS),

Dr. Sampat Shivangi, Chair of GHS 2024 said, “With the rapidly changing healthcare landscape, AAPI has rightly chosen to focus on the future of Healthcare and Artificial Intelligence during the GHS 2024, and is being organized in collaboration with AIIMs, and University of Manipal, which are in the league of the best academic centers. With the invention of Artificial Intelligence, we want to explore its impact on Medicine and Healthcare in the 21st century.

The annual event of AAPI, GHS has contributed to ushering in new ways of providing healthcare to India’s 1.4 billion people, who live in the congested urban centers and in the rural/remote regions of the country. The 17th annual GHS will build on past initiatives and add several new programs, Dr. Samadder added.

AAPI, which has been leading efforts to help streamline medical education in India to meet the global standards, assembled a galaxy of medical regulatory organization leaders from India, the United Kingdom and the United States during the GHS on January 2, 2024.

Leaders of National Board of Examination in Medical Science (NBEMS) India, National Board of Examination in Medical Science (NBME) USA, and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) were among the panelists that discussed and educated the aspiring medical students from some of the premium Medical Schools in India who had keenly participated at the panel discussion.
Dr. Lokesh Edara, BOT-Chair Elect, Dr. Sumul N. Raval, current Secretary of AAPI, and Dr. Shubam Anand, Chairman of Global Association of Indian Medical Students (GAIMS) led and coordinated the initiatives.

Dr. Peter Katsufrakis, President and CEO, NBME,USA, Dr Humayun Chaudhry, President and CEO of the Federation of State Medical Boards, Jeffrey D. Carter, MD (Missouri) Chair of the FSMB, Dr. Sarvam TerKonda (Past Chair, FSMB USA), Ms. Katie Templeton JD (Chair-Elect, FSMB,USA), and Prof. Hasmukh Shah, Recruitment and Training in UK were some of the others from the Medical education field, who were part of the distinguished panelists. Dr. Abhijat Sheth represented NMBE – India. FSMB was represented by Dr. Humayun Chaudhry, President and CEO of the Federation of State Medical Boards. Dr. Sheth presented the NBEMS mission and PG NEET examination, FMGE examination and more than 50 specialties for postgraduate and super specialties courses they are conducting and graduating.

AAPI Collage 2 (3)During GHS AAPI entered into a groundbreaking partnership with CLIRNET, India’s leading digital healthcare platform with the objective of running a Mentorship & Observership program jointly. While announcing the new initiative Dr. Samadder emphasized the imperative for healthcare professionals to stay at the forefront of innovation. She also highlighted that the collaboration between AAPI and CLIRNET marks a significant milestone in advancing clinical training in India.

AAPI in collaboration with WHEELS Foundation has announced a $10,000 award towards the Project – Kanya: Sanitary Napkin Machine. The announcement was made during a joint panel discussion held as part of the GHS on ‘Menstrual Health’ (under the banner of ‘Kanya Conference’). The Kanya Challenge Award seeks to catalyze groundbreaking advancements in menstrual hygiene for Indian women through the development and commercialization of absorbent materials made from indigenous Indian resources.

The Panel Session was led by Dr. Anajana Samadder, Dr. Sumul Rawal, Secretary, AAPI, Anitha Thampi (of MCup), Jayadeep Mandal: Aakar Innovations & Aakar Social Ventures, Prof Virendra Kumar Vijay (of IIT-Delhi’s UBA Program) speaking on UBA supporting Saukhyam: Dr. Meenakshi Bharat, a Gynecologist and Fertility specialist who is a green campaigner, an advocate for Clean India. Prof Satish Agnihotri: Professor, Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas (CTARA), IIT Bombay with messages from Dr. Raj Shah, Dr. Vriti Khurana and Ratan Agarwal.

In his keynote address, Dr. Anupam Sibal, Chair of GHS – Delhi highlighted the enormous accomplishments of India and Indian Americans across many spectrums. He pointed to the advances in Medical Education in India, particularly since its independence, “In the past seven to eight decades, we’ve made considerable progress in higher education, and this is just a snapshot of the area. We have 149 institutes of national importance, more than 1000 universities and more than 50,000 colleges. fourth highest number of doctoral graduates in the world, the fourth highest research output in the world. We produce 6.5 million graduates every year 1.5 million engineers, 300,000 MBAs and 100,000 graduates.:

In his address, M. Srinivasan, Director of AIIMS said, “It is my pleasure that we are onboard with AAPI for its 17th annual Global Healthcare Summit. AIIMS New Delhi was established in 1956 to accomplish the trinity of mission, advanced medical education, cutting edge research, and quality patient care. I am certain that this conference will act as a platform for exchange of ideas and collaboration across the domains for cutting edge research and breakthrough in medical education. We look forward to meeting professionals, researchers and experts in the field of healthcare and research from across the globe.”

Dr. Lokesh Edara, Chair of AAPI BOT said, “AAPI’s GHS is yet another way of continuing with our constant commitment towards making quality healthcare affordable and accessible to all the people of India. In addition, GHS 2024 focusses on promoting Healthcare Technology including Artificial Intelligence in the Healthcare arena.”

Several prominent physicians and academicians are participating at the GHS and are leading the keynote addresses and are chairing various academic sessions that are being organized during the summit. Latest Advances, CME, ELS, Discussions on Research Methodology, and Scientific Writing by Academic Experts are part of the summit.

AAPI Collage 4The CEO Forum addressed by eminent panelists that included, Air Marshal Sadhana Nair, Saurav Kasera, Sreeprasad Guduppa, Sudharshan Jain, Shenoy Robinson, Karthikeyan, IPS, and Suresh Samuel, in their eloquent addresses spoke on Equity, Ethics, and how to adapt to the changing landscape in the healthcare arena and make a positive and lasting impact, benefitting the physicians, industries and the larger population.

Physician Burnout and mitigating mental health issues among physicians was the major theme during the evening session, moderated by Dr. Shubham Anand, Dr. Inderpal Chadda, and Dr. Chanchal Pal. Distinguished panelists included: Dr. Sreenivasan, Director of AIIMS; Dr. Suresh Kumar, Director of LNJP Hospital; Dr. Subhash Giri, Director of LHMC; Dr. Ishwar Singh, Director of Indira Gandhi Hospital; Dr. Vinay Kumar, President, RDA, AIIMS; and Dr. Rohan Krishnan, Chairman, FAIMAR.

Dr. Bhavani Sreenivasan, Chair of AAPI Publications eloquently moderated the Women’s Forum on “Breaking Barriers and Shaping the Future of Women.” Air Marshal Dr. Sadhana Nair, Dr. Anita Ratnam, Dr. Damayante Karkare, Dr. Madhushree Katwal and Mrs. Geetha Athreya shared with the audience, quoting from their personal experiences about how they overcame challenges in life and became role models in their own way.

GHS was packed with day long workshops on various relevant topics, Trainings, Research Contest, Scientific Workshops and Panel Discussions on how modern technology is being used in the vast medical field. On New Years Day, participants went on a pilgrimage to Rishikesh, the holy shrine under the foothills of the Himalayas, seeking blessings from the Almighty.

Dr. Sumul Raval, Secretary of AAPI said, “Harnessing the power of Indian Doctors worldwide, the AAPI Global Healthcare Summit platform has evolved with the support of prominent global and Indian medical associations. AAPI’s mission is to make a positive and meaningful impact on the healthcare delivery system both in the US and in India.”

Healthcare in India is one of the largest sectors, in terms of revenue and employment. India is making significant improvements in its healthcare infrastructure and is building modern medical facilities throughout India. Doctors of Indian origin have made tremendous progress in the 21st century and India is now being touted as a medical tourism hub.

The Global Healthcare Summit has come a long way from the first Indo-US Healthcare Summit launched by AAPI USA in 2007. Since then, AAPI has organized 16 Indo – US/Global Healthcare Summits and developed strategic alliances with various organizations.

Highlighting the importance of the flagship annual GHS, Dr. Samadder said, “This summit serves as a powerful platform for knowledge exchange, collaboration, and the forging of meaningful partnerships. The work we do today paves the way for a healthcare landscape that is more efficient, accessible and affordable toward all individuals. For more details, please visit: www.aapiusa.org/

AAPI & WHEELS Global Announce $10,000 Award for Menstrual Health Project During Global Healthcare Summit in New Delhi

(New Delhi, India – January 3m 2024) Inspired by the physicians and engineers of Indian origin in the United States, the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) in collaboration with WHEELS Global Foundation has announced a $10,000 award towards the Project – Kanya: Sanitary Napkin Machine, during APPI’s 17th annual Global Health Summit held at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on January 3rd, 2024.

The announcement was made during a joint panel discussion held as part of the GHS on ‘Menstrual Health’ (under the banner of ‘Kanya Conference’). The Kanya Challenge Award seeks to catalyze groundbreaking advancements in menstrual hygiene for Indian women through the development and commercialization of absorbent materials made from indigenous Indian resources.

“To accelerate the journey to a fully affordable, safe, accessible, and domestically self-reliant solution, AAPI & WHEELS are jointly announcing a $10,000 Award with the objective of using the funds to accelerate affordability and access – which when achieved gets us national scale penetration, said Dr. Anjana Samadder, President of AAPI.

The Kanya Challenge Award, Transforming Menstrual Hygiene through Indigenous Innovation will be given to the entity submitting “the best plan, using the funds, to achieve material acceleration of affordability and access of an environment-friendly imports-avoiding solution, with the submissions deadline marked for March 31st, 2024.”

WHEELS and AAPI teams will have a joint panel of experts to select the winning entry for the announcement at the appropriate forum soon after. The Project – Kanya is aimed at developing a high-performance, eco-friendly absorbent material for feminine hygiene products using locally sourced Indian materials; and, commercializing the product, achieving sales and use by 100,000 consumers with at least 50% satisfaction (based on surveys by 10% of users).

The Panel Session was led by Dr. Inderpal Chhabra, Dr. Anajana Samadder, President, AAPI, Dr. Sumul Rawal, Secretary, AAPI, Anitha Thampi (of MCup), Jayadeep Mandal: Aakar Innovations & Aakar Social Ventures, Prof Virendra Kumar Vijay (of IIT-Delhi’s UBA Program) speaking on UBA supporting Saukhyam: Dr. Meenakshi Bharat, a Gynecologist and Fertility specialist who is a green campaigner, an advocate for Clean India. Prof Satish Agnihotri: Professor, Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas (CTARA), IIT Bombay with messages from Dr. Raj Shah, Dr. Vriti Khurana Founder, Kanya Project and Ratan Agarwal, President of Wheels Global Foundation.

The panel discussion focused on the five compelling solutions we are bringing to the target beneficiaries – to not only address the unmet need for 46m rural girls and women but do it with environmentally friendly (sustainable) solutions that also eliminate India’s import bill.

The panel discussion focused on the innovations by NOBA Initiative for Menstrual Health, M-Cup by Anitha Thampi (IIT-B CTARA graduate) – supported by Prof Satish Agnihotri (IIT-B) and Prof Kannan’s Spoken Tutorials solution (to make it easy to communicate value-proposition to rural residents); Anandi Pads by Jayadeep Mandal, supported by WHEELS’ Yogesh and Arjun Malhotra, Saukhyam founded by IIT-Delhi alum Praveen Bist and Anju Bist – providing Banana fiber-based solution, and, Aashraya Seth providing a low-cost dispenser (Rs. 2,500) for schools along with education curriculum and reusable cloth-based pads.

“Kanya project” was first started by a 14-year-old girl Vriti in 2013, after she had visited a village in Telangana, deeply disturbed and saddened by the lack of support for young girls like herself. She raised funds in the US, collaborating with an Indian company “Aakaar” and had the first self-sustaining “sanitary napkin manufacturing machine” installed in Burgula, Telangana, India in 2018. Today, there are multiple companies that are working towards the same goals and we at WHEELS Global Foundation would like to take the issue of “Period Poverty” forward. (https://twitter.com/WHEELSGF/status/988154191460827136)

UNICEF reports that “in countries where menstrual hygiene is taboo, girls in puberty are typically absent for 20% of the school year”. Most girls drop out at around 11 to 12 years old and miss school not simply because they fear being teased by their classmates if they show stains from their period, but also because they are not educated about their periods, and their need for safe and clean facilities is not prioritized.

WHEELS’ objective is to drive a portfolio of solutions to address the problem at a national scale in the next 3-5 years so there is a right-fit solution to each segment – meeting affordability, accessibility, sustainability, and self-reliance for the country.

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. The convention is forum to network, share knowledge and thoughts, and thus, enrich one another, and rededicate for the health and wellbeing of all the peoples of the world. For more details, please visit: www.appiusa.org and wheelsglobal.org

AAPI’s Global Healthcare Summit Begins at AIIMS in New Delhi

New Delhi (January 2, 2023): The 17th annual Global Healthcare Summit by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) began focusing on the theme, “Cutting Edge in Healthcare and Artificial Intelligence” at the pioneering All India Medical Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on January 2nd, 2023.

In her welcome address, Dr. Anjana Samadder, President of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) said, “I extend my warmest greetings to each and every one of you attending this prestigious 17th annual Global Healthcare Summit in New Delhi and Manipal. For the first time it is being held in two cities, in collaboration with prestigious institutions, such as AIIMS, New Delhi and MAHE in Manipal. As the president of AAPI, I’m honored to welcome a diverse gathering of experts, policymakers, healthcare professionals, and advocates dedicate dedicated to advancing global health. I want to thank was speakers and sponsors for their contributions.”

For the first time ever, AAPI has planned to have the annual Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) in two cities in India, giving delegates, who are coming from the United States to participate in GHS and gain a unique perspective and experience India from the North and the South ,

AAPI’s 17th annual Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) 2024 being held at the at the Le Meridien Hotel from January 1-3rd and at the Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, MAHE in Karnataka from January 4th to 6th, 2023. The GHS was inaugurated at the prestigious Le Meridien Hotel in New Delhi with a memorable New Year’s Day Eve celebration on December 31st, 2023.

GHS is being organied by AAPI in collaboration with AAIMS, Kasturba Medical College in Manipal, the Indian Medical Association, and the Government of the State of Karnataka and the Global Association of Indian Medical Students (GAIMS),

AAPI Collage 1The annual event of AAPI, GHS has contributed to ushering in new ways of providing healthcare to India’s 1.4 billion people, who live in the congested urban centers and in the rural/remote regions of the country. The 17th annual GHS will build on the past initiatives and add several new programs, Dr. Samadder added.

Dr. Sampat Shivangi, Chair of GHS 2024 said, “With the rapidly changing healthcare landscape, AAPI has rightly chosen to focus on the future of Healthcare and Artificial Intelligence during the GHS 2024, and is being organized in collaboration with AIIMs, and University of Manipal, which are in the league of the best academic centers. With the invention of Artificial Intelligence, we want to explore its impact on Medicine and Healthcare in the 21st century.

In his keynote address, Dr. Anupam Sibal, Chair of GHS – Delhi highlighted the enormous accomplishments of India and Indian Americans across many spectrums. He pointed to the advances in Medical Education in India, particularly since its independence, “In the past seven to eight decades, we’ve made considerable progress in higher education, and this is just a snapshot of the area. We have 149 institutes of national importance, more than 1000 universities and more than 50,000 colleges. fourth highest number of doctoral graduates in the world, the fourth highest research output in the world. We produce 6.5 million graduates every year 1.5 million engineers, 300,000 MBAs and 100,000 graduates.:

In his address, M. Srinivasan, Director of AIIMS said, “It is my pleasure that we are onboard with AAPI for its 17th annual Global Healthcare Summit. AIIMS New Delhi was established in 1956 to accomplish the trinity of mission, advanced medical education, cutting edge research, and quality patient care. I am certain that this conference will act as a platform for exchange of ideas and collaboration across the domains for cutting edge research and breakthrough in medical education. We look forward to meeting professionals, researchers and experts in the field of healthcare and research from across the globe.”

AAPI Collage 3Dr. Lokesh Edara, Chair of AAPI BOT said, “AAPI’s GHS is yet another way of continuing with our constant commitment towards making quality healthcare affordable and accessible to all the people of India. In addition, GHS 2024 focusses on promoting Healthcare Technology including Artificial Intelligence in the Healthcare arena.”

Several prominent physicians and academicians are participating at the GHS and are leading the keynote addresses and are chairing various academic sessions that are being organized during the summit. Latest Advances, CME, ELS, Discussions on Research Methodology, and Scientific Writing by Academic Experts are part of the summit.

The CEO Forum addressed by eminent panelists that included, Air Marshal Sadhana Nair, Saurav Kasera, Sreeprasad Guduppa, Sudharshan Jain, Shenoy Robinson, Karthikeyan, IPS, and Suresh Samuel, in their eloquent addresses spoke on Equity, Ethics, and how to adapt to the changing landscape in the healthcare arena and make a positive and lasting impact, benefitting the physicians, industries and the larger population.

Physician Burnout and mitigating mental health issues among physicians was the major theme during the evening session, moderated by Dr. Shubham Anand, Dr. Inderpal Chadda, and Dr. Chanchal Pal. Distinguished panelists included: Dr. Sreenivasan, Director of AIIMS; Dr. Suresh Kumar, Director of LNJP Hospital; Dr. Subhash Giri, Director of LHMC; Dr. Ishwar Singh, Director of Indira Gandhi Hospital; Dr. Vinay Kumar, President, RDA, AIIMS; and Dr. Rohan Krishnan, Chairman, FAIMAR.

Dr. Amit Chakrabarty, Vice President of AAPI, said, “It is these learning opportunities and collaborative relationships that have now enabled AAPI and participating organizations to be part of an outstanding event attended by nearly 100 prominent and experienced physicians and surgeons of Indian origin from around the world, who are very passionate about serving their homeland, Mother India.”

Dr. Sumul Raval, Secretary of AAPI said, “Harnessing the power of Indian Doctors worldwide, the AAPI Global Healthcare Summit platform has evolved with the support of prominent global and Indian medical associations. AAPI’s mission is to make a positive and meaningful impact on the healthcare delivery system both in the US and in India.”

AAPI Collage 4“AAPI GHS offers an opportunity to meet directly with these physicians who are leaders in their fields and play an integral part in the decision-making process regarding new products and services,” Dr. Sreeni Gangasani, Treasurer of AAPI said.

Healthcare in India is one of the largest sectors, in terms of revenue and employment. India is making significant improvements in its healthcare infrastructure and is building modern medical facilities throughout India. Doctors of Indian origin have made tremendous progress in the 21st century and India is now being touted as a medical tourism hub.

The Global Healthcare Summit has come a long way from the first Indo-US Healthcare Summit launched by AAPI USA in 2007. Since then, AAPI has organized 16 Indo – US/Global Healthcare Summits and developed strategic alliances with various organizations.

Highlighting the importance of the flagship annual GHS, Dr. Samadder said, “This summit serves as a powerful platform for knowledge exchange, collaboration, and the forging of meaningful partnerships. The work we do today paves the way for a healthcare landscape that is more efficient, accessible and affordable toward all individuals. For more details, please visit: www.aapiusa.org/

AAPI Brings Together Leaders In Medical Education Regulatory Boards From India, USA & UK During GHS 2024

India, home to one of the oldest medicinal systems in the world has made remarkable progress in medical education in the recent past. As the world is evolving to meet the ever-changing needs, medical education in India is moving forward with the objective of enabling every medical graduate and postgraduate to be the best in the world. Several changes are being made for graduates from Indian schools to be at par and for easy mobilization around the world, with the goal of making India the medical education hub for the world.

AAPI Global edIn this context, the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), which has been leading efforts to help streamline medical education in India to meet the global standards, assembled a galaxy of medical regulatory organization leaders from India, the United Kingdom and the United States during the 17th annual Global Healthcare Summit in New Delhi, India on January 2, 2024.

Leaders of National Board of Examination in Medical Science (NBEMS) India, National Board of Examination in Medical Science (NBME) USA, and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) were among the panelists that discussed and educated the aspiring medical students from some of the premium Medical Schools in India who had keenly participated at the panel discussion.

Dr. Lokesh Edara, BOT-Chair Elect and Dr. Sumul N. Raval, current Secretary of AAPI led and coordinated the initiative. During a prior meeting with AAPI leaders last year, they had invited AAPI leaders and those from other US regulatory bodies at the meeting to visit his office in New Delhi during their current visit to India. AAPI leaders invited the leadership of these regulatory groups to the AAPI annual convention in Philadelphia in July 2023 and to the AAPI Global Healthcare Summit meeting in New Delhi in January 2024.

Describing the initiative as “a historic mile stone and a testament to the commitment of AAPI towards Global Medical Education,” Dr. Lokesh Edara said, “AAPI is providing amazing opportunity to connect the medical education and licensing boards of USA (NBME, FSMB) and from India (NMC, NBEMS, AIIMS) to learn from one other’s experiences, sharing vital insights and collaboration on future endeavors, mutual exchange of ideas, sharing of best practices that are critical for advancing medical education and enhancing examination process, assuring high standards for protecting public health will positively shape the medical education.”

20240102 153214AAPI Global Medical Education has led this effort taking the delegation to the Indian National Board of Examinations in medical science NBEMS (nbe.edu.in) which conducts examination for the 1.8 million students and UG entrance examination across India and conduct the PG NNET entrance examination for 200,000 students annually. AAPI has been able to connect their visits to the National Medical Commission (NMC – nmc.org.in) that monitors ll700+ medical collges,100,000 MBBS admisisions,60,000 post graduate admissions and their education. During panel discussions lasting more than 3 hours of their experiences and their challenges.

The Indian delegation consisted of Dr. B.N. Gangadhar, Chairman, National Medical Commission; Dr. Aruna V. Vanikar, President, Undergraduate Medical Education Board, Dr Vijay Oza, President, Postgraduate Medical Education Board.

NBEMS (INDIA) was represented by Dr Abhijat Sheth, President of NBEMS, Dr Minu Bajpai, Executive Director of NBEMS; Dr Rakesh Sharma, member Director of NBEMS. NBEMS India also has more than 14000 PG seats in many specialties.

FSMB delegates included: Dr. Humayun Chaudhry, President CEO of FSMB, Dr Jeffery Crater, Chair Board of directors FSMB, Kate Lynn Templeton, Chair-Elect Board of directors FSMB, and Dr Sarvam Terkonda, past Chair Board of directors FSMB.

NBME had the following members at the Panel: Dr. Peter Katsufrakis President CEO of FSMB and Dr. Reena Karani, Chair Board of directors NBME (USA).

Jeffrey D. Carter, MD (Missouri) Chair of the FSMB is a distinguished medical professional, and was elected to the FSMB Board of Directors in 2017. Dr. Sarvam TerKonda (Past Chair, FSMB USA) is a highly regarded plastic surgeon based in Jacksonville, Florida.

Ms. Katie Templeton JD (Chair-elect, FSMB,USA), and Prof. Hasmukh Shah, Recruitment and Training in UK were some of the others from the Medical education field, who were part of the distinguished panelists.

Dr. Sheth presented the NBEMS mission and PG NEET examination, FMGE examination and more than 50 specialties for postgraduate and super specialties courses they are conducting and graduating. Dr. Katsufrakis provided an update on the NBME history and current examination-system.

Se, Edara urged Dr. Sheth to increase family medicine PG seats and nationalized formative assessment tests in theory part for all postgraduates and for post-graduate exit theory examination suggested computerized online test. Nationwide E-Learning systems for higher transfer of Knowledge in medical education.

Feature and Cover AAPI Brings Together Leaders In Medical Education Regulatory Boards From India USA & UK During GHS 2024Dr. Raval said, “In order for us to meet the unprecedented demand and to bring up the quality of education, the Indian medical education system is changing rapidly. The meeting today was a great beginning to facilitate collaborative efforts between India and the United States.”

Medical education has many challenges in the transfer of knowledge and quality. India is introducing the NEXT examination, which is the licensing examination similar to USML in the US, while the UKMLE is starting in the UK in 2024 in the place of PLAB examination. NMC has applied for WFME Recognition status, which is mandatory to apply for USMLE examination.

NBEMS is responsible for NEET PG Entrance Test, which is taken up by more than 200,000 students annually. 694 Medical schools in India with106,083 MBBs admissions per year selected from 2.1 million applicants through the UG NEET examination across India in 3 hours. The current government policy has been to have one medical college in every district to meet the growing needs of India,

FSMB federation of state medical boards leadership (fsmb.org) and NBME National board of examination USA (nbme.org) leadership is visiting India for the first time in 30 years.

“Overview National Board of Examinations” was the main theme discussed during the meeting. AAPI hopes the excellence gained through long term vision, insight and hard work with both organizations and exchange of ideas and challenges will benefit the medical education system in India and help tens of thousands of medical graduates coming from India to have recognition in the US.

AAPI educationExpressing appreciation for Dr. Edara and Dr. Raval for taking the lead in facilitating interaction and dialogue between the Medical Education Boards of India and the United States, Dr. Anjana Samadder, President of AAPI said, “Since its inception over four decades ago, AAPI has been in the forefront advocating for medical school education reform and for the medical graduates from India to be treated on par with their counterparts in India. India is already leading the global pharmaceutical industry, and rebooting medical education will help India enter the league of leaders in healthcare around the world. The meeting today was a great start, and I look forward to AAPI continuing to lead such efforts in the coming years benefitting the medical fraternity.” For more information on AAPI and its many initiatives, please visit: www.aapiusa.org

AAPI Partners With CLIRNET to Unveil Transformative Mentorship & Observership Model During  the 17th Global Healthcare Summit

●      The initiative will provide Indian doctors with the opportunity to learn from experienced AAPI physicians and apply for observerships in the USA in various medical specialties

●      CLIRNET and AAPI will facilitate interactive sessions, webinars, and forums, fostering collaborative learning and the exchange of medical knowledge

●      The initiative extends beyond general medicine, focusing on various specialties to advance medical research and address healthcare challenges

New Delhi, India (January 2nd, 2023)  In continuing its efforts to collaborate with and expands its numerous initiatives, the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) that represents a conglomeration of more than 80,000 practicing physicians in the United States, and  serving as the platform for more than 40,000 medical students, residents and fellows of Indian origin, has entered into a ground breaking partnership with CLIRNET, India’s leading digital healthcare platform with the objective of running a Mentorship & Observership program jointly.

While announcing the new initiative at the 17th Global Healthcare Summit, Dr. Anjana Samadder, President of AAPI, emphasized the imperative for healthcare professionals to stay at the forefront of innovation. She also highlighted that the collaboration between AAPI and CLIRNET marks a significant milestone in advancing clinical training in India.

Saurav Kasera, Co-Founder of CLIRNET said, “We’re excited to partner with AAPI in this groundbreaking venture. This collaboration is more than just sharing knowledge; it’s about forging a future where Indian healthcare professionals are equipped with global expertise, ultimately elevating patient care and medical standards in India.”

The 17th annual GHS themed ‘Cutting Edge in Healthcare & Artificial Intelligence,’ is being held in collaboration with the Global Association of Indian Medical Students and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi from January 1st t0 7th in New Delhi and Manipal, India.

20240102 144200The GHS began here at AAIS this morning with an eloquent address by Dr. Anupam Sibel, GHS Chair – New Delhi, who spoke on India becoming Vishavaguru in almost all areas of international standing, including in healthcare, technology, finance and scientific research, The scientific sessions moderated and presented by world renowned physicians of Indian origin are being attended by Fellows, Residents and Medical students at AIIMS and the dozens of delegates from the United States.

The Mentorship & Observership Model aims to provide valuable inputs and expertise from AAPI medical experts in USA to young and emerging healthcare professionals in India. Mentorship, a crucial component of medical training, is an important component in enhancing career development, professional satisfaction, and overall well-being of trainees. The program will also offer doctors in India the opportunity to apply for observerships with AAPI physicians in the USA across various medical specialties.

As per the agreement, experienced AAPI physicians will facilitate interactive sessions, webinars, and forums, encouraging collaborative learning and the exchange of clinical knowledge. AAPI is committed to training approximately 200,000 physicians in the coming year, focusing on general medicine and various specialties addressing evolving healthcare needs.

The intent of the initiative is to involve 60% of AAPI practitioners in training programs to contribute their expertise to shape the next generation of healthcare professionals.

The Mentorship & Observership Model represents a paradigm shift in clinical education and global collaboration. This initiative is poised to significantly contribute to the professional growth of healthcare practitioners across India including the remotest of places, fostering a culture of continuous learning and innovation in the healthcare sector.

CLIRNET stands as the world’s largest UGC (user-generated content) platform for doctors. The platform activities led by eminent institutions & physicians, spanning a multitude of specialties, have garnered active participation from lacs of doctors, establishing CLIRNET as a premier hub for knowledge dissemination, UGC and professional collaboration.

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.

Founded in 1982, the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin represents a conglomeration of more than 80,000 practicing physicians in the United States and over 40,000 medical students, residents and fellows of Indian origin in this country, who serve 1 in every 7 people in the USA. For more details, please visit: www.aapiusa.org

New Study Unveils the Impact of Sleep Deprivation on Emotions: Positive Moods Take a Hit, Revealing a Nuanced Connection

In the realm of understanding the impact of sleep on our emotions, a profound analysis spanning over 50 years of data has illuminated the intricate relationship between sleep deprivation and our emotional well-being. This groundbreaking study, the first of its scale since 1996, unravels the complexities of how our nocturnal habits intertwine with our feelings.

Reflecting on the evolution of research in this field, Jo Bower, a lecturer and researcher at the University of East Anglia, notes the substantial growth since 1996. With an abundance of data at their disposal, researchers like Bower can now discern the effects of various types of sleep deprivation, such as staying up late, insufficient sleep duration, and intermittent awakenings during the night.

Published on December 21 by the American Psychological Association, Bower’s study, conducted in collaboration with colleagues from institutions in Texas, Colorado, and Montana, delves into the impact of these sleep patterns on emotional states. Examining data from 154 studies involving 5,715 participants, the team meticulously analyzed reported outcomes. The predominant and consistent effect observed across all types of sleep loss was a decline in positive emotions coupled with an increase in emotional numbness and anxiety.

Bower elucidates, “We looked at everything that they reported in those studies, and what was strongest and most consistent was an impact on positive moods.” Contrary to popular intuition, individuals experiencing sleep loss were more inclined to express diminished happiness, excitement, and contentment than heightened anger or anxiety. This revelation challenges common perceptions as people often associate sleep deprivation with heightened irritability or sadness.

The study highlighted a pervasive emotional numbing and a loss of pleasure in many participants, even in cases of mild sleep deprivation, such as staying awake just an hour or two later than usual. Notably, the negative impact on emotions was accentuated when participants lost Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, suggesting that distinct neural processes during different stages of the sleep cycle could influence daytime emotions in varying ways.

Quoting Bower, “We thought that was really interesting because, intuitively, if you talk to someone [who hasn’t slept], they’ll quite often say they’re more grumpy or they’re more sad or they’re more irritable, but actually, the evidence suggests that it’s these positive emotions that suffer.”

This comprehensive exploration into the intricate dance between sleep patterns and emotional well-being underscores the profound implications of sleep on our daily lives. As we navigate the demands of modern life, understanding the delicate balance between a good night’s sleep and our emotional resilience becomes increasingly crucial.

Unlocking Immune Resilience: A Holistic Guide to Strengthening Defenses Amidst the Ongoing Pandemic Challenges

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a heightened focus on maintaining robust immune systems. Many individuals have turned to home remedies and various medications, often marketed as immune-boosting solutions. This surge in interest has given rise to an entire industry dedicated to chewables, pills, and powders claiming to fortify our immune defenses. From the popular haldi ka doodh (turmeric milk) to salt gargling, several pseudo-scientific approaches gained traction.

As attention shifts back to the ongoing threat posed by the newest variant, JN.1, concerns about our susceptibility to illness have resurfaced. While vaccines and universal masking strategies take center stage in the battle against Covid-19, Shweta Gupta, unit head of dietetics at Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, emphasizes the importance of incorporating immune-building practices into our daily routines.

Recognizing that there is no foolproof method to prevent Covid-19, experts suggest a combination of lifestyle changes and healthy habits to naturally enhance the immune system. Shweta Gupta advocates for a nutrient-rich diet, emphasizing the consumption of foods rich in vitamin C (found in citrus fruits like seasonal oranges, malta, and guava), vitamin D (abundant in fatty fish and fortified dairy), and zinc (found in nuts, seeds, and legumes). Dr. Gupta advises against relying on immunity-boosting drinks, urging individuals to opt for colorful fruits and vegetables that are loaded with antioxidants, potentially shielding immune cells.

Furthermore, Dr. Mahua Kapoor Dasgupta, director of medical affairs in infectious diseases at HaystackAnalytics, stresses the importance of obtaining these essential nutrients from food rather than supplements. She highlights that supplements often lack the full spectrum of nutrients and enzymes found in whole foods.

Protein intake is highlighted as crucial for supporting white blood cells, integral to the immune system’s defense against infections. Dr. Gupta recommends ensuring an adequate intake of protein from sources such as dals, legumes, milk, eggs, chicken, and fish. With Indian diets typically rich in carbohydrates, extra attention to incorporating proteins is advised.

Gut health is identified as another key element in immune system support. Dr. Gupta suggests consuming probiotic-rich foods like yogurt and other fermented items to foster a healthy gut microbiome, which is closely linked to immune function.

Hydration is emphasized as a fundamental aspect of immune health. Dr. Dasgupta underscores the role of water in facilitating the circulation of blood and lymph, both essential for carrying immune cells crucial in defending against pathogens and maintaining overall health. It is recommended to consume around 2-3 liters of water daily, considering external and internal factors such as diet and season.

Moderate exercise is proposed as a means of enhancing immune function by reducing inflammation and promoting the healthy turnover of immune cells. Dr. Divya Singh, a senior surgeon at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and director of Maaiya Social Front Foundation, advises engaging in activities like brisk walking or swimming, aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.

Adequate sleep emerges as a vital yet often overlooked factor in immune health. Dr. Singh stresses the importance of adults getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night, with teens and younger children requiring 8–10 hours and up to 14 hours, respectively. Establishing good sleep hygiene practices, including limiting screen time before bed and maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, is recommended.

The impact of stress on immune health is acknowledged, with chronic stress potentially weakening the immune response by reducing the number of natural killer cells or lymphocytes in the body. Stress management techniques, such as mindfulness, meditation, or deep breathing, are suggested by Dr. Gupta to mitigate the negative effects of stress on the immune system.

Maintaining a balanced lifestyle and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption and smoking are highlighted as crucial components of immune health. Recognizing the potential negative impact of these lifestyle choices on the immune system, individuals are encouraged to adopt practices that contribute to overall well-being.

While there is no guaranteed method to prevent Covid-19, a holistic approach encompassing lifestyle adjustments and healthy habits can play a significant role in enhancing the immune system. The advice from experts emphasizes the importance of a nutrient-rich diet, protein intake, gut health, hydration, moderate exercise, adequate sleep, stress management, and a balanced lifestyle in fortifying the body’s defenses against infections and illnesses. As we navigate the ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic, incorporating these practices into our daily lives may contribute to a resilient and robust immune system.

New COVID Variant In India

Everyone is advised to wear a mask because the new COVID-Omicron XBB variant of the coronavirus is different, deadly and not easy to detect properly:-
   Symptoms of the new virus COVID-Omicron XBB are as follows:-
     1. No cough.
     2. No fever.
     There will just be a lot :-
     3. Joint pain.
     4. Headache.
     5. Neck pain.
     6. Upper back pain.
     7. Pneumonia.
     8. Generally no appetite.
   Of course, COVID-Omicron XBB is 5 times more virulent and has a higher death rate than the Delta variant.
   The condition takes a shorter time to reach extreme severity, sometimes without obvious symptoms.
    Let’s be more careful!
   This type of virus does not reside in the nasopharyngeal area and directly affects the lungs, namely the “window”, in a relatively short time.
   Several patients diagnosed with Covid Omicron XBB were finally classified as having no fever, no pain, but X-ray results showed mild chest pneumonia.
   Nasal swab tests frequently provide negative results for COVID-Omicron XBB, and cases of nasopharyngeal tests providing false negative results are increasing.
   This means that the virus can spread in the community and directly infect the lungs, causing viral pneumonia which can cause acute respiratory stress.
   This explains why Covid-Omicron XBB is very contagious, very virulent and deadly.
   Please note, avoid crowded places, keep a distance of 1.5 m even in open spaces, wear a two-layer mask, use a suitable mask, and wash your hands frequently if everyone is asymptomatic (not coughing or sneezing).
   Covid Omicron *”WAVE”* is more deadly than the first wave of Covid-19. So we have to be very careful and take all kinds of coronavirus precautions.
   Also maintain vigilant communication with your friends and family.
   Don’t keep this information to yourself, share it with as many other relatives and friends as possible, especially your own family and friends.
 Karnataka on alert as Covid cases surge in Kerala

Winter Wellness: Expert Tips for a Healthy and Happy Season

As the days grow colder and shorter, and the New Year’s resolution deadline looms, it’s the perfect time to focus on staying healthy this winter. We’ve gathered insights from experts, offering a mix of conventional and unique tips to keep you in top shape, from lip care to winter-friendly yoga.

  1. Protect Your Pout

The winter chill can wreak havoc on your lips, the thinnest skin on your body. Dermatologist Sarvenaz Zand recommends choosing petroleum-based balms with minimal ingredients or opting for those with beeswax and shea butter. While sunscreen-infused lip balms are great for summer, skip them in winter to avoid irritating sensitive lips. Zand suggests applying lip balm twice daily and, for severe chapping, trying an over-the-counter ointment with hydrocortisone.

“For those who prefer to avoid petroleum, I love the ones with beeswax and shea butter,” says Sarvenaz Zand, a dermatologist in Mill Valley, Calif. “Remember to use your lip balm twice a day.”

  1. Prioritize Social Connection

Amid the lingering threat of the coronavirus and year-end responsibilities, it’s essential to resist isolation for the sake of your heart and brain health. Consider organizing potlucks, starting a book club, or simply spending time outdoors with friends. Psychologist Tamar Mendelson emphasizes the importance of reaching out to those facing holiday blues, especially adolescents experiencing increased depression and anxiety. Acts of altruism not only benefit others but can also enhance your own well-being.

“Altruism won’t just help your targets; a growing body of research suggests it can make you happier and maybe even healthier as well.”

  1. Embrace Snowga

Combat winter lethargy by embracing “snowga” – yoga in the snow. While unconventional, this activity offers a unique way to stay active during the colder months. Dress warmly in full snow gear, including gloves, scarves, and boots, and avoid pushing your limits in the cold. Remember to incorporate indoor stretching after your snowga session to keep your body flexible.

“You don’t want to do this barefoot. Skip the thin leggings for your full snow regalia, with gloves, scarves, and boots.”

  1. Pamper Your Pet and Dust Off Allergies

Winter can make furry pets dust magnets, so veterinarians recommend washing them at least once a month. To minimize indoor allergies and asthma risks, conduct a dust inventory, change HVAC filters, and wash bedding weekly in hot water. Additionally, consider using special mite-proof cases for pillows. Maintaining a clean living environment contributes to overall health and well-being.

“Furry pets are dust magnets. In the winter, they may also track in snow and mud.”

 

  1. Savor the Moment with Mindful Moments

Practice “hygge” by indulging in mindful moments, such as a hot-chocolate meditation. Take 20 minutes to enjoy a warm beverage, focusing on its aroma and taste. Mindfulness teachers suggest imagining the experience if actual consumption is not appealing. Hydration is crucial during winter, so be sure to drink enough water and consider using a humidifier to maintain skin and respiratory health in dry indoor environments.

“If you want to go full-tilt hygge, cocoon your way into a pair of flannel PJs and slippers and settle down for a hot-chocolate meditation.”

  1. Stay Healthy, Keep Germs at Bay

Guard against winter ailments by getting a flu shot and maintaining good hand hygiene. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a handy online demonstration on proper handwashing techniques. Moisturize after washing to prevent dry, cracked skin. Ensure adequate vitamin D intake through diet or supplements, as it plays a crucial role in fighting infections. Consult your doctor before adding curcumin, found in turmeric, to your winter immune-boosting regimen.

“Remember, of course, to apply moisturizer after you wash. Dry, cracked skin makes it easier for germs to get inside your body.”

  1. Prioritize Winter Footwear Safety

Take precautions to avoid falls, particularly for those over 65, as winter increases the risk of slips and falls. Choose footwear with rubber soles, waterproofing, and insulation. Consider slip-on cleats for snowy days, ensuring your footwear accommodates thick socks. If fashion-forward footwear is a must, bring them in a bag and change upon reaching your destination to minimize the risk of falls.

“The CDC warns that millions of people over 65, in particular, fall every year, with risks that rise significantly in winter.”

These expert tips cover a spectrum of winter wellness strategies to help you navigate the season with health and happiness. From caring for your lips to embracing unique winter activities and maintaining social connections, these practices aim to make your winter a season of well-being.

First Time Ever AAPI Plans Global Healthcare Summit In Two Cities In India

Chicago, IL, December 11, 2023: “For the first time ever the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) has planned to have the annual Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) in two Cities IN India, giving delegates, who are coming to India to participate in GHS a unique perspective and experience from the North and the South India,” Dr. Anjana Samadder, President of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) announced here today.

The flagship annual event of AAPI, the Global Healthcare Summit has contributed to ushering in new ways ofFirst Time Ever AAPI Plans Global Healthcare Summit In Two Cities In India 2 providing healthcare to India’s 1.4 Billion people, who live in the congested urban centers and in the rural/remote regions of the country. The 17th annual GHS will build on the past initiatives and add several new programs, Dr. Samadder added.

“The registration for AAPI’s 17th annual Global Healthcare Summit 2024 at the prestigious Le Meridien Hotel from January 1-3rd and at the Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Mahe in Karnataka from January 4th to 6th, 2023 is filling up fast,” said Dr. Samadder. The CMEs and other related events will be held at the pioneering All India al Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on the January 2nd.

Dr. Lokesh Edara, Chair of AAPI BOT said, “AAPI’s GHS is yet another way of continuing with our constant commitment towards making quality healthcare affordable and accessible to all the people of India. In addition, GHS 2024 will also focus on promoting Healthcare Technology including Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare.”

First Time Ever AAPI Plans Global Healthcare Summit In Two Cities In India 3While elaborating on the themes and areas that are going to be covered during the Summit, Dr. Sampat Shivangi, Chair of GHS 2024 said, “Future of Healthcare and Artificial Intelligence” will be the theme for the GHS 2024, which is organized by AAPI in collaboration with Kasturba Medical College in Manipal, the Indian Medical Association, and the Government of the State of Karnataka.”

The GHS will be inaugurated at the Le Meridien Hotel in New Delhi with a memorable New Year’s Day Eve celebration on December 31st, 2023.

Several prominent physicians and academicians have been invited and have been accepted to be the keynote speakers and chairs of various academic sessions planned and organized during the summit. Latest Advances, CME, ELS, Discussions on Research Methodology, and Scientific Writing by Academic Experts will be part of the summit.

The focus this year will be on Mental Health, Infant and Maternal Mortality as well as Medical Jeopardy and Research Poster presentations by medical students. In addition, there will be panel discussions by International Medical Education experts and National Medical Council Board officials and mentoring of Young Professionals.

Advocacy to dismantle the stigma of mental illness and Suicide Prevention will be the highlight of the program. Chronic Disease Reversal and Prevention, Rural Health Initiatives will continue to be promoted and other Global Health Issues including Climate Change and its impact on health will be discussed.

The CEO Forum will focus on Equity, Ethics, and Physician Burnout issues. The Women’s Forum will deliberate on Gender Bias and Leadership. Dr. Manoj Jain, Chair of CETI – Collaboration to Eliminate TB in India supported by CDC and USAID will discuss their ongoing long-term TB Elimination Projects in India. Comprehensive details and outcomes of TB Elimination Projects in India will be presented to the GHS delegates.

Other activities will include CPR Training for Police personnel; a Walkathon on combating mental health stigma and prevention of Childhood Obesity and several other initiatives will be announced, including treatment modalities for non-communicable medical diseases.

Dr. Anupam Seibel, GHS Chair – New Delhi says, “With physicians from the United States, the Summit is expected to be attended by nearly 400 delegates from India, the US and other parts of the world. AAPI Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) will have many new initiatives and also will be carrying the torch of ongoing projects undertaken by AAPI’s past leaders.”

Lt. Gen. Dr. M.D. Venkatesh, Co-Chair of GHS – India says, “Many of the physicians who will attend this convention have excelled in different specialties and subspecialties and occupy high positions as faculty members of medical schools, heads of departments, and executives of hospitals and pharma companies.

According to GHS Convenor – USA, Dr. Subramanya Bhatt, “The preliminary program is in place, the major attractions include cutting-edge CMEs with renowned speakers, CEO Forum, Innovation Forum, an Entrepreneur Forum, Women’s Forum, and Product Theaters to highlight the newest advances in patient care and medical technology.”

“Alumni meetings for networking, an AAPI-India Strategic Engagement Forum to showcase the AAPI initiatives in India, TB Eradication in India, and recognition of AAPI Award winners will make this Summit unique,” added Dr. Rohit Singh, GHS Convenor – India.

According to CME Chair – USA Dr. Banbwal Suresh Balinga and CME Chair -India, Dr. Dr. Padmaraj Hegde, the focus of GHS 2024 will be on Mental health, Infant and Maternal Mortality, Medical Jeopardy, and Research Poster presentations by medical students with panel discussions by International Medical Education experts and National Medical Council Board officials will help mentoring of young professionals.

GHS Scientific Chair Dr. Rajendran Alappan said, “In our efforts to realize the core mission of AAPI, which is to share the best from leading experts from around the world, to collaborate on clinical challenges, the GHS in Delhi and Manipal will have clinical tracks that are of vital to healthcare in India.”

Dr. Sumul Raval, Secretary of AAPI says, “GHS 2024 is aimed at exploring possibilities for greater collaboration and cooperation between the physicians and health care providers in India with those of Indian origin and major health-care providers abroad.”

Healthcare in India is one of the largest sectors, in terms of revenue and employment. India is making significant improvements in its healthcare infrastructure and is building modern medical facilities throughout India. Doctors of Indian origin have made tremendous progress in the 21st century and India is now being touted as a medical tourism hub.

Dr. Anjana Samadder said, “We are collaborating with senior leaders from leading healthcare organizations including pharmaceuticals, device and medical equipment manufacturers and major medical teaching institutions, hospitals and the Ministries of Health, External/Overseas Affairs and regulatory bodies to attend and coordinate with AAPI with an ultimate goal to providing accessible and affordable high-quality healthcare to all people of India.”

The Global Healthcare Summit has come a long way from the first Indo-US Healthcare Summit launched by AAPI USA in 2007. Since then, AAPI has organized 16 Indo – US/Global Healthcare Summits and developed strategic alliances with various organizations.

Dr. Samadder said, AAPI is hopeful that several international healthcare industry partners are looking for opportunities to participate at this event for greater collaboration on Research & Development and philanthropic engagements.

Dr. Samadder expressed gratitude to all the Chairs and members of various Committees who are working hard to put together a great Summit and to enable members to return home with memories that will last a lifetime.

“Physicians and healthcare professionals from across the country and internationally will meet and participate in the scholarly exchange of medical advances, to develop health policy agendas, and to encourage legislative priorities in the coming year. We look forward to seeing you in New Delhi and Manipal!” said Dr. Samadder. For more details, please visit: www.aapiusa.org/  To register for the Global Healthcare Summit 2023, please visit: https://summit.aapiusa.org

Nurturing Connections: The Power of Creative Expression in Combating Loneliness

Loneliness affects approximately one in four adults globally, with repercussions ranging from an increased risk of heart attacks to dementia and premature death. However, loneliness is not a new or rare phenomenon; rather, it is nearly universal. The key lies in how individuals respond to these feelings of isolation. Dr. Jeremy Nobel, a primary care physician and author of the recently published book Project UnLonely, emphasizes the importance of human connection in addressing loneliness.

“Just like thirst is a signal you need hydration, loneliness is a signal that you need human connection,” notes Dr. Nobel. His book, Project UnLonely, serves as a guide, advocating for creative expression as a means to communicate and establish connections. Vulnerability to loneliness can stem from various factors, including trauma, illness, or being part of a marginalized group. The prevalent American mindset of individualism and independence may also contribute to social disconnection.

The evolving societal norms over the past century have provided individuals with greater freedom to shape their own identities. While this presents opportunities, it also poses challenges, as determining one’s identity and sense of belonging can be disorienting. Dr. Nobel remarks, “It’s both a set of opportunities and a set of challenges.” The absence of a prescribed way to “belong” can make finding connections challenging, leading many to hesitate in expressing themselves or communicating openly.

Dr. Nobel, a poet himself, has experienced the healing power of creative expression firsthand. His early work with active-duty service members and veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan focused on using artistic expression and mindfulness activities to help them cope with post-traumatic stress. As a believer in the medicinal benefits of creative expression, he founded the Foundation for Art & Healing two decades ago.

Project UnLonely now collaborates with community-based organizations to develop evidence-based creative expression programs, spanning various forms such as music, painting, drawing, and culinary arts. Dr. Nobel emphasizes that the options are endless, including activities like knitting, crocheting, quilting, and even gardening.

Research supports the idea that engaging in art, or even appreciating the work of others, reduces stress hormone levels and increases feel-good hormones like dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin. Dr. Nobel explains, “So what the arts do is they relax you and put you in a good mood,” creating an inviting atmosphere for connection.

Project UnLonely encourages individuals to take steps toward fostering connections:

1.Be Curious:Pay attention to your interests and motivations. Knowing yourself is the first step to bonding with others. Dr. Nobel suggests, “Connecting authentically with other people is best done if you have some kind of authentic connection with yourself.”

  1. Make Something:** Creative expression doesn’t require artistic prowess. Dr. Nobel recommends simple acts like doodling, dancing, cooking, or engaging in textile arts. Making something tangible becomes an artifact expressing your thoughts and feelings to others.

3.Take a Risk by Having Conversations:Share something about yourself, even if it’s not a deep secret. Taking a risk is the first step to authentic connection. Sharing something you’ve made, like a doodle or dance move, can act as a catalyst for more profound conversations.

  1. Find a Group that Matches Your Interests:Whether through volunteering or joining a group with shared interests, connecting with like-minded individuals is crucial. Dr. Nobel shares examples, such as an online group fascinated by brown bears in Alaska, which led to a unique connection during Fat Bear Week.
  2. Recognize Other People’s Loneliness:Loneliness can be a cycle, and reaching out to others experiencing loneliness is vital. Dr. Nobel advises, “If you see someone who’s experiencing loneliness, tolerate the risk of asking them how they’re doing.” Sharing your own experiences of loneliness can create a meaningful connection.

Project UnLonely and Dr. Jeremy Nobel advocate for the transformative power of creative expression in combating loneliness. By encouraging individuals to explore their interests, make tangible artifacts, take risks in conversations, join groups, and recognize others’ loneliness, the initiative aims to create a supportive and connected community, addressing the global issue of social isolation.

Psychologists Report Escalating Mental Health Struggles for Patients, Prolonged Waitlists, and Provider Burnout Amid Lingering Pandemic Impact

In a study released this week by the American Psychological Association (APA), psychologists nationwide have highlighted the persistent challenges faced by their patients, revealing that symptoms are escalating, necessitating extended treatment periods for the third consecutive year. The annual survey, initiated by the APA in 2020 to assess the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic on practicing psychologists, emphasizes the growing demand for mental health services.

According to the survey, a majority of psychologists have noted a surge in individuals seeking mental health care in the current year, exacerbating the already lengthy waitlists. An alarming 56% of respondents indicated that they had no available slots for new patients. For those managing waitlists, the average waiting period extended beyond three months, and nearly 40% acknowledged an expansion of their waitlists over the past year.

Psychologist Vaile Wright, the Senior Director of Health Care Innovation at the APA, expressed concern about the unsustainable situation, stating, “We continue to see incredibly high demand for mental health services and an incredibly limited supply. This is not a sustainable solution to addressing the mental health crisis in this country.”

The survey findings also shed light on a notable increase in the number of individuals seeking assistance for specific mental health issues, particularly anxiety disorders, depression, trauma, and stress-related disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sleep disturbances, and addiction. Over half of the psychologists observed a lengthening of the duration for which patients required treatment.

Wright attributes these lingering mental health challenges to the enduring impact of the pandemic. She explains, “I think there are a variety of ways that individuals experienced trauma during the pandemic,” citing the loss of loved ones, associated grief, personal sickness, and the consequences of hospitalizations. Additionally, pandemic-induced changes to personal lives, encompassing alterations in social interactions, employment circumstances, and the ability to care for loved ones, have contributed to heightened stress levels.

The repercussions of these stressors often manifest after the initial traumas and stresses have subsided. Wright notes, “It’s when things actually start to quiet down that the impacts of all that we’ve gone through, all that stress, actually start to hit us.”

Furthermore, mental health care providers themselves have grappled with significant stress since the pandemic’s onset. Adapting rapidly to virtual platforms and coping with increased care demands have added to the strain. Psychologist Mary Alvord, founder of Alvord, Baker & Associates, a private practice in Chevy Chase and Rockville, Md., acknowledges the challenges, stating, “It’s been just very difficult the last number of years, first pivoting to virtual and now pivoting back to accommodation of in-person and hybrid.”

Alvord notes changes in patient preferences, with children increasingly requesting in-person sessions, while adults prefer virtual meetings after one or two initial in-person appointments.

The survey exposed the toll on mental health care providers, with 36% of psychologists admitting to feeling burned out. Although slightly lower than the 2021 peak of 41%, the report underscores the substantial number of practitioners struggling to meet the demands of their profession. However, a positive aspect revealed in the survey is that two-thirds of psychologists actively practice self-care to combat work pressures and burnout, with nearly half relying on peer support to enhance their well-being.

While not part of the survey, Alvord attests to the significance of peer support in managing stress. “We have peer consult groups throughout the week, and this is where we really support one another,” she reveals. Personally, she emphasizes physical activity, walking 3 to 5 miles a day, as a crucial means of stress relief.

FDA Approves Groundbreaking Gene-Editing Therapies for Sickle Cell Disease

In a historic decision, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted approval for the first-ever gene-editing treatment aimed at mitigating human illness. This groundbreaking development encompasses two gene therapies specifically designed for individuals aged 12 and above grappling with the most severe manifestation of sickle cell disease, an agonizing blood disorder that has long been overlooked in medical research.

Dr. Nicole Verdun, the director of the Office of Therapeutic Products within the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, expressed enthusiasm, stating, “Sickle cell disease is a rare, debilitating and life-threatening blood disorder with significant unmet need, and we are excited to advance the field, especially for individuals whose lives have been severely disrupted by the disease by approving two cell-based gene therapies today.”

The approval marks significant milestones in both sickle cell treatment and the swiftly advancing domain of gene editing, generating anticipation for addressing numerous diseases. Dr. Verdun emphasized the potential of gene therapy, stating, “Gene therapy holds the promise of delivering more targeted and effective treatments, especially for individuals with rare diseases where the current treatment options are limited.”

Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, a key figure in the discovery of the CRISPR gene-editing technique employed in one of the sickle cell treatments, conveyed her excitement, stating, “I’m elated, excited, in awe. It’s an exciting day and the beginning of a new day in medicine.”

The CRISPR treatment, developed collaboratively by Vertex Pharmaceuticals and CRISPR Therapeutics, involves extracting cells from the patient’s bone marrow, editing a gene using CRISPR, and then reintroducing billions of modified cells back into the patient. This process prompts the production of fetal hemoglobin, restoring normal red blood cell function. While not a definitive cure, the therapy, named Casgevy, is designed as a one-time treatment expected to alleviate symptoms for a lifetime.

According to data presented to the FDA, the CRISPR treatment resolved severe pain crises for 96.7% of subjects for at least 18 months, demonstrating promising results. Another gene therapy, Lyfgenia, developed by bluebird bio inc., received FDA approval for sickle cell treatment without utilizing CRISPR. Instead, Lyfgenia employs a conventional gene therapy approach using a virus to transport a gene into cells.

However, the approval’s celebratory tone is tempered by concerns about accessibility and cost. Both treatments are priced significantly, with Casgevy at $2.2 million and Lyfgenia at $3.1 million wholesale. Additionally, the complex and labor-intensive procedures involved may pose challenges for many hospitals, limiting accessibility for patients.

“We have a lot more work to do,” cautioned Doudna, emphasizing the need to make gene-editing treatments widely available.

 

Sickle cell disease, caused by a genetic defect leading to abnormal hemoglobin production, results in misshapen red blood cells that cause severe pain and organ damage. Primarily affecting individuals of African, Middle Eastern, and Indian descent, sickle cell is a rare yet prevalent genetic disorder.

While bone marrow transplants offer a potential cure for some patients, the majority struggle to find suitable donors. Approximately 20,000 severe cases in the U.S. could potentially benefit from the CRISPR treatment.

Dr. Lewis Hsu, a pediatric hematologist at the University of Illinois at Chicago, expressed excitement, stating, “This is something that we’ve been waiting for in the sickle cell community for basically 70 years. This is a very big deal.”

The approval holds personal significance for Victoria Gray, a sickle cell patient from Forest, Miss., who became the first person to receive the CRISPR treatment in the U.S. in 2019. Reflecting on the approval, Gray said, “I’m ecstatic. It’s a blessing that they approved this therapy. It’s a new beginning for people with sickle cell disease.” She described the treatment as transformative, allowing her to lead a more energetic life, work full time, and spend quality time with her children.

Despite these positive outcomes, concerns persist regarding the technical complexity and lengthy hospitalization required for the treatments. The intricate procedures involve multiple hospital visits, bone marrow transplants, and extended hospital stays, potentially deterring patients due to physical and logistical challenges.

Melissa Creary, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan studying sickle cell, acknowledged the promise of technology but cautioned about potential disparities, stating, “I am excited about the promise that this technology has for those living with sickle cell disease. But as this technology comes to market, it’s going to be really interesting to see the ways in which profit overtake social justice.”

The geographical and financial challenges of accessing treatment also raise concerns. Many countries lack the necessary medical infrastructure for these advanced treatments, and even in the U.S., availability may be limited.

Doudna, leading a center at Berkeley focused on simplifying gene-editing treatments, and the National Institutes of Health are actively working to address these challenges. Biotech companies are collaborating with insurers to explore coverage options. Advocates argue that the high upfront costs may be justified by the long-term savings from avoiding lifelong sickle cell complications.

Amid these developments, concerns about potential “off-target” effects and unintended consequences of gene editing persist. The FDA has issued a warning about Lyfgenia, which employs a more conventional gene therapy approach, potentially increasing the risk of blood cancer.

The companies involved plan to monitor patients for 15 years to assess the treatment’s longevity, effectiveness, and potential long-term complications. CRISPR-based treatments also show promise in addressing other conditions, such as amyloidosis and familial hypercholesterolemia.

“This is only the beginning,” remarked CRISPR researcher Doudna, underscoring the ongoing evolution of gene-editing technologies.

Alarming Rise Of Heart-Related Out-Of-Hospital Deaths In India: Time For Immediate Action

A recent Newspaper report from Gujarat highlighted the increasing incidence of heart-attack-related deaths in India. 1,052 persons died due to heart-related conditions in the past 6 months. Most of the victims are in the 11-25 age group. Sudden injuries of the chest sustained in sports such as Cricket (“Commotio Cordis”) are lethal if not managed immediately with on-the-spot Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) by any nearby bystander.

As announced by the State education minister, the decision to provide CPR training to nearly two lakhs of schoolteachers and college professors is commendable as it might save thousands of lives annually that would otherwise could be lost with no emergency intervention.

According to Chicago-based Indo-US Resuscitation Training Expert Dr. Vemuri S Murthy, the simple technique of hands-only (compressions-only) CPR is easy to learn. Many organizations, such as the American Heart Association and American Red Cross, have in-person training programs in addition to CPR promotional videos.  CPR training is mandatory for high schools in most of the states in USA currently.

Alarming Rise Of Heart Related Out Of Hospital Deaths In IndiaDr. Murthy, an Honorary Advisor to the Government of Odisha (Health and Family Welfare), recommends that all the State Governments in India initiate statewide Community, Police, and High-school CPR programs to “Save Lives” in Sudden Cardiac Arrests due to any cause. Odisha was the first state in India to implement statewide CPR programs among Odisha communities. The Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha, Mr. Naveen Patnaik, officially launched the governmental “Saving Lives with Bystander CPR Training” project on February 1,2023 at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar. The project’s key players include service-oriented Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations, Odisha, and Sri Jagannatha Service Foundation. The ongoing community programs have trained so far, a few thousands of community members and students, including 1000 police personnel. Dr. Murthy hopes to see all the states in India initiate community CPR training programs in the near future with support from their respective state governments and non-governmental organizations.

Dr. Murthy, who has been actively involved with community CPR programs in the USA and India for about two decades, stresses the critical need to train the public in   “AEDs”(Automated External Defibrillators) also along with hands-only CPR to save many more lives than with Hands-only CPR alone before the arrival of EMS (Emergency Medical Services). He recommends public access to AEDs in places such as health clubs, shopping malls, train and bus stations, and at all community, religious, and sports events.

Dr. Murthy, an Associate Professor (Adjunct) in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, is establishing a state-of-the-art Community CPR Training Center with multi-organizational support at the National India Hub in Schaumburg, Illinois. In addition to training communities, the center will initiate “Training the Trainers in CPR” program in High Schools and plan evidence-based research in Resuscitation Medicine involving Medical Students and Residents at the Hub.

Hands-only CPR and early Access to AED (Automated External Defibrillator) can save many lives in Sudden Cardiac arrests

Youth Heartbreak: Gujarat Launches Massive CPR Training Initiative as 1,052 Young Lives Lost to Heart Attacks in Six Months

In the past half-year, Gujarat has witnessed a tragic toll of 1,052 lives claimed by heart attacks, a revelation shared by State Education Minister Kuber Dindor on Friday. Shockingly, 80% of the victims fall within the 11-25 age bracket, a demographic that typically evades the specter of heart-related issues. Dindor, during a media address in Gandhinagar, underscored the urgency of the situation, emphasizing that these young individuals, despite lacking obesity concerns, succumbed to cardiac events. Disturbingly, the 108 ambulance service fields an alarming average of 173 cardiac emergency calls daily.

Expressing concern over the palpable fear gripping youngsters due to the prevalence of heart attacks in their peer group, Minister Dindor urged teachers to partake in a vital initiative. This initiative, spearheaded by the State Education Department, seeks to equip nearly two lakh school and college educators with the skills needed for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), a critical intervention that can be life-saving during such medical emergencies.

Dindor lamented the unfortunate incidents where individuals met their demise due to heart attacks while engaging in seemingly innocuous activities like playing cricket or participating in garba, a traditional dance form synonymous with Navratri festivities. In response to this distressing trend, he called upon educators to actively engage in CPR training camps, highlighting the potential for them to become lifesavers.

To address this pressing need, the Education Department’s initiative entails organizing CPR training camps across 37 medical colleges between December 3 and 17. The ambitious goal is to train nearly two lakh school and college teachers during this period. A cadre of 2,500 medical experts and doctors will be on hand to impart essential knowledge and skills at these training camps. Participants in the program will also receive certificates acknowledging their completion of the training.

Minister Dindor emphasized the precedence of such training, citing instances where Bharatiya Janata Party workers and police personnel in the state had previously undergone similar programs. The scale of this initiative reflects a proactive response to the alarming surge in heart attacks among the youth, underscoring the gravity of the situation and the need for a collective effort to mitigate its impact.

Closing the Gap: Navigating the Tension Between Lifespan and Healthspan in Pursuit of a Healthier Future

In 2014, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a bioethicist, gained notoriety for his essay titled “Why I Hope to Die at 75,” asserting that pursuing maximum human lifespan isn’t worthwhile if it results in additional decades marred by disease and poor health. Almost a decade later, Emanuel maintains his stance, expressing his intent to forego most life-extending medical care at the age of 75, emphasizing the quality of life over mere longevity. The disparity between the average life expectancy in the U.S. (77.5 years) and the years lived in full health (66.1 years) remains, highlighting the distinction between “lifespan” and “healthspan.”

Tim Peterson, CEO of Healthspan Technologies, underscores the importance of focusing on “healthspan,” stating that living to 100 is commendable but less so if the last decades are plagued by poor health. The COVID-19 pandemic and increased rates of suicide and drug overdoses led to a temporary decline in U.S. life expectancy, which rebounded in 2022. Despite this, the substantial increase in life expectancy over the past century, from 59.6 years in 1922 to 77.5 years in 2022, is not mirrored in healthspan improvements.

Persistent challenges in healthspan result from high rates of age-related chronic conditions such as cancer, dementia, and heart disease. Lifestyle factors, including insufficient sleep, exercise, and poor nutrition, contribute to diminished well-being. This issue isn’t exclusive to the U.S., as global life expectancy reaches 73.4 years, while healthy lifespan lags behind at 63.7 years, as per the World Health Organization’s 2019 estimates.

Dr. Andre Terzic, a regenerative medicine specialist at the Mayo Clinic, acknowledges the prolonged life but emphasizes the potential trade-off—extended life without necessarily enhanced health. Bridging the gap between lifespan and healthspan becomes a lofty goal for researchers, policymakers, and entrepreneurs. The United Nations designates 2021-2030 as “the decade of healthy aging,” with the American Heart Association striving to increase U.S. healthy life expectancy by at least two years during the same period.

Numerous startups offer consumer-focused solutions, including DNA tests providing personalized recommendations for nutrition and exercise. Some caution against these approaches, stating they might be ahead of the scientific understanding. Concurrently, companies are developing therapies to counter the effects of aging, aiming to extend healthspan.

In a 2021 paper, Dr. Terzic and colleagues propose strategies for closing the healthspan gap, from global tobacco cessation to drugs eliminating damaged cells accumulated during aging. Other avenues involve gene therapy and restoring protective caps on DNA strands. Encouraging developments, such as cancer immunotherapy and genetic testing, suggest progress in the medical field. New diabetes drugs like Ozempic and Mounjaro, along with potential longevity-enhancing effects of metformin and rapamycin, provide additional optimism, though some individuals adopt these drugs off-label ahead of conclusive scientific evidence.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently acknowledged a drug potentially extending canine lifespans, signaling a willingness to consider drugs targeting aging itself rather than accompanying diseases. This development holds significance for humans, indicating a shift in approach.

Emanuel aligns with the goal of expanding healthspan but proposes a different focus. Instead of prioritizing new aging-reversal drugs, he advocates addressing prevalent health issues like hypertension, diabetes, and maternal and infant mortality, particularly in underserved populations. The 2022 data reveals lower life expectancies for Black and American Indian/Alaska Native individuals, underscoring health disparities.

Emanuel emphasizes the role of behaviors in lifelong health, citing the importance of a nutritious diet, sufficient sleep, exercise, and social support. He contends that promoting these habits universally and maximizing existing medical treatments takes precedence over the “pipe dream” of a future where aging is optional.

Novavax’s Enhanced COVID-19 Vaccine Gains WHO Emergency-Use Approval for Ages 12 and Up, Marking a Milestone in Global Immunization Efforts

Novavax has secured emergency-use authorization from the World Health Organization (WHO) for its updated COVID-19 vaccine, extending its eligibility to individuals aged 12 and older. This approval, granted on Tuesday, follows the previous authorization the vaccine received in the United States just last month. The enhanced Novavax shot is designed to combat a variant stemming from the XBB lineage of the coronavirus, which held global prominence earlier this year.

The World Health Organization’s emergency use listing serves the crucial purpose of expediting regulatory approvals for the importation and administration of these vaccines by member states. This streamlined process is fundamental in ensuring a swift and efficient response to the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing for more expedited deployment of the Novavax vaccine.

Novavax faced setbacks during the initial stages of the pandemic, missing out on the vaccine success experienced by mRNA counterparts. Manufacturing issues hampered the company’s ability to file for regulatory approval during the peak of the pandemic. As a result, its original COVID-19 vaccine obtained authorization in the United States in July 2022, a considerable delay compared to the earlier approvals granted to Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

In contrast to the mRNA-based vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna, Novavax’s updated shot employs a more conventional protein-based technology. This marks a departure from the innovative mRNA approach that has characterized many of the widely used COVID-19 vaccines.

The market responded positively to Novavax’s recent developments, with shares of the Maryland-based vaccine maker experiencing a 1.8% rise to $5.6 in premarket trading. This increase reflects the optimism surrounding the expanded authorization and the potential impact of Novavax’s vaccine on a broader age range.

In reflecting on the journey of Novavax, the challenges it faced in manufacturing, and the subsequent delay in regulatory approval, the company has now taken a significant step forward with the WHO’s emergency-use authorization. This approval not only validates the safety and efficacy of the updated Novavax vaccine but also facilitates a more efficient global response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

As we delve into the details of Novavax’s updated vaccine, it is crucial to highlight the technology behind it. While Pfizer and Moderna relied on mRNA-based approaches, Novavax has opted for a more traditional protein-based technology. This choice comes with its own set of advantages and considerations, contributing to the diversity of strategies employed in the fight against COVID-19.

The importance of WHO’s emergency use listing cannot be overstated, particularly in the context of a global health crisis. By streamlining the regulatory processes for member states, the WHO enables a more rapid deployment of vaccines, thereby enhancing the collective effort to curb the spread of the virus. Novavax’s inclusion in this list underscores its role as a valuable tool in the global vaccination strategy.

Novavax’s updated vaccine receiving emergency-use authorization from the World Health Organization signifies a pivotal moment in the ongoing battle against COVID-19. The extended eligibility to individuals aged 12 and older expands the reach of this vaccine, while the more traditional protein-based technology adds a distinctive element to the array of vaccination strategies. As the world grapples with the challenges of the pandemic, such developments underscore the resilience of scientific innovation and global collaboration in the pursuit of public health

Legislation To Address Health Care Workforce Shortages, Prioritize Merit-Based Immigration Introduced

U.S. Senators Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) introduced legislation to address health care workforce shortages by recapturing previously authorized Green Cards that simply went unused. The senators’ bill introduced on November 7th, 2023, also establishes merit-based immigration policies.

“Legal immigration is a critical part of our workforce,” said Rounds. “As the health care worker shortage continues to impact South Dakota and other rural states, we are in need of qualified, hard-working nurses and physicians to fill positions in hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. I’m pleased to join Senator Cramer on this legislation that would increase our ability to provide timely, quality health care to South Dakotans.”

“In rural states like North Dakota, highly skilled immigrant doctors and nurses play a critical role in our healthcare workforce, sometimes providing the only specialty care available in the area,” said Cramer. “Our open borders and per-country caps are nonsensical and chaotic. It’s long-past time our immigration policies reflected a skills-based approach, welcoming hard-working immigrants who help fill the labor and service gaps in the U.S.”

Legislation To Address Health Care Workforce Shortages Prioritize Merit Based Immigration Introduced (Getty Images)
Picture: Getty Images

The Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act would make a limited number of Green Cards available to qualified immigrant nurses and physicians to address critical health care workforce shortages. The bill would also allow the “recapture” of Green Cards already authorized by Congress but unused in previous years, allotting up to 25,000 immigrant visas for nurses and up to 15,000 immigrant visas for physicians. This bill does not authorize any new visas.

This legislation would require employers to attest that immigrants from overseas who receive these visas will not displace an American worker. Additionally, it would necessitate eligible immigrant medical professionals to meet licensing requirements, pay filing fees and clear rigorous national security and criminal history background checks before they can receive recaptured Green Cards.

The Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act is supported by the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations, Sanford Health and Avera Health.

“The South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations (SDAHO) fully supports any effort to strengthen the healthcare workforce as staffing shortages continue to be the number one problem for our members across the continuum of care, from hospitals to nursing homes,” said Tammy Hatting, Chief Operating Officer of SDAHO.

“We need to streamline and expedite the hiring and placement of qualified immigrants in our healthcare facilities, and we are thankful to our South Dakota Senator, Mike Rounds, for cosponsoring this very important bill.”

“Sanford Health is grateful for the support from Senator Rounds as a sponsor of the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act,” said Corey Brown, System Vice President, Government Affairs of Sanford Health. “Workforce is a critical challenge in healthcare, especially in rural areas. Recapturing unused VISAs is a commonsense measure that allows us to employ internationally educated nurses and physicians who are an integral and important part of our workforce.”

“Maintaining a highly skilled workforce is vital to providing care across our rural footprint, which covers 72 thousand square miles” said Kim Jensen, Chief Human Resources Officer of Avera Health. “Often there are not enough nurses and physicians available to recruit to fill our workforce needs. The Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act would help fill critical positions and offer meaningful work experiences for those who want to practice in the United States.”

Both bills advocate for the establishment of merit-based immigration policies.  The Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act, spearheaded by Senators Kevin Cramer and Dick Durbin, is designed to alleviate healthcare workforce shortages by providing a set number of green cards for qualified immigrant doctors and nurses. The legislation proposes the “recapture” of green cards previously authorized by Congress but left unused in past years.

Specifically, the bill allocates up to 25,000 immigrant visas for nurses and up to 15,000 immigrant visas for physicians, addressing critical gaps in the healthcare workforce. The Act, if enacted, would impose requirements to ensure that immigrants receiving these visas do not displace American workers.

Employers would be obligated to attest to this condition. Moreover, eligible immigrant medical professionals seeking recaptured green cards would need to meet licensing requirements, pay filing fees, and successfully undergo rigorous national security and criminal history background checks.

The Act addresses the challenges faced by many prospective employment-based immigrants who, due to per-country caps, endure lengthy waits for visa availability. Often, these individuals live and work in the U.S. on temporary visas while awaiting permanent residency. The legislation aims to alleviate the backlog, particularly for those who face extended waiting periods, by phasing out the per-country limit on employment-based immigrant visas.

Manipal Hospitals Launch Training Program With BAPIO

Manipal Hospitals, a prominent healthcare provider in India, has  announced its collaboration with the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) and the British Training Academy (BTA). The partnership was formalized through the signing of an agreement by Dr. Manish Rai, hospital director of Manipal Hospital Old Airport Road and professor Parag Singhal, chief executive officer of BAPIO UK.

Manipal Hospitals has partnered with BAPIO- training academy to establish avenues for young pediatricians in India to access high-quality training in super-specialty fields. The program involves a comprehensive one-year pediatric post-graduation and super-specialty training within Manipal Hospitals.

The program involves a comprehensive one-year pediatric post-graduation and super-specialty training within Manipal Hospitals. Furthermore, it offers participants the opportunity to enhance their skills through additional training in various hospitals in the UK over three subsequent years.

The selected doctors for the program will receive a general medicine council license, enabling them to practice in the UK. They will undergo training under the guidance of highly experienced and skilled faculty members from both Indo-UK sources, representing Manipal Hospitals and BAPIO, respectively.

Both BAPIO and BTA are affiliated with the UK’s National Health Service and actively collaborate to support the recruitment and retention of medical staff, advocate for diversity and equality, and facilitate knowledge exchange through research and innovation.

Singhal, CEO of BAPIO UK, said, “We are deeply honored for this opportunity to collaborate with one of the leading Healthcare hospitals in India with state-of-the-art facilities and highly skilled expert doctors.”

“With this association, the focus of BAPIO and BTA is to provide the doctors of the Indian Subcontinent with unique opportunities to facilitate a two-way flow of knowledge and expertise between overseas colleagues and the NHS, thereby building strong Indo-UK relationships. We look forward to creating new avenues for academic collaboration, innovation, and clinical excellence, benefiting patients and healthcare professionals,” he added.

Scientists Uncover Primate-Specific Gene Cluster with Potential Cancer Insights: A Breakthrough in Human Genome Biology

In a groundbreaking discovery, researchers led by Ali Shilatifard, Ph.D., the Robert Francis Furchgott Professor and chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, have identified a novel repeat gene cluster sequence exclusively expressed in both humans and non-human primates. This significant finding, outlined in a study featured in Science Advances, marks a pivotal moment in human genome biology, offering far-reaching implications for future investigations into transcriptional regulation, human evolution, and the exploration of repetitive DNA sequences.

Shilatifard, also the director of the Simpson Querrey Institute for Epigenetics and a professor of Pediatrics, expressed the magnitude of this breakthrough, stating, “This is an unbelievable discovery of the first elongation factor that is repeated within the human genome and is very primate-specific.”

The evolution of genome sequencing technologies over the past two decades has facilitated in-depth exploration of the genetic landscape within various regions of the human genome. Previously elusive large sections, often composed of repetitive DNA sequences referred to as genetic “dark matter,” have become identifiable through recent advancements in long-read DNA sequencing.

During the investigation of a cancer-inhibitor compound in human cell lines, Shilatifard’s team serendipitously uncovered a cluster of previously uncharacterized genes responsible for encoding the Elongin A3 (ELOA3) protein. This protein, closely linked to the previously studied ELOA protein, plays a crucial role in regulating RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) transcription, a fundamental process in gene expression.

Marc Morgan, Ph.D., former Associate Research Professor in Shilatifard’s laboratory and co-lead author of the study, emphasized the uniqueness of the ELOA3 gene cluster. Unlike the conventional scenario where a single human protein is encoded by a single gene, the ELOA3 cluster features multiple genes located in the same genetic locus encoding identical proteins, presenting an intriguing subject for investigation.

Collaborating with Evan Eichler, Ph.D., professor of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine, the researchers found that the ELOA3 gene cluster is exclusive to humans and non-human primates. Furthermore, the number of ELOA3 gene repeats varies among individuals and across primate species, suggesting a dynamic element in its evolutionary history.

Shilatifard highlighted the variability in repeat units among individuals, stating, “You may have 52 copies, I may have 27 copies, somebody else may have 32 copies. We don’t know why, but we know that there are different repeat units in every individual, and this repeat unit is highly conserved among primates.”

The research team proposed that the ELOA3 gene cluster has undergone concerted evolution and gene homogenization within the examined primate species, a conclusion drawn from observations of its consistency among primates.

Utilizing protein biochemistry techniques, the researchers demonstrated that ELOA3 forms a distinct protein complex from the ELOA protein, employing unique biochemical mechanisms to regulate RNAPII transcription. This discovery not only advances our understanding of human genome biology but also provides insights that could lead to targeted drug design in cancer.

Saeid Mohammad Parast, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the Shilatifard laboratory and co-lead author, emphasized the significance of ELOA3 in understanding gene expression variability, stating, “The dynamic nature of the ELOA3 repeat cluster could be a reflection of its unique role in regulating gene expression variability among individuals.”

The researchers’ future endeavors include determining the expression patterns of ELOA3 in the genomes of humans and non-human primates, exploring its potential role in developmental disorders and diseases, including cancer. Morgan emphasized the evolutionary conservation of this gene cluster among primates, suggesting it could unveil unique gene regulatory mechanisms specific to the human evolutionary lineage.

Unlocking Longevity: The Blueprint for a Happier and Healthier Life

For two decades, I’ve embarked on a global journey exploring the enigmatic Blue Zones—regions where inhabitants enjoy remarkably prolonged lives: Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California.

In my extensive dialogues with 263 centenarians, a set of principles emerged, forming what I term the “Power 9.” These non-negotiables serve as the backbone for those who have mastered the art of longevity. Let’s delve into these transformative guidelines.

1.Move Naturally

The longevity elites don’t engage in rigorous workouts; instead, they inhabit environments that seamlessly encourage physical activity. Whether it’s tending to gardens or relishing in joyous walks to work or social gatherings, constant movement is embedded in their daily lives.

“The world’s longest-lived people don’t pump iron, run marathons or join gyms. Instead, they live in environments that constantly nudge them into moving.”

2.Purpose

Referred to as “ikigai” in Okinawa and “plan de vida” in Nicoya, a sense of purpose beyond mere employment pervades the lives of these individuals. Research underscores that having a clear purpose can extend one’s lifespan by up to seven years.

“Residents in every Blue Zone I visited had something to live for beyond just work. Research even shows that knowing your sense of purpose can add up to seven years to your life.”

3.Downshift

Acknowledging stress as a potential harbinger of age-related ailments, Blue Zone residents adopt routines to alleviate stress. From Okinawans remembering ancestors to Ikarians indulging in a nap, these practices counteract chronic inflammation.

“But they have routines that shed stress: Okinawans take a few moments each day to remember their ancestors, Adventists pray, Ikarians take a nap, and Sardinians have happy hour.”

4.The 80% Rule

Guided by the ancient Confucian mantra “hara hachi bu,” Blue Zone dwellers practice mindful eating, stopping when their stomachs are 80% full. Meals are smaller in the late afternoon or early evening, with no further intake for the rest of the day.

“Hara hachi bu” — the 2,500-year-old Confucian mantra that Okinawans say before meals — reminds people to stop eating when their stomachs are 80% full.”

5.Plant Slant

Central to Blue Zone diets are beans—fava, black, soy, and lentils—while meat consumption is limited to about five times per month, in small three to four-ounce servings.

6.Wine at 5 p.m.

Moderate and regular alcohol consumption, even among some Adventists, is a common thread. The key lies in enjoying one to two glasses per day with companions or meals.

“People in Blue Zones, even some Adventists, drink alcohol moderately and regularly. Moderate drinkers outlive nondrinkers.”

7.Belong

A striking majority of the centenarians I interviewed belonged to faith-based communities, irrespective of denomination. Regular attendance at faith-based services has been linked to an increase of four to 14 years in life expectancy.

“All but five of the 263 centenarians I talked to belonged to a faith-based community. Denomination doesn’t seem to matter. Research shows that attending faith-based services four times per month can add four to 14 years of life expectancy.”

8.Put Loved Ones First

In Blue Zones, centenarians maintain close proximity to aging relatives, reducing disease and mortality rates for their offspring. Committing to a life partner and showering children with time and love are additional longevity-boosting practices.

“Centenarians in the Blue Zones keep aging parents and grandparents nearby or in the home, which studies show can lower the disease and mortality rates of their children.”

9.Find the Right Tribe

The world’s longest-lived individuals consciously select or are born into social circles that promote healthy habits. In Okinawa, this takes the form of “moais”—groups of five friends committed to a lifelong bond.

“The world’s longest-lived people choose (or were born into) social circles that support healthy behaviors. Okinawans create “moais” — groups of five friends that commit to each other for life.”

While adherence to these principles doesn’t guarantee a century of life, it certainly enhances the likelihood of a more joyful and prolonged existence.

Navigating Holiday Spirits: The Impact of Alcohol Consumption, Choosing Healthier Options, and Embracing Small-Batch Mezcal

Recent medical studies indicate that while 70% of Americans consume alcohol, these numbers surge during specific seasons, particularly around holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. As the festive season approaches, it’s crucial to consider the implications of alcohol consumption.

Holidays, especially Thanksgiving Day, exhibit noteworthy changes in sleep quality associated with increased alcohol use. Adult behavioral shifts during public holidays continue to be under examination. Although not groundbreaking, it’s essential to recognize that alcohol, even in moderate amounts, is not conducive to good health. Registered Dietitian Megan DeChatelets emphasizes the impact of drink choices on negative physical effects.

In Megan DeChatelets’ words, “It’s the first question I ask my patients: What do they drink and how often?” Ms. DeChatelets, a registered dietitian consultant for Hilma, a natural remedy brand, highlights the importance of opting for beverages with a single ingredient, drawing parallels with food choices. Despite the perception that tequila is a safer choice, the Tequila Regulatory Council allows additives in tequila labeled “100% agave,” outraging purists who prefer additives-free options.

Unlike tequila, mezcal’s additives must be labeled, including unique ingredients like pechuga added during distillation. Ms. DeChatelets emphasizes the importance of pure ingredients, aligning with her dietary practice of advocating for clean labels. To mitigate the impact of alcohol, especially during the holidays, Ms. DeChatelets recommends Hilma’s Stomach Recover + Hydrate supplement.

Christina Miller, lead certified Ayurvedic practitioner, suggests neat mezcal for clients unwilling to give up alcohol, emphasizing sustainability in dietary choices. Supporting small-batch brands and smaller manufacturers is advised to maintain label and product purity, according to Ms. Miller.

Highlighted mezcal brands include Dos Perros Mezcal, favored in Hollywood circles and found in exclusive members clubs and high-end retailers. Olvido Divino 30-Year Mezcal is an extreme rarity with batch provenance paperwork, albeit at a high price. For those daring enough to try pechuga mezcal, Siete Misterios is recommended as a small-batch luxury brand.

As the holiday season approaches, it’s essential to be mindful of alcohol consumption trends, make informed drink choices, and consider alternatives like mezcal with transparent labeling and pure ingredients. Supporting small-batch brands ensures a commitment to label and product purity, aligning with a growing awareness of the impact of alcohol on health during festive occasions.

Dr. Bellamkonda Kishore: A Renaissance Man’s Journey Of Passion And Purpose

In a recent interview with Dr. Bellamkonda Kishore, an accomplished figure in academic research and education leading to entrepreneurship, NRI Pulse gained insights into his remarkable journey, his philosophy on life, and his advice for aspiring researchers, entrepreneurs, and individuals looking to make a positive impact on society.

Sandy, Utah-based Dr. Kishore is a physician-turned-scientist with an M.D. and a Ph.D. in kidney pathophysiology. He has forged an illustrious career in academic research, innovation, and entrepreneurship. His expertise in cell biology, molecular and transport physiology, and pharmacology of the kidney laid the foundation for innovative discoveries in purinergic signaling – a relatively new field with a vast potential for the development of novel drugs. Dr. Kishore earned a prestigious Executive MBA degree from the University of Utah, which seamlessly facilitated his transition to entrepreneurship.

As the Co-Founder, President, CEO & CSO of ePurines, Inc., a startup in the University of Utah Research Park, Dr. Kishore leads the charge in bringing purinergic signaling-based therapies for various disease conditions to the market. Inducted as a Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors, and a Fellow of several esteemed societies, Dr. Kishore has left an indelible mark on the medical landscape.

Beyond academia, he is a dedicated community servant and has received accolades, including the Nelson Mandela Leadership Award from the NRI Welfare Society in India, and honors from the AAPI, NATA, and TANA in the United States. Dr. Kishore is also an accomplished writer and composer of poems in English and Telugu. He published two motivational books. He is a gifted artist and photographer with prizes to his credit since his college days. Dr. Kishore is also an avid singer of devotional songs and leads Bhajans.

Dr. Kishore’s journey is a testament to the power of unwavering passion, focus on meaningful work, and living a purpose-oriented life. His wisdom and work serve as a valuable guide for those looking to make a positive impact on society.

Dr. Kishore, can you share highlights from your academic and research journey?

I did not start my career with a preconceived idea of what I wanted to achieve. I had a passion for science and creative hands-on activities from a young age. My focus was always on the work itself, not on achieving a specific goal. As I continued working diligently, opportunities unfolded, and I progressed step by step. The key was to focus on my work, find meaning and value in what I do, and have confidence and faith that my work has a greater purpose. The rest of the things kept falling in their place in due course. I had passion, perseverance, and patience (3Ps) to let my life unfold by itself.

What motivated you to move from academia to entrepreneurship?

Initially, my career was deeply rooted in academic research, with no intention of founding a company. I was primarily interested in understanding disease mechanisms, publishing papers, and obtaining research grants. However, when I moved to Utah in 2001, I had a chance encounter with a researcher-turned-entrepreneur who encouraged me to think about innovation and the development of intellectual property. This led me to keep an eye on and explore the commercialization potential of my research findings. Chance favors the prepared mind. Supported by the University of Utah’s Technology Commercialization Center, and the US Department of Veterans Affairs Technology Transfer Program, by 2018 I ended up with nine discoveries with patents issued or pending. Then, the pressure to commercialize intellectual property mounted on me, and eventually, I took the risk and co-founded ePurines.

Moving from a respectable professor position in the University of Utah Health, and a secure Principal Investigator position in the VA Medical Center, to starting a company was a significant transition in my life.  Fortunately, this transition came at a point when my children were grown up and are independent. I had more freedom, which made the risk manageable. But I retained a faculty role at the university as an Adjunct Professor of Internal Medicine, while establishing the company in the Research Park. Thus, I didn’t completely sever ties with academia.

What is the goal of ePurines, and where do you see the company in the next five to ten years?

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, chronic lung diseases, cancers, and chronic kidney diseases account for 41 million deaths (71% of all deaths) globally and are expected to reach 52 million deaths by the year 2030.  NCDs are not only responsible for human suffering but cause huge economic burdens on nations. Obesity is the mother of most NCDs. ePurines is developing novel purinergic-signaling based solutions for obesity and NCDs, with a primary focus on diseases of the kidney, liver, heart, and lung. The vision and mission of ePurines are to design and develop drugs that are not only effective but also accessible to people worldwide, not just in affluent countries. ePurines, a spin-out from the University of Utah and Veterans Affairs Medical Center, is driven by a vision and mission to serve humanity, with profits as a byproduct of our efforts. The products of ePurines will reach emerging markets as well as developing countries, i.e., the bottom of the pyramid, where people suffer the most due to NCDs due to a lack of mature healthcare systems.

Can you tell us more about your co-founder, Dr. Simon Robson, and your collaboration in the field of purinergic signaling?

My long-term collaborator and Co-Founder, Prof. Simon Robson, M.D., Ph.D., is an internationally known academic physician in gastroenterology, liver diseases, and transplantation in Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School. We have been collaborating for over two decades, researching purinergic signaling, which plays a crucial role in various organs, including the kidney and liver. The language of purinergic signaling is universal – like coding in computer software – allowing us to apply our research across different areas of medicine. This is the beauty of understanding the human body at a fundamental molecular signaling level. Thus, our collaboration has led to multiple publications, grants, and the discovery of innovative technologies that can treat various diseases.

You have received various awards for your community service. What do these recognitions mean to you?

Community service has always been an integral part of my life, beginning even before my medical school days. It offers me a sense of satisfaction, accomplishment, and purpose in life that can’t be matched by anything else. The recognition and awards I’ve received were never my primary goal, but they highlight the importance of giving back to society. I believe in working with full dedication and commitment, which has led to my involvement in various organizations and projects.

You mentioned the importance of purpose-oriented living. Could you elaborate on this philosophy?

Living with a sense of purpose is crucial. Life is not just about succeeding, making money, and building wealth, or having a comfortable life. When we set a clear purpose and pursue it relentlessly, we face challenges that push us to improve and develop self-discipline, and thus transform into better humans. A passionate purpose-oriented life will take us to far regions where an ambitious success-driven life cannot even dare to peep in. The result of such a passionate purpose-oriented life is immense inner happiness and a sense of accomplishment. A purpose-oriented life also expands our consciousness and helps to expand the collective consciousness in the community we work.

Dr Bellamkonda Kishore A Renaissance Man’s Journey Of Passion And Purpose

What advice do you have for those aspiring to be researchers, entrepreneurs, or individuals looking to make a positive impact in society?

Research and entrepreneurship demand a mindset willing to take risks, like designing a new model of airplane. It’s about creativity and treading unexplored paths, not just following established paths. We should encourage children to think creatively from an early age and not just focus on education and career alone. Beyond personal success, contributing to the community is vital. Become a role model, motivate others, and work towards expanding consciousness. As Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy, the founder of Arvind Eye Care System aptly said “Intelligence and capability are not enough. There must also be the joy of doing something beautiful.”

Any final thoughts or messages you’d like to share with our readers?

My journey from academia to entrepreneurship has been filled with many challenges, learning, unlearning and relearning experiences. The path of entrepreneurship can be lonely, but it’s essential to have a strong network of support and mentors and/or peers to chisel and sculpt us when needed. When involved in community service, remember that full commitment and dedication can lead to significant positive impacts, which increases your value in the community.

Regarding ePurines, our aim is to make a difference in the world of non-communicable diseases and provide accessible solutions all over the world that improve people’s lives. We are focused on serving humanity, and our mission is at the forefront of everything we do. LinkedIn Profile of Dr. Kishore:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/bkishore369/

(Courtesy: Dr. Bellamkonda Kishore: A renaissance man’s journey of passion and purpose | NRI Pulse)

The Physician Shortage Crisis Is Here—And So Are Bipartisan Fixes

As doctors know all too painfully well, the current physician shortage is already limiting access to care for millions of people across the country. And it’s about to get much worse if changes aren’t made now, AMA President Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, told news media gathered for his recent address to the National Press Club in Washington.

“The physician shortage that we have long feared—and warned was on the horizon—is here. It’s an urgent crisis hitting every corner of this country—urban, rural—with the most direct impact hitting families with high needs and limited means,” said Dr. Ehrenfeld, an anesthesiologist.

“Imagine walking into an emergency room in your moment of crisis, in desperate need of a physician’s care, and finding no one there to take care of you. That’s what we are up against.”

Physicians, Dr. Ehrenfeld said, know exactly how America finds itself in this crisis mode. Among the factors contributing to burnout that is leading physicians to retire early, cut back hours or leave medicine all together, are:

Administrative hassles that burden physicians daily and make them feel powerless to make meaningful changes.

The Physician Shortage Crisis Is Here 2Consolidation that gives more power to the country’s largest hospital, health systems and insurers that leaves patients and physicians with less autonomy and fewer choices.

Falling Medicare payment rates—when adjusted for inflation, a 26% drop since 2001.

“Sadly, every day we wait, the size of this public health crisis grows,” said Dr. Ehrenfeld, who is a senior associate dean, tenured professor of anesthesiology and director of the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Here’s what needs to change

Legislative solutions to many of the problems that Dr. Ehrenfeld outlined are already pending before Congress—and they even have strong bipartisan support.

“There isn’t much that our two major political parties see eye to eye on right now, but on these issues they do,” Dr. Ehrenfeld said in his remarks. “We just need the will—and the urgency—to get it done. We need leaders in Congress to step forward and make this happen.”

In his National Press Club address and a companion AMA Leadership Viewpints column, Dr. Ehrenfeld outlined some key steps that the nation must take to begin addressing the complex physician shortage problem, many of which are drawn from the AMA Recovery Plan for America’s Physicians.

Give doctors the financial support they need to care for patients. Congress needs to pass the Strengthening Medicare for Patients and Providers Act, which would give physicians an annual payment update to account for practice cost inflations as reflected in the Medicare Economic Index. It’s a benefit others already get.

Reduce administrative burdens, including the overused and inefficient prior authorization process. The Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act would expand prior authorization reforms that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services finalized, and the Biden administration can improve the landscape if it finalizes proposed regulations. State legislatures also have the power to reform.

Expand residency training options, provide greater student loan support and create smoother pathways for foreign-trained physicians. The Conrad State 30 and the Physician Access Reauthorization Act, the Retirement Parity for Student Loans Act, the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act, and the Physician Shortage GME Cap Flex Act would all help ease the physician shortage. Ensure that physicians aren’t punished for taking care of their own mental health needs. State medical boards, hospitals and health systems need to remove questions about past diagnoses and counseling and focus on whether a current health condition exists that, left untreated, would affect patient safety.

“Our nation’s physician shortage is not a problem to set aside and deal with tomorrow. It is an urgent problem we need to address today,” Dr. Ehrenfeld concluded. “We must take action to create a stronger and more resilient physician workforce to care for an ever-changing nation.”

India Ranks Second In Global Estimates Of Diabetes

It is estimated that 422 million people live with diabetes across the world and India with 101 million diabetics ranks second.

India also has 315 million people with high blood pressure. According to healthcare professionals, the culture of eating out, industrialisation, migrating to urban areas and other relevant factors make Indians more susceptible to diabetes.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that is caused when pancreas does not produce enough insulin or body cannot use the insulin it produces. It can be treated and prevented by diet, exercise and medications.

Every year, World Diabetes Day is observed on November 14 to mark the people who suffer from diabetes and prevent the delay of deaths caused by the disease.

India Ranks Second In Global Estimates Of Diabetes (Nagaland Post)
Picture: Nagaland Post

This year, the theme is ‘Access to Diabetic Care’, which means providing required care for diabetic patients to support and manage their complications. It is also a day when increase in awareness, healthy practices and new medical treatments to cure diabetes are brought to light.

According to Praveen Kumar Kulkarni, Senior Consultant and Internal Medicine Specialist, KIMS Hospitals, Hyderabad, “Diabetes is a major case of kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation. Diabetes may occur suddenly and can damage eyes, blood vessels, kidneys and nerves. It can also cause permanent vision loss by damaging the blood vessels in the eyes.

“Globally, it is estimated that 422 million people live with diabetes. The figures have doubled over the past decade which results in risk factors such as overweight or obesity. Though insulin was discovered over 100 years ago, it’s access to people that require them is scarce. When people are educated about this disease, they can avoid certain lifestyle patterns that might result in this disease.”

G Sandeep Reddy, Consultant Endocrinologist, Kamineni Hospitals, said the symptoms of diabetes may occur suddenly.

“Usually, in type 2 diabetes, the symptoms are mild and will take a longer time to notice. These include: feeling thirsty, needing to urinate, blurred vision, weight loss and feeling tired. In type 1 diabetes, it is characterized by insulin deficiency and it requires daily administration of insulin to track the severity of the disease. There were 9 million people with type 1 diabetes in 2017, it’s means to prevent are still unknown.

“But Type 2 diabetes is different, it affects how your body used sugar for energy which stops the body from using insulin and leads to high level of blood sugar if not treated. Type 2 diabetes is preventable, recognizing the early signs can prevent the worst effects.”

According to Parveen Sultana, Consultant General Physician, Century Hospital, “There is also a gestational diabetes that occurs mostly during pregnancy. Women with this type of diabetes are at an increased risk of complications during birth. The child can also have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the future. Gestational diabetes can be identified through prenatal screening rather than reporting symptoms. Lifestyle changes are the best way to prevent type 2 diabetes.

“Keeping healthy body weight, exercising regularly for 30 minutes, eating healthy diet, avoiding sugars and tobacco. Early diagnosis is done though testing the blood glucose level. People with type 2 diabetes use certain injections such as metformin, inhibitors and sulfonylureas. Using foot care to treat ulcers, screening kidneys and eyes can help maintain health.”

Speaking about the treatment options for diabetes, Lingaiah Miryala, Consultant General Physician & Diabetologist, Amor Hospital, mentioned that early diagnosis is important to prevent the effects of type 2 diabetes.

“Regular check-ups, blood tests can help recognize traces of diabetes in the body. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes can be mild, but they increase over time and may take several years to get noticed. The symptoms here are similar to type 1 diabetes but often less marked.

“As a result, the disease may be several years onset, but can be diagnosed only at a later stage. More than 90% of people have type 2 diabetes, it is also called non-insulin diabetes that is most observed in adults. But nowadays, young people are also having increased cases of diabetes,” Miryala said. (IANS)

Sleep Duration Affects Diabetes Risk in Women, Study Reveals

A recent study conducted by researchers at Columbia University has highlighted the potential connection between inadequate sleep and an increased risk of diabetes in women, particularly in postmenopausal individuals. The findings emphasize the importance of sufficient sleep in maintaining optimal health, shedding light on the impact of even a mild sleep deficit over a six-week period.

Lead researcher Marie-Pierre St-Onge, director of the Center of Excellence for Sleep and Circadian Research at Columbia University, explained the significance of the study, stating, “Throughout their lifespan, women face many changes in their sleep habits due to childbearing, child-rearing, and menopause. And more women than men have the perception they aren’t getting enough sleep.”

The study enrolled 38 healthy women, 11 of whom had undergone menopause. All participants consistently slept for at least seven hours each night, falling within the recommended range of seven to nine hours for optimal health. However, a substantial portion of the American population fails to meet this guideline.

In a randomized order, the women participated in two phases of the study. In one phase, they maintained their regular sleep duration, while in the other phase, they delayed bedtime by an hour and a half, resulting in a total sleep duration of around six hours. Each phase spanned six weeks.

The results of the study indicated that reducing sleep by just 90 minutes over six weeks led to a notable increase in insulin resistance, particularly among women accustomed to adequate sleep. Fasting insulin levels rose by over 12% overall and 15% among premenopausal women. Insulin resistance increased by nearly 15% overall and exceeded 20% in postmenopausal women.

Surprisingly, the study found that the impact of sleep loss on insulin resistance was not associated with an increase in belly fat, a known driver of insulin resistance. St-Onge remarked on this, stating, “The fact that we saw these results independent of any changes in body fat, which is a known risk factor for type 2 diabetes, speaks to the impact of mild sleep reduction on insulin-producing cells and metabolism.”

Although average blood sugar levels remained stable for all participants during the study, the researchers cautioned that changes in insulin resistance could lead to long-term increases in blood sugar levels.

The study, published in the journal Diabetes Care on Nov. 13, marks the first instance where a mild sleep deficit maintained for six weeks has been shown to elevate the risk of diabetes. This novel insight prompts further investigation into the potential benefits of improved sleep on blood sugar control and glucose metabolism.

St-Onge and her team are now set to explore whether enhancing sleep quality can positively influence blood sugar control and glucose metabolism. This avenue of research could provide valuable insights into preventive measures against diabetes and the role of adequate sleep in overall metabolic health.

The study underscores the importance of recognizing sleep as a crucial factor in maintaining women’s health, particularly in the context of diabetes risk. The findings advocate for prioritizing sufficient sleep, especially considering the challenges women face in various life stages that can disrupt their sleep patterns. As research continues, a clearer understanding of the intricate relationship between sleep duration, metabolic health, and disease risk is likely to emerge, paving the way for targeted interventions and improved public health awareness.

Gender Disparities in U.S. Life Expectancy: A Deep Dive into the Latest Research

Recent research published on November 13 in JAMA Internal Medicine reveals a concerning trend in U.S. life expectancy, highlighting a growing gender disparity. As of 2021, women in the United States are projected to outlive men by approximately six years, according to the study. This revelation comes amid a broader decline in overall life expectancy, which currently hovers around 76 years. The study sheds light on the contributing factors and emphasizes the need for targeted interventions to address the root causes behind this growing divide.

Gender-Based Life Expectancy Gap:

The gender-based life expectancy gap in the U.S. has reached its widest point since 1996, with women surpassing men in longevity. In 2021, U.S. men had a life expectancy of 73.5 years, in contrast to 79.3 years for women. Historically, women have tended to live longer than men, influenced by both biological and behavioral factors. Hormonal differences and healthier lifestyle choices, such as more frequent doctor visits and lower rates of smoking and excessive drinking among women, have contributed to this trend.

Pre-existing Trend and Acceleration:

The widening gender gap did not emerge solely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; rather, it began before the pandemic and accelerated from 2019 to 2021. The authors of the study highlight that deaths from COVID-19 and unintentional injuries, including accidental drug overdoses, were the primary drivers behind this acceleration. However, differential rates of homicide, heart disease, and suicides also played a role in this disturbing trend.

Causes of Widening Gap:

The report identifies specific causes contributing to the widening gender-based life expectancy gap. Notably, deaths from COVID-19 and unintentional injuries, categorized to include drug overdoses, were major contributors. Men were disproportionately affected by these causes, as established by existing data that highlights higher mortality rates among men compared to women. In 2021, heart disease, COVID-19, and unintentional injuries ranked among the top five causes of death, underscoring the gravity of the situation.

The Role of Behavioral and Biological Factors:

While the study emphasizes the impact of external factors such as the pandemic and unintentional injuries, it also underscores the enduring influence of behavioral and biological differences. Men’s higher susceptibility to deaths from homicide, heart disease, and suicide compared to women contributes significantly to the widening gender gap. Recognizing and addressing these factors is crucial for developing effective strategies to mitigate the disparities.

Factors Mitigating the Gender Gap:

The authors acknowledge that certain factors helped mitigate the gender gap, preventing it from widening even further. Increases in maternal mortality and decreases in cancer deaths among men had a balancing effect. These findings highlight the complexity of the forces at play and underscore the need for a nuanced understanding of the multiple factors influencing life expectancy.

Implications for Public Health:

The research underscores the ongoing importance of addressing the impact of COVID-19 on life expectancy. Limiting the spread of the virus remains a critical priority. Additionally, the study emphasizes the need for comprehensive strategies to improve national mental health and prevent drug overdoses and suicides, often labeled as “deaths of despair” by experts. These interventions are crucial for addressing the root causes of the widening gender-based life expectancy gap.

The latest research on U.S. life expectancy reveals a disconcerting trend, with women projected to live significantly longer than men. While external factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic and unintentional injuries contribute to this widening gap, behavioral and biological differences also play a crucial role. Understanding the multifaceted nature of these influences is essential for developing targeted interventions to address the root causes and promote a more equitable and healthier society. As the findings highlight, a comprehensive approach that addresses both pandemic-related challenges and longstanding health disparities is imperative for improving overall life expectancy and well-being in the United States.

The Costly Impact of Climate Change: Insights from the Fifth National Climate Assessment

In its latest iteration, the National Climate Assessment (NCA) delivers a comprehensive evaluation of climate change in the United States, emphasizing its expensive, deadly, and preventable consequences. The fifth edition, released every five years, offers a sweeping analysis, incorporating social sciences like history, sociology, philosophy, and Indigenous studies to provide a holistic understanding of the issue.

The assessment highlights the disproportionate impact on various demographics, stressing the urgency of addressing climate change to build a more resilient and just nation. Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, an author of the assessment, underscores this point, stating, “Climate change affects us all, but it doesn’t affect us all equally.”

One notable addition to this edition is standalone chapters on climate change’s economic toll, social factors driving it, and the nation’s responses. This broader perspective aims to add context and relevance to the scientific findings and draw attention to the specific vulnerabilities of poor people, marginalized communities, older Americans, and outdoor workers.

Michael Burger, the director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, highlights the assessment’s influence in legal and policy circles, shaping decisions ranging from court cases on wildfire damage responsibility to local choices about building flood barriers. The report’s translation into Spanish further emphasizes its importance, making the information accessible to a wider audience.

The NCA is a collaborative effort involving hundreds of scientists from various institutions who reviewed cutting-edge research and contextualized it with decades of foundational climate studies. This edition arrives against the backdrop of a year marked by dramatic and deadly climate-driven disasters, including wildfires, floods, and heatwaves that claimed hundreds of lives in 2023.

Climate Change Makes Life More Expensive

The assessment identifies climate-driven weather disasters, such as heatwaves, floods, hurricanes, and wildfires, as major contributors to increasing expenses in various aspects of life. These disasters wreak havoc on homes, businesses, and crops, leading to supply shortages and financial distress for families and municipal governments. The report estimates that weather-related disasters cause approximately $150 billion in direct losses annually in the U.S., a figure expected to rise as the Earth continues to heat up.

Solomon Hsiang, a climate economist at the University of California, Berkeley, emphasizes the economic challenges faced by lower-income individuals in adapting to climate change. The report cites healthcare costs for illnesses related to extreme heat and respiratory issues from wildfire smoke as less obvious but significant expenses. The economic harm escalates with rising temperatures, with the assessment warning that twice as much planetary warming leads to more than twice the economic damage.

“The research indicates that people who are lower income have more trouble adapting [to climate change], because adaptation comes at a cost,” says Hsiang.

Climate Change Makes People Sick and Often Kills Them

The health costs of climate change have transitioned from theoretical to personal for many Americans over the past five years. Extreme weather, particularly heatwaves, has become more intense and prolonged, causing hundreds of deaths in unprepared areas. The assessment emphasizes the risks beyond heat, including the health impacts of wildfire smoke and disruptions to healthcare caused by hurricanes.

The most vulnerable populations, including poor communities, communities of color, women, people with disabilities, and other marginalized groups, bear the brunt of these disasters. The report points out that temperatures in historically redlined neighborhoods can be nearly 15 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than wealthier areas, putting residents at significantly higher risk of heat exposure.

Mary Hayden, the lead author of the chapter on human health, notes that living through climate disasters can have lasting emotional scars, impacting mental, spiritual, and community well-being. The report highlights the enduring trauma in communities like Paradise, California, five years after the devastating 2018 Camp Fire. It also raises concerns about the growing emotional toll on children and young people, whose anxiety about the future of the planet is affecting various aspects of their lives.

Climate change isn’t just altering landscapes and ecosystems; it’s also reshaping the sacred places and cultural practices that anchor communities across the United States. From fishing communities grappling with the collapse of iconic industries to Indigenous traditions disrupted by shifting climate realities, the impacts are profound.

Threats to Special Places and Practices

Fishing communities, particularly the Northeast’s lobster fishery, face economic downturns as marine heatwaves devastate regional seas. The decline in snowpack and rising temperatures disrupt cherished recreational activities such as skiing and ice fishing, impacting the lifestyles of many.

Indigenous communities, deeply connected to their environments, are forced to adapt to new climate realities that disrupt traditional food-gathering practices. In Palau, sea level rise has upset a monthly tradition of catching fish at a low tide, altering the historically-used places for fishing. Coastal communities are grappling with sea level rise, challenging their very existence and unraveling social fabric developed over generations.

Elizabeth Marino, lead author of the chapter on social transformations, emphasizes the resilience of communities closely tied to their environments. She states, “There is quite a lot of wisdom in place to adapt to and even mitigate climate change.” Despite the challenges, there is hope in the ability of these communities to develop solutions that align with their way of life.

The Role of Adaptation and Resilience

The fifth assessment underscores the urgency of addressing climate challenges to limit planetary warming to the goals set by the international Paris Agreement. Immediate, substantial cuts to fossil fuel emissions are required, with the report acknowledging the difficulty of achieving the more ambitious target of keeping warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

While the report paints a stark picture of the challenges ahead, it also highlights ongoing efforts to adapt to the new reality and prevent worse outcomes. Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist involved in the assessment, emphasizes the importance of individual actions, stating, “Everything we do matters. Every 10th of a degree of warming we avoid, there’s a benefit to that.”

Opportunities for Positive Change

  1. Jason West, the lead author on the chapter on air quality, points out that addressing fossil fuel-driven climate change can lead to healthier lives. Reducing emissions not only mitigates climate change but also decreases harmful air pollution, benefiting human health. This perspective reflects a shift in the report, acknowledging the historical injustices embedded in the fossil fuel-powered society built over generations.

Candis Callison, a sociologist and author of the report, notes this subtle shift in perspective. Climate change, she suggests, offers an opportunity to address past inequities and injustices. The report acknowledges the profound impact of pollution-producing facilities on communities of color and the exclusion of tribal communities from decisions about land and water use for energy extraction. Callison sees climate change as a catalyst for rectifying these historical wrongs and responding to the impacts in a more equitable way.

The fifth National Climate Assessment not only outlines the threats posed by climate change to sacred places and practices but also highlights the resilience of communities and the potential for positive change. By emphasizing the role of adaptation, individual actions, and addressing historical injustices, the assessment points towards a future where climate action can lead to a more just and sustainable society.

The Impact of Daily “Micro-Acts” of Joy on Emotional Well-being

It’s 8 a.m., and your in-box is filling up. You spot an email about a colleague’s promotion. Do you scroll past or take a moment to give props? Or, you’re in line at the coffee shop, where it’s easy to tune everyone out. But, today, you decide to pick up the tab for the person behind you.

How might a small act like this influence your mood later today, tonight, or throughout this week?

An analysis released Tuesday from scientists behind a research initiative called the BIG JOY Project finds that people who commit daily “micro-acts” of joy experience about a 25% increase in emotional well-being over the course of a week.

“We’re really excited,” says Emiliana Simon-Thomas, a BIG JOY project leader, and science director of the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley. “There are statistically significant, measurable changes [including] greater well-being, better coping, less stress, more satisfaction with relationships.”

The BIG JOY Project is a collaboration between UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and other research institutions. So far, the researchers have preliminary results from over 70,000 participants in more than 200 countries. “What we’re really focused on is understanding impact and the potential for change in people’s lives,” Simon-Thomas. Overall, the new analysis shows micro-acts led to increased feelings of hope, optimism, as well as moments of fun or silliness.

This project did not begin as a typical research study, but rather a ‘citizen-science’ project which is still open to anyone who wants to participate. Here’s how it works. Participants take an on-line survey to answer questions about their emotions, stress, and their social tendencies. Then, every day for seven consecutive days, they agree to try small, happiness-boosting activities, what the researchers have dubbed “micro-acts” of joy.

All of the recommended micro-acts have been linked to emotional well-being in prior published studies. Examples include making a gratitude list or journal, or engaging in acts of kindness such as visiting a sick neighbor or doing a nice gesture for a friend – or a stranger. Some micro-acts involve celebrating another person’s joy, or engaging in self-reflection, meditation, or taking the time to identify the silver lining in a bad situation, known as positive reframing.

Each day, people answer questions about what they did and how they felt afterward. At the end of the week, they take another survey to gauge how their emotions and sense of well-being have changed.

A sense of agency

When people intentionally plan out a daily micro-act, it may help them feel as if they have a bit of control over their emotions, explains researcher Elissa Epel, a BIG JOY collaborator, and a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. “So there’s this feeling of agency,” Epel says, and that could be one explanation for the improvements in well-being seen in the survey.

For instance, participants were asked how much they agreed with the statement: “I have felt able to impact, influence, or play an active role in how happy I generally feel.” The participants’ level of agreement with this statement increased by about 27%, over the course of the week.

Since all participants chose to be part of the project, it’s likely they were hoping for a benefit. But it’s not clear if everyone — even people who don’t believe small acts can be beneficial – would see the same results. “We haven’t randomly assigned a group of people to do the seven day [program],” Simon-Thomas says, so without control group data, the results are all preliminary. The researchers plan to run some controlled studies and publish results in the future.

A tool for spreading well-being

At a time when global conflicts, political divide, and societal problems may seem insurmountable, some may question whether small acts of joy can help make a difference? The answer, the researchers say, stems from the ideas of the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who both spoke about how it’s possible to feel joy even in the midst of suffering, and to use that feeling to help do good.

The BIG JOY project began as a collaboration with documentary filmmakers who produced a 2021 film called Mission: Joy, which aimed to illuminate this message. “They really wanted to spread the wisdom that we have more control over our happiness than we know,” Epel says.

Epel has spent decades studying how stress affects the body, and she says it’s been surprising to see the benefits of micro-acts of joy. “These very short practices are clearly having a positive residue,” Epel says. She’s come to think of the micro-acts as “tools at our fingertips” that we can use in the moment to relieve feelings of stress, anxiety and worry.

Of course, it’s important to point out what micro-acts cannot accomplish. They are not a replacement for therapy or medications used for serious mental health challenges, including depression. And, the researchers point out, it’s also not appropriate to think micro-acts can help overhaul the struggles of someone whose basic needs are not met. “It would be embarrassing and shameful to be like, hey, you don’t have enough to eat, why don’t you try Big Joy,” Simon-Thomas says.

But she says, the hope is that the joy that emanates from micro-acts may help spur some people to get involved in the greater good — whether it’s in your community, your workplace, your school, or an organization you admire. “What we’re hoping is that when people finish Big Joy they have that sense that, oh, my happiness is contingent in part on how generous and invested I am in common humanity,” Simon-Thomas says.

Starting a new practice

At a time when random acts of kindness could be viewed as bumper sticker cliché, researchers say it’s important to continue to nail down potential benefits through rigorous studies.

“I appreciate the skepticism,” says Judith Moskowitz, a social scientist at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, who is not involved in the new Big Joy analysis. The body of research on positive psychology has to date produced mixed results. And Moskowitz says the ongoing research creates an opportunity to better understand the effects of these small steps.

Moskowitz’s own research has shown a series of small steps (similar to those used in the Big Joy project) can help people cope during bad situations. For instance, she found caregivers caring for a sick loved one were able to tamp down anxiety after going through a 5-week course.

“So many of the things that are causing us stress and sadness are out of our control,” Moskowitz says. “So these micro moments can give you something to hold on to,” she explains, and help you stay engaged.

“Decades of research have shown that even in the context of really stressful events or sickness, there is absolutely the capacity to experience moments of positive emotion as well,” she says.

Rather than thinking of joy as something that happens to you, it may make sense to think of it as a skill that you can get better at through practice, says Simon-Thomas. “If you want to stay physically fit, you have to keep exercising,” Simon-Thomas says, and the same likely goes for well-being, she says.

Just as the benefits of exercise wear off, so too do the effects of these micro-acts.

“I feel optimistic. I feel more relaxed. I feel more supported in the world when I engage in these micro practices myself,” says Simon-Thomas. “I just believe that humans can change for the better,” she says.

One way to get started with the Big Joy concept is to plan out the moment of your micro-act each day. Maybe build it into your daily dog-walking routine; that’s a good time to make a mental gratitude list or look for an opportunity to chat with a neighbor.

“Part of this is intention setting,” Simon-Thomas says. “If you have a map to where you’re going to go, you’re much more likely to go there,” she says.

AMA President Urges Urgent Action on Physician Shortage: Proposes Five-Step Solution to Address Crisis

AMA President Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, addressed the National Press Club on October 25, 2023, discussing the pressing issue of the physician shortage in the U.S. He shed light on the impact of this crisis on doctors, patients, and the healthcare system, presenting a comprehensive five-step solution to tackle the problem.

Ehrenfeld began by emphasizing the under-addressed crisis of physician burnout, sharing personal anecdotes that illustrated the severity of the issue. He highlighted the tragic suicide of a friend and colleague, an ER physician, who struggled under the weight of the pandemic. Another example was a physician who left her position due to political pressures, reflecting a broader trend of doctors leaving communities due to legislative challenges.

The AMA President emphasized the current physician shortage, affecting over 83 million people in the U.S. who live in areas without sufficient access to primary care physicians. The shortage extends to specialized care, with examples such as the lack of OBGYNs in parts of Idaho and Mississippi. He stressed that the problem is already limiting access to care for millions and is poised to worsen.

Ehrenfeld provided alarming statistics regarding physician burnout during the pandemic, citing a survey indicating that two in three doctors experienced burnout, the highest level recorded by the AMA. He highlighted the intention of one in five physicians to leave medicine within the next two years, coupled with one in three planning to reduce their working hours. The demographic challenge was underscored, noting that nearly half of practicing physicians are over age 55, and it takes a decade or more to educate and train new physicians.

The AMA President outlined the reasons behind the physician shortage, as stated by physicians themselves. These include administrative burdens, attacks on science, government intrusion into healthcare decisions, healthcare consolidation, widening health disparities, and the challenges faced by foreign-trained physicians.

The financial aspect was a focal point, particularly the shrinking Medicare reimbursement rate for physicians. Adjusted for inflation, the payment rate has dropped by 26 percent since 2001, presenting a significant financial challenge for physicians. Ehrenfeld stressed the need for immediate attention from Congress to prevent further payment reductions.

The impact on patients was highlighted, with the closure of physician offices, reduction in hours, and limitations on new Medicare patients, all adversely affecting patient care. The consequences, especially for older adults, were emphasized, noting instances where patients had to wait longer for appointments or travel further for essential care due to physicians limiting their practices.

The AMA President presented a five-step solution to address the physician shortage:

  1. Financial Support:Advocated for the passage of the Strengthening Medicare for Patients and Providers Act, H.R. 2474, to provide physicians with annual payment updates to account for practice cost inflations.
  2. Reducing Administrative Burdens:Urged the adoption of the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act to address the inefficient prior authorization process.
  3. Expanding Residency Training:Called for the passage of three bipartisan bills supporting residency training options, greater student loan support, and smoother pathways for foreign-trained physicians.
  4. Criminalizing Health Care:Opposed efforts to criminalize health care, citing the negative impact of recent decisions affecting abortion and gender-affirming care.
  5. Mental Health Support:Advocated for legislative fixes to address burnout, along with urging states and physician employers to audit licensing and credentialing applications to remove stigmatizing questions about mental health.

Ehrenfeld emphasized the urgency of these solutions, citing bipartisan support in Congress and growing momentum in states for additional safeguards. He stressed the need for immediate action, asserting that delaying action would only exacerbate the size of the public health crisis.

The AMA President called for leaders in Congress to step forward and address the urgent problem of the physician shortage, emphasizing that both major political parties have common ground on these issues. He reiterated that the public health crisis is growing daily, necessitating swift action to create a more resilient physician workforce and ensure that everyone in America has access to necessary healthcare.

Thank you.

FDA Approves Zepbound, a Potent Weight Loss Drug – A Game-Changer in the Fight Against Obesity

The recent decision by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to greenlight the weight loss drug tirzepatide has introduced a robust addition to the rapidly expanding array of obesity medications. The drug, set to be marketed under the name Zepbound, shares its active compound with the diabetes medication Mounjaro, which has been utilized off-label for weight loss since its initial approval in May 2022. This FDA approval may pave the way for broader insurance coverage and increased prescriptions.

Zepbound represents the second drug in a novel class of obesity medications sanctioned for weight loss, following Wegovy. According to Dr. Scott Hagan, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Washington, Zepbound is likely the most effective treatment for obesity, rivaling bariatric surgery. However, the availability of Mounjaro, which shares the same compound, has been limited since its market introduction in the previous year.

Dr. Andrew Kraftson, a clinical associate professor at Michigan Medicine, likened the situation to the demand surge witnessed with another medication, Ozempic. He anticipates a similar clamor for Zepbound among patients due to the heightened interest in weight loss medications.

The FDA has specified that Zepbound is approved for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, categorizing them as having obesity. Alternatively, individuals with a BMI of 27 or more, coupled with certain weight-related conditions like high blood pressure, are also eligible. Regulators recommend using the drug in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity.

Manufactured by Eli Lilly, Zepbound is the brand name for tirzepatide when employed for weight loss. When prescribed for diabetes, it goes by the name Mounjaro. Similar to semaglutide, the compound found in Ozempic and Wegovy, tirzepatide works by slowing down stomach emptying, leading to a quicker and prolonged feeling of fullness. Additionally, these drugs target the brain area that regulates appetite, reducing cravings. Tirzepatide, mimicking two hormones compared to semaglutide’s one, is believed to be more effective in inducing weight loss. In a 72-week clinical trial funded by Eli Lilly, participants with obesity taking the highest dose of tirzepatide experienced an average weight loss of around 18 percent.

For individuals already using Ozempic or Wegovy, the efficacy of these medications can vary from person to person. Dr. Janice Jin Hwang from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine emphasizes that factors like other health outcomes should be considered, especially for those at risk of heart failure or liver disease. The risks and benefits of switching medications need careful evaluation, as some individuals may experience excessive weight loss, particularly older people prone to muscle mass reduction.

The issue of insurance coverage and out-of-pocket costs remains a variable, with different plans potentially covering Zepbound for those meeting the FDA’s criteria. Eli Lilly expects Zepbound to be available in the U.S. by the year-end, with a list price of $1,059.87.

As with any medication, tirzepatide is associated with side effects, primarily gastrointestinal issues according to an Eli Lilly-funded study. The highest dose of tirzepatide resulted in approximately one-third of participants experiencing nausea and one-fifth reporting diarrhea. Other reported side effects included abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, headache, dizziness, burping, hair loss, and gastroesophageal reflux disease, as outlined in the FDA approval. However, due to the novelty of tirzepatide, its long-term effects are not yet fully understood, and individuals using such drugs for weight loss are generally advised to continue them indefinitely.

Renowned Physician, Dr. Joseph Chalil, Shares His Remarkable Journey on “The Supreet Singh Show”

In the vast and ever-expanding world of podcasting, “The Supreet Singh Show” has just dropped its second episode, promising to keep the flames of inspiration and knowledge burning. This time, the spotlight shines on Dr. Joseph M. Chalil, the Chief Medical Officer at Novo Integrated Sciences, Whose journey from humble beginnings to global recognition is truly remarkable.

As is widely recognized, the host of the show – Mr. Supreet Singh is a multifaceted entrepreneur. Beyond his accomplished role as a certified broadcaster in Vancouver, he also serves as the Founder and CEO of the acclaimed pharmaceutical company- PCHPL (Psychocare Health Pvt. Ltd). Supreet Singh has also garnered multiple awards and recognition. His background in the medical industry facilitated an instant connection with Dr. Chalil.

During this riveting episode, Supreet Singh delves into the life and career of Dr. Chalil, leaving no stone unturned in unpacking the remarkable journey that has made him a prominent figure in the medical world. The episode is a captivating fusion of Dr. Chalil’s profound medical knowledge and Supreet Singh’s interviewing skills.

The episode explores various intriguing topics, from the future of healthcare to the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare systems. Listeners can expect to gain valuable insights into the challenges and triumphs of a medical career, as well as broader themes of dedication, perseverance, and the pursuit of excellence.

“The Supreet Singh Show” is rapidly establishing itself as a platform for uncovering the transformative journeys and life stories of individuals who have left an indelible mark in their respective fields. Each episode introduces the audience to a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences, ensuring that there is something for everyone to connect with and draw inspiration from.

This podcast is available on various platforms such as Spotify and YouTube, providing a diverse range of audiences the opportunity to engage with these impactful conversations. It fosters a sense of community where shared learning and growth become the cornerstones of the show’s message.

Listeners are encouraged to tune in to be inspired by the remarkable journey of Dr. Joseph Chalil and to explore the depths of knowledge and inspiration that “The Supreet Singh Show” has to offer.

FDA Proposes Banning Brominated Vegetable Oil from US Food Products

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has put forward a proposal to discontinue the use of brominated vegetable oil (BVO) as an additive in food products across the nation. This move is in response to concerns about its safety and follows California’s recent ban on BVO, making it the first state in the US to do so. It’s worth noting that BVO is already prohibited in Europe and Japan.

James Jones, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for human foods, stated, “The agency concluded that the intended use of BVO in food is no longer considered safe after the results of studies conducted in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health … found the potential for adverse health effects in humans.”

Brominated vegetable oil is a substance created by modifying vegetable oil with bromine, a pungent, deep red chemical. It is typically used as an emulsifier in citrus-flavored beverages to prevent the separation of flavoring. Bromine is also commonly found in flame retardants.

While BVO is still used in some products, especially in sodas, the number of items containing this additive has decreased over the years due to previous restrictions by the FDA. In the 1970s, the FDA reevaluated BVO and determined that it was no longer “Generally Recognized as Safe,” leading to increased regulation of its use.

Furthermore, market pressure and consumer awareness played a significant role in companies voluntarily removing BVO from their products. A petition in 2012 with over 200,000 signatures highlighted the health concerns associated with this ingredient.

Health Risks Associated with Brominated Vegetable Oil

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit organization focused on consumer health and environmental issues, has identified several health risks linked to BVO. These include damage to the nervous system, headaches, irritation of the skin and mucous membranes, fatigue, loss of muscle coordination, and memory problems. BVO can also accumulate in the body over time.

While the studies that prompted the FDA’s decision were conducted on animals, they revealed negative health effects at levels that closely approximate real-world human exposure. One of the observed harms includes toxic effects on the thyroid gland, which is responsible for producing hormones critical for regulating blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, and metabolism.

The proposal by the FDA to ban BVO is currently open for public comment until January 17, 2024, and it will undergo a review process before a final decision is made. In the meantime, consumers who wish to avoid BVO in their food products are advised to carefully check ingredient lists before making purchases.

Scott Faber, the senior vice president for government affairs at the EWG, expressed his support for the FDA’s move, stating, “Today’s announcement will ensure everyone has access to products that don’t contain BVO.” James Jones of the FDA emphasized that this proposed ban is a result of the agency’s commitment to monitoring emerging evidence and taking regulatory action when safety concerns arise.

Centre Proposes Inclusion of Traditional Medicine in WHO’s List

In a bid to gain global recognition for India’s traditional medicine, the Indian government has made a formal request for the inclusion of Ayurveda and related systems in the 11th revision of the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD). This move is aimed at establishing a standardized language that can be utilized by healthcare professionals worldwide.

Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, the Secretary of the Ministry of Ayush, emphasized the significance of this proposal, underscoring that it would play a crucial role in effectively regulating and integrating traditional medicine into the existing healthcare system. He shared his thoughts in an interview with The Hindu.

The envisioned inclusion of the second module for Ayurveda in ICD-11 is anticipated to streamline research and evaluation processes, ultimately establishing its efficacy within the global healthcare framework. This development follows the successful integration of Module-1, covering traditional medicine conditions originating from ancient China, into ICD-11.

The digitization of ICD-11 is an essential aspect of this effort, and the proposed integration of Ayurveda is seen as a major stride towards achieving various goals. It is expected to lead to better insurance coverage, improved reporting of adverse events, and the alignment of traditional medicine practices with global healthcare standards.
The Ministry of Ayush is actively involved in the development of Module-2, drawing upon the knowledge and experiences gained through the National Ayush Morbidity and Standardized Terminologies Electronic portal and the Ayush Health Information Management System.

This initiative is not just limited to the inclusion of Ayurveda in a global classification system; it is expected to have far-reaching implications. It is poised to facilitate the integration of traditional medicine into mainstream health information systems, bridging the gap between traditional and modern healthcare practices. Additionally, it aligns with the objective of achieving universal health coverage, a vision endorsed by the World Health Organization.

The proposed inclusion of Ayurveda and related traditional systems in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is a significant step in promoting these age-old healthcare practices on a global scale. This initiative, led by the Indian government, is aimed at providing a common language for healthcare professionals worldwide to better understand and integrate traditional Indian medicine.

Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, the Secretary of the Ministry of Ayush, highlighted the importance of this move. He emphasized that it would not only support the effective regulation of traditional medicine but also facilitate its integration into the existing healthcare system. This integration is crucial for ensuring that traditional Indian medicine, including Ayurveda, can coexist harmoniously with modern healthcare practices.

The proposed inclusion of the second module for Ayurveda in ICD-11 is expected to have several positive outcomes. It will streamline research and evaluation processes, allowing for a more comprehensive understanding of the effectiveness of Ayurveda and related systems in the context of global healthcare.

ICD-11 has already successfully included Module-1, which covers traditional medicine conditions originating from ancient China. With the digital transformation of ICD-11, the integration of Ayurveda is a significant step forward. It is anticipated to lead to better insurance coverage for traditional Indian medicine, improved reporting of adverse events, and the alignment of traditional healthcare practices with global healthcare standards.

The Ministry of Ayush is actively involved in the development of Module-2, drawing upon the experiences and knowledge gained through the National Ayush Morbidity and Standardized Terminologies Electronic portal and the Ayush Health Information Management System. This involvement demonstrates the government’s commitment to ensuring that Ayurveda and related systems are well-represented in the global healthcare classification system.

Furthermore, this move goes beyond the mere inclusion of Ayurveda in a classification system. It is expected to promote the seamless integration of traditional Indian medicine into mainstream health information systems. This integration will bridge the gap between traditional and modern healthcare practices, creating a more holistic approach to healthcare.

In line with the vision of the World Health Organization, this initiative aligns with the objective of achieving universal health coverage. By recognizing and standardizing traditional Indian medicine, it takes a step closer to making healthcare accessible to all. This is a noteworthy development that has the potential to positively impact the global healthcare landscape.

Indian Nurses Association of New York Holds Health Screening and Education in Long Island

The health screening and education booths of Indian Nurses Association of New York (INANY) at the Senior Health Expo in Rockville Center, Long Island was a major attraction for the local
communities in the area. They included blood pressure monitoring, body mass index measurement, blood sugar check, physical and mental health screening, diabetes education, heart- related education and other health maintenance education and guidance. The Senior Health Expo was organized by the first Indian American second term New York State Senator of Long Island
Kevin Thomas. The event was targeted at the seniors in the region to give access to information and resources for maintaining and bettering their health.

INANY, the organization that stands as the voice of Indian nurses living in New York, has been engaged with New York State Senator to extend healthcare services to the underserved communities in his constituency for the last three years. INANY was also a recipient of a $10,000 grant in partnership with Coalition of Asian American Children and Families to address the surge anti-Asian hate incidents after the COVID-19 pandemic began. The nurses conducted an awareness and bystander intervention training program in senior centers, professional forums, social gatherings and as part of a nursing continuing education conference. The training program comprises various strategies that could be used by a witness or bystander of an anti-Asian hate incident to comfortably intervene to help the victim, without compromising safety or fear. Dr.Anna George, the president of INANY pointed out that the strategies are evidence based and have been adopted by various universities and healthcare organizations such as Northwell Health.

INANY also utilized this opportunity to provide innovative and accessible infection control education for frontline healthcare workers to protect their patients. This initiative was part of National Association of Indian Nurses of North America (NAINA) instituting a grant from American Nurses Association.

The nurse-volunteers who attended at the Health Expo comprised of nurses working at bedside, nurse practitioners from cardiac catheter lab, and university professors who shared their expertise to educate on reducing risks of life threatening illnesses and conditions. They also did depression screening and talked about need for seeking help or reaching out to resources when someone from own family or others suffers from mental health conditions or substance abuse. They also counselled about the stigma attached to mental illness.

Taylor Darling, the New York assembly woman from district 18 who observed services of INANY nurses at the Expo said that she was thoroughly impressed and delighted with what INANY did for the health of the community. She talked about the stressors in nursing related to staff shortage, safe staffing issues, faculty shortage and acuity at work and thanked the nurses for their compassion and altruism. Senator Kevin Thomas expressed his gratitude for the services INANY provided to the people of his district and for the dedication of Indian nurses for what they do every day in healthcare facilities.

INANY president Dr. Anna George, Annie Sabu Aleyamma Appukuttan, Grace Alexaner, Nisha Jayan, Grace Geevarghese, Rupinder Kaur, Paul Panakal, Shiney Xavier, Paul Panakal, and Jaya
Vathappally dedicated the day for their voluntary services at the Expo.

USIBC Hosts India-US Health Delegations In Washington

The US India Business Council (USIBC) hosted the health delegations from the governments of India and the United States on October 13. The reception and dinner took place on the sidelines of the U.S.-India Health Dialogue, which was held at the headquarters of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C.

India-US Health Summit underscored the shared dedication of both nations to elevate healthcare outcomes, with a focus that extends beyond their respective populations to impact people on a
global scale.

The delegation included prominent figures such as Secretary Sudhansh Pant, the Union Health Secretary of India, Dr. Rajiv Bahl, Secretary of the Department of Health Research and director-
general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Dr. Atul Goel, director general of Health Services, and Atul Gawande, the USAID assistant administrator for Global Health.

The event underscored the shared dedication of both nations to elevate healthcare outcomes, with a focus that extends beyond their respective populations to impact people on a global scale.
According to the USIBC, the collaboration goes beyond mere cooperation between two countries; it signifies a united endeavour to harness their collective strength, expertise, and resources to address pressing global health issues.

The recent COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated the transformative power of such collaborations.Whether through the sharing of medical resources, vaccines, or joint efforts in research and development, both nations have joined forces to combat this formidable virus, USIBC said in a LinkedIn post.

Hackensack Meridian Health, NJ Opens Brand-New, Expanded Carrier Behavioral Health

Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive healthcare network, has officially opened the brand-new, expanded Carrier Behavioral Health at Raritan Bay Medical Centerin the Garden State last week. This is part of Hackensack Meridian Health’s $24 million investment into the community.

“Raritan Bay Medical Center has provided high quality, compassionate care to the Perth Amboy community for more than a century.  The need for Behavioral Health services in our communities is greater than ever.  This investment will serve our patients now and into the future,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health.

“We are excited to officially open our expanded 81 bed center of excellence to the public”, said Patricia Carroll, FACHE, president, chief hospital executive, Raritan Bay and Old Bridge Medical Center’s. “With the growing need for Behavioral Health services around the state, this will be a new soothing and healing environment for our patients, and the communities we serve.”

Over the summer, Carrier Behavioral Health at Raritan Bay Medical Center expanded its reach by offering Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), an option for people with  treatment resistant depression and other psychiatric disorders that have not been satisfactorily treated by medications and other therapies.

“The expansion of this facility will provide more world-class care for the community,” said Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. “Access to in-patient mental health and behavioral services is a priority for our state and I’m so pleased to see more of that need met here at Raritan Bay with the expertise of Carrier.”

“New Jersey Human Services has long supported the goal of compassionate care close to home, recognizing how important it is for people experiencing a crisis to connect with support quickly
and safely,” said Department of Human Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman. “The State budget investment in this project is an example of the Murphy Administration’s commitment to
increasing access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment, and this expansion will help so many more residents of Perth Amboy and Middlesex County get excellent care in their
own backyard.”

“My colleagues and I on the Board of County Commissioners strongly believe that the nationwide behavioral health crisis is one of the defining issues of our time, and we are committed to facing it head-on,” said Middlesex County Commissioner Director Ronald G. Rios. “The wellbeing of our County residents is crucial, and this 81-bed inpatient unit will make a tremendous difference for those who are struggling with behavioral health issues and substance use disorders.”

“We’re thrilled to open this new unit at Raritan Bay! Combining Carrier Clinic’s unprecedented expertise with Raritan Bay Medical Center’s expanded behavioral health services, programs and
facility, make this an incredible partnership for the needs of our patients,”  said Don Parker, president, Behavioral Health Care Transformation Service, Hackensack Meridian Health.  Carrier Behavioral Health at Raritan Bay Medical Center is a regional hub of the nationally recognized Hackensack Meridian Carrier Clinic. The Behavioral Health program at Raritan Bay Medical Center is the first in the Hackensack Meridian Health network to receive the Carrier Behavioral Health designation. The Medical Center’s behavioral health services include  specialized programs and units for adults, older adults, neuromodulation (ECT) services and care for individuals with  both mental health and substance use disorder diagnoses (referred to as dual-diagnoses).

In addition to the new Carrier Behavioral Health at Raritan Bay Medical Center, Raritan Bay is a full service, acute care hospital that has many different inpatient and outpatient units, ranging
from the Emergency Department, Maternity, ICU, Cardiac, Long Term Acute Care Hospital, Bariatrics, Center for Wound Healing, radiology, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, etc.

Dr. Sampat Shivangi Honored With Lifetime Achievement Award By Indo-American Press Club

Dr. Sampat Shivangi, a physician, an influential Indian American community leader, and a veteran leader of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) was awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award during the 9th annual Gala and Awards ceremony organized by the Indo-American Press Club on Sunday, October 8th, 2023 at the Stamford Hilton, CT.

The award ceremony was part of the oth annual International Media Conference organized from October 7th to 9th, 2023 by the University, which brought together media personnel from around the world, who shared their insightful thoughts and expertise on various topics related to Media and Freedom of the Press.

In his response for being chosen for the award, Dr. Shivangi said, “I am truly honored to receive this prestigious award from IAPC award, which is a forum bringing together members of the ethnic media under one umbrella, providing education, and resources and work towards media freedom.”

A conservative lifelong member of the Republican Party, Dr. Shivangi is the founding member of the Republican Indian Council and the Republican Indian National Council. Dr. Shivangi is the National President of Indian American Forum for Political Education, one of the oldest Indian American Associations. Over the past three decades, he has lobbied for several Bills in the US Congress on behalf of India through his enormous contacts with US Senators and Congressmen.
A close friend to the Bush family, he was instrumental in lobbying for the first Diwali celebration in the White House and for President George W. Bush to make his trip to India. He had accompanied President Bill Clinton during his historic visit to India. Dr. Shivangi is Dr. Shivangi has worked enthusiastically in promoting India Civil Nuclear Treaty and recently the US India Defense Treaty that was passed in US Congress and signed by President Obama.
Dr. Shivangi has actively involved in several philanthropic activities, serving with Blind foundation of MS, Diabetic, Cancer and Heart Associations of America. Dr. Shivangi has number of philanthropic work in India including Primary & middle schools, Cultural Center, IMA Centers that he opened and helped to obtains the first ever US Congressional grant to AAPI to study Diabetes Mellitus amongst Indian Americans.
Dr. Sampat Shivangi was awarded the highest civilian honor, the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas Sanman award in 2016 in Bengaluru by the Hon. President of India, Shri Pranap Mukhejee. He was awarded the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor in New York in 2008. He is married to Dr. Udaya S. Shivangi, MD, and the couple are blessed with two daughters: Priya S. Shivangi, MS (NYU); Pooja S. Shivangi who is an Attorney at Law.
Others who were bestowed with Lifetime Achievement Awards during the Gala included;
• Padma Shri H.R. SHAH (Media & Arts), Chairman & CEO of TV Asia Group.
• MEERA GANDHI (Philanthropist). She is the founder of the Giving Back Foundation and a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor (2015).
• SHAJAN SKARIAH (Excellence in Journalism). He is a promoter and editor of the online portal “Marunadan Malayali”.
• RENU ABRAHAM VARUGHESE (Excellence in Elder Care). She is an Associate Professor at the School of Health and Natural Sciences, Mercy University, NY.
• VINAY MAHAJAN, President of ITServe Alliance, and the President & CEO of NAM Info Inc, a software services firm dealing in software consulting and ongoing software development projects.

IAPC was formed to unite the Indian diaspora media fraternity across North America under one umbrella to work together, support one another, and provide a unified voice in front of the mainstream media and the larger community. Every year IAPC hosts media conferences bringing together renowned journalists and media professionals from various countries around the world, and hosts workshops and seminars. For information regarding IAPC, please visit: www.indoamericanpressclub.org

A New Pathway for Diagnosis and Treatment Of Covid

In a groundbreaking study published in the journal Cell, a team of scientists has proposed a novel explanation for some cases of long Covid, shedding light on a potential biological pathway underlying the condition. The research, conducted by experts at the University of Pennsylvania, points to depleted serotonin levels as a key factor in the manifestation of certain long Covid symptoms, including memory problems and neurological and cognitive issues. This discovery has significant implications for the diagnosis and treatment of long Covid, a condition that presents in various forms and often eludes conventional diagnostic tools.

The study suggests that the reduction in serotonin levels may be triggered by residual viral remnants lingering in the gut. This revelation has the potential to open doors to innovative treatments, including medications designed to boost serotonin production. Additionally, the researchers propose that their outlined biological pathway could serve as a common link between various theories surrounding the causes of long Covid, such as the persistence of viral remnants, inflammation, increased blood clotting, and autonomic nervous system dysfunction.

As Christoph Thaiss, a lead author of the study and an assistant professor of microbiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, states, “All these different hypotheses might be connected through the serotonin pathway.” He also highlights the possibility that therapies targeting the serotonin pathway could benefit at least a subset of individuals with long Covid.

Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist at Yale University, commends the study, describing it as “an excellent study that identifies lower levels of circulating serotonin as a mechanism for long Covid.” She notes that her team and colleagues at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have recently conducted a study that identified other biological changes associated with some cases of long Covid, including hormone cortisol levels. These findings suggest that there might be specific subtypes of long Covid or different biological markers at different stages of the condition.

The research involved the analysis of blood samples from 58 patients who had been experiencing long Covid symptoms for a duration ranging from three months to 22 months post-infection. These results were compared to blood samples from 30 individuals with no post-Covid symptoms and 60 patients in the early, acute stage of a coronavirus infection.

Maayan Levy, a lead author of the study and an assistant professor of microbiology at the Perelman School of Medicine, highlights that serotonin levels and other metabolites were altered immediately following a coronavirus infection, a pattern observed with other viral infections. However, in individuals with long Covid, serotonin was the only significant molecule that did not return to pre-infection levels.

The researchers delved deeper into their investigation by analyzing stool samples from some long Covid patients, where they discovered the presence of residual viral particles. Through a combination of patient data and studies on mice and miniature models of the human gut, where serotonin production primarily occurs, the team identified a potential pathway contributing to certain long Covid cases.

The proposed mechanism revolves around viral remnants prompting the immune system to produce interferons, which are proteins that fight infection. Interferons induce inflammation, reducing the body’s ability to absorb tryptophan, an amino acid crucial for serotonin production in the gut. Moreover, blood clots that can develop following a coronavirus infection may impair the circulation of serotonin in the body. Depleted serotonin levels are believed to disrupt the vagus nerve system, which transmits signals between the body and the brain. As serotonin plays a role in short-term memory, this disruption could potentially lead to the memory problems and cognitive issues often experienced by individuals with long Covid.

While the study presents a promising breakthrough, there are some caveats to consider. The sample size was relatively small, necessitating the confirmation of these findings through additional research. Moreover, participants in other long Covid studies, which included individuals with milder symptoms, did not consistently exhibit depleted serotonin levels. This variation might suggest that serotonin depletion occurs primarily in individuals with more severe and complex long Covid symptoms.

In the quest to identify biomarkers for long Covid, which are measurable biological changes that aid in diagnosing the condition, this study has put forth three potential indicators: the presence of viral remnants in stool, reduced serotonin levels, and elevated interferon levels. Most experts believe that there won’t be a single biomarker for the condition; instead, several indicators may emerge, varying based on the type of symptoms and other factors.

The need for effective long Covid treatments is substantial, and clinical trials testing various treatment approaches are currently underway. Dr. Levy and Dr. Thaiss have announced their intention to launch a clinical trial to evaluate fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor often marketed as Prozac, and potentially tryptophan. They hope that supplementing serotonin or preventing its degradation could help restore vagal signals and improve memory and cognition in individuals with long Covid. This research paves the way for novel diagnostic methods and potential therapies to address the multifaceted challenges of long Covid.

World Thrombosis Day To Create Awareness On Blood Clots

Blood clots are one of the most preventable causes of death among hospitalized patients. About 400,000 in the US and 10 million people around the world are diagnosed with blood clots every year. In the US alone the cost related to blood clots is close to $10 Billion. Prolonged immobility due to sickness, hospitalization, surgery, or travel is the most common cause of venous blood clots. Obesity, smoking, pregnancy, birth control pills, cancer can increase the risk further.

World Thrombosis Day, founded by the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH), is a global initiative held annually on October 13th with the mission is to raise awareness about thrombosis, that is about blood clots, a condition often underestimated and misunderstood.

“October 13th is World Thrombosis Day, aimed at increasing awareness of blood clots which are one of the most common preventable cause of death, especially in hospitalized patients,” said Dr. Satheesh Kathula, MD, FACP, DipABLM, Clinical Professor of Medicine; Hematologist and Oncologist, and President Elect, AAPI. “I was honored to be invited as a chief guest for an event promoting awareness of blood clots in Austin, Texas last week.”

Blood is in fluid state because we have perfect balance of factors promoting and preventing blood clots. If there is imbalance it will result in blood clots.

About 10 million people are diagnosed with blood clots every year in the world. About 400,000 cases are diagnosed every year in the United States and the cost related to blood in the US healthcare system is close to $10 billion every year. 1 in 4 deaths are felt to be due to clotting of blood.

Type of blood clots:

Blood clots can form  either in the arteries or veins due to different set of risk factors and lead to different type of damage to the organs. Venous clots are more common due to passive flow and the most common cause of death due to venous clots is pulmonary embolism (clots traveling to lungs). 60% of venous clots are due to hospitalization.

Risk factors:

If there is endothelial (inner lining of the blood vessels) damage, inflammation or venous stasis ( pooling of the blood). Any of these can lead to disturbance in the smooth flow of blood resulting in blood clots.

Prolonged immobility due to being sick or hospitalization, surgery, travel is one of the most common cause of blood clots. Obesity, smoking, pregnancy, being on birth control pills, cancer will increase the risk further. Some people are born  with (hereditary) risk factors such as factor V Leiden and prothrombin gene mutations, protein C, S, and anti-thrombin III deficiency.

Treatment:

Blood clots are treated with blood thinners which are available widely in the form of IV, injections or pills.

Prevention:

Blood clots are highly preventable cause of morbidity and death. Early and frequent ambulation of hospital patients is of paramount importance. People who travel either by road or air should get up and walk every 2 hours or so. Loosing weight, if one is obese; quitting smoking are highly encouraged. Those who are at high risk should receive prophylactic blood thinners as a preventive measure, especially when they are hospitalized, undergoing surgery or become pregnant.

“As a hematologist treating patients with blood clots for over 22 years and as a life style medicine promoter, my message on this day is to MOVE.. MOVE and MOVE!” says, Dr. Kathula, who has dedicated nearly a quarter century of his life in preventing and treating Thrombosis.

Google Announces New Generative AI Search Capabilities For Doctors

Google Cloud unveiled new AI-driven search capabilities designed to assist healthcare professionals in swiftly retrieving accurate clinical information from various medical records. The healthcare sector houses extensive valuable data, but its scattered storage across multiple systems and formats can be an obstacle for clinicians. Google Cloud’s innovative search tool enables doctors to extract data from clinical notes, scanned documents, and electronic health records, consolidating it into a single accessible location. This innovation is expected to significantly save time and enhance efficiency for healthcare workers.

Lisa O’Malley, Senior Director of Product Management for Cloud AI at Google Cloud, highlighted the advantages of this technology, saying, “While it should save time to be able to do that search, it should also prevent frustration on behalf of clinicians and [make] sure that they get to an answer easier.”

With these new capabilities, healthcare professionals can bypass the cumbersome process of sifting through separate notes, faxes, and electronic health records to obtain patient histories. Instead, they can perform specific searches like “What medications has this patient taken in the last 12 months?” and access the relevant information seamlessly.

Furthermore, Google’s search features have broader applications, including accurate billing code assignment and assessing patient eligibility for clinical trials. To address concerns about data accuracy, the technology can trace and link information back to its original source within an organization’s internal data, mitigating doubts about AI-generated responses.

These search capabilities are particularly valuable in the context of the healthcare industry, where staffing shortages and excessive administrative work are prevalent. A 2016 study sponsored by the American Medical Association revealed that for every hour physicians spent with patients, they dedicated an additional two hours to administrative tasks. This study also indicated that physicians spent an extra one to two hours on clerical work outside of their regular working hours, commonly referred to as “pajama time.” Additionally, a January 2022 survey by Medscape reported that 53% of physicians experienced burnout, up from 42% in 2018.

Google aims to alleviate these burdens by reducing the time clinicians spend searching through records and databases. Lisa O’Malley expressed the company’s commitment to benefiting patients by making healthcare processes more efficient, stating, “Anything that Google can do by applying our search technologies, our health-care technologies and research capabilities to make the journey of the clinicians and health-care providers and payers more quick, more efficient, saving them cost, I think ultimately benefits us as patients.”

The new search functionalities will be accessible to health and life sciences organizations through Google’s Vertex AI Search platform, an extension of the existing Healthcare API and Healthcare Data Engine products. Aashima Gupta, Global Director of Health Care Strategy and Solutions at Google Cloud, emphasized the importance of seamlessly integrating these capabilities into clinicians’ workflows, ensuring they do not disrupt established routines.

Recognizing the healthcare industry’s historical reluctance to embrace new technology, Google has prioritized providing solutions that are user-friendly and unobtrusive to healthcare workers. Gupta stressed that they are cautious not to introduce friction into healthcare professionals’ daily workflows while empowering them with technology.

While customers can sign up for early access to Vertex AI Search for healthcare and life sciences, Google Cloud has already conducted tests with healthcare organizations such as Mayo Clinic, Hackensack Meridian Health, and Highmark Health.

Mayo Clinic, for example, is initially employing the Vertex AI Search tools for administrative purposes rather than clinical care. Cris Ross, Mayo’s Chief Information Officer, emphasized the organization’s cautious approach, stating that they will only integrate these tools into patient care when they are confident of their readiness.

Picture: AliTech

In the future, Mayo Clinic envisions leveraging Vertex AI Search to assist nurses in summarizing lengthy surgical notes, managing complex medical histories, and rapidly answering specific patient-related queries. However, the organization is taking a gradual approach to assess where Google’s AI solutions can be most beneficial.

Richard Clarke, Chief Analytics Officer at Highmark Health, reported a positive initial response to the search tools within the organization, with more than 200 use-case ideas in the backlog. However, similar to Mayo Clinic, Highmark Health recognizes the challenge of prioritizing and scaling the technology while building trust among employees.

Despite these promising early signs, Google Cloud remains cautious in its deployment strategy, focusing on small-scale implementation with dedicated support. The aim is to ensure that the technology aligns with the unique needs and workflows of healthcare providers.

It’s important to note that Google Cloud does not access customer data for training models, and the service complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to safeguard patient data.

Aashima Gupta, Global Director of Health Care Strategy and Solutions at Google Cloud, expressed excitement about the potential of Google’s tools to create a more comprehensive and cohesive healthcare experience. She highlighted the role of AI in connecting the dots from a patient’s perspective, making practical use cases in healthcare more feasible.

Google Cloud’s introduction of AI-driven search capabilities has the potential to streamline healthcare workflows, reduce administrative burdens on clinicians, and enhance the overall patient experience. By making it easier for healthcare professionals to access and utilize critical clinical information, Google aims to contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of the healthcare industry while respecting established workflows and data security standards.

Alcohol’s Impact on Your Brain and Heart

Light-to-moderate alcohol consumption has long been associated with better heart health, but the exact reasons behind this connection have remained a mystery. Despite the well-known health risks associated with alcohol, including a higher risk of cancer and neurological aging, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital have shed light on one potential explanation. Their recent study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, reveals that alcohol may reduce stress signals in the brain, resulting in less strain on the heart.

To unravel this phenomenon, scientists delved into data from over 50,000 individuals from the Mass General Brigham Biobank, a comprehensive research database. Their findings confirmed that light-to-moderate drinking was indeed linked to a significant reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease. Importantly, the extensive scale of this study enabled them to rule out external factors such as socioeconomic status, physical activity, and genetics that often complicate smaller-scale research. It became evident that something unique was at play, a discovery further illuminated by examining participants’ brain scans.

These brain scans revealed that alcohol could have enduring effects on stress levels within the brain, subsequently relieving the heart from excessive burdens, even days after the last drink. The brain’s stress network is akin to a tug-of-war, with the amygdala, responsible for emotions, on one side, and the prefrontal cortex, governing executive functions, on the other. During stressful situations, the amygdala sends distress signals, while the prefrontal cortex can inhibit the amplification of this alarm throughout the body, including the heart.

Dr. Ahmed Tawakol, a study author and co-director of the Cardiovascular Imaging Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, noted that alcohol is known to alleviate the amygdala’s alarm response. However, the researchers posed a unique question: does it exert long-term effects on these systems? Analyzing brain scans from over 1,000 study participants, they discovered that light-to-moderate drinkers experienced sustained reductions in amygdala activity, with prefrontal cortex activity remaining unaffected when alcohol was not in their systems. While the data did not allow researchers to determine whether this effect on the amygdala would diminish if individuals ceased drinking altogether, this dampening of amygdala activity was associated with a notable 22% decrease in cardiovascular disease risk.

Moreover, when the researchers specifically examined light-to-moderate drinkers with a history of anxiety, characterized by an overactive stress network, they observed a doubling of the effect. Dr. Tawakol explained, “Rather than the 22% reduction, people with prior anxiety had a 40% reduction in heart disease.” However, he emphasized, “I know that a lot of people will hear that and say, ‘Well, I’m anxious. That’s why I drink—I guess there’s a benefit.’ But there is no safe quantity of alcohol.”

While these findings are intriguing, Dr. Tawakol highlighted that there are alternative, safer ways to tap into this stress-reducing pathway. Exercise, for instance, is currently being studied by Tawakol and has been shown to increase prefrontal cortex activity, achieving similar stress-reduction benefits. Adequate sleep, too, operates along similar lines. Dr. Tawakol’s ultimate objective, however, is to identify pharmacological interventions that can safely diminish amygdala activity. He stressed the need to move beyond conventional recommendations like “get more sleep and exercise” in light of this newfound pathway that, when targeted, can double the reduction in cardiovascular disease risk.

Facing the Diabetes Dilemma: Can Yoga Be the Unexplored Solution to Our Silent Epidemic?

It’s early in the evening. You’ve just wrapped up a big dinner, feeling stuffed to the brim, but something’s off. You can’t quite pinpoint it, then it hits you – you skipped dessert, that classic ‘sweet tooth’ craving. You swing open the fridge, its light revealing frozen pizzas and leftover takeout, and then you spot it – that box of pastries your cousin dropped off a few days ago, what a lifesaver. You take it out and keep it on the table. Just as you’re about to indulge in the world of brownies and cheesecakes, an old magazine beneath the box catches your attention. Before you can take a bite, there’s an article on Diabetes staring right back at you, its headline blaring, ‘According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 422 million people worldwide are living with diabetes, and this number is anticipated to rise.’ You recall chatting with your cousin about their 48-year-old neighbor who recently passed from complications related to high sugar levels. You can’t help but think of the irony as you place the pastries back, untouched and pristine, into the fridge. With a heavy sigh, you shut the fridge door, leaving those tempting treats behind

Please excuse my earlier attempt at humor; there’s truly nothing humorous about diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 37.3 million Americans, which is 11.3% of the US population, have diabetes. Out of this number, 28.7 million have been diagnosed, while an alarming 8.5 million remain undiagnosed and unaware of their condition. Notably, Type 2 diabetes accounts for a staggering 90.9% or 21 million of all diabetes cases in the US. The financial toll is significant as well. In 2017, the CDC estimated the total cost of diagnosed diabetes to be $327 billion, comprising $237 billion in direct medical expenses and another $90 billion due to reduced productivity.

Let’s delve into how this impacts Indian-Americans. Statistics indicate that Indian-Americans are more susceptible to diabetes compared to other groups. The diabetes prevalence rate among Indian-Americans stands at 15.7%, a figure that notably surpasses the national average. Furthermore, Indian-Americans tend to develop type 2 diabetes at a younger age compared to other ethnicities. The latest statistics on the economic cost of diabetes for Indian Americans are from the American Diabetes Association’s 2022 Diabetes Care in Indian Americans report. The report found that the total cost of diabetes for Indian Americans was estimated to be $36.4 billion in 2022. This includes the cost of medical care, lost productivity, and premature death.

Diabetes is a “slow poison.” It is a disease associated with other conditions like high blood pressure leading to heart attacks, kidney failure, blindness, and other ailments. Diabetes is not curable, but it can be managed. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to understand how you can live a decent lifestyle by enjoying sweets in moderation and at the same time get your Diabetes controlled. Unfortunately, there is no drug known to mankind that can cure Diabetes. While a significant armamentarium of medications can help control your blood sugar, some come at the cost of having side effects. Many effective diabetic drugs have fallen into disrepute because they do not protect the heart. The present dictates to pharmaceutical manufacturers is only to discover medicines that have proven protection for the heart. The simple reason being a diabetic mostly dies due to heart disease or its complications.

It is essential to understand that medications, even when taken appropriately, do not cure or treat diabetes mellitus. This disease is called a lifestyle disease, and its treatment requires extensive lifestyle changes, with medications secondary to it. Millions of people have successfully been able to keep their Diabetes absolutely in control after engaging in radical lifestyle changes. Though it sounds complicated and impossible, it will disrupt your regular work and almost certainly entail giving up your profession. Fortunately, such fears are uncalled for because all you need to do is practice yoga for half an hour 4/5 days a week, including 10 minutes of mindfulness and meditation. You might be thinking that it is a long prescription. It is not.

Yoga is a practical and effective lifestyle modification that involves Asanas (Postures), Dharana (Mindfulness), and Dhyana (Meditation). Whether you believe it or not, at least seven of the eight components of yoga are essential to induce a lifestyle change. Yoga space has been unfortunately polluted by half-baked experts who need clinical training. Whether yoga works or not in Diabetes is not based on my personal experience. I would then be no different from the “erudite” neighborhood yoga practitioner or Guru who believes their experience is all that is required to prove that it works. Unfortunately, clinical medicine, including yoga therapy, is a scientific proposition propelled by research. Modern medicine agrees with yogic principles that stress exacerbates Diabetes. When stressed, your body releases hormones that can cause blood sugar to increase and blood pressure and heart rate.

Picture: USA Today

The therapeutic benefits of yoga, especially concerning diabetes, have been increasingly recognized in scientific literature. A systematic review and meta-analysis published in both PLOS ONE and the Journal of Diabetes Research highlighted yoga as a comprehensive and alternative approach to preventing type 2 diabetes. These studies specifically noted improvements in fasting blood glucose, low-density lipoprotein, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure among pre-diabetic individuals following yoga intervention. Furthermore, an article in the Asana – International Yoga Journal emphasized yoga’s efficacy in not only maintaining overall health but also in preventing the progression from a pre-diabetic state to Type 2 Diabetes and averting further complications in those already diagnosed. Another study in MDPI underscored yoga’s potential as an alternative exercise for type 2 diabetes patients, given its comparable benefits to other exercises in enhancing muscle strength and cardiorespiratory fitness, and its added advantage when combined with standard management.

Regular walks, combined with specific yoga poses like Dhanurasana and multiple twisting poses, can be helpful for people with Diabetes, as it helps burn off the excess sugar that has built up in their bodies and stimulate insulin production. In addition, Surya Namaskara, or Sun Salutation, is a sequence of 12 powerful yoga asanas, which is another effective way to reign in your rising blood sugar level. However, it can be modified by doing a faster variation that consumes more calories.

Last but not least, ‘you are what you eat’ might be quite literal for people with Diabetes. Indulging your sweet tooth urges might make you sweeter, literally, by increasing the blood sugar level in your body. This, unfortunately, has multifarious unseen ramifications, including blocking blood vessels leading to heart attack, stroke, or even amputations! People who have Diabetes should be aware of how essential it is, in addition to their yoga practice, to maintain a disciplined approach to their Ahara (diet). Yoga is effective in bringing blood sugar levels under control, particularly when combined with dietary modifications. If you have Diabetes, the most important thing you can do for your health is to pay close attention to what you put in your body, basically your diet. A diet that includes plenty of whole grains, fresh fruits, and raw veggies is low in calories and fat and contributes to an alkaline diet of high-quality natural foods. Avoid overeating by eating modest, frequent meals.

Yoga’s many health benefits include aiding in the management of Diabetes without leading to its dangerous complications. Yes, you can indulge in sweets, cakes, and chocolate occasionally, but remember that the central teachings of yoga are self-control and discipline, as well as avoiding overindulgence. So, when you practice yoga regularly and follow its principles, it is your best insurance to lead a healthy and long life.

The American Academy for Yoga in Medicine is hosting a webinar on Diabetes Management on November 4th, featuring expert physicians discussing how Yoga can be advantageous for individuals dealing with diabetes, or for anyone aiming to prevent its onset. It’s not merely about physical flexibility; it’s about fostering a balanced lifestyle and nurturing your overall well-being. Your path to a balanced, healthier life can start with this insightful session.

(The author is a Cardiologist, Meditator, and Yogi based in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. He is the Founder and Chairman of the American Academy for Yoga in Medicine. He is the Editor in Chief; The Principle and Practice of Yoga in Cardiovascular Medicine. [email protected])

Covid Vaccine Inventors To Receive Nobel Prize

Three years after the first mRNA-based vaccines became available, to prevent COVID-19, the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine was awarded to two scientists who made those vaccines possible. Katalin Kariko and Dr. Drew Weissman were recognized for their work modifying the genetic material mRNA to make it more useful in treatments like vaccines.

Picture: USA Today

When they met at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1990s, Kariko had been a longtime champion of mRNA technology, but struggled to convince the rest of the scientific community of its promise since RNA was notoriously unstable and had not produced any meaningful treatments. Weissman was working on developing an HIV vaccine, and thought an mRNA approach might be worth a try. The rest is now Nobel history.

Here are some of the highlights of their journey:

  • mRNA theoretically held a lot of promise in being able to treat genetic and infectious diseases, but also tended to aggravate the immune system, creating a dangerous inflammatory reaction.
  • Kariko and Weissman spent decades figuring out that changing the mRNA code slightly would make it less prone to stimulating this aggressive inflammatory response.
  • Their discovery made the COVID-19 vaccines possible, and is now being

The winners

  • Hungarian scientist Katalin Kariko and her US colleague Drew Weissman, who met for the first time while waiting in the queue for a photocopier before making mRNA molecule discoveries, paving the way for Covid-19 vaccines, won the 2023 Nobel Prize for Medicine on Monday.

The discovery

  • The discoveries by the two Nobel Prize scientists were critical for developing effective mRNA vaccines against Covid-19 during the pandemic that began in early 2020.
  • Through their groundbreaking findings, which have fundamentally changed our understanding of how mRNA interacts with our immune system, they contributed to the unprecedented rate of vaccine development during one of the greatest threats to human health in modern times.

The research

  • Kariko, 68, and Weissman, 64, longstanding colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania in the US, have already won a slew of awards for their research.
  • In recognising the duo this year, the Nobel committee broke with its usual practice of honouring decades-old research, aimed at ensuring it has stood the test of time.
  • While the prizewinning research dates back to 2005, the first vaccines to use the mRNA technology came out just three years ago and is now being used to develop other treatments for diseases and illnesses such as cancer, influenza and heart failure.

Prize money

  • The pair will receive their prize, consisting of a diploma, a gold medal and a $1 million cheque, from King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of the 1896 death of scientist Alfred Nobel who instituted the prizes in his last will and testament.

Last year’s winner

  • Last year’s medicine prize went to Swede Svante Paabo for sequencing the genome of the Neanderthal and other past winners include Alexander Fleming, who shared the 1945 prize for the discovery of penicillin.

Johnson & Johnson Not To Enforce Patents On TB Drug

U.S.-based pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has made a significant announcement, declaring that it will not exercise patent rights for Sirturo, its brand name for bedaquiline, in 134 low- and middle-income nations. This decision comes in response to global pressure urging the company to refrain from pursuing additional patents for its groundbreaking tuberculosis drug. Notably, the Indian Patent Office rejected J&J’s application for a secondary patent related to the fumarate salt of bedaquiline.

Bedaquiline represents a groundbreaking development in tuberculosis (TB) treatment, being the first drug for TB to receive global approval in more than four decades. It stands out for its reduced toxicity and enhanced effectiveness compared to conventional TB treatments.

Picture: PREPP

The commitment to not enforcing bedaquiline patents in specific regions is seen as a significant step toward ensuring broader access to affordable generic versions of the drug for individuals in low- and middle-income countries, particularly those suffering from drug-resistant TB. The announcement has been met with praise from the Access Campaign, a part of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), an international medical humanitarian organization.

The Access Campaign applauds this development, attributing it to the persistent efforts of TB activists, civil society, and countries prioritizing public health above corporate interests. They also highlight that after the rejection of J&J’s attempt to extend its monopoly in India, national TB treatment programs in Ukraine and Belarus have also requested the company to relinquish its secondary patents within their borders.

Furthermore, the South African Competition Commission’s recent investigation is noted as having exerted considerable pressure on J&J, likely contributing to the company’s decision.

Looking ahead, the Access Campaign now urges Japanese pharmaceutical giant Otsuka to follow suit and publicly commit to not enforcing secondary patents in low- and middle-income countries for another critical TB drug, Delamanid. Notably, Otsuka’s primary patent for Delamanid is set to expire shortly in India and several other nations. Delamanid plays a vital role in combination with bedaquiline, particularly in the treatment of pediatric TB cases.

In response to these developments, at least three Indian pharmaceutical companies, namely Lupin, Natco, and Macleods, have expressed their preparations to introduce generic versions of bedaquiline. This move is expected to further enhance the availability of affordable TB treatment options.

Global Wellness and Ayurvedic Products Company Sri Sri Tattva Announces In-Store and Website Launch in the United States

(Newswire.com) –Sri Sri Tattva, a leading provider of premium health and wellness products, announced the in-store launch of its products in the United States. As part of a nationwide roll-out, the organic and natural Ayurvedic products are now available in stores in Dallas, Texas, including at all India Bazaar locations. The products are also now available online at SriSriTattva.com.

With a portfolio of over 350 products, all stores will carry a wide range of premium health products that include herbs, foods, drinks and cosmetics, including Sudanta, the fluoride-free toothpaste, Ojasvita, a herb-infused energy drink, and Chyawanprash. The India Bazaar West Plano location is hosting a launch party on September 28, open to the local communities.

“India has many ancient gifts to share with the world, from yoga to meditation, and now very prominently the science of Ayurveda is being recognized for its holistic healing. There is an increasing need for individuals to embrace a lifestyle that builds and strengthens immunity in order to enjoy a strong body, mind and spirit. Our products blend modern science with the ancient science and wisdom of Ayurveda to deliver pure and effective products,” says Ajay Tejasvi, President of Sri Sri Tattva. “We invite the local community to experience the goodness of all our Ayurvedic products.”

The Sri Sri Tattva Launch Party at India Bazaar West Plano will begin at 5 p.m. CST, September 28, and will offer free sample products, prizes and live musical performances. With a 360-degree approach to health, Sri Sri Tattva Ayurvedic practitioners (Vaidyas) will also be available for consultations to offer a complete health and wellness experience for the whole family.

About Sri Sri Tattva:

Sri Sri Tattva is a global health and wellness company with over 350 Ayurvedic, natural and organic products now available in 50+ countries. A portion of all proceeds goes to The Art of Living Foundation, whose wide-scale humanitarian initiatives have positively impacted the lives of over 375 million people globally.

India Shows the Way in Expanding an Inclusive Medical Education

Ever since the first medical college was established in 1835 in Kolkata in India, the scope and breadth of health education in India has widened, especially in the past decade. From just 19 medical colleges and nearly 1,000 students in 1947, the number of medical schools in India has grown tremendously, having one of the largest number of medical colleges in the world.

Incorporating principles of diversity, inclusiveness, and expansion by adding new medical schools every year with specialized areas of Medicine, India’s model of medical education has now come to be a model for the rest of the world to emulate.

According to Dr. Lokesh Edara, who has been leading the efforts for AAPI’s Global Medical Education Initiatives and currently serving as the Chair of Board of Trustees of The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), ever since gaining Independence from the colonial British rule, India has expanded its medical education program with 19 medical schools to now having 706 medical colleges in 77 years.

Picture : Fast Voice Media

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has taken medical education to newer heights. India created in a span of nine years, 317 new medical schools. Dr. Edara says, in 2014, there were 387 medical colleges having a total of 51,348 MBBs seats in the country. In 2023, the number of medical schools has expanded to 706 colleges with a total of 108,898 medical seats across the nation.

When it comes to the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), India had seven AIIMS in 2014. Today, the number of AIIMS has increased to 22. “The Indian model of AIIMS funded by the federal government should be a model to the rest of the world,” Dr. Edara said.

Another area, where the Indian model is significant for the rest of the world to emulate is its inclusiveness and encouraging of minority communities in the nation. India is the only country that has its constitution facilitating the establishment of minority institutions. India is home to the people of several minority religions, resulting in 2 medical schools for the Sikhs, 2 Christian medical schools, 2 Jain medical institutes, one Buddhist medical school and as many as 26 Muslim institutions, in addition to 6 Linguistic minority medical colleges.

Indian laws also provide reservation to students from minority and backward communities, with more than 50% of medical schools’ seats reserved for admission. “This is one of the best examples of diversity and inclusiveness in education in the world,” Dr. Edara said.

The presence of growing number of specialty education in Medicine, catering to the diverse, rural, urban and complex needs of the patients in each medical school is where India again leads the world. The MCI/NMC in India has mandated that there be departments catering to the specialty areas, catering to the special needs of each patient.

AAPI has been spearheading medical education advocacy programs for India, Dr. Edara pointed out. “The uniqueness of medical education in India is that Indian medical colleges have been mandated and they have as many as 23 specialized departments of medicine. NMC, NBEMS are also models in India for the rest of world for generating specialties of physicians.

Picture : TheUNN

Advancing medical education from High School onwards, many states in India have mandatory anatomy, physiology and biochemistry deportments, making them as essential subjects for students admitted from 12th Grade onwards. And for para medical departments, there are similar programs along with medicine, surgery, OBGYN and pediatrics.

Today, India boasts of more medical graduates with specialties in comparison with the rest of the world due to the establishment of clinically mandatory departments in medical colleges. For instance, in ophthalmology, India has 1927 seats vs the United States having 509 seats, which is 374% higher than that of the US. In the field of MS ENT/Otolaryngology, India has 1417 seats, while the US has 373 seats, an increase of 380% in India.

Seats for Orthopedics in India is 2847, while the US has 899 seats, with 222% greater number of seats in India. In Anesthesiology, India has 429 colleges with 4687 seats, while the US has 1746 seats, which is 268% more seats in India. There are as many as 2544 seats in India vs US having 1274 seats for post graduate studies in Hematology, which is 266% higher in India than USA.

With 1408 seats in India as against 528 seats in the US for Radio Diagnosis, which is 200% higher in India than in the US. Radiation Therapy/Oncology seats are 239% higher in India than the US with 457 seats in India vs 191 admissions in the US. There are as many as 1360 Psychiatry seats in India to the 2164 seats in the United States annually. In the field of Pulmonary/TB & Respiratory, the US has 1172 seats while India has 1045 MD seats today.

India is planning to create one Post Graduate seat to each MBBS graduate passing out from medical schools. AAPI has been advocating for post graduate seats in family medicine with at least 20 % of all Post graduate seats as India has 25 million newborn babies every year, urging the Government of India to increase neonatologists, Dr. Edara pointed out.

NBEMS has created more postgraduation and super specialty physician programs at private and government run hospitals helping the capacity building across India. This model of medical colleges is unique to India not only for producing more specialists, but they are also delivering much needed specialty services across India both at medical colleges and in private practice.

AAPI has been advocating for formative assessment of postgraduates and changing to high quality computer based high order assessment for MBBS and postgraduates. “I request eLearning platform to MBBS, postgraduate, super specialty, nursing and para medical education for higher transfer of knowledge and the help protect public health,” Dr. Edara said.

India is aliso a model in expanding medical colleges and health delivery. India is concentrating on its challenges to address National Eligibility Test (NEXT) similar to USMLE of USA and UKMLE of UK. AAPI has successfully advocated that NMC made emergency medicine department mandatory in all medical schools with post graduate programs.

In addition, AAPI has been advocating for the implementation of multiple-choice theory assessment option for Post Graduate Final Theory Examinations by NMC has bridged the assessment gap for Indian students aspiring to compete with students from the rest of the world. This approach also helps high level of transfer of knowledge.

According to a JAMA published article in August 2020, the projected estimates of African medical graduates in closed Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU)medical schools were established between 1868 and 1904 surrounding the 1910 Flexner report, consequences associated with the closure of historically Black medical schools.

If the 5 closed historically Black medical schools had remained open, the steady expansion and rapid expansion models indicated that these schools might have collectively provided training to an additional 27, 773 graduates and 35,315 graduates, respectively, between their year of closure and 2019.

Quoting from a study by researchers from the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the AAMC that was published in JAMA Network Open that linked a higher prevalence of Black doctors to longer life expectancy and lower mortality in Black population, Michael Dill, the director of workforce studies at the Association of American Medical Colleges and one of the study’s co-authors said, “This is adding to the case for a more diverse physician workforce. What else could you ask for?”

It is enocuraging to note that the United States and  AAMC have been addressing  disparity un the recent past. As a result, the number of Black or African American matriculants increased by 9%. Black or African American students made up 10% of matriculants in 2022-23, up from 9.5% in 2020-21. First-year Black or African American men increased by 5%.

Matriculants who are Hispanic, Latino, or of Spanish origin increased by 4%. Individuals from this group made up 12% of total matriculants. American Indian or Alaska Native matriculants declined by 9%, comprising 1% of matriculants.

“The increases in first-year enrollees from historically underrepresented groups reflect the efforts of the nation’s medical schools to increase diversity and further address the nation’s public health needs,” said Geoffrey Young, PhD, AAMC, senior director. “The AAMC is focused on diversifying the physician workforce, including American Indian and Alaska Native students, to ensure the next generation of physicians reflects the communities they serve.”

Recommendations

Modeling India, the rest of the world can address minority medical schools. The United States has addressed diversity by establishing minority medical schools. However, given the ratio, the United States can afford and fund minority medical schools from  4 to another 15 schools.  There were 10 HUCU minority medical schools in 1920, due to quality issues, there are only 3 minority medical schools continuing to function, namely, Howard, More House, Meharry, producing 14% of medical students from the minority community.

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) is a private, nonprofit, community-founded, student-centered University, committed to cultivating diverse health professionals,  who are dedicated to social justice and health equity for the underserved populations through outstanding education, clinical service, and community engagement. Minority students represent over 67 percent of its total enrollment.

There ar some enocuraging sings recently. African American student enrollment is more than double the national average (32 percent CDU compared to 14 percent nationally). Also, Hispanic student enrollment is above the national average (17 percent CDU compared to 14 percent nationally).

While India with its annual GDP of 3 trillion Dollars is able to invest in establishing 317 new medical schools in less than 10 years, adding 40,000 new medical seats to these colleges, the United States with an economy of 33 trillion Dollars should be able to invest far greater in the education, especially for the minority communities.

The USA can add at least one minority school for each state, beginning with at least 15 more new minority medical schools in the states with a sizable number of minority population. The United States can multiply the model to most states similar to the model India has.

Federal funding of 2 billion dollars per medical school, in addition to philanthropic contributions will go a long way in enhancing the participation of minority communities, including African American, Hispanic and Native Americans in the much-needed medical education, and contribute towards adding more minority and HBCU medical schools creating a minimum of 1,500 or more minority physicians per year to the main pool of physicians’ community and provide needed health care in the community.

Similarly, establishing medical schools for Native American Indians can address this gap in giving representation to this population. Out of the estimated 5.2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIAN) in the U.S., there are only about 3,400 are physicians, just 0.4% of the physician workforce, according to a 2018 AMA Council on Medical Education report, “Study of Declining Native American Medical Student Enrollment.

In addition, the United States must work towards capacity building in Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners from the Minority communities in bridging the wide gap that is present today.

The India model of minority medical schools and capacity building can be followed across world. The India model of mandatory departments can help build specialists, catering to the country’s needs. India’s model of one medical college every district can help access to high quality health care in the rural and remote areas of the country.

World Heart Day, September 29
Heart Disease Among Indian Diaspora

An Interview with Indo-US Resuscitation Advocate: Vemuri S Murthy, MD
Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) are the leading cause of death and disability among people of Indian origin. The CVD epidemic in Indians is characterized by a higher relative risk burden, an earlier age of onset, higher case fatality and higher premature deaths. For decades, researchers have been trying to understand the reason for this increased burden and propensity of CVD among Indians.
September 29th every year is marked as the “World Heart Day.” Dr. Vemuri S Murthy, in an exclusive interview with our readers, talks about the factors causing Cardiovascular Diseases, the ways to prevent it, and the available treatment modalities.
Picture : TheUNN

Odisha is the first Indian State to officially launch a statewide CPR training project (community, police, and high school/college students), which was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Chief Minister Mr. Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar on February 2, 2023, supported by Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations, Odisha, and Sri Jagannatha Service Foundation,

Dr. Murthy is an Associate Professor (Adjunct) in Emergency Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA. He is an Honorary Advisor (CPR) to the Government of Odisha (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare) and a Visiting Professor to Indian Medical Institutions such as AIIMS (Mangalagiri, Andhra Pradesh).

A longtime American Heart Association (AHA) International Training Center Faculty and Advisor, Dr. Murthy has been involved with teaching and training Basic and Advanced Cardiac Life Support courses and Community Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) initiatives for more than two decades in India and USA. He has also been involved with Indian Cardiac Arrest Research Projects affiliating with Indian Resuscitation experts.

Q. Good morning, Dr. Murthy. We are happy to have you with us today to discuss the number one Global Killer “Cardiovascular Disease” with a focus on Indians and Indian diaspora on the occasion of the “World Heart Day” on September 29.

A. Thank you! As you may be aware, “World Heart Day” is a global, multi-country, multi-lingual celebration day that was initiated by the World Heart Federation (WHF) in 1999 in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness of Heart Disease and reminding everybody “to take care of their Hearts.” The theme for World Heart Day 2023 is “Use Heart for Every Heart”.

Q. Can you elaborate on the impact of Heart Disease in the World and India?

A. Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is a disease of the Heart and the Blood Vessels leading to Heart Attack, Stroke, and Heart Failure, resulting in the deaths of about 20.5 million people annually in the world. 80% of these deaths are preventable.

According to the Cardiological Society of India (CSI), 36% of deaths in India are due to heart disease. The incidence of heart disease among Indians is 50-400% higher than other ethnic groups. About 50% of heart attacks occur in Indian men under the age of 50 years. 25% occur under 40 years. Indians (as South Asian Ethnic group) are more susceptible to heart disease than any other ethnic counterparts. More than 4200 sudden cardiac arrests occur per one lakh of the population in India annually, heart disease being the major contributor. 30-40% of these deaths occur between 35-64 years of age.

Q. What is the difference between a “Heart Attack” and a “Cardiac Arrest”?

A “Heart Attack” is due to obstruction of blood flow (block) in the Heart’s blood vessels (coronary arteries). The heart muscle starts dying quickly after a heart attack. A heart attack can lead to sudden cardiac arrest and death. Sudden Cardiac Arrest, SCA, (stoppage of the Heart) is Heart’s electrical activity failure due to several causes, primarily a heart attack.

Q. What are the other causes of Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Besides a heart attack, sudden stoppage of the Heart can happen due to congenital abnormalities of the Heart, such as “Cardiomyopathies” (involving the heart muscle), valves and blood vessels of the Heart, infections of the Heart and electrolyte abnormalities (esp. Potassium and Sodium), drug overdose (Narcotics like Fentanyl, Cocaine and recreational street drugs), and sudden “injury or blow” to the chest (Commotio Cordis).

Commotio Cordis needs a special mention here. It’s due to sudden impact injury to the chest seen commonly in sports such as Cricket, Baseball, and Hockey. I can quote several anecdotes about Commotio Cordis (Sudden Cardiac Arrests) that were managed immediately on the spot with Bystander Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) with complete recovery. It’s sad to see anybody of any age dying due to Sudden Cardiac Arrests due to lack of immediate “simple” help through “Bystander Hands-only or Compressions-only CPR.”

Q. How do you recognize a “Heart Attack”?

A. A “Classical” Heart Attack seen in the majority of people (especially men) is experienced as chest pain (mild, moderate, or severe) or discomfort (pressure or squeezing sensation) that radiates to the left shoulder, arm, back of chest, jaw/teeth. It may or may not be associated with sweating, nausea, dizziness, heartburn, or shortness of breath. Rarely, during “Silent Heart Attacks,” none of these symptoms may exist or are minimally experienced.

Heart attacks in women need special attention. Most women experience “shortness of breath” instead of chest pain, which is common in men. This is an important evidenced-based information in light of the known fact that women’s heart attacks are under-addressed, under-diagnosed, and under-treated globally.

Q. How do you know if somebody is in Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

A. Firstly, any person of any age can have “Sudden Cardiac Arrest” anywhere and at any time.

From a layperson’s perspective, a person collapses suddenly, becomes unconscious with minimal or no breathing, and has no pulse. Prior symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, palpitations, shortness of breath, vomiting, etc. may or may not be present.

Q. What happens if nothing is done immediately?

A. If no immediate emergency bystander help is available, the person will die in a few minutes. Our body needs oxygen all the time. In cardiac arrest, there is no blood supply and oxygen to any of the organs. The brain is most susceptible to lack of oxygen and starts “dying” in a few minutes much ahead of other organs. In most cases, the brain is “irreversibly damaged” in about 10 minutes or less without oxygen. The proportion of brain damage depends on the delay in commencing the CPR to restart the Heart and reestablish blood supply to the brain.

Q. What is Bystander CPR? What is the science behind it?

In most Adults, there will be some amount of oxygen left in the body for about 4-5 minutes after cardiac arrest for survival with or without brain damage. With regard to “Bystander Hands-only or Compressions-only CPR”, there is enough evidence-based information to support the fact that only chest compressions (100-120 per minute in the center of chest) performed by bystander in the initial few minutes of cardiac arrest will be as effective as “Conventional CPR” performed with both compressions and breaths (30 compressions and two breaths sequence). Beyond 4-5 minutes or so, “breathing for the victim” is vital in addition to chest compressions. In infants, children, and persons with heart and lung conditions, drug overdose, and drowning, “Conventional” or “Compressions plus Breaths” CPR is needed for survival. Without immediate CPR, 90% of the victims die. Bystander CPR increases the chances of the victim’s survival two to three times. Using an electrical device called “Automated External Defibrillator” (AED) soon with CPR will increase survival rates of the victims significantly.

Q. How to get trained in CPR?

A. The lifesaving Bystander CPR technique and using an AED are easy to learn. Taking a “CPR Training” class from any authorized organization is necessary. There are also videos available to teach the basics of Hands-only CPR. It is also essential to follow Governmental “Good Samaritan Laws” for liability protection while providing any emergency help.

Q. Are there any specific precautions for Bystander CPR during COVID-19 era?

A. Certainly! CPR is an aerosol (droplet)-generating procedure. Safety precautions must be taken for personal protection. Cover your and victim’s mouth and nose with any readily available face cover, cloth/mask before starting CPR. Thorough handwashing with soap and water should be done after providing CPR help. From the currently available information, the chances of getting infection while performing CPR are very minimal or insignificant.

Q. What are your thoughts on the progress and advances in the arena of Resuscitation in India in recent years?

Having been involved with Indian Resuscitation Medicine teaching, training, and research for some time, I am happy that India is making significant advances on several fronts of Resuscitation Medicine.

First, the academic curriculum in Indian Medical Colleges includes “Mandated Resuscitation” training for Medical Students, Residents, and Nurses. The training faculty has been providing Resuscitation Training in Governmental and Private Medical colleges. Some of the Institutions are also utilizing advanced simulation technology.

The Indian Government (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare) recently introduced comprehensive “Provider Course for Training Doctors in Trauma and Non-trauma” viz. mandatory “National Emergency Life Support” Courses for graduating Medical Students, Residents (Physicians) and Nurses. This is a commendable initiative for Indian Medical Educational System as the course curriculum, tailored to India, was developed by the experienced Indian Experts.

Community, Paramedic, High School and Police CPR trainings have peaked in recent years, thanks to the efforts of Indian Institutions such as EMRI (Emergency Management and Research Institute), Indian Resuscitation Council (IRC) and many other Indian Organizations. IRC became an official member of the ILCOR (International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation) recently. Medical Institutional affiliations such as the AIIMS -American Heart Association (“Nation of Lifesavers in India” Project) are making rapid progress. Odisha is the first Indian State to officially launch a statewide CPR training project (community, police and high school/college students) which was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Chief Minister Mr. Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar on February 2,2023.

Indian Medical Institutions and Hospitals are focusing more and more on “Prevention of Cardiac Disease” in addition to improving cardiac care quality services. “Emergency Cardiac Care-Enhancing Outcomes” projects exemplified by “HeartRescue India (HRI) ” (collaboration of the University of Illinois Health, Chicago, USA, M.S. Ramaiah Medical College and Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India, and Medtronic Inc.) are making good progress.

Q. Why Indians or Indian diaspora are more prone to Heart Disease?

A great question! Several evidence-based studies, past and recent, from India, USA and other countries point to various contributing factors such as high BP, tobacco abuse in any form, diet high in carbohydrates, fats, and salt, obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, lack of adequate exercise, stress and lifestyle, and genetic predisposition. They all contribute to the acceleration of plaques or “blocks” in the Heart’s blood vessels. Research also suggests that Indians have smaller sized heart blood vessels with narrow lumina that are also prone to high calcium deposits. In addition, genetic variations or abnormalities also play a significant role in about 6% of the Indians and their diaspora. One recent Indo-US collaborative study (Warangal Area Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Registry, WACAR) gave some insight into the epidemiology of Cardiac Arrests in India.

Q. As an advocate of “Healthy Hearts”, what preventive strategies do you recommend?

A. Awareness, early detection, and timely interventions are the keys to enhancing cardiac health and quality of life. The basics are stopping tobacco use, regular physical activity, healthy diet, maintaining an average weight, controlling blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose, adequate sleep, and stress control through meditation/yoga. They should be tailored to individual needs as advised by their Physicians.

Meditation has several benefits. It’s scientifically proven that Meditation/Yoga pacifies parts of the brain related to stress. Recent research showed that eight weeks of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training programs increase the thickness of Hippocampus (gray matter concentration), the part of the brain responsible for memory and regulating emotions.

Q. What are your concluding comments?

Raising community awareness of Heart Disease, implementing Preventive “Healthy Heart” programs with health screenings and promoting Community CPR programs by the Government and Non-Governmental Organizations are the initial steps to start combating Cardiovascular Disease, improve outcomes in “Heart Emergencies” and enhance overall “Heart Heath”!

Thank You!

(Disclaimer: The information provided in the article is meant for educational purpose only to raise awareness of Heart Disease and Sudden Cardiac Arrests. It does not endorse any specific organization and is not a professional advice. The readers need to seek professional medical advice before following any suggestion).

Illinois Leads The Way With Legislation To Aid International Medical Graduates

At a time when the State of Illinois is grappling with a significant shortage of physicians, the signing of two new legislations by Governor of Illinois, J B Pritzker, will be crucial in reducing barriers to licensing for internationally trained physicians. Currently, 12,000 residents of Illinois hold international medical degrees, and yet they face restrictions preventing them from utilizing their expertise to offer healthcare services.

The new legislation includes creation of a permanent alternative pathway to full licensure for International Medical Graduates (IMGs), marking a significant departure from other State approaches that focus on establishing restricted licenses. Additionally, the creation of the role of an ombudsman within the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) tasked with aiding IMGs in navigating the process of relicensing will further enable this process.

Thanking Governor Pritzker for the initiative, Trustee of Oak Brook, Illinois, and Past President of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), Dr. Suresh Reddy told News India Times, “International graduates are well trained, and on par with American graduates. Allowing international graduates to work as healthcare workers in the United States after they complete the licensing exams is a huge step in healthcare delivery in US especially in areas of need.” Dr. Reddy who’s also the Past President of the Indian-American Medical Association, emphasized “It’s a win-win situation for all those who are involved.”

Calling it “a groundbreaking step to alleviate critical labor shortages in the healthcare sector”

Upwardly Global, a national organization dedicated to assisting immigrants and refugees in leveraging their international credentials to relaunch their professional careers within the United States commended Governor Pritzker’s legislations.

According to Upwardly Global, the announcement comes after more than a year of extensive work between Upwardly Global, Illinois State Rep. Theresa Mah, Ph.D. (D-Chi.), IDFPR, the Illinois State Medical Society, as well as both national and local advocacy groups. The collaborative effort has been focused on tackling the issue of untapped talent among IMGs within the State.

“Illinois is setting a new standard for the rest of the country when it comes to internationally trained medical professionals,” said President and CEO of Upwardly Global, Jina Krause-Vilmar, in a statement. “Upwardly Global is proud to have co-created this legislative win, which recognizes the value of internationally trained healthcare professionals who, despite their expertise, often remain on the sidelines during critical health crises.”

Founder and former President of AAPI, Dr. Navin Shah, told News India Times, “I welcome the move of Governor Pritzker which will be helpful for patients in the State of Illinois.

Already, 80,000 Indian doctors in the United States are doing well in training as well as in practice. Not only are they taking good care of patients but also training new doctors. This is a great step given the huge shortage of healthcare professionals in this country.”

Picture : Upwardly Global

In the 1980s, Dr. Shah worked to achieve equality for international doctors alongside US physicians. In 1987, along with the support of his colleagues he helped replace “Foreign” with “International” rebranding Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs) as International Medical Graduates in the battle against discrimination.

“There is growing demand for healthcare workers across the nation. Between 2017 and 2021, states from Arizona to Virginia saw an increase in the number of online job postings for unique healthcare worker positions. Immigrants often punch above their weight, representing a larger share of workers in healthcare roles like physicians, surgeons, dental hygienists, and respiratory therapists than their share of the population,” pointed out a special report “The Growing Demand for Healthcare Workers: A State-by-State View” by the American Immigration Council.

The report which highlights the critical contribution of immigrants in alleviating significant workforce shortages within the state-level healthcare sector, underscored, “Although there is a growing need for healthcare workers, many immigrants who received specialized training abroad cannot practice in the State. In 2021, many immigrants with healthcare-related professional and doctorate degrees were working in a healthcare occupation that did not require one.”

Owner of Simply Smiles, in Ashburn, Virginia, Dr. Aman Sabharwal, told News India Times, “One of the biggest challenges we face in healthcare is access to care. For example, my home State of Virginia currently faces a shortage of dentists and hygienists, particularly in rural areas. I believe by streamlining the licensure process for internationally trained healthcare providers we can improve our access to care for all patients.” (News India Times)

Studies Suggest Covid-19 Variant BA.2.86 Less Immune-Evasive Than Feared

Amid fresh concerns of Covid-19 due to the new highly mutant Omicron sub variant BA.2.86, two new studies from the US have confirmed that it is less contagious as well as immune evasive.
This comes after two studies last week from China’s Peking University and Karolinska Institutet in Sweden showed that the variant is less transmissible than XBB and EG variants.
The new study, led by researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in the US, reported on X, formerly Twitter, that their first data from their antibody neutralisation experiments suggest responses to BA.2.86 were lower than to BA.2.
However, they were comparable to or higher than the current circulating variants. Neutralising antibodies to all variants, including BA.2.86, increased following XBB infection.
The experiments were done on samples from 66 people, including 44 who had received the bivalent (two-strain) mRNA Covid booster, said Ninaad Lasrado, one of the researchers at the Barouch Lab at the Centre, on X.
He added that the findings fuel hopes that the new XBB.1.5 vaccines have the potential to induce cross-reactive neutralising antibodies against other recombinants and against BA.2.86.
According to Dr. Dan Barouch, director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at the Center, their results align with earlier experiments by labs in China and Sweden.
Taken together, the data suggests that BA.2.86 will not be as troublesome as experts had feared. In short, this one seems to be a “scariant”, he was quoted as saying to CNN.
But another variant, FL.1.5.1, which is causing an estimated 15 per cent of new Covid-19 infections in the US, may be a different story. This fast-growing descendant of the XBB recombinant variant has a constellation of mutations that have raised the eyebrows of variant trackers.
In lab testing, it was the most immune-evasive. “If there wasn’t so much hype about BA.2.86, that would actually be the focus of the paper,” Barouch said.
In the second study, researchers at the Columbia University used blood plasma from 61 adults: 17 who had gotten three monovalent vaccine doses and two bivalent vaccines, 25 who had recovered from a BA.2 breakthrough infection and 19 who’d recovered from an XBB breakthrough infection.
The results were substantially similar to the study at Barouch lab, the report said. Across the range of immune profiles, antibodies in the blood were able to recognise BA.2.86 just as capable as they were other circulating variants. People with the highest degree of immunity against BA.2.86 were those who’d recovered from recent XBB infections.
That was a surprise because of how many mutations BA.2.86 has. Scientists had predicted that based on what was known about those specific mutations, it might be highly immune-evasive, the report said. “The news is better than I was expecting, and makes me more encouraged that the new upcoming vaccine will have a real benefit against current dominant variant (EG.5) as well as BA.2.86,” Dr. Ashish Jha, former White House Covid-19 response coordinator, in a post on X.
BA.2.86, which descended from a Omicron variant, has so far been linked with 29 cases of Covid across four continents. The variant has been detected from both human and wastewater specimens. So far, it has not been found to cause more severe illness. But the limited number of cases means it’s too soon to know whether it causes more severe Covid-19 or is more transmissible than other variants. (IANS)

AAPI’s 17th Annual Global Healthcare Summit 2023 In New Delhi & Manipal

Chicago, IL, September 11, 2023: “The registration for AAPI’s 17th annual Global Healthcare Summit 2024 at the prestigious Taj Palace Hotel from January 1-3rd and at the Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Mahe in Karnataka from January 4th to 6th, 2023
is filling up fast,” Dr. Anjana Samadder, President of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) announced here today.

While elaborating on the themes and areas that are going to be covered during the Summit, Dr. Sampat Shivangi, Chair of GHS 2024 said, “Future of Healthcare and Artificial Intelligence” will be the theme for the GHS 2024, which is organized by AAPI in collaboration with Kasturba Medical College in Manipal, the Indian Medical Association, and the Government of the State of Karnataka.”

Several prominent physicians and academicians have been invited and have been accepted to be the keynote speakers and chairs of various academic sessions planned and organized during the summit. Latest Advances, CME, ELS, Discussions on Research Methodology, and Scientific Writing by Academic Experts will be part of the summit.
Dr. Lokesh Edara, Chair of AAPI BOT said, “AAPI’s GHS is yet another way of continuing with our constant commitment towards making quality healthcare affordable and accessible to all the people of India. In addition, GHS 2024 will also focus on promoting Healthcare Technology including Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare.”
The focus this year will be on Mental Health, Infant and Maternal Mortality as well as Medical Jeopardy and Research Poster presentations by medical students. In addition, there will be panel discussions by International Medical Education experts and National Medical Council Board officials and mentoring of Young Professionals.
Advocacy to dismantle the stigma of mental illness and Suicide Prevention will be the highlight of the program. Chronic Disease Reversal and Prevention, Rural Health Initiatives will continue to be promoted and other Global Health Issues including Climate Change and its impact on health will be discussed.

The CEO forum will focus on Equity, Ethics, and Physician Burnout issues. The Women’s Forum will deliberate on Gender Bias and Leadership. Dr. Manoj Jain, Chair of CETI – Collaboration to Eliminate TB in India supported by CDC and USAID will discuss their ongoing long-term TB Elimination Projects in India. Comprehensive details and outcomes of TB Elimination Projects in India will be presented to the GHS delegates.

Other activities will include CPR Training for Police personnel; a Walkathon on combating mental health stigma and prevention of Childhood Obesity and several other initiatives will be announced, including treatment modalities for non-communicable medical diseases.

Dr. Anupam Seibel, GHS Chair – New Delhi says, “With hundreds of physicians from the United States, the Summit is expected to be attended by nearly 400 delegates from around the world. AAPI Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) will have many new initiatives and also will be carrying the torch of ongoing projects undertaken by AAPI’s past leaders.”

Lt. Gen. Dr. M.D. Venkatesh, Co-Chair of GHS – India says, “Many of the physicians who will attend this convention have excelled in different specialties and subspecialties and occupy high positions as faculty members of medical schools, heads of departments, and executives of hospitals and pharma companies.

“AAPI GHS offers an opportunity to meet directly with these physicians who are leaders in their fields and play an integral part in the decision-making process regarding new products and services,” Dr. Satheesh Kathula, President-Elect of AAPI said.

According to GHS Convenor – USA, Dr. Subramanya Bhatt, “The preliminary program is in place, the major attractions include cutting-edge CMEs with renowned speakers, CEO Forum, Innovation Forum, an Entrepreneur Forum, Women’s Forum, and Product Theaters to highlight the newest advances in patient care and medical technology.”
“Alumni meetings for networking, an AAPI-India Strategic Engagement Forum to showcase the AAPI initiatives in India, TB Eradication in India, and recognition of AAPI Award winners will make this Summit unique,” added Dr. Rohit Singh, GHS Convenor – India.

According to CME Chair – USA Dr. Banbwal Suresh Balinga and CME Chair -India, Dr. Dr. Padmaraj Hegde, while the focus of GHS 2024 will be on Mental health, Infant and Maternal Mortality, Medical Jeopardy, and Research Poster presentations by medical students with panel discussions by International Medical Education experts and National Medical Council Board officials will help mentoring of young professionals.
GHS Scientific Chair Dr. Rajendran Alappan said, “In our efforts to realize the core mission of AAPI, which is to share the best from leading experts from around the world, to collaborate on clinical challenges, the GHS in Delhi and Manipal will have clinical tracks that are of vital to healthcare in India.”
Dr. Amit Chakrabarty, Vice President of AAPI, says, “It is these learning opportunities and collaborative relationships that have now enabled AAPI and participating organizations to plan and prepare for an outstanding event that is expected to have over 300 prominent and experienced physicians and surgeons of Indian origin from around the world, who are very passionate about serving their homeland, Mother India.”

Dr. Sumul Raval, Secretary of AAPI says, “GHS 2024 is aimed at exploring possibilities for greater collaboration and cooperation between the physicians and health care providers in India with those of Indian origin and major health-care providers abroad.”

Dr. Sreeni Gangasani, Treasurer of AAPI, “Harnessing the power of Indian Doctors worldwide, the AAPI Global Healthcare Summit platform has evolved with the support of prominent global and Indian medical associations . AAPI’s mission is to make a positive and meaningful impact on the healthcare delivery system both in the US and in India.”
Healthcare in India is one of the largest sectors, in terms of revenue and employment. India is making significant improvements in its healthcare infrastructure and is building modern medical facilities throughout India. Doctors of Indian origin have made tremendous progress in the 21st century and India is now being touted as a medical tourism hub. With hundreds of physicians joining from the United States, the summit is expected to be attended by three hundred delegates from around the world. AAPI Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) will have many new initiatives and will be carrying the torch of ongoing projects undertaken by AAPI’s past leaders.

Dr. Sampath Shivangi said, “We are collaborating with senior leaders from leading healthcare organizations including pharmaceuticals, device and medical equipment manufacturers and major medical teaching institutions, hospitals and the Ministries of Health, External/Overseas Affairs and regulatory bodies to attend and coordinate with AAPI with an ultimate goal to providing accessible and affordable high-quality healthcare to all people of India.”

The Global Healthcare Summit has come a long way from the first Indo-US Healthcare Summit launched by AAPI USA in 2007. Since then, AAPI has organized 16 Indo – US/Global Healthcare Summits and developed strategic alliances with various organizations.
Dr. Samadder said, AAPI is hopeful that several international healthcare industry partners are looking for opportunities to participate at this event for greater collaboration on Research & Development and philanthropic engagements.
Dr. Samadder expressed gratitude to all the Chairs and members of various Committees who are working hard to put together a great Summit and to enable members to return home with memories that will last a lifetime.
“Physicians and healthcare professionals from across the country and internationally will meet and participate in the scholarly exchange of medical advances, to develop health policy agendas, and to encourage legislative priorities in the coming year. We look forward to seeing you in New Delhi and Manipal!” said Dr. Samadder. For more details, please visit: www.aapiusa.org/ To register for the Global Healthcare Summit 2023, please visit: https://summit.aapiusa.org

Medicare Acknowledges Family Caregivers: New Initiatives To Support Essential Role

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency overseeing Medicare, has embraced a long-standing truth: families are the cornerstone of care for vulnerable older adults and individuals with disabilities. In a groundbreaking move, CMS has introduced measures to provide crucial assistance to family members involved in caregiving. While some of these proposals hold substantial promise, others are less robust. The pivotal change lies in Medicare’s decision to compensate medical professionals for offering vital guidance to families of individuals with specific medical conditions.

Medicare Advantage and similar managed care models have already incorporated certain forms of support. However, CMS previously maintained that fee-for-service Medicare could solely cover services directed towards beneficiaries, excluding family members in caregiving roles. This stance is now undergoing transformation.

Examining Each Initiative

  1. Caregiver Training

CMS’s initial step involves establishing a billing code to remunerate Medicare providers, which encompass physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and therapists, for training family caregivers. This new payment structure is projected to commence in the upcoming year, encompassing both individual and group training sessions.

The significance of this development cannot be overstated, as family members are often tasked with delivering complex care without adequate training. They are expected to comprehend tasks ranging from wound care to patient transfers without comprehensive instruction. The introduction of training programs is long overdue. However, a pertinent question arises: who will undertake this responsibility? Physicians often lack knowledge of these diverse skills and may lack the time or capability to educate others. Nurses and therapists are more likely to excel in this capacity.

It appears that the proposal envisions training taking place within medical facilities, akin to other Medicare Part B services. This, however, disregards the practical reality. Overburdened caregivers are unlikely to make the journey to medical offices or therapy centers for such training.

A more feasible approach would involve doctors outsourcing this training to community-based organizations, like senior centers or adult day care facilities. A challenge arises here, as these entities are generally not recognized as Medicare providers. Overcoming this hurdle would be crucial for the success of the initiative.

  1. Care Navigation

The second initiative focuses on Medicare compensating health-related social needs assessments and providing assistance with care navigation. This payment rule permits physicians to collaborate with non-medical entities, including community-based social service organizations and community health workers.

This model, however, is initially limited to specific “high-risk conditions.” It’s imperative that CMS adopts an expansive definition of these conditions to ensure the widest possible benefit from needs assessments and care navigation.

  1. Integrated Dementia Care

The third reform targets families caring for individuals with dementia. The Guiding an Improved Dementia Experience (GUIDE) program, slated to begin in a year, seeks to deliver comprehensive care coordination, caregiver education, support, and respite services over an eight-year period.

GUIDE represents a model of fully coordinated care that’s particularly suited to those with chronic conditions. Medicare’s previous reluctance to fund similar integrated care programs for dementia patients has been a stumbling block, but this initiative holds promise to change that.

While the dementia care model appears promising, a question arises: why restrict such a model solely to dementia patients? Medicare should contemplate implementing this approach for all serious chronic conditions.

Recognizing the Role of Family Caregivers

Despite numerous questions surrounding the implementation of these initiatives—such as payment rates, frequency of services, and defining family caregivers—the introduction of these changes by the Biden administration marks a significant leap forward. They have the potential to dismantle major obstacles to effective family caregiving and enable individuals with chronic conditions to age in their homes for a more extended period. Most importantly, these initiatives underscore the critical role of family caregivers in the healthcare ecosystem.

CMS’s decision to incorporate family caregivers into its reimbursement framework and acknowledge their vital contribution is a milestone. These initiatives hold the promise of not only transforming caregiving dynamics but also reinforcing the central role families play in supporting the health and well-being of their loved ones.

 

HMNI’s Gyroscopic Radiosurgery® For The Brain To Shorten Time From Diagnosis To Treatment

The Dr. Robert H. and Mary Ellen Harris ZAP-X Center for Noninvasive Neurosurgery, situated within the Hackensack Meridian Neuroscience Institute of Jersey Shore University Medical Center, is on the brink of introducing a groundbreaking advancement in medical technology. 

The center is poised to unveil the world’s inaugural ZAP-X® Gyroscopic Radiosurgery®, in conjunction with Synaptive’s noiseless brain MRI, specifically designed for treating brain tumors and various brain-related ailments, including trigeminal neuralgia and arteriovenous malformations (AVM). Marking a significant milestone, this academic medical institution will pioneer the utilization of ZAP-X, become the first hospital in the Northeastern United States to provide Synaptive’s head-only MRI, and hold the distinction of being the sole global facility to combine these innovative technologies. The integration of these two cutting-edge technologies promises to substantially reduce the time between diagnosis and treatment.

ZAP Surgical

Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, the CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health, emphasized the organization’s commitment to enhancing patient care through the adoption of advanced technologies, stating, “Having the latest advancements in technology to treat our patients is part of how Hackensack Meridian Health keeps getting better.” He further acknowledged the significance of the introduction of ZAP-X Gyroscopic Radiosurgery and Synaptive MRI, not only in providing superior care to the communities within New Jersey but also in solidifying the network’s reputation as a leading healthcare provider.

The innovative technology is set to become operational at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, NJ, with the generous support of Mary Ellen Harris and the Golden Dome Foundation. Shabbar Danish, M.D., the chair of neurosurgery at the Hackensack Meridian Neuroscience Institute at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, expressed excitement about bringing this advanced form of cranial radiosurgery to patients. Dr. Danish highlighted ZAP-X’s potential as a powerful tool in non-invasively treating brain tumors and other cranial conditions. He envisioned a future where this technology becomes an industry standard, significantly benefiting patients through effective, non-invasive, and timely treatment options.

ZAP-X represents just one of the many state-of-the-art tools available at Hackensack Meridian Health for combating both benign and metastatic tumors. While ZAP-X is tailored specifically for brain-related conditions, the network is adept at employing similar radiosurgery techniques, including CyberKnife, Gamma Knife, and proton therapy. Additionally, the Hackensack Meridian John Theurer Cancer Center (JTCC) is gearing up to introduce Scintix™ by Reflexion, an innovative therapy for patients primarily afflicted with metastatic cancer. 

This groundbreaking technology harnesses continuously updated data throughout treatment sessions to precisely deliver radiotherapy. This will be combined with precision medicine or customized treatments, offering new options for patients that were previously unavailable. JTCC is one of only seven institutions worldwide to adopt this technology and is poised to revolutionize radiation oncology in New Jersey.

The ZAP-X and Synaptive MRI equipment is currently being installed at the Dr. Robert H. and Mary Ellen Harris ZAP-X Center for Noninvasive Neurosurgery at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. The Neuroscience Institute is gearing up to commence patient treatments with this groundbreaking technology in the upcoming fall season.

For individuals seeking more information about ZAP-X and Synaptive MRI, as well as other available treatments, comprehensive details are available on the institution’s official website.

As for the Hackensack Meridian Neuroscience Institute, it stands as the preeminent and most comprehensive Neuroscience Institute in New Jersey. Encompassing neurology and neurosurgery programs across three academic medical centers—Hackensack University Medical Center, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, and JFK University Medical Center—the Neuroscience Institute’s prominence extends nationwide. 

The Institute has earned various accolades, including Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC) being ranked #22 for neurology and neurosurgery by US News and World Report. All Neuroscience Institute centers have secured the prestigious Comprehensive Stroke Center designation from the Joint Commission. The Institute boasts specialized Centers of Excellence in ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke, and Cranial Surgery. The Institute has garnered additional recognitions for excellence from Healthgrades, the Joint Commission, and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. 

The Institute stands at the forefront of neurological technology with advanced features like High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, Quicktome brain mapping, and Surgical Theater augmented reality for brain surgery—exclusive offerings within New Jersey. Soon, the Neuroscience Institute will take another stride by offering Zap-X Radiosurgery with Synaptive MRI, enabling non-invasive treatment for brain tumors and other brain conditions within as little as a week from diagnosis, an unparalleled accomplishment on the global stage.

Connection Between Human Body And 5 Elements Of Nature

Various ancient philosophies across the world have categorized the structure of the Universe into five fundamental elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether (Space). These elements, often referred to as the “Panch Mahabhoot,” hold immense significance as they provide insights into the laws governing nature.

Each of these five elements symbolizes distinct states of matter present in the natural world. The “Earth” element signifies solid matter, “Water” embodies liquids, “Air” encompasses gases, “Fire” represents the transformative force within nature, and “Ether” acts as the foundation for elevated spiritual experiences.

Interestingly, the connection between the elements in the human body and those in nature is profound. All of creation consists of varying combinations of these five elements. The human body, too, is a manifestation of these elements in different proportions: 72% water, 12% earth, 6% air, 4% fire, and the remainder being Ether. Although the ratios of the first four elements generally remain constant, the proportion of Ether can be elevated. Each element plays a distinct role in forming different anatomical structures within the body.

The “Earth” element is responsible for solid structures such as bones, muscles, skin, teeth, hair, and tissues, providing the body with strength and form. “Water” gives rise to vital fluids like saliva, urine, blood, semen, and sweat. The “Fire” element governs hunger, thirst, sleep, visual perception, and skin complexion. “Air” is intricately linked with all types of bodily movement, including expansion, contraction, vibration, and restraint. Meanwhile, “Ether,” being the subtlest of the elements, is found in the body’s hollow spaces as forms of radiation such as radio frequencies, light, and cosmic rays.

The harmony of these elements is closely tied to the concept of “Prana” or vital force within the human body. Nature’s laws dictate the necessity of maintaining a balance among these elements.

Imbalances among the five elements can give rise to various diseases. The root cause of chronic illnesses often lies in the impurity or disproportionate presence of one element or a disharmony between different elements within the body.

  1. Water Element Imbalance: This is evident through symptoms like excessive mucus, cold, sinusitis, glandular swelling, tissue edema, and variations in blood viscosity.
  2. Earth Element Imbalance: Such an imbalance manifests as general bodily weakness, calcium loss from bones, obesity, cholesterol irregularities, fluctuating weight, muscular disorders, and more.
  3. Fire Element Imbalance: Imbalance of this element leads to conditions like fever, skin inflammations, abnormal body temperature, profuse sweating, hyper-acidity, sluggish digestion, toxin accumulation, and diabetes.
  4. Air Element Imbalance: Disorders linked to this element include dry skin, blood pressure anomalies, respiratory problems, persistent dry cough, bloating, constipation, lethargy, insomnia, muscle spasms, and depression.
  5. Space Element Imbalance: Disruptions in the balance of this element manifest as thyroid issues, throat ailments, speech disorders, epilepsy, mental disturbances, and ear-related problems.

Yoga’s Remedial Role

The practice of yoga serves as a potent means to purify the elements, restore equilibrium, and promote overall well-being. Techniques designed for purifying the five elements are collectively termed “Bhuta Shuddhi.” These practices aim to tap into the latent potentials harbored within each element. Furthermore, yoga offers methodologies to master these elements, known as “Bhuta Siddhi.”

As we delve into these ancient wisdoms, it becomes evident that our physical constitution is intricately intertwined with the very elements that shape the world around us. Embracing this connection and striving to maintain a harmonious equilibrium within ourselves allows us to unlock our inner potential and lead healthier, more balanced lives.

Doctors Warn Against Popular Weight Loss Drugs Due to Anesthesia Complications

Healthcare professionals are urging caution regarding the use of well-known weight loss medications, including Ozempic and Wegovy, due to potential life-threatening complications linked to anesthesia. Anesthesiologists have noted that patients who are prescribed drugs containing semaglutide, the active ingredient in these medications, might still have undigested food in their stomachs even after extended periods of fasting. This increases the risk of pulmonary aspiration during anesthesia administration. Consequently, medical experts are advocating for the discontinuation of these medications for up to three weeks before undergoing surgery or procedures requiring anesthesia.

While the American Society of Anesthesiologists suggests that patients should avoid these drugs on the day of surgery and cease weekly injections for at least a week prior to sedation procedures, some anesthesiologists argue for a more extended discontinuation period. They propose that discontinuing the drugs for a three-week duration would eliminate roughly 88% of the drug from the body, leading to more emptied stomachs after fasting and safer administration of anesthesia. This recommendation was recently detailed in the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia.

Picture: The UNN

Furthermore, concerns have arisen regarding other potential adverse effects associated with medications like Ozempic. A lawsuit filed this month alleges that the manufacturers of Ozempic and Mounjaro, namely Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly, respectively, did not adequately caution patients about the possibility of severe stomach problems as a side effect. Additionally, studies conducted on rodents have indicated a potential risk of thyroid tumors and cancer linked to the use of Ozempic.

Compounding the worries, there is evidence indicating that most individuals who discontinue these medications tend to regain the weight they had initially lost within a span of three to five years, and in certain cases, they might even put on more weight than they initially shed. There are apprehensions concerning the nature of the weight loss as well. Reports have surfaced suggesting that patients might experience significant loss of muscle mass along with fat reduction. This aspect raises inquiries about the broader impact on body composition.

Despite these reservations, the utilization of weight loss medications such as Ozempic and Wegovy is on the upswing, with projections suggesting that the market value of obesity-related pills could climb to as much as $200 billion in the approaching years. It is imperative that individuals contemplating the use of these medications are well-informed about the potential risks and consult extensively with their healthcare providers before arriving at any decisions.

Innovative Stem Cell Technique Shows Promise in Restoring Vision for Single-Eye Injuries

During the summer of 2020, Nick Kharufeh experienced a life-altering accident that left him blind in his left eye. A malfunctioning firework struck him in the face during an Independence Day party in California. Kharufeh, who had aspirations of becoming a pilot, found his dreams shattered by the severe damage caused to his eye. Traditional treatments proved ineffective, and Kharufeh’s life took a drastic turn as he grappled with the loss of his vision.

However, a glimmer of hope emerged a few months later when Kharufeh’s mother stumbled upon a groundbreaking experimental trial being conducted in Boston. Researchers were developing a restorative technique tailored specifically for individuals like Kharufeh, who had sustained single-eye injuries that conventional treatments could not address adequately.

Conventionally, a cornea transplant can restore functionality and vision to a damaged eye. However, this method is only effective if the patient still possesses a healthy reserve of limbal stem cells around the cornea. These specialized adult cells maintain the clear surface layer of the eye, preventing it from becoming uneven, opaque, and painful. Unfortunately, Kharufeh’s situation had led to the growth of white tissue over his eye, causing it to painfully fuse with his eyelid following the accident.

Picture: MDPI

Kharufeh’s journey led him to relocate from California to Boston in order to participate in the trial. Faced with bleak prospects from his doctors in California, he embraced the trial with the mindset that even though the worst outcome might be continued blindness, there was also a chance that his vision could be restored.

Fast forward three years from his accident, and Kharufeh’s story represents a beacon of hope. The initial findings of the trial, published on August 18 in Science Advances, showcased positive outcomes for him and several other trial participants.

In this revolutionary technique spearheaded by Dr. Ula Jurkunas, a corneal surgeon at Mass Eye and Ear, stem cells are extracted from a patient’s healthy eye through a minute biopsy. The collected sample is then divided into smaller fragments, and enzymes are employed to separate the stem cells from their underlying tissue. Over a span of approximately two weeks, these cells develop into a sheet, which is subsequently transplanted into the injured eye. This process effectively restores the natural functionality of the cornea.

The Science Advances paper highlights the successful vision improvements experienced by two patients following the stem cell transplant. Furthermore, two additional patients regained enough functionality to be eligible for cornea transplants.

The focus of the paper revolves around the first five participants of the trial. Notably, one participant did not witness success with the stem-cell harvesting and grafting technique. Kharufeh, having advanced to the subsequent phase of the trial, underwent the same procedure and will be included in forthcoming publications.

While various researchers globally have explored different avenues of using stem cells to restore vision, Dr.Jurkunas’ technique stands out. Though similar therapies have gained approval in Europe, and some doctors in the U.S. perform limbal stem cell transplants, these methods often involve larger biopsies that pose risks to the patient’s healthy eye or donor cells that could be rejected. Dr.Jurkunas’ trial represents an exciting milestone by demonstrating successful results using a small quantity of the patient’s own cells. Despite its promising outcomes, the approach remains experimental. Dr.Jurkunas and her team are refining the method and collaborating with U.S. regulators to design comprehensive studies. Ensuring the reproducibility of the technique in other surgical settings is also vital, a task that involves collaboration with colleagues from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston Children’s Hospital, and the JAEB Center for Health Research.

The paper’s described procedure caters to a specific group of patients: those who retain one healthy eye from which stem cells can be harvested, yet possess an injury severe enough to preclude a cornea transplant. Approximately 1,000 individuals in the U.S. fit this description annually. Dr.Jurkunas, however, sees this approach as a stepping stone toward the development of future cell-based therapies.

The procedure has already been huge for Kharufeh, whose left-eye vision is now blurry but functional, with the potential for even more dramatic improvement with further corrective surgery. “I can completely navigate my apartment or walk across the street with just my bad eye now,” he says.

Kharufeh has put aside his dream of becoming a pilot, but with his eyesight improving and fewer follow-up appointments required at the hospital, he’s even thinking of going back to school to get his master’s degree in marketing.“It’s so cool,” he says, “to see out of my left eye.”

The innovative stem cell technique pioneered by Dr. Ula Jurkunas holds great promise for restoring vision in cases of single-eye injuries that defy traditional treatments. With early positive results showcased in the Science Advances paper, this breakthrough offers hope to individuals like Nick Kharufeh, who can now envision a future with restored vision and renewed possibilities.

Forget 10,000 Steps. Here’s How Much Science Says You Actually Need to Walk

Walking only 4,000 stages each day — not exactly 50% of the 10,000 steps frequently suggested for keeping a functioning way of life — might be sufficient to assist with expanding your life, as per another exploration audit distributed in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Picture : Well Good

That focal point shouldn’t discourage anybody from going for a more extended walk; the scientists observed that greater development is better, with 1,000 extra advances each day connected with a generally 15% lower chance of sudden passing. However, it joins a developing collection of examination that proposes exercises needn’t bother with to be all that difficult or extended to work on your wellbeing. All that from strolling to housework to moving can add to prosperity, studies have shown.

To arrive at the new discoveries, a group of specialists investigated 17 recently distributed papers on strolling and wellbeing, as steps taken each day is a regularly concentrated on proportion of active work. In total, those reviews included in excess of 225,000 grown-ups from various nations with a typical age of 64, some of whom were in commonly great wellbeing and some of whom had risk factors for cardiovascular illness. By and large, they were followed for a long time.

In the wake of examining the information from those reviews, the specialists established that mortality risk logically declines as individuals walk more. They didn’t find a place where extra movement quits seeming useful, as far as possible up to 20,000 steps each day.

In any case, with regards to past research, they likewise presumed that it doesn’t take countless day to day moves toward further develop wellbeing. (What could be compared to around two miles). The edge was even lower — around 2,500 steps each day — while checking out explicitly at the gamble of kicking the bucket from cardiovascular sickness.

These patterns remained genuinely consistent across various geographic areas, as well as while looking at people, the analysts found. There were, in any case, a few distinctions among individuals of various ages. Grown-ups more established than 60 saw about a 42% drop in mortality risk when they strolled somewhere in the range of 6,000 and 10,000 steps each day, while those more youthful than 60 saw a generally 49% decrease when they strolled somewhere in the range of 7,000 and 13,000 steps each day.

There are a few provisos to the discoveries. As far as one might be concerned, observational examination of this nature can uncover designs, yet it can’t authoritatively demonstrate circumstances and logical results. The scientists likewise couldn’t Ecocompletely represent members’ financial situations with in general ways of life, and that implies day to day advances were only one piece of a bigger riddle. It’s conceivable, for instance, that individuals who were most dynamic likewise had various other sound propensities that could add to a more drawn out life expectancy.

Regardless, the new exploration joins a lot of different investigations — and U.S. government active work rules — in a similar end: greater development is quite often better, yet a limited quantity is likewise not all that great, but not terrible either than nothing.

Research On Asian Americans And Pacific Islanders Is Being Stifled

Distributing research and getting awards is profoundly cutthroat, and companion commentators and funders reject paper and award proposition for some reasons. In any case, analysts who concentrate on Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) people group can confront another boundary: guardians who minimize social disparities that influence AAPIs and excuse concentrating on them.

For example, the Midwest Longitudinal Investigation of Asian American Families, the biggest investigation of its sort, dives into emotional wellness challenges among in excess of 800 Asian American families in metropolitan Chicago. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) this year dismissed an award proposition to grow the review, which started in 2014. Three analysts offered expansive remarks that reduced enemy of Asian bigotry or that the battles of Asian Americans were “not generally so terrible with respect to Blacks and Latinos,” says David Takeuchi, co-investigator of the study and a professor of sociology and social work at the University of Washington.

Picture : NBC

Tragically, these sorts of remarks are normal. Takeuchi presented a paper to a conspicuous social science diary when he was an alumni understudy in the last part of the 1980s. A friend commentator said his examination of low scholarly execution among 8,000 AAPI understudies in Hawaii was “truly entrancing.” However, the commentator likewise said something with the impact of: “‘ Really awful this is about Asian Americans. On the off chance that this had a Dark example, we could contemplate distributing it,'” says Takeuchi. ” I was deterred, so at no point ever presented the paper in the future for distribution.”

Might nearsighted guardians at any point hinder research on AAPIs? It appears to be probable, particularly taking into account information shows an obvious hole in financing for research on AAPIs. A recent report in JAMA Organization Open found that clinical examination zeroed in on AAPIs and financed by the NIH contained simply 0.17 percent of its all out financial plan, in view of 529 tasks somewhere in the range of 1992 and 2018.

What’s more, simply 0.01 percent of articles from 1966 to 2000 in MEDLINE, the National Library of Medicine’s database, referenced AAPIs, as per a 2003 paper.

Without subsidizing, there are less assets for research, in this way making an endless loop of overlooking AAPIs from persuasive academic work. There is likewise a chilling impact on scientists who need to concentrate on AAPI issues however verifiably realize there may be more obstructions to subsidizing and distributing their work.

In any event, when scientists can examine information on AAPIs, they face barriers from cavalier scholastic friend analysts.

“We face separation as specialists. We hear that Asian Americans don’t count, they don’t have wellbeing inconsistencies,” says Stella Yi,assistant professor at N.Y.U. School of Medicine.. ” In any event, when we have information, individuals actually return with these cliché figures of speech about sound Asians: judo, soy sauce. It’s insane.”

The lacuna reaches out past wellbeing research. Sociologists of Asian descent were 74% more outlandish than white sociologists to get government financing, including from NIH and National Science Foundation (NSF).

Also, Asians are not considered an underrepresented minority bunch by NIH and NSF so Asian agents are not qualified for supplements pointed toward expanding variety in research, says XinQi Dong, professor at Rutgers College.

Without subsidizing and research, critical social issues among AAPI connected with everything from wellbeing incongruities and psychological sickness to neediness and wrongdoing are not even recognized, significantly less examined and tended to. “We have all caught wind of, and by and by experienced or saw, surveys that have been blurred by the model minority generalization: ‘ Asians are doing perfect, we don’t have to concentrate on them,'” says Tiffany Howl, professor and chair of the psychology department chair at Fordham University.

They stay undetectable in spite of the fact that Asians in the U.S. have dislodged Blacks as the racial gathering with the best pay disparity in the nation, as per Pew Research. Social imbalances among almost 20 million AAPIs, the quickest developing racial or ethnic gathering in the U.S., are dismissed. All things considered, calling for consideration and examination on AAPIs shouldn’t detract from assets for Blacks, Latinos, Native and other minimized networks out of luck. Rather, endeavors to decrease social disparities should likewise incorporate AAPIs.

AAPIs who are low-pay, restricted English-speakers, workers, older and undocumented are particularly defenseless against social issues yet experience peacefully. Overlooking them in examination could add to their eradication in press inclusion, strategy and generosity — as well as the other way around.

Consider that AAPIs were the focal point of media stories on racial and monetary imbalance under 4% of the time in an examination of nearly 380 articles from 2019, as per a report from Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP). Regardless of whether exploration incorporate information about AAPI disparity, media articles overlooked it 37% of the time.

It has taken a flood in enemy of Asian prejudice and brutality during the pandemic for some to perceive that AAPIs really do encounter extremism and social imbalance. In any case, poor, older Asians gathering jars in New York and San Francisco don’t make it into titles — until they are beaten into a state of unconsciousness on a bustling road. Low-pay Asian salon laborers remain unnoticed — until they are killed, as in the Atlanta spa shootings this Walk.

A contributor to the issue is that regardless of whether information on AAPIs are gathered, the data gets lumped together. This conglomeration veils profound incongruities. The box experienced by weak AAPIs are concealed by the pinnacles of top level salary Asians. The different, rough scene of AAPI people group becomes smoothed.

At the point when AAPI information are disaggregated, the outcomes can strike. Rate of liver malignant growth is multiple times and multiple times higher for Laotian people, individually, contrasted and non-Hispanic white grown-ups.

In excess of 34% of Cambodian, Laotian and Hmong understudies don’t finish secondary school, contrasted and 13 percent of the overall U.S. populace. Wrongdoing research with disaggregated AAPI information is uncommon, yet one review showed youth capture rates were most noteworthy for individuals of Samoan identity, trailed by Dark, Laotian and Vietnamese individuals, in Alameda Region in the San Francisco Cove Region.

In New York City, an investigation of Chinese workers showed high paces of diabetes and pre-diabetes at 38%. Filipinos in California had higher predominance of stoutness, hypertension, diabetes, or asthma. A similar report showed that Japanese had 40% higher chances of being corpulent or overweight that whites. South Asians are multiple times bound to have coronary illness or diabetes than the overall US populace. Additional astounding information about Asian abberations remain to a great extent covered up and neglected.

It’s a disappointing chicken-and-egg situation. Nearsighted guards persuaded that AAPIs don’t encounter wellbeing and social issues reject endeavors to concentrate on these issues, which renders disparities imperceptible. The incongruity is that guardians, who are specialists in general wellbeing, medication, sociology and different fields, add to foundational prejudice through their predispositions and inclinations.

Absence of consideration can convert into a major hole in friendly administrations for AAPIs out of luck. In New York City, around 22% of Asian Americans live in destitution, as per an administration report. Asians contained almost 15% of New York City’s populace, yet 1.4 percent of city-based organization contracts were granted to Asian American social administrations suppliers north of 13 years, as per a 2015 report from Asian American Federation.

Across the U.S., just 0.20 percent of establishment subsidizing for work in the U.S. is assigned for AAPI people group, as per an AAPIP report. All in all, for each $100 granted by establishments, simply 20 pennies go to AAPIs.

In Spring, NIH reported its Join drive to end underlying prejudice in wellbeing research. Counting AAPIs should be important for endeavors at NIH, as well as at other plan setting establishments. More staff and award analysts with aptitude on AAPIs ought to be selected and given enemy of inclination preparing. They can likewise just be liberal that social disparities exist among AAPIs. What’s more, they can go on an outing to food banks and overpowered social help organizations that serve great many low-pay AAPIs consistently.

The need is self-evident — if by some stroke of good luck guards decide to look and tune in. It’s a tragedy that it takes a mass shooting and bigoted assaults to make AAPIs deserving of consideration lastly difficult to overlook.

Dr. V. K. Raju And  HIs Eye Foundation Prevents and Treats Blindness

Dr. Vadrevu K. Raju, a world-renowned ophthalmologist, who has lived abroad (in England and the USA) longer than in India, has visited India more than 200 times since 1977. Each visit was a working vacation to combat avoidable blindness among Indians, especially children.  He founded “Eye Foundation of America” in 1979, which is active in India and 30 other developing countries across the globe.

Dr. Raju who was recently appointed to the Faculty of Department of Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins University, is a man with a vision: creating a world without avoidable blindness. Dr. Raju earned his medical degree from Andhra University and completed an ophthalmology residency and fellowship at the Royal Eye Group of Hospitals in London.

Dr. V.K. Raju, who was born in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh, India is a Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at West Virginia University, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Director of the International Ocular Surface Society, Director of the Ocular Surface Research and Education Foundation, Chairman of Goutami Eye Institute in Rajahmundry and is the President and Founder of the Eye Foundation of America, a non-profit organization dedicated to realizing a world without childhood blindness.

In 1977, Dr. Raju began traveling home to India to offer his services as an ophthalmologist to those who could not afford, or access, desperately needed eye care. Since 1979, the Eye Foundation of America has expanded its reach to over 25 countries, screened millions of patients, and provided hundreds of thousands of surgeries. As Dr. Raju points out, prevention is more beneficial than disease management, and lifestyle changes can be preventive. His organization’s programs, which aim at prevention through education and lifestyle modifications, include the 100,000 Lives (diabetes prevention) campaign in India and the WV Kids Farmer’s Market Program in West Virginia.

These preventive services and medical and surgical interventions were delivered in the form of eye camps in the early days, and the EFA was initially founded to allow for easier transfer of state-of-the-art equipment and medicine from the United States to India. As the Foundation matured, it became so much more. The EFA is now a global organization responsible for treating millions of patients, performing hundreds of thousands of surgeries, and training hundreds of eye care professionals to join in the global fight against preventable blindness.

One focus of current outreach efforts is in the prevention of diabetes and its health consequences. Diabetes-related complications typically strike during the prime of life and include the development of cataracts at an earlier age than normal, a two-fold increased risk of glaucoma, and small blood vessel damage (i.e., diabetic retinopathy). Retinopathy can cause blindness; however, early detection and treatment can prevent blindness in up to 90% of cases. The International Diabetes Foundation estimates that 20% of the diabetic world population resides in India, approximately 61.3 million diabetics.

The Eye Foundation of America is entering a new phase in its mission of ending avoidable blindness by collaborating with the Rotary International, GAPIO (Global Association of Physicians of Indian Origin), and AAPI (American Association of Physicians of India Origin). In collaboration with these 3 organizations, preventive services and medical and surgical interventions were delivered in the form of eye camps in the early days, and the EFA was initially founded to allow for easier transfer of state-of-the-art equipment and medicine from the United States to India. As the Foundation matured, it became so much more.

Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) in premature infants can cause blindness; however, early detection and treatment can prevent blindness in up to 90% cases. The EFA is now a global organization responsible for treating millions of patients, performing hundreds of thousands of surgeries, and training hundreds of eye care professionals to join in the global fight against preventable blindness.

Dr. Raju has received numerous awards, including the AMA Foundation Nathan Davis Excellence in Medicine International Award, Four Time Awardee by The American Academy of Ophthalmology, Martin Luther King Jr Achievement Award from WVU, Distinguished Community Service Award from AAPI (American Association of Physicians from India), Pride of the Pride Award from Lions International District 29, Vaidya Ratna (conferred by Shankaracharya of Kanchi), Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Ophthalmologists of Indian Origin, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the WV State Medical Association. Dr. VK Raju was among the class of 2017 inductees into the University of Toledo Global Medical Missions Hall of Fame, the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award from President Barack Obama, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the North America Telegu Society. Dr. Raju was awarded with the Excellence in Medicine Award by GOPIO – Virginia in 2021.

Dr. Raju has published several books, seventeen chapters, and over 100 publications in scientific journals. Through his recently released book, “The Tragedy of Childhood Blindness in India,”  Dr. Raju while expressing his gratefulness to Mother India for giving him the best medical education almost for free, attempts to discuss in the voluminous historical and philosophical material in the book, and connects the readers with present-day India.

 The most recent EFA publication is a short self-help book inspired by the voices of many great leaders. “How to Live Like Gandhi” can be purchased at eyefoundationofamerica.org. All proceeds go to combatting avoidable blindness.

For the past four decades, Dr. Raju and the EFA have been actively and tirelessly on a crusade to eliminate avoidable blindness in areas plagued by poverty and poor access to medical care. The EFA’s mission is to eliminate avoidable blindness under the guiding principles of service, teaching, and research.

 This is accomplished through eye camps and brick-and-mortar hospitals in developing countries, training of medical personnel to serve the needy, and educating the population at large on preventative eye care and healthy lifestyle choices. With adequate education, patients are empowered to take charge of their lives and their own health and prevent further deleterious consequences of their poor lifestyle choices, while sharing this knowledge with their friends and families.

 The public is educated on eye care and injury prevention, and local teachers are taught how to screen for early eye problems in children. Patients, their families, and the greater community benefit from preventative medical care, free procedures, and access to education.

 When education and preventative measures are insufficient, medical and surgical interventions are performed. With the aim of permanently providing world-class state-of-the art services to populations with poor access to health care, the EFA helped to build 2 hospitals in rural India: the Srikiran Eye Institute and the Goutami Eye Institute.

 With all of Dr. Raju’s momentous achievements, he has also ensured that his life’s work and vision are self-sustaining. Dr. Raju has passed on his knowledge, plans, and vision to the future leaders of this movement: Dr. Leela Raju, Dr. Raju’s daughter and fellow ophthalmologist, is the EFA’s Secretary and Coordinator for Education and actively participates in its mission. Her father’s humanity and passion stimulates whatever she undertakes, Leela says. “This is not a job for him; it has never been a job,” she says. “He does his work with passion and he enjoys it. His enthusiasm and passion are infectious.”

 The Goutami Eye Institute has a wing dedicated exclusively to children, and the EFA has future plans to build another service and research eye hospital in India where no child will be denied treatment and children from around the world can come to receive services. Dr. Raju and the EFA are also committed to finding new cures for age-old eye disease in children.

The EFA has served approximately 2.5 million patients and performed 340,000+ vision-saving surgeries, with 30,000+ surgeries performed on children alone.

 Over 40 years of noble work bringing vision to millions in India started unexpectedly for Dr. Raju. While living in London, Dr. V.K. Raju traveled home to India on vacation, where a farmer asked him to examine his eyes. Dr. Raju complied, but without any instruments. In 1977, Dr. Raju returned to rural India with personnel and equipment, and offered his first eye camp near his hometown in 1977. This was the inception of the foundation’s work, beginning with the West Virginia Ophthalmology Foundation. The West Virginia Ophthalmology Foundation subsequently became the EFA in 1992.

  “I feel so incredibly thankful for my personal and professional gifts, and I make great efforts to share those gifts with those in need of my services,” says Dr. Raju, and he generously gives freely of his own time, money, and medical expertise to help the less fortunate for the past several decades. Never too tired to give his best for preventing, caring, and sustaining the vision for the visually impaired, Dr. Raju says, “Our work is only just beginning.”

WHO Summit On Traditional Medicine In Gujarat Attended by 75 Nations

The first-ever global summit on traditional medicine organized by The World Health Organization (WHO) held in Gujarat, India on August 17-18, 2023 had participation from over 75 nations. The Ministry of Ayush, Government of India co-hosted the summit, which explored the role of traditional, complementary, and integrative medicine in addressing pressing health challenges and driving progress in global health and sustainable development.

It was held alongside the G20 health ministerial meeting, to mobilize political commitment and evidence-based action on traditional medicine, which is a first port of call for millions of people worldwide to address their health and well-being needs. Technical discussions on research, evidence and learning; policy, data, and regulation; innovation and digital health; and biodiversity, equity and indigenous knowledge took place at the summit.

Speaking at the inauguration, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said, “One of the great strengths of traditional medicine is the understanding of the intimate links between the health of humans and our environment. That’s why WHO is committed to supporting countries to unlock the potential of traditional medicine, through the Global Traditional Medicine Centre in Jamnagar.”

Picture : TOI

Stressing that traditional medicine was “as old as humanity itself”, the WHO chief urged countries to examine how best to incorporate traditional and complementary medicine into their health systems through the Gujarat Declaration, the outcome document of the summit, which was adopted at the summit’s conclusion.

India’s Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, in his address, highlighted the role of the Global centre of traditional medicine in Gujarat in leading the way towards a more prominent role of traditional medicine in mainstream healthcare.

“The pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries are both showing significant interest in traditional medicine and more than 170 countries around the world are utilizing it,” he said adding that the summit provides an ideal platform for international collaboration and the exchange of ideas to promote best practices in the sector.

An experiential Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) Exhibition Zone was the highlight of the summit. It featured an exhibition of traditional medicine systems from WHO’s six regions. The theme of the exhibition was ‘Ayush for Planetary Health and Well-being’. The Zone welcomed visitors with a display of medicinal plants including those used in Ayurveda.

The exhibition also had interactive kiosks, which allowed visitors to access comprehensive information about Ayush, including the location of all Ayush hospitals and a digital library with research papers related to the field. A virtual reality experience of Ayush Healthcare services was available, where visitors could engage in an immersive experience, featuring an AI-based Ayurveda Pulse diagnosis, body constitution analysis, and even a live Yoga demonstration.

For centuries, traditional and complementary medicine has been an integral resource for health in households and communities. It has been at the frontiers of medicine and science laying the foundation for conventional medical texts. Around 40% of pharmaceutical products today have a natural product basis, and landmark drugs derive from traditional medicine, including aspirin, artemisinin, and childhood cancer treatments.

New research, including on genomics and artificial intelligence are entering the field, and there are growing industries for herbal medicines, natural products, health, wellness and related travel. Currently, 170 Member States reported to WHO on the use of traditional medicine and have requested evidence and data to inform policies, standards and regulation for its safe, cost-effective and equitable use.

In response to this increased global interest and demand, WHO, with the support of the Government of India, established in March 2022 the WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine as a knowledge hub with a mission to catalyse ancient wisdom and modern science for the health and well-being of people and the planet. The WHO Traditional Medicine Centre scales up WHO’s existing capacity in traditional medicine and supplements the core WHO functions of governance, norms and country support carried out across the six regional Offices and Headquarters.

The Centre focuses on partnership, evidence, data, biodiversity and innovation to optimize the contribution of traditional medicine to global health, universal health coverage, and sustainable development, and is also guided by respect for local heritages, resources and rights.

AAPI’s New Leadership with Dr. Anajana Samadder as President is Committed to Advancing AAPI’s Mission for a Brighter Future

“We are committed to your well-being and committed 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) told AAPI delegates during her Inaugural Presidential Address on July 8th, 2023 in Philadelphia, PA.

Dr. Anjana Samadder, the only 5th woman president of AAPI in its 41 years long history, will have a dynamic and diverse team comprising of Dr. Satheesh Kathula as the President-Elect; Dr. Amit Chakrabarty as the Vice President; Dr. Sumul Raval as the Secretary; Dr. Sreeni Ganagasani as the Treasurer; Dr. Lokesh Edara, as the Chair, Board of Trustees; and, Dr. Ravi Kolli will continue to guide AAPI as the Immediate Past President of AAPI.

“I’m very honored and consider myself fortunate to be bestowed with the responsibility of leading the over four-decades-old strong organization with the cooperation and collaboration of an excellent team of dedicated, hardworking, and loyal officers and executive committee members who are with me to take AAPI to newer heights,” Dr. Anjana Samadder, a Gastroenterology Specialist in Columbus, OH,  affiliated with Mount Carmel West and Mount Carmel East and a winner of the Gastrointestinal Surgery Excellence Award, said.

As the President, Dr. Samadder wants “to foster improved access to healthcare, promote diversity and inclusion, and amplify the collective voice of our community.” Her vision for AAPI is “to help build an ethically strong, morally straight, and fiscally responsible organization. It is also vitally important to bring much-needed diversity to keep AAPI thriving.”

Over the years, Dr. Samadder has shown great leadership qualities, which she proved during her tenure as the local chapter President (Central Ohio), Regional Director (Ohio and Michigan), and as the AAPI National Treasurer and Vice President. She has also served diligently in different capacities within AAPI including being the National Coordinator for AAPI Annual Convention, 2018 in Columbus.

Dr. Samadder promised that she is committed to “carry on the existing good work that has been started by our prior AAPI leaders. In addition, I would like to address healthcare practice issues facing our members both in private practice and in academia. I want to get AAPI represented in US National Health Care Committee by organizing strong lobbying efforts. I will be open to suggestions from members in order to make our organization one of the strongest ethnic organizations in the US.”

Dr. Lokesh Edara – Chair BOT

Dr. Lokesh Edara, Chair of the AAPI Board of Trustees for the year, 2023-24, says, “As the BOT Chair, I will continue to work towards strengthening the goals and mission of AAPI and to help make AAPI a healthcare leader in the US and globally and work in the best interests of our Physicians and our community here in the US and serve our motherland, India. We will work together to promote our values of professionalism, collegiality, and excellence in patient care and enhance AAPI’s reputation as a premier professional organization offering educational programs and advocacy.”

 

Dr. Satheesh Kathula – President Elect

Dr. Satheesh Kathula, President-Elect of AAPI and a board-certified hematologist and oncologist from Dayton, Ohio, practicing Medicine for nearly two decades assures that, “I will sincerely work for the betterment of our beloved organization, AAPI.” Dr. Kathula, who graduated from Siddhartha Medical College, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India in 1992, is a clinical professor of medicine at Wright State University-Boonshoft School of Medicine, Dayton, Ohio. Dr. Kathula is a Diplomate of American Board of Lifestyle Medicine. Dr. Kathula plans to pursue Global Healthcare Leaders Program at Harvard University. He has authored several papers and articles in journals and is in the process of writing a book.

Dr. Kathula has been serving AAPI for the past 14 years in various capacities. He has served AAPI as the Regional Director, Board of Trustees, Treasurer, Secretary, and Vice President of AAPI. He has served as the President and founding member of the Association of Indian Physicians from Ohio; President, the Miami Valley Association of Physicians of Indian Origin; President, ATMGUSA; and has worked with the Ohio State Medical Association on various issues. He has been actively involved in community service locally, nationally, and internationally for the last two decades. He was awarded the “Man of the Year-2018, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

As the President-Elect, who is an integral part of the AAPI executive committee, board of trustees, and the governing body, Dr. Kathula says, he “will attend as many meetings as possible for the betterment of our beloved organization.” The President-Elect is also the chair of the Bylaws committee. Bylaws are extremely important for the proper functioning of any organization. “We plan to make some changes to the AAPI Bylaws this year, which are meaningful and necessary to improve AAPI. Also, I would like to work on election reforms. We want to make sure that members are not bombarded during election time with multiple messages, phone calls, etc.”

As the leader of AAPI, who will take charge of AAPI next year in July, Dr. Kathula says, “My goals for AAPI have been very clear. I want to focus on education, communication, and legislation, involving the younger generation. Increasing the membership, creating benefits for members, and making AAPI financially stronger is also one of my objectives. I will work hand in hand with Dr. Anjana Samadder, president of AAPI, the entire executive committee, and board of trustees, to make AAPI stronger and more viable.”

A recipient of several Community Service/Awards, Dr. Kathula wants to “Make AAPI a mainstream organization and work on issues affecting physicians including physician shortage, burnout, and credentialing, while leveraging the strength of 100,000 doctors at legislative level.” Another area, he wants to work is to “Encourage and engage next generation/young physicians in AAPI activities. While working closely with other physician organizations such as AMA.”

Dr. Amit Chakrabarty – Vice President

“Since my membership to AAPI In 1997, for more than two decades I have been a dedicated foot soldier for the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin,” says Dr. Amit Chakrabarty the current Vice President and a Consultant Urologist, Poplar Bluff Urology, Past Chairman of Urologic Clinics of North Alabama P.C., and the Director of Center for Continence and Female Pelvic Health.

Dr. Amit Chakrabarty has been a dedicated foot soldier for AAPI, working tirelessly for AAPI consistently without any partisanship or regionalism, regardless of any AAPI aspirations. Dr. Chakrabarty has been the President of two AAPI subchapters, namely Alabama Association of Physicians of Indian Origin 2012-2014 and Indian Medical Council of St Louis 2018-2020 reviving them from obscurity and inactivity to make them one the most vibrant chapters of AAPI.  Under his leadership, Alabama AAPI produced 13 out of the last 15 Regional directors and the St Louis Chapter hosted the most productive and successful AAPI governing body within 3 years of its revival from 10 years of inactivity. He also serves as the Chairman, Board of Trustees, of Huntsville India Association and was the President, the Indian Cultural Association of Birmingham, and led an Indian Delegation to Japan at the International Youth Year in 1985. He has been an active committee member of the AAPI Charitable Foundation from 2008 to 2011 that helps to run free clinics in India and USA.

Dr. Amit Chakrabarty, who was honored with the National AAPI Distinguished Service Award 2018 and the President’s Award for Services in 2019 by the Indian American Urological Society, says, “I consider myself to be a leader and shine in the fact that I can get people motivated.  I lead by example which motivates people.  I am fun-loving and have always striven to brush off any obstacles that come in the way.”

Dr. Chakrabarty heads a personal international philanthropic organization “ApShiNi,”  which launched the “Help India Breathe” that provided thousands of co- ventilators and facilitated home transfer of more than 1500 much-needed oxygen concentrators to the suffering public in India during the Covid epidemic. On the lighter side Dr Chakrabarty is a singer and performer and used his own nationally known Geetanjali music group to perform pro bono for fundraising events.  He is the Founder and organizer of the most popular events at AAPI Convention – “AAPI’s Got Talent” & “Mehfil.

As the Vice President, the multi-talented professional says, “I understand that AAPI needs experienced leadership from someone who has been in AAPI leadership for over two decades.  I know what works and what does not.  This is a major contribution that I can make this year in guiding the leadership to progress in the right direction efficiently and effectively.  Experience ….the difference.”

Dr. Chakrabarty says, he will continue his efforts collaboratively with the AAPI leadership in addressing Physician burnout and Green Card Backlog; Forming a strong and well-funded AAPI-Political Action Committee for lobbying and getting political clout; Partnering in world-wide healthcare education; Being a part of the decision making process of WHO and UN healthcare policies, especially those dealing with issues affecting South East Asia; and, Invest heavily in Medical Student/Residents and Young Physician (MSR/YPS) section of AAPI and give them leadership roles in mainstream AAPI to attract more interest in our young members towards their parent organization. Without them there will be no AAPI in 20 years.”

Dr. Chakrabarty believes in accountability and transparency. “We need to streamline the membership database especially because we are moving towards an online voting system.  We need to provide the membership with the desire to belong.  We need to encourage the young physicians to participate and lead AAPI.”

Dr. Sumul Raval — Sectretary

Dr. Sumul N. Raval, Secretary of AAPI is a board-certified neurologist and world authority on brain tumors and is among the very few neuro-oncologists in private practice in the US. The founder and director of the David S. Zocchi Brain Tumor Center at Monmouth Medical Center – New Jersey’s first and most comprehensive facility specializing in brain tumors, Dr. Raval completed his neuro-oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

In addition, Dr. Raval is a humanitarian. “I believe quality of life is just as important as battling the disease,” he says. He listens to patients with compassion and inspires them to think positively. Dr. Raval was presented with the GBM Heroes Award (Glioblastoma Multiforme) during the 21st Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society for Neuro-Oncology, recognizing him for dedicating his life to helping patients with GBM and their families. “This is an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime honor,” says Dr. Raval, noting that global recognition is especially rare for a doctor at a community hospital.

Dr. Raval “is one of the few neuro-oncologists who brings world-class care to families in their own backyard,” notes CURE, a renowned cancer magazine with nearly 1 million readers.

In addition, Dr. Raval is a staff Neuro-Oncologist at Jersey Shore University Medical Center since 2003 where he introduced the Neuro-Oncology field to Meridian Health. He also practices at Community Medical Center, where he serves as Secretory of the Medical Staff and Vice Chairman of the Department of Neurology.

A diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, he is president of Garden State Neurology & Neuro-Oncology, with offices located in West Long Branch and Toms River. He is immediate past president of Monmouth and Ocean Medical Society, Chapter of Medical Society of New Jersey. He was chosen by peers in new jersey for 10 years in row as Jersey Choice Top Doctors from 2013 to 2022. He also appeared on Cover page of New Jersey Monthly magazine in 2015. In 2008 he was awarded as 10th Annual Francis Black Humanitarian of the Year Award in Healthcare. He received numerous more awards over the years.

“I am committed to building upon their achievements and leading AAPI with integrity, transparency, and innovation,” says Dr. Raval. “As a physician of Indian origin, I am immensely proud of the rich heritage and legacy that we bring to the field of medicine in the United States. Our community has made remarkable contributions to the healthcare landscape, and AAPI has played a pivotal role in fostering professional growth, cultural exchange, and philanthropic endeavors. Together, we have made a positive impact on patient care and healthcare policy in America, and I am honored to continue this legacy as Secretary.”

During his term as Secretary, Dr. Raval pledges “to work tirelessly to advance the mission and vision of AAPI. I will focus on promoting diversity and inclusion in healthcare, advocating for the needs of our members, and fostering collaboration. I will also prioritize mentorship and professional development opportunities for our members, and strive to enhance our outreach to underserved communities.”

Dr. Sreeni R. Gangasani — Treausrer

Dr. Sreeni R. Gangasani, who has assumed charge as the Treasurer of AAPI is a Cardiologist in Lawrenceville, Georgia with board certifications in Cardiovascular disease, Echocardiography, Nuclear Cardiology, Heart failure, and transplantation.  He graduated with Gold Medals from Kurnool Medical College of University of Health Sciences.

A past president of the Georgia Association of Physicians of Indian Heritage (GAPI) and a past board of trustee member and the Vice Chair of AAPI BOT, Dr. Gangasani is a founding partner of Cardiovascular Group based in metro Atlanta. He was a past chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at Northside Gwinnett Hospital and is the current Director of GAPI Volunteer Clinic, AAPI CME Chair, and BOT of GAPI. He served as the Chair of AAPI Conventions in Atlanta in 2019 and 2021, and Chair of AAPI Global Health Summit, 2019-20 in Hyderabad, India.  He has been a member of the Georgia Composite Medical Board and has been elected as the Vice Chair for the year 2023-24.

As the Treasurer of AAPI, Dr. Gangasani says, “I bring a strong financial acumen, expertise in budgeting and financial planning, and a commitment to transparency and accountability. With my strategic mindset and collaborative approach, I will effectively manage finances, maximize resources, and contribute to the organization’s overall success.” Dr. Gangasani says, he will implement efficient financial systems and processes that streamline expense tracking and reporting. By striving to increase revenue through strategic initiatives and sponsorships, he promises to “ensure a robust financial foundation for the organization’s programs and initiatives. Additionally, I will focus on maximizing cost savings and investments to support the association’s mission and enhance member benefits.”

As the Treasurer, Dr. Gangasani assures that “I will ensure sound financial management, budgeting, and transparency. I aim to support the organization’s goals, promote financial stability, and maximize resources to empower the Indian physician community and enhance healthcare for all.” In addition, Dr. Gangasani wanst to work collaboratively “to increase membership engagement through targeted outreach and networking events, diversify revenue streams through corporate partnerships and new initiatives, enhance financial transparency and reporting through streamlined processes, and expand mentorship programs through strategic collaborations. By working together, we will empower our members and advance healthcare for all.”

About AAPI

The growing influence of physicians of Indian heritage is evident, as increasingly physicians of Indian origin hold critical positions in healthcare, academic, research, and administrative positions across the nation. We the physicians of Indian origin are proud of our great achievements and contributions to our motherland, India, our adopted land, the US, and in a very significant way to the transformation of Indo-US relations.

Serving 1 in every 7 patients in the US, AAPI members care for millions of patients every day, while several of them have risen to hold high-flying jobs, shaping the policies and programs, and inventions that shape the landscape of healthcare in the US and around the world.

“Since its inception in 1982, AAPI has been at the forefront, representing a conglomeration of more than 125,000 practicing physicians in the United States, seeking to be the united voice for the physicians of Indian origin,” Dr. Anjana Samadder said. “We will continue the noble mission and strengthen our efforts to make AAPI reach greater heights. “ For more details about AAPI, please visit: www.appiusa,org

MIT Expert Calls For A Total Overhaul Of The U.S. Health Insurance System

Alexander Hamilton played a crucial role in the development of the world’s first national, mandatory health insurance policy. This historical 1798 plan, financed by taxpayers and approved by Congress, aimed to provide coverage for sick and disabled seamen. Hamilton’s vision for this policy was driven by his concern for the well-being of humanity.

Fast forward to modern times, and the United States has made numerous attempts to offer medical care to those in need who cannot afford it. While the efforts trace back to Hamilton’s initiative, they have evolved over the years, encompassing policies that mandate emergency-room care for all and extend insurance to individuals with specific serious illnesses.

Despite these endeavors, no policy has been able to fully address the healthcare needs of the entire U.S. population. Presently, around 30 million American citizens still lack health insurance. Even for those who are insured, the costs frequently surpass the benefits provided by the plans. This has resulted in a staggering $140 billion in unpaid medical debt, surpassing all other forms of personal debt combined, with a significant portion being incurred by people with health insurance.

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In light of these challenges, MIT Professor Amy Finkelstein, in collaboration with economist Liran Einav of Stanford University, advocates for a comprehensive overhaul of the U.S. health insurance system in their new book titled “We’ve Got You Covered: Rebooting American Health Care,” published by Portfolio. The authors propose a two-layered approach, involving one layer of free and automatic health insurance for everyone, coupled with another layer of private insurance for those seeking additional healthcare amenities.

Finkelstein, renowned for her empirical studies on health insurance and healthcare, acknowledges that the U.S. has always had a commitment to providing care to the ill, and now it is imperative to do so effectively and efficiently. She emphasizes that the current health care system is far from ideal and calls for a transformation.

The existing health care landscape in the U.S. comprises patchwork programs that fail to comprehensively cover the population. Approximately 150 million Americans depend on private employer-provided insurance, leaving them vulnerable to losing coverage if they change jobs. Conversely, those reliant on public health insurance, such as Medicaid, face the risk of losing eligibility if their household income exceeds the poverty line. Consequently, about one in four Americans below the age of 65 will experience periods without insurance within the next two years.

Interestingly, a significant number of these individuals are eligible for free or heavily discounted coverage, but they remain unenrolled due to a lack of information and complex signup procedures. Even Medicare, the primary public insurance program for seniors, imposes out-of-pocket expenses without a cap, leading a quarter of Medicare beneficiaries to spend a quarter of their income on healthcare.

While some reforms have improved coverage for certain groups, such as the Affordable Care Act of 2010, which enabled 10 million previously uninsured Americans to gain coverage, they did not resolve the issues of insurance loss or inadequate coverage that often results in considerable medical debt.

The authors argue that the U.S. has attempted to address health coverage problems through a series of piecemeal policies. One such approach involved creating disease-specific care subsidies, starting with the extension of Medicare in 1972 to cover individuals with end-stage kidney disease. Subsequent programs were implemented to cover patients with tuberculosis, breast and cervical cancer, sickle cell anemia, ALS, HIV/AIDS, and Covid-19.

However, Finkelstein and Einav express skepticism towards this approach due to its fragmented nature, which inevitably leaves gaps in coverage. They propose a more straightforward solution: universal inclusion of everyone into the healthcare system, thus eliminating the need for separate laws for different illnesses.

“When you think about covering all the gaps, that’s what universal basic coverage is,” Finkelstein says.

Land of the free

According to “We’ve Got You Covered,” the current approach to health insurance in the United States is not set in stone. The origins of employer-provided health care only trace back to the 1950s. The authors argue that the continuous implementation of policies to ensure basic care for all, such as open emergency rooms and subsidies for severe diseases, reflects the nation’s underlying expectation of providing humane care when it is most needed.

Finkelstein, one of the authors, points out that the existence of various healthcare measures is due to a social norm or unwritten contract in the United States. This norm dictates that society does not allow people to die on the streets due to lack of medical resources. Thus, when individuals face dire medical situations without resources, there is a collective compulsion to help them. From this perspective, both the issues faced by the insured and the uninsured result from failures to uphold these societal commitments rather than a lack of such commitments.

To address these problems, Finkelstein and Einav propose a solution: free, basic healthcare for everyone, without the hassles of sign-ups or charges for essential care. Additionally, people would not lose their insurance when leaving their jobs, and surpassing the poverty line would not mean losing public insurance coverage.

Under their proposal, there would still be a layer of private health insurance available for those who desire additional amenities in their medical care, like private hospital rooms or elective services. Essentially, people could pay for upgrades if they choose to.

While this system would not achieve absolute equality in healthcare, Finkelstein believes it would be an improvement over the current situation. The key, in his view, is to ensure that everyone receives essential basic coverage.

The book suggests that the U.S. can indeed afford such a system of free, basic, and automatic-enrollment health care. Currently, the country spends 18 percent of its GDP on healthcare, with half going to public healthcare and the other half to private care. Interestingly, European countries that offer universal coverage spend approximately 9 percent of their GDP on public health systems. Therefore, the book argues that the U.S. is already paying for universal coverage, though it has not achieved it yet, and could implement it at a similar cost to these other countries.

“We’ve Got You Covered” also opposes modest co-pays, despite studies showing that they reduce doctor visits. The authors believe that such co-pays conflict with the idea of universal coverage, which aims to provide essential medical care without financial barriers.

Until the impossible becomes inevitable

However, even if the Finkelstein-Einav health insurance system is logical and reasonable, is there any possibility of it becoming a reality?

“One thing that makes me, if not optimistic, then at least not unduly pessimistic, is that this is an argument that will and does appeal to people across the political spectrum,” Finkelstein contends

The book highlights that although expanding health insurance is typically linked with progressive politicians, it also showcases several conservatives who, even in the 21st century, have advocated for universal coverage.

Although the immediate implementation of a free basic care system may not be imminent, Finkelstein and Einav propose in their book “We’ve Got You Covered” that they are following the advice of economist Milton Friedman. They aim to develop ideas and keep them publicly discussed until what seems politically impossible eventually becomes politically unavoidable.

Meanwhile, Finkelstein and Einav strongly advise individuals to give greater consideration to the implicit assumption in U.S. health care policy that we ought to assist everyone, driven by the same rationale that motivated Hamilton’s desire to aid seamen – namely, to safeguard them from destitution and suffering in their lives.

New Research Paints Richer Picture Of Physician Earnings

University of Chicago researchers, led by health economist Joshua Gottlieb, PhD, have embarked on a project to better understand the earnings of physicians in the top 1 percent of income earners. Although physicians are among the most common high-income occupation, accurately measuring their earnings has proven challenging.

The researchers sought to address this issue by creating a comprehensive dataset that links administrative data on physicians to tax records from 2005 to 2017. This dataset allows them to measure physician earnings and explore the impact of healthcare policies on their incomes, labor supply, and talent distribution.

“Combining the administrative registry of U.S. physicians with tax data, Medicare billing records, and survey responses, we find that physicians’ annual earnings average $350,000 and comprise 8.6 percent of national healthcare spending,” the authors wrote in their working paper.

In their working paper titled “Who Values Human Capitalists’ Human Capital? The Earnings and Labor Supply of U.S. Physicians,” the team presents key findings derived from the new dataset:

  1. On average, a physician’s annual earnings amount to $350,000, representing 8.6 percent of the nation’s healthcare spending. In 2017, the average physician earned $243,400 in wages and $350,000 in total individual income. The median total individual income was $265,000 per year. Notably, more than 25 percent of physicians earned over $425,000, and the top 1 percent earned more than $1.7 million.
  2. Physician earnings vary significantly across different specialties. Primary care physicians have the lowest average income at $201,200, while procedural specialists and surgeons are the highest earners, making on average 2.3 times more than primary care physicians.
  3. Age plays a role in the variation of physician earnings, accounting for 14 percent of the difference. Physicians typically earn around $60,000 on average during their late 20s while still in training. This increases to an average of more than $185,000 in their early 30s and approximately $425,000 at age 50.
  4. Gender disparities persist among physicians, with female physicians earning 30 percent less than their male counterparts. This pay gap has significant long-term implications, potentially resulting in $900,000 to $2.5 million less in career earnings for women, depending on their medical specialty.
  5. The geographic location significantly impacts physicians’ income, with 70 percent of the income disparity across areas being attributed to local market factors rather than the individual characteristics of the physicians.
  6. Physicians in parts of the Great Plains enjoy the highest incomes, contrary to the broader economy, where high incomes are typically concentrated on the coasts.

The researchers then delved into the effects of government policies on physician earnings, using income tax, Medicare billing, and specialty choice data. They focused on two types of insurance policy changes: changes in coverage and changes in payment rates.

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Their analysis revealed that short-term reimbursement changes led to 25 percent of marginal Medicare reimbursement dollars flowing into physician earnings. For permanent changes in demand resulting from the public insurance expansions under the Affordable Care Act, the authors observed a 6 percent pass-through of public spending to physician incomes.

Furthermore, the study found that higher earnings in a particular medical specialty attract physicians with higher test scores while displacing those with lower scores and less choice. For instance, a 5 percent increase in primary care earnings, while keeping the number of available slots and earnings of other specialties constant, led to a 4.8 percent increase in the probability of top-five medical school graduates entering primary care.

“The upshot is that government payment rules play a key role in valuing and allocating one of society’s most expensive assets: physicians’ human capital,” the researchers conclude. “Taken together, the results here suggest that policies subsidizing surgery will increase surgeons’ incomes and allocate more top talent to surgical specialties, improving surgery for a generation. Subsidizing primary care will instead increase these physicians’ incomes and

The University of Chicago’s research provides valuable insights into physician earnings and the factors influencing them. By linking administrative data with tax records, the researchers have shed light on the complexities of physician income determination and the impact of healthcare policies on this essential group of high-income earners. Understanding these dynamics can aid in formulating policies to better support healthcare professionals and optimize talent allocation within the medical field.

Half Of Adults Have Interest In Weight Loss Drugs

In a new poll released last week, 45 percent of adults expressed some degree of interest in taking a prescription medication for weight loss if it was shown to be “safe and effective.”

Among the 1,022 adults who took part in the KFF survey, 18 percent said they were “very interested” in taking a weight loss drug, and 27 percent said they were “somewhat interested.”

Picture : YouGov

The poll also found that 70 percent had heard of the new class of weight-loss drugs that include Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro. While Wegovy has been approved for weight loss, Ozempic and Mounjaro are indicated for treating diabetes, and a prescription of those drugs for losing weight would be considered off-label use.

Interest in these drugs has partly been driven by pop culture, with many public figures alleged to have used them for rapid weight loss. Tesla CEO Elon Musk openly credited Wegovy for his change in weight last year.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 1 in 3 U.S. adults are overweight and more than 2 out of 5 have obesity.

Ozempic and Wegovy are both semaglutide, which mimics a hormone secreted in the gut in response to food. This hormone, GLP-1, causes the body to produce more insulin and suppresses appetite.

These drugs are not without their risks or side effects, however, particularly when it comes to their use in losing weight. A study from 2022 found that stopping semaglutide injections resulted in some rebound weight gain.

The American Society of Anesthesiologists recently warned that patients should discontinue taking these weight-loss drugs before undergoing surgeries that require sedation due to reports of complications, including a delay in stomach emptying or “stomach paralysis.”

Stomach paralysis is a phenomenon that occurs when the muscles don’t function correctly, resulting in a delay in the stomach contents being emptied. This can in turn result in heartburn, acid reflux or malnutrition.

Just this week, a lawsuit was filed by a Louisiana woman against Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly, who manufacture Ozempic and Mounjaro respectively, alleging the companies downplayed the risks in taking the medications.

GAPIO, Representing 1.6 Million Physicians, Holds 11th Mid-Year Conference In UK

The Global Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, GAPIO, held its 11th midyear conference  July 22-23, 2023 in collaboration with the British Association of Physicians of India Origin, BAPIO. The global meeting was inaugurated by the High Commissioner of India to the UK Vikram Doraiswamy.

He urged advocacy for inclusive and affordable healthcare and applauded the contributions of India to meet global shortfalls of healthcare personnel, a press release from GAPIO said.

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Several eminent speakers and delegates from the USA, India, the UK, Africa and Europe attended the two-day meetings. The lead participant from India included Dr Bipin Batra, Dr Arun Gupta, Dr N K Ganguly, Dr Anupam Sibal, Dr Shuchin Bajaj and Dr Girish Tyagi. The theme of conference was “Global Trends in Healthcare Sustainability.” Sessions were held on important topics like the Digital Revolution, Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare, Ageing and Longevity, Women’s health as central for sustainability and strengthening primary care globally.

Professor Dr Bipin Batra delivered the keynote speech on Artificial Intelligence in Medical Education, and Dr Girish Tyagi spoke on Risk Assessment in Healthcare. Dr Anupam Sibal and Dr Shuchin Bajaj highlighted emergence of India as “Vishwaguru” in healthcare and entrepreneurship for doctors respectively.

Dr Ramesh Mehta, CBE; President, BAPIO and Past President of GAPIO, noted that Indian doctors worldwide have contributed immensely to health and wellbeing. Dr Mehta was instrumental in establishing GAPIO with support of Indian Diaspora of physicians from USA and Australia. Dr Parag Singhal, CEO of BAPIO Training Academy presented the model of skilling Indian healthcare towards sustainability of the National Health Service workforce.

Dr Payal Mehta, GP from BAPIO, London, highlighted the importance of yoga and holistic well-being in sustainable health care.

The next annual conference of GAPIO is scheduled to be held on March 16-17, 2024 in Lucknow.

India Introduces Ayush Visa For Foreign Nationals Seeking Treatment

The introduction of the Ayush visa is in line with government’s aim to promote India as a medical tourism destination in the world

The Ministry of Home Affairs officially announced a new category of Ayush (AY) visa for foreign nationals seeking treatment under Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (Ayush) or Indian systems of medicine. The new visa category was announced by the Prime Minister at the Global Ayush Investment and Innovation Summit (GAIIS) in Gandhinagar, Gujarat in April 2022.

According to a government statement, the introduction of the Ayush visa is part of the “Heal in India” initiative, which is aimed at promoting the country as a medical value travel destination. The Ministry of Ayush and the Ministry of Health and family welfare are working together to develop a one-stop “Heal in India” portal to promote the country as a medical tourism destination of the world.​

Picture : InsuranceDekho

Commenting on its significance, Union Minister of Ayush and Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal, said, “The creation of a new category of Ayush (AY) visa for foreign nationals seeking treatment under Indian systems of medicine is a significant step. It will boost the medical value of travel in India. This initiative will strengthen our endeavour to accomplish PM Modi’s vision for making Indian traditional medicine a global phenomenon. I also want to compliment Amit Shah, Union Home Minister for his efforts in creating a special Ayush Visa category.”

A new chapter 11A – Ayush Visa has been incorporated after Chapter 11 – medical visa of the manual, which deals with treatment under the Indian systems of medicine accordingly necessary amendments have been made in various chapters of the Visa Manual, 2019, the release said.

The Ayush ministry has been working on many fronts to promote the Ayush system of treatment nationally and globally. Recently, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) and the Ministry of Tourism, was signed to work together for the promotion of medical value travel in Ayurveda and other traditional systems of medicine.

Odisha State Launches “Lifesaver CPR” Program To Enhance Outcomes In Sudden Cardiac Arrests

History was remade in Odisha State, India, on August 1, 2023, when the Honorable Governor Professor Ganeshi Lal inaugurated the Second Mass Community Bystander Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training event at the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology Convention Center in Bhubaneswar.

The statewide life-saving project was the vision of the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Mr. Naveen Patnaik, who inaugurated the project in February 2023 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. The program is guided by the Indo-US Resuscitation Expert from Chicago, Dr. Vemuri S Murthy, Honorary Advisor (CPR), Government of Odisha (Health & Family Welfare) and Adjunct Faculty, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

About 1100 participants, mostly students from Kalinga Institute, were trained in Hands-only CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in 8 hours of intense training by Indian Resuscitation Trainers, led by Dr. Maheswar Parvat, Coordinator of Gandhi Alumni American Heart Association Training Center, Hyderabad, Telangana, helped by the volunteers of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations, Odisha and AIIMS (Bhubaneswar).

Dr. Vemuri Murthy, in an exclusive post-training event interview, outlined the importance of preventive strategies to combat the number one global killer viz, Heart Disease, more prevalent among South Asians, including Indians and the Indian diaspora. He stressed the need to raise community awareness about preventive strategies such as a healthy diet with less fats and carbohydrates, exercise, control of diabetes and high blood pressure, weight reduction, and reducing stress with holistic approaches such as Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation.

In his team meeting with the Honorable President of India, Mrs. Draupadi Murmu, led by Mr. Krishna Kishore Jasthi at the Odisha Raj Bhavan (Bhubaneswar) on July 27, 2023, Dr. Murthy highlighted the importance of Community CPR programs to improve survivals in Sudden Cardiac Arrests. The Honorable President extended her full support to the CPR programs. She also pointed out the high prevalence of Tuberculosis among Odisha Tribals and the importance of Tuberculosis eradication programs.

Dr. Vemuri S Murthy, an Indo-US resuscitation expert, faculty member at the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, has been appointed by the Government of Odisha as the State “Advisor on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation” Projects. He is the first ever to be appointed by the Odisha State Government as the Health Advisor from the United States and will be involved with comprehensive Resuscitation- involved State projects.

Heart disease is a major Global Public Health problem. People of Indian Origin are at a four-times greater risk of heart disease than their Western counterparts and have a greater chance of having a heart attack before 50 years of age.

Dr. Murthy hopes the Life Saver Initiative of the Odisha State will also be implemented soon in the rest of the States in India.

Tirlok Malik Hosts Happy Life Yoga Workshop For Indian American Seniors

Happy Life Yoga, founded by the renowned EMMY Nominated Filmmaker Tirlok Malik, brought waves of laughter and joy to the hearts of Indian American seniors at a simultaneous in-person and online event in Queens, New York. Hosted by India Home in Jamaica Estate, the event was jointly organized by the Indo-American Senior Citizen Center, GOPIO Manhattan, NY chapters, and  The Indian Panorama.

Happy Life Yoga, unlike traditional yoga, doesn’t require mats or physical movements. It is a unique blend of Indian philosophy, Ayurveda, and Yoga, focusing on internal movements of joy, laughter, and happiness through conscious laughter, affirmations, gratitude, forgiveness, and simple breathing techniques. The workshop specially catered to senior citizens, providing them with practical tips and techniques to live happier and healthier lives.

“The power of laughter and joy can transform lives, and Happy Life Yoga is the door that leads to a joyful life,” said Tirlok Malik, the driving force behind this holistic approach. “Through our workshops and events, we want to inspire inner transformation and create a community of individuals across all age groups embracing happiness and self-empowerment.”

The event witnessed a packed house filled with roaring laughter and positive energy, as Tirlok Malik shared his expertise and insights. Having previously conducted workshops for frontline workers, corporates, and global communities worldwide, the Happy Life Yoga team has been making a significant impact on people’s lives.

“We are delighted to see the overwhelming response and enthusiasm from the senior citizen community,” said Neha Lohia, the Director of Happiness for Happy Life Yoga. “The journey towards a happier life begins with self-discovery, and that’s exactly what Happy Life Yoga offers. It was such a joy to see the unstoppable laughter in the room.”

The event was graced by brand partners Get Zage, a specialized service for the elderly in NYC, represented by Claudine and Jack Harplen. Team members who are also filmmakers like John Pina, and Bohan Chen were also present at this event helping with the audience interaction, and filming. The media and news friends from various publications and TV stations were also present to witness Tirlok Malik live in action and to cover the event.

Mukund Mehta, President India Home ,Jagdish Patel President Indo -American Senior Cittizen Center of New York ,Pankaj parikh,Vice President Indo-American Citizen of New York ,Ashok Sheth Vice president -Finance Indo -American Senior Citizen Centterr of New york and Dr. Vasundhara Kalasapudi Executive Dirrector India Home , all said Tirlok Malik’s presntaion of Happyy Life Yoga was extraordinary since seniors overwhelming enjoyed it .The Happy Life yoga workshop was unique in many ways . There were burst of laughters along with many useful tips to stay healthy and Happier for Seniors.

Happy Life Yoga has big plans for the future, including workshops for kids, educational institutes, global and NRI communities, and diverse groups of people both physically in New York and worldwide through online sessions. Their upcoming book and updated website will further contribute to spreading laughter and happiness across the globe through thier meaningful and much needed work.

“We invite everyone to join us on this transformative journey,” said Tirlok Malik. “Embrace Happy Life Yoga, and discover the power of living life to the fullest, with joy, purpose, and fulfillment. Oh and you dont need a mat, the only thing that will move is your belly, jawline and your internal state of mind with tons of laughter, that is my promise.”

About Happy Life Yoga: Happy Life Yoga is a holistic and practical approach to living a happier, healthier, and more fulfilled life. Led by the esteemed EMMY Nominated Filmmaker Tirlok Malik, the organization aims to spread joy, laughter, and happiness through a unique blend of Indian philosophy, Ayurveda, and Yoga. Happy Life Yoga offers interactive workshops, engaging lectures, and uplifting events, empowering individuals to embrace happiness, health, and inner transformation. For more information about Happy Life Yoga and upcoming events, please visit www.happylifeyoga.org.

Unveiling Yoga’s Transformative Power in a Post-Pandemic World

Like few other ancient practices, yoga has shaped the world’s consciousness. Over a quarter of adults in the United States say they can’t function because they are so stressed. As indicated by the World Wellbeing Association, normal mental issues, for example, uneasiness and melancholy expense the world economy US$ 1 trillion yearly. This International Yoga Day, as we mark the second year since a major pandemic, it is high time that we delve deeper into the benefits of yoga for our post-pandemic world, which is dealing with significant shifts in work, wellness, and personal lives.

This Yoga Day is special because Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in New York to celebrate it at the UN Headquarters this year, where he proposed the idea of a dedicated yoga day in 2014.

While Yoga has become well known with an expected 300 million specialists around the world, 34 million in US alone, the famous origination of yoga is many times restricted to ‘asanas’, the actual stances that structure only one of the eight appendages of yoga as per Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Although the asanas can provide a workout comparable to that of a gym session, comparing yoga to a gym routine would be like comparing a single wave to the ocean.

Pranayama, or breath mindfulness, is another basic appendage that remains closely connected with asanas is in many cases disregarded in Western practices. Breathing methods can pivot crippling medical problems and as per Dr. Andrew Huberman, a neuroscience teacher in Stanford College, changing how you inhale can end pressure in its tracks. He referred to a specific form of pranayama as a “psychological sigh,” which involves taking a shorter inhalation followed by a longer exhalation.

Whether as basic as a mental murmur or as perplexing as the ‘Wim Hof Technique’, which assisted its namesake with enduring outrageous cold and procure a few notices in the Guinness Book, are characteristically attached to our profound and actual prosperity. Yoga stands out because of the harmony between Asana and Pranayama, which gives us a mindful synchronicity that goes far beyond the mat.

Yama and Niyama, the initial two appendages, lay the moral and moral foundation for a yogic way of life. They create a mutually respectful agreement with the outside world, which results in mental clarity, emotional equilibrium, and spiritual awakening. Strangely, the pandemic has pushed us towards these standards. We have reduced our ecological footprint by working from home and commuting less, which is in line with “Ahimsa,” or nonviolence toward our planet. The thoughtfulness time, then again, mirrors ‘Svadhyaya’ or self-study. For sure, the pandemic has pushed us to ponder our lives, rethinking our connections, and reevaluating our work-life reconciliation.

The fifth appendage, Pratyahara, urges us to separate from the computerized over-burden and reconnect with ourselves. Initial five appendages structure the Bahiranga (outer) yoga, which, when dominated, can assist us with taking advantage of inert human potential.

The last three appendages — Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi — address Antaranga yoga, the inner part of yoga that takes advantage of the force of the brain. Here, we track down the underlying foundations of care — an idea now far reaching in the West. Care Based Pressure Decrease (MBSR) procedures, broadly perceived for their adequacy in managing pressure and injury, can be followed back to the standards tracked down in these appendages of yoga.

So, what does this all mean for the world after the pandemic? The comprehensive form of yoga provides a path as we shift our focus to health, well-being, and meaningful living. This isn’t just about adaptability or stress help, yet an excursion of self-change that starts with self-restraint, prompting internal harmony, poise, and euphoria.

Dharana and Dhyana can get us in contact with our inward presence, true serenity and inward joy and those manifest remotely as us having ‘chief presence’, which is progressively pursued in our work places. Yoga’s standards of concentration and discipline have even been applied effectively by Indian young people in bringing home the Scripps Spelling Honey bee titles a large number of years because of training that they get from North South Establishment.

Presently, envision the potential if we somehow happened to expand the utilization of these standards to more extensive life difficulties and open doors. An increase in productivity, creativity, and focus as well as a decrease in stress levels and a greater comprehension and acceptance of oneself and others could result from an expanded yoga practice.

As we celebrate Global Yoga Day this year, it merits thinking about how yoga, in its complete structure, has such a huge amount to propose in rethinking our reality. Its range stretches out past the Indian diaspora, who, with their developing presence across worldwide influential positions, have a one of a kind chance to share this all encompassing comprehension of yoga.

The principles and practices of yoga can help leaders establish businesses and communities that are harmonious and sustainable as the focus of leadership shifts from profit as the single bottom line to a triple bottom line that incorporates social and environmental considerations.

Moreover, it’s interesting to take note of the amount of this old insight lines up with the goals of contemporary developments. For instance, the developing accentuation on psychological wellness tracks down a friend in the yoga sutras. The Yama and Niyama tenets are in line with the focus on sustainable living. Careful practices, when thought about other option, are currently at the very front of standard wellbeing discussions. Yoga’s timeless relevance is demonstrated and its role in shaping our collective future is demonstrated in this synergy.

Yoga provides us with a framework for transformation—an opportunity to redefine our relationship with ourselves, others, and the world as a whole—as we navigate the complexities of our post-pandemic reality. Every small step on the yoga path can result in significant inner shifts, whether through mastering a challenging pose or simply observing our breath.

The force of yoga lies not simply in that frame of mind to assist us with contacting our toes yet in aiding us reach inside and contact our actual selves. To draw in with yoga at this level means to set out on an excursion of persistent learning and development, one that can prepare us to explore existence with versatility, elegance, and serenity.

As we keep on investigating the profundities of yoga, we should make sure to praise its extravagance and variety. Whether you’re rehearsing Ashtanga yoga in a New York studio, pondering by the Ganges, or performing Pranayama in your family room, you’re adding to a worldwide embroidery of change.

Thus, on this Worldwide Yoga Day, we should imagine a future where the comprehension of yoga rises above past the asanas. How about we endeavor to embrace its more profound insight in our regular routines. All things considered, a definitive objective of yoga, as portrayed in the Yoga Sutras, is to in any case the vacillations of the brain. In the midst of the variances of our impacting world, that feeling of quietness may very well be the securing force we want.

A New Variety of Wheat To Keep Diabetes, Obesity In Check

The Ludhiana-based institution, which played a pivotal role during the Green Revolution to make India surplus in foodgrains by developing high-yielding strains, has bred a new wheat variety with high amylose starch content, known to reduce risks of type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

From “quantity” to “quality” and from “food security” to “nutritional security” — this seems to be the new research focus of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU).

The Ludhiana-based institution, which played a pivotal role during the Green Revolution to make India surplus in foodgrains by developing high-yielding strains, has bred a new wheat variety with high amylose starch content, known to reduce risks of type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Eating chapatis made from this wheat — called PBW RS1, with RS being short for resistant starch — won’t cause an immediate and rapid rise in glucose levels. The high amylose and resistant starch, instead, ensure that glucose is released more slowly into the bloodstream. Being slower to digest also increases a feeling of satiety; a person consuming 4 chapatis from normal wheat would now feel full after having just two.

It has total starch content, almost the same as the 66-70 per cent in other wheat varieties. But it has 30.3 per cent resistant starch content as against only 7.5-10 per cent for other varieties including PBW 550, PBW 725, HD 3086 and PBW 766, show trials conducted by PAU over four years. The other varieties have 56-62 per cent non-resistant starch content which is nearly half (37.1 per cent) in PWB RS1. Similarly, PBW RS1 has 56.63 per cent amylose compared to only 21-22 per cent in other varieties.

“Chapatis and biscuits made from its whole grain flour also have lower glycemic index (a value used to measure how specific foods increase blood sugar levels), which is linked to the decreased digestibility of the starch. So, it can help bring down the prevalence of diet-related diseases, including obesity and diabetes (especially type 2),” said Achla Sharma, principal wheat breeder at PAU, which was rated the country’s top state agricultural university in 2023 as per the National Institute Ranking Framework.

The variety has been developed over a period of 10 years by a team of wheat breeders led by Dr V S Sohu, head, department of plant breeding and genetics. PAU is the first to combine five novel alleles (genes) affecting resistant starch levels for developing this variety.

Earlier, PAU had released two varieties – PBW Zn1 with high zinc content, and PBW1 Chapati whose flour had premium chapati quality that remained fresh for long – on nutritional lines but none had features as PBW RS1.

Sharma noted that millets are considered healthy because they don’t lead to a spike in blood sugar levels. Dieticians even recommend that diabetic and obese persons give up wheat altogether. “But the fact is that both production and consumption of wheat are much higher and not everyone can have millets on a daily basis. Our idea was, therefore, to breed a wheat variety which feels and tastes like normal wheat, but has higher RS and lower glycemic index,” she said.

But PBW RS1 has a significant drawback that might come in the way of its cultivation by farmers. The average grain yield from the variety at PAU’s field trials has been recorded at 43.18 quintals per hectare. This is below Punjab’s average yield of 48 quintals, which has touched 52 quintals in some years with many farmers harvesting 60 quintals or more.

PAU vice-chancellor Dr Satbir Singh Gosal, however, felt that a beginning towards ushering in nutritional security had to be made. He has urged the Punjab government to promote PBW RS1 flour as a product with “high medicinal and nutritional value”. With proper marketing, the wheat could “fetch higher price” from buyers, similar to the premium that millers are paying for basmati paddy over regular parmal varieties.

“Yes, lower productivity is a challenge. But then, PBW RS1 should be identified as a special-trait variety that will be priced high enough to incentivise farmers to grow it. We have pitched the idea for marketing it as a special quality flour to Markfed (the Punjab State Cooperative Supply & Marketing Federation),” Gosal told The Indian Express, adding that PBW RS1 is the country’s first ever improved wheat variety bred for quality, and not just quantity.

Sharma said seeds for the new variety will be made available to farmers in September to enable them sow in the upcoming rabi season. Apart from its nutritional attributes, PBW RS1 is “completely resistant” to yellow rust and “moderately resistant” to brown rust fungal diseases.

“Chapatis and biscuits from its flour taste just like normal wheat. The high amylose/resistant starch content, translating into increased total dietary fibre, would also be advantageous to bakers and food processors. They can produce products without incorporating fibre or additives from other sources to their formulas,” she said.

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.

Picture : TheUNN

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.”

Picture : TheUNN

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

Dr. Joseph M. Chalil Honored with AAPI’s Presidential Award

Philadelphia, PA: July 12th, 2023: Joseph M. Chalil, MD, MBA, FACHE was honored with the prestigious Presidential Award by the Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) during the 41st annual Convention held at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown on July 8th, 2023.

Dr. Chalil was bestowed with the award in recognition  of his Outstanding Leadership and Excellence in Community Service. Dr. Prem Reddy, CEO & Chairman of Prime Health presented the award during the concluding ceremony of the convention in the presence of an audience of over 1,000 during the Annual Convention and Scientific Assembly of AAPI–the largest ethnic organization of physicians in the U.S. Dr. Ravi Kolli, Immediate Past President of AAPI, lauded Dr. Chalil’s leadership and contributions as the Strategic Advisor of AAPI.

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“Connecting to the brand of AAPI and its extensive US Physician network will lead to an increased visibility of pharmaceutical clinical trials here in the USA,” commented Prof. Joseph M. Chalil, MD, MBA, FACHE, an author and the Chief Strategy Officer of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin. He is also the Chief Medical Officer of Novo Integrated Sciences, a Nasdaq-listed company that runs hundreds of clinics in North America.

Dr. Chalil is the President of Clinical Consultants International. He serves as the chairman of the health system advisory board, a professor at the college of business, and a member of the NSU MD executive leadership council at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

A veteran of the U.S. Navy Medical Corps, Dr. Chalil is also board certified in healthcare management, and has been awarded Fellowship by the American College of Healthcare Executives, an international professional society of more than 40,000 healthcare executives who lead hospitals, healthcare systems and other healthcare organizations.

Dr. Chalil holds three US Patents, and his research includes Clinical Trial Management in Cystic Fibrosis, Multiple Myeloma, and publications in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. He was the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business Award. A Visiting Professor at various universities and board member of various companies, Dr. Chalil is an expert in US Healthcare policy and a strong advocate for patient centered care. The American Association of Cardiologists of Indian Origin (AACIO) honored Dr. Chalil for his achievements in the field of Cardiology in 2013.

His book, “Beyond the Covid-19 pandemic: Envisioning a Better World by Transforming the Future of Healthcare,” is an Amazon Best Seller. In addition, he is the author of several scientific and research papers in international publications and the publisher of “The Universal News Network.”

AAPI’s 41st Annual Convention Concludes in Philadelphia, PA

(Philadelphia, PA—July 9th, 2023) 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 here at the iconic Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia, PA with the new leadership of AAPI assuming charge under the leadership of Dr. Anjana Samadder.

“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 on July 8th, 2023 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.

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.”

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 talks for AAPI delegates. In addition, there was the popular parallel track for Life style 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 Jain.

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 event 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

“I am Committed to Advancing AAPI’s Mission for a Brighter Future:” Dr. Anjana Samadder, President of AAPI Declares During Convention IN Philadephia

“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 on July 8th, 2023 in Philadelphia, PA.

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

Along with her, Dr. Satheesh Kathula was administered the oath of office 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.

As the President of AAPI, Dr. Samadder says, “I bring a wealth of experience, a visionary perspective, and a deep commitment to serving our community.” According to Dr. Sammader, “The opportunity to make a significant impact and contribute to positive change on a larger scale is what motivates me to embrace a leadership role within AAPI.”

Sharing her vision for AAPI, Dr. Samadder said, “It is to foster improved access to healthcare, promote diversity and inclusion, and amplify the collective voice of our community. Members will always find me by their side. We will collectively always be available to our members’ needs and wellbeing.”

Describing herself as “a dedicated, resilient, passionate, and a determined person,  who strives to make  a positive impact,” Dr. Sammader said, “Growing up as a child, I always stood up against any injustice, wrongdoing and bullying. My father, a Barrister from the London School of Economics and Political Science always taught us to stand up for ourselves and brought us up with the teaching that women were stronger and better multitaskers, and they are capable of achieving greater heights.”

As a child, young Anjana “was filled with curiosity and an unwavering ambition to create change. My family has been a pillar of support, nurturing my dreams and encouraging me every step of the way.” Dr. Samadder’s inspiration for engaging in philanthropic activities stems from her deep-rooted desire to improve the lives of people in both India and the US. “Witnessing the resilience and strength of individuals facing challenges has been a driving force for me,” she said.

According to Dr. Samadder, “My journey with AAPI in the past 20 years taught me lots of lessons, skills and molded me to take more responsibility in the organization. I will bring to the organization the level of commitment, hard work, experience and skill set needed to accomplish the various goals for AAPI and its members.”  Her vision for AAPI is “to help build an ethically strong, morally straight and fiscally responsible organization. It is also vitally important to bring much needed diversity to keep AAPI thriving.”

Over the years, Dr. Samadder has shown great leadership qualities which she proved during her tenure as local chapter President (Central Ohio), Regional Director (Ohio and Michigan) and as AAPI National Treasurer. She has also served diligently in different capacities within AAPI including being National Coordinator for AAPI Annual Convention, 2018 in Columbus.  Dr. Smaddar served as the Chair, AAPI Women’s Forum and has organized first live conference of this year in Tampa, Florida (March 19 to 21,2021) with great success. Her vision for AAPI is “to help build an ethically strong, morally straight and fiscally responsible organization. It is also vitally important to bring much-needed diversity to keep AAPI thriving.”

Dr. Anjana Samadder was admitted with Covid for 65 days in the hospital. The coronavirus nearly killed her, but she now has a message to share. “They said you were not supposed to live,” said Dr. Samadder. But she does live. And she wants others to know they can too. “If you have a will, I’m telling you, you can make it. There’s always hope. Never give up. It’s just an ‘I will’ do it kind of a thing,” she said.

“My ordeal with covid -19 was hard, but it also made me strong, resilient and tenacious. My “Never give Up ” attitude kept me going, and now I am ready to hit the ground and work my heart out for our AAPI organization.”

Recalling her fight with the deadly Covid, Dr. Samadder said, “One of my proudest achievements is surviving my near-death experience. Life does not give anyone a second chance, but I did get one after contracting Covid-19 and Cardiac Arrest. This has given me a lot of strength to stand up against all odds.”

Dr. Samadder acknowledged that any time one wants to make any changes, one will face some oppositions. “I plan to address them through strategic planning, inclusive decision-making, and the collective efforts of our dedicated members. Discussions and reasoning and answering questions will help resolve any doubts that may be harbored.”

Realizing that there are challenges and divisions in AAPI, Dr. Sammader is determined to “unify and keep AAPI united through effective communication, fostering collaboration, and actively engaging with our members at all levels. I will strongly stand up against any act that will fragment our organization.”

Amidst loud chores from the audience, Dr. Samadder promised that she is committed to “carry on the existing good work that has been started by our prior AAPI leaders. In addition, I would like to address health care practice issues facing our members both in private practice and in academia. We are working out several other academic, social, and community programs which will help our organization grow. I want to get AAPI represented in US National Health Care Committee by organizing strong lobbying efforts. I will also address physician burnout and establish networking platform for young physicians. I will be open to suggestions from members in order to make our organization one of the strongest ethnic organizations in USA.”

Dr Anjana Samadder said, “AAPI has been at the forefront of Indian physicians’ struggle in procuring front-seat in the American medical fraternity. I assure you that I will continue to carry the torch forward. I will leave no stone unturned to take the AAPI to the glorious heights.” Dr Anjana added that “We, at AAPI, are a large extended family. I look forward to creasing the existing issues, besides bringing about reforms to further enhance the prestige that the AAPI

The Columbus AAPI Convention team has echoed her sentiments, It said, “We have personally known and worked closely with Dr. Anjana Samadder. She has great leadership qualities which she proved during her tenure as local chapter President (Central Ohio), Regional Director (Ohio and Michigan) and as AAPI National Treasurer. She has also served diligently in different capacities within AAPI including being National Coordinator for AAPI Annual Convention, 2018 in Columbus.

Describing her mission in life, Dr. Samadder said, “My life’s mission is to bring about lasting changes and enhance the well-being of individuals and communities. My goals are to stand up for all my beloved AAPI colleagues and to work for a place for AAPI in the National Health Care Committee. I will bring to the organization the level of commitment, hard work, experience and skill set needed to accomplish the various goals for AAPI and its members. I have made a commitment to our members, and I intend to use our platform to make AAPI reach newer heights.”

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. For more information on AAPI and its many programs and activities, please visit: www.appiusa.org

AAPI’s 41st Annual Convention Inaugurated in Philadelphia, PA

(Philadelphia, PA—July 8th, 2023) The 41st annual American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) Convention and Scientific Sessions 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 at the famous Philadelphia Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia, the birthplace of US Independence.

Addressing the over 1,000 delegates from around the nation, Dr. Ravi Kolli, President of AAPI in his welcome address, said, “Welcome to Philadelphia for our convention. 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.”

While describing the origins of AAPI, 41 years ago and how the physicians of Indian origin have been sought after for their excellence in Medicine, 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.

In his keynote address, Shri Venkaiah Naidu, former Vice President of India stressed the importance of the need for changes in lifestyle for a healthy living. He urged AAPI members to give back to thier Motherland, Janmabhoomi, their native place as way of returning the many blessings they have 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.”

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.”

Mr. Vivek Ramaswamy in his address passionately spoke about the reasons for his Presidential ambitions. Leaving his successful business, 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.”

Picture :TheUNN

 

Ramaswamy quoting Dr. King said, “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, Dr. Kolli said.

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.”

The evening had a Fashion Show by AAPI members, who delighted the audience with their talents and elegant performance.  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 long day’s event came to a close with Mehfil & Khaas. For more information on AAPI and its many programs and activities, please visit: www.aapiconvention.org

 

 

AAPI’s 41st Annual Convention Begins in Philadelphia, PA

(Philadelphia, PA—July 7th, 2023) The 41st annual American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) Convention and Scientific Sessions began on July 6th, 2023 at the famous Philadelphia Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia, the birthplace of US Independence.

Attended by over 500 delegates from around the nation, the coming together of esteemed physicians and their families offers an exciting venue to interact with leading physicians, healthcare professionals, academicians, and scientists of Indian origin from across the country, participating in the scholarly exchange of medical advances, developing health policy agendas, and encouraging legislative priorities in the coming year.

Dr. Ravi Kolli, President of AAPI delivering welcome address

In his welcome address, Dr. Ravi Kolli, President of AAPI said, “It is with immense pleasure that I welcome you all to the 41st annual American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) Convention and Scientific Sessions. The convention provides a forum for members to facilitate and enable physicians to help excel inpatient care, teaching and research, and to pursue their aspirations in professional and community affairs, by providing opportunities for business partnerships and relationships and to celebrate, coordinate and communicate.”

Dr. Raghu Lolabhattu, Chair and ECO 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. “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.”

While introducing Congressman Shri Thanedar, Dr. Sreeni Ganagsani, incoming Treasurer of AAPI and Chair of CME Committee, said, “Shri Thanedar proudly represents the people of Michigan’s 13th Congressional District. Congressman Thanedar is passionate about fighting to improve the lives of hard-working families across the United States.”

In his keynote address, Rep. Thanedar, the 5th member to join the Samosa Caucus in the US House shared with the audience about his humble beginnings in India and how his application to come to the United States to pursue Doctoral Degree was denied four times by the Indian Consulate in Mumbai. “Today, I am proud to state that I had the honor of escorting the Prime Minister of India to deliver his address to the joint session of the US Congress.”

Shri Thandedar delivering keynote address ion the inaugural nite of the 41st AAPI Convention

 

Born into a large family in Southern India, he knows firsthand the struggles and stigma of poverty, and I had started working as a janitor to meet the needs of my family. “That’s why he’s committed to fighting for more education and job training resources for southeast Michigan, a higher minimum wage, universal health care, and programs to jumpstart entrepreneurship in historically disenfranchised communities. Together, these initiatives will close the racial wealth gap and help more families in the United States,” he said.

Thanedar 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.”

A section of the audience at the inaugural gala

In his remarks on the great philanthropic activitirs carried out throuthg the Heart to Heart Foundation, Dr. Sunny Anand said, “We’ve been going to villages trying to deliver medical care, and it’s been a journey of more than 50 years. Within the last 10 years, we have set up 10 hospitals where there is no cash counter there is no billing department. All the care is given totally free of course. Our Foundation has touched the lives of so many with more than 220,000 consultations 26,000 heart surgeries or cat interventions completely free of cost. And we are now talking to you about rural Medical College. Come join us in our endeavor to touch many more lives and transform the lives of the rural poor.”

The Regional Directors of AAPI were recognized for their leadership and commitment to the mission o0f AAPI with a plaque presented by Shri Thanedar to each of them.

The entertainment sessions of the inaugural night kickstarted with the “AAPI’s Got Talent contest” where AAPI members showcased their hidden talents. The highly sought after event was led by Dr. Amit Chakrabarty, the incoming Vice President of AAPI and Dr. Seema Arora, past Chair of AAPI BOT. Other cultural programs for the evening included, Bishakh Jyoti Live, Garba and Mehfil & Khaas.

For more information on AAPI and its many programs and activities, please visit: www.aapiconvention.org

Targeted Dream Incubation Boosts Creativity, MIT Study Finds

The MIT group needed to check whether they could expand that finding into domains all the more usually connected with inventiveness, for example, narrating. They also wanted to find out if they could control what people’s dreams contained and how that controlled content might affect the creative process.

“One of the objectives of our gathering is to give individuals more bits of knowledge into how their mind functions, and furthermore what their mental state is and the way that they might have the option to impact it,” Maes says.

Toward that end, Horowitz worked with a group of individual MIT Media Lab understudies in fostering a gadget called Dormio that could be utilized for designated dream brooding. Changes in muscle tone, heart rate, and skin conductance are three physiological sleep markers that are measured by the glove and sent to an app for a smartphone or laptop.

As somebody wearing the glove enters the N1 express, the application prompts them to dream about a particular point. When the wearer enters the next stage of sleep after a few minutes, the app wakes them up, asks them to describe their dream, and records their response.

According to Esfahany, who is majoring in computation and cognition, a program offered jointly by MIT’s departments of Brain and Cognitive Science and of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, “Before that device, there were no causal studies where people could guide dreams toward certain topics and then look at post-sleep behavior.”

In a 2020 paper, the researchers first demonstrated that they could utilize the Dormio device for targeted dream incubation. In their new review, they utilized this way to deal with investigate how dreaming, and designated dreaming specifically, impacts imagination.

In a 2020 paper, the researchers first demonstrated that they could utilize the Dormio device for targeted dream incubation. They used this strategy to investigate how creativity is influenced by dreaming, and specifically by targeted dreaming, in their new study.

The researchers divided 49 participants into four groups for this study. One group was given 45 minutes to sleep while the Dormio device asked them to dream of a tree and recorded their dreams. The wearer was again prompted to dream about a tree and encouraged to go back to sleep each time a dream was reported.

A different group of people napped while using the device, but they were only told to watch what they were thinking. Throughout the 45-minute period, two additional groups remained awake: The other was instructed to observe their thoughts, while one of these were given prompts to consider trees.

Subjects were asked to complete three tasks that have previously been shown to correlate with creativity after napping or being awake for 45 minutes. First was a narrating task, where the members were approached to compose an innovative story including “tree.”

Human raters who read the stories and were unaware of which participants were in each group determined that study participants who were instructed to dream about trees produced the most inventive stories. In addition, those who took a break without being prompted to do so displayed greater creativity than those who had remained awake throughout the experiment.

Divergent thinking tasks, two additional measures of creativity, gave the highest scores to those who were instructed to have dreams about trees. In one task, participants were required to think of as many inventive uses for a tree as possible. In the second, individuals were presented with a list of nouns and asked to respond with the first verb that came to mind for each one.

At the point when the specialists broke down each of the three errands, members who snoozed with designated dream brooding performed 43% more imaginatively than members who rested without designated dream hatching, and 78 percent more innovatively than the people who remained alert without brooding.

The scientists likewise found that inside the gathering told to dream about trees, the people who had a bigger number of dreams about trees likewise showed greater imagination in their accounts. These individuals additionally consolidated a large part of the substance of their fantasies in their accounts.

“That proof recommends that it’s not simply being in the N1 rest express that makes individuals more imaginative. According to Esfahany, “people are more creative because they are also utilizing the dreams that are occurring in that sleep state.”

Outfitting the psyche

The analysts likewise found that individuals who rested had the best execution on one more measure connected with inventiveness, known as semantic distance. The difference in meaning between two words or concepts is known as semantic distance. Mother and frog, for instance, would be further apart, while father and mother would be closer together.

The researchers found that people who napped produced word combinations with a much greater semantic distance than those who stayed awake in the verb generation and alternative use tasks. This supports the hypothesis that during rest beginning, the mind unites ideas that it probably won’t interface during waking hours.

“In the event that we guide your reasoning during that period, that amazing chance to look for farther separated ideas is additionally directed,” Esfahany says. ” If we direct you to have a dream about a tree, you’ll develop much broader associations with trees, which you can use to come up with creative responses.

The Dormio device is not required for targeted dream incubation, the researchers emphasize; It can be done with any device that can play and record sound, as well as track sleep. Additionally, they have developed a simpler version of their protocol that is accessible online to anyone who wishes to use it and makes use of a timer rather than tracking sleep states.

“That is actually our objective with a ton of this work: to give individuals more devices to figure out how to bridle their own personalities,” Maes says.

The analysts are presently investigating whether they can grow their fantasy brooding convention to later rest stages, like REM. They are also looking into ways to make the protocol easier to use and use it in other areas, like helping to treat distress caused by nightmares.

Loneliness Rewires the Brain

When Leo Tolstoy, a Russian philosopher, wrote the opening line of Anna Karenina, he might have been right. Blissful families are indistinguishable; each troubled family is miserable in its own specific manner.”

A new report distributed in Mental Science and drove by a researcher now at the USC Dornsife School of Letters, Expressions and Sciences, recommends that with regards to their cerebrums handling data, individuals who are not forlorn are similar, yet every desolate individual cycles the world in their own, peculiar way.

Overflowing examination shows that forlornness is inconvenient to prosperity and is many times joined by self-announced sensations of not being perceived by others. A new report from the US Top health spokesperson’s office alluded to depression as a general wellbeing emergency in response to the developing number of grown-ups experiencing this condition. Indeed, even before the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, around half of U.S. grown-ups revealed encountering quantifiable degrees of depression.

Forlornness is peculiar

While she was a postdoctoral individual at UCLA, Elisa Baek, partner teacher of brain research at USC Dornsife, looked to all the more likely comprehend what adds to such sensations of separation and being misconstrued. Baek and her group utilized a neuroimaging procedure called practical attractive reverberation imaging (fMRI) to look at the cerebrums of 66 first-year understudies while they watched a progression of video cuts. The videos covered a wide range of topics, from melodramatic music videos to party scenes and sporting events, giving researchers a wide range of scenarios to examine.

The UCLA Loneliness Scale, a survey that measures a person’s subjective feelings of loneliness and feelings of social isolation, was given to the participants, whose ages ranged from 18 to 21, prior to being scanned.

In view of the review results, the analysts isolated the members into two gatherings: desolate and “nonlonely” (those not encountering depression). After that, they used fMRI to scan each participant’s brain as they watched the videos.

Contrasting the cerebrum imaging information between the two gatherings, the analysts found that lonelier people displayed more different and eccentric mind handling designs than their non-desolate partners.

This finding is critical in light of the fact that it uncovers that brain comparability, which alludes to how comparable the mind movement examples of various people are, is connected to a common perspective of the world. This common perspective is significant for laying out friendly associations. Individuals who experience the ill effects of depression are not just less like society’s standard of handling the world, yet each desolate individual varies in novel ways, also. The feelings of loneliness and a lack of social connections may be exacerbated by this individuality.

Baek said, “It was amazing for observe that desolate individuals were even less like one another.” The way that they don’t track down shared trait with desolate or nonlonely individuals makes accomplishing social association considerably more challenging for them.

Dejection isn’t tied in with having or not having companions

All in all, does peculiar handling in forlorn people cause dejection, or is it a consequence of depression?

The specialists saw that people with elevated degrees of depression – ; regardless of the number of social connections or friends they had -; were bound to have eccentric cerebrum reactions. This raised the likelihood that being encircled by individuals who see the world uniquely in contrast to oneself might be a gamble factor for depression, regardless of whether one mingles routinely with them.

The study also suggests that a person’s idiosyncratic way of processing the world may be influenced by the degree to which social connections or disconnections change over time.

Looking forward, Baek said she is keen on analyzing individuals who have companions and are socially dynamic yet at the same time feel forlorn. In addition, the researchers are examining how lonely people react to specific situations in different ways. For instance, do desolate individuals show mannerisms while handling unforeseen occasions or questionable social settings in which things can be deciphered in an unexpected way?

What Happens To Your Body When You Walk 10,000 Steps Per Day

Walking 10,000 steps per day has been a benchmark health goal for a while. (Interesting fact: It originated as part of a marketing campaign for an early step counter leading up to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and equates to walking about 5 miles). The average American gets far less than this—logging between 3,000 to 4,000 steps each day—and there’s some evidence that upping your daily strides can have some surprising benefits. Here are some of them:

Is Walking a Good Enough Form of Exercise?

Healthy Weight Loss

While a brisk stroll may not be as vigorous as high-intensity workouts like running or Spinning, it is an effective way to burn calories and support weight loss. According to a 2018 study published in the journal Obesity, walking 10,000 steps a day is associated with weight loss and management. Plus, it’s a low-impact exercise, making it accessible for all fitness levels. And it elevates your heart rate and activates muscles like your quads, glutes, calves and hamstrings, helping to burn calories and strengthen your lower body.

“Walking is an easy way to increase your calorie burn without your body needing time and energy to recover,” says Rachel MacPherson, CPT, an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer with Garage Gym Reviews. “It’s not tiring and won’t cause fatigue on a diet. You can walk a lot during the day without feeling as beat up as you would with higher-intensity cardio. If you add walking to your day, you may find maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight to happen naturally without even noticing.”

Better Mobility

Walking can have a positive impact on your joint health. When you hoof it, your body releases synovial fluid, which acts like engine oil to lubricate your joints and keep them moving smoothly, per a 2019 study published in International Journal of Molecular SciencesAdditionally, a 2021 study found that a regular walking routine helped boost physical performance and reduce knee joint pain in those with arthritis. If you have existing joint pain, engaging in regular low-impact exercise like walking can help relieve pain and prevent joint-related issues in the long run.

“Walking is a natural human movement that improves joint health without the impact of higher-intensity exercises like running, which can aggravate any joint issues you may have,” says MacPherson. “It helps increase circulation and joint fluid, keeping your tissues healthy and moving well.” So while it might be tempting to skip exercise if you have achy joints, walking can truly be beneficial. “When you don’t move enough, your muscles, tendons, and ligaments can become weak or tight in certain areas, especially if you sit a lot,” she adds.

Improved Mood and Brain Function

Engaging in any form of physical activity triggers the release of endorphins—feel-good chemicals that can boost your mood and reduce stress and anxiety. For additional benefits, getting your 10,000 steps outdoors in nature can significantly increase mental health and relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety, according to a 2022 meta-analysis published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine. In addition, 2023 research published in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease Reports suggests that regular walking can improve cognitive function and memory.

“Walking 10,000 steps daily will help you feel more focused, sharp, and happier—leading to fewer feelings of physical tension, providing both mental and physical benefits,” says MacPherson.

Speedier Recovery

Research published in Sports Medicine found that engaging in active recovery, or a cool-down, like leisurely walking after intense exercise or strength training can support recovery and promote blood flow to your muscles, helping to prevent muscle stiffness and allow your body to recover faster.

“Active recovery is a more leisurely workout that includes movement that won’t be strenuous enough to cause any further damage to your muscles and won’t require a lot of effort or nutritional demands to perform,” says MacPherson. “Walking 10,000 steps daily can improve your recovery so you are less likely to have sore muscles, and you will perform better during your next workout. Active recovery helps improve the overall recovery process by stimulating blood flow that brings nutrients to the tissues that need it most.”

The Bottom Line

Walking 10,000 steps daily offers a slew of physical and mental health benefits. For example, it can support healthy weight loss, improve joint health, boost mood and brain function and aid recovery. Also, walking is a low-impact exercise that’s accessible to most people. So, if you’re looking for an enjoyable and effective way to improve your fitness level and overall health, lace up those walking shoes and get your steps in! (Originally appeared: EatingWell.com)

Mary Shaya to Receive AAPI Presidential Humanitarian Award 2023 for Transforming Lives through Exceptional Leadership and Philanthropy

Mary Shaya, President of J & B Medical,  will be honored with the prestigious American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) Presidential Humanitarian Award 2023. This well-deserved recognition celebrates Ms. Shaya’s exceptional contributions to the Health and Wellness of Americans in need, and her relentless dedication to humanitarian and philanthropic initiatives, which have significantly impacted the lives of American veterans and seniors.

The AAPI Presidential Humanitarian Award 2023 recognizes Ms. Mary Shaya’s exceptional leadership and her relentless pursuit of making a difference in the lives of those in need. Her unwavering commitment to improving the Health and Wellness of Americans has set a benchmark for excellence in the industry.

“On behalf of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), it is with great pleasure that I extend my warmest congratulations to you on being selected as the recipient of the AAPI Presidential Humanitarian Award 2023,” said Dr. Ravi Kolli, President of AAPI. “This prestigious award is a testament to your outstanding contributions to the Health and Wellness of Americans in need and your relentless humanitarian and philanthropic initiatives.”

Ms. Shaya’s remarkable achievements will be celebrated at the AAPI Convention 2023, where she will join other esteemed leaders, physicians, and healthcare professionals. The convention provides a platform for sharing knowledge, fostering collaborations, and advancing healthcare practices to benefit individuals across the nation.

Lauding her exceptional leadership, under whom J & B Medical has consistently demonstrated an unwavering commitment to serving the most vulnerable members of the society, particularly veterans and seniors,” Dr. V. Ranga, Chair of AAPI BOT said.  “Your organization’s dedication to providing essential healthcare services and support to those in need has had a profound impact on the lives of countless individuals.:

Dr. Anjana Samadder, President-Elect of AAPI said, “Your commitment to enhancing the quality of life for our elderly population is commendable and inspires others in the healthcare industry. The AAPI Presidential Humanitarian Award 2023 is a recognition of your outstanding contributions and the positive impact you have made on the health and well-being of Americans in need.”

Dr. Joseph Chalil, Strategic Advisor of AAPI echoed similar sentiments. “Your tireless efforts in helping veterans and elderly Americans, through various initiatives, have truly made a difference in their lives. Through your leadership, J & B Medical has gone above and beyond to ensure that our nation’s heroes receive the care and assistance they deserve.”

Under the compassionate leadership of Ms. Mary Shaya, J & B Medical has demonstrated exceptional commitment to supporting veterans and elderly individuals in need. Through innovative programs and unwavering dedication, Ms. Shaya has spearheaded initiatives that have positively transformed the lives of those facing various health challenges.

“Your dedication and compassion have not only improved the health outcomes of veterans but also provided them with a renewed sense of hope and well-being. Furthermore, your philanthropic endeavors have touched the lives of American seniors, empowering them to lead healthier and more fulfilling lives. Your leadership, compassion, and unwavering dedication exemplify the values that AAPI stands for, and we are honored to celebrate your achievements.”

Ms. Shaya’s tireless efforts to improve the lives of American veterans have provided them with essential healthcare services and unwavering support. Her initiatives have gone above and beyond to ensure that these esteemed individuals, who have dedicated their lives to serving their country, receive the care and assistance they deserve. Through her visionary leadership, Ms. Shaya has become a beacon of hope, improving countless veterans’ health outcomes and overall well-being.

Ms. Shaya’s philanthropic endeavors have made a profound impact on the lives of American seniors. Her dedication to enhancing the quality of life for elderly individuals has empowered them to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. Through her unwavering commitment to their well-being, Ms. Shaya has inspired others in the healthcare industry to prioritize the unique needs of seniors, fostering a culture of care and compassion.

American Association of Physicians of India origin (AAPI) was formed 41 years ago and is now the largest ethnic medical organization in the USA representing more than120,000 medicals professional in the USA and is deeply engaged in medical education in India through its mentorship activities with medical students in India and annual Global Healthcare Summit program bring together medical experts and academicians from the USA and India to interact with medical students and postgraduates in India with educational seminars and workshops at the summit. For more information, please visit: www.aapiusa.org

Stephen Shaya, M.D. to be Honored with the AAPI Presidential Healthcare Leadership Award 2023 for Revolutionizing Healthcare Delivery

Stephen Shaya, M.D., Managing Director of Akkad Holdings and Executive Servant Leader at J & B Medical,  has been chosen to be bestowed with the prestigious American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) Presidential Healthcare Leadership Award 2023. This highly coveted accolade celebrates Dr. Shaya’s outstanding contributions to the future of healthcare delivery and his visionary approach that has propelled innovation and reshaped the healthcare landscape.
Picture : TheUNN

“It is with great pleasure and admiration that I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Stephen Shaya, M.D. on being selected as the recipient of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (“AAPI”) Presidential Healthcare Leadership Award 2023,” said Dr. Ravi Kolli, President of AAPI. “This esteemed accolade recognizes your exceptional contributions to the future of Healthcare Delivery. Your visionary leadership as the Managing Director of Akkad Holdings and Executive Servant Leader at J & B Medical has been instrumental in driving innovation and transforming the healthcare landscape. Your dedication to improving the future of healthcare delivery is an inspiration to all, and we are honored to recognize your remarkable achievements.”

Dr. Shaya’s achievements will be celebrated during the upcoming AAPI Convention in Philadelphia on July 8th, 20203, where he will join other esteemed leaders, physicians, and healthcare professionals worldwide. The convention will provide a platform for sharing knowledge, fostering collaborations, and advancing healthcare practices to benefit patients globally.

The AAPI Presidential Healthcare Leadership Award 2023 is a well-deserved recognition of Dr. Shaya’s exceptional contributions to the future of healthcare delivery. His visionary approach and commitment to innovation have propelled the industry forward and inspired countless healthcare professionals to embrace new possibilities. The prestigious award recognizes Dr. Shaya’s exceptional contributions to the future of healthcare and visionary leadership.

In his congratulatory note, Dr. V. Ranga, Chair of AAPI BOT said, “Your relentless pursuit of excellence and dedication to improving healthcare delivery has left an indelible impact on the industry. Through your visionary approach, you have consistently championed advancements in healthcare technology, research, and patient care.”

Dr. Anajana Samadder, President-Elect of AAPI said, “Your leadership and strategic insights have not only brought about positive change within your organization but have also inspired countless healthcare professionals to embrace innovation and embrace new possibilities. As we celebrate Dr. Shaya’s remarkable achievement, we eagerly anticipate witnessing the continued impact of his visionary leadership on the future of healthcare delivery.”  

Dr. Shaya’s relentless pursuit of excellence and unwavering dedication to improving healthcare delivery has impacted the healthcare industry immensely. Through his visionary leadership, he has spearheaded revolutionary initiatives that have transformed healthcare delivery, enhancing patient experiences and outcomes.

Picture : TheUNN

Acknowledging Dr. Shaya’s creative and innovative ways of providing healthcare delivery, Dr. Jospeh Chalil, Strategic Advisor of AAPI said, “Your efforts have not only revolutionized the way healthcare is delivered but have also enhanced the overall patient experience and outcomes. Your commitment to incorporating cutting-edge technologies and fostering collaborations within the industry has set new benchmarks for excellence.:

As Executive Servant Leader of J & B Medical, Dr. Shaya has consistently championed advancements in healthcare technology, research, and patient care. His forward-thinking strategies have reshaped the industry, creating a paradigm shift in how healthcare services are accessed and delivered. By incorporating cutting-edge technologies and fostering collaborations within the field, Dr. Shaya has set new benchmarks for excellence and pushed the boundaries of possibility.

As Managing Director of Akkad Holdings, his family office, his dedication and strategic investments in patient-centered care have revolutionized the healthcare experience. By placing patients at the heart of decision-making, Dr. Shaya has empowered individuals to actively participate in their healthcare journey, fostering a culture of shared responsibility and patient empowerment. His compassionate leadership has improved health outcomes and instilled a renewed sense of hope and well-being among patients.

Dr. Achitya Moulic, Chair of the AAPI CEO Forum at the AAPI Convention 2023, where Dr. Shaya will be a keynote speaker, said, “Your tireless advocacy for patient-centered care has been pivotal in shifting the focus towards holistic and personalized healthcare. By prioritizing patient needs and preferences, you have empowered individuals to actively participate in their own healthcare journey, fostering a culture of shared decision-making and patient empowerment.”

The AAPI Presidential Healthcare Leadership Award 2023 is a well-deserved recognition of Dr. Shaya’s exceptional contributions to the future of healthcare delivery. His visionary approach and commitment to innovation have propelled the industry forward and inspired countless healthcare professionals to embrace new possibilities.

“Dr. Shaya’s accomplishments are a testament to his unwavering commitment to improving healthcare and transforming lives. His visionary leadership and remarkable contributions have set new standards for excellence and inspired the entire healthcare community. As we celebrate Dr. Stephen Shaya’s remarkable achievements, we eagerly anticipate witnessing the continued impact of his visionary leadership on the future of healthcare delivery,” Dr. Kolli added. 

American Association of Physicians of India origin (“AAPI”) was formed 41 years ago and is now the largest ethnic medical organization in the USA representing more than 120,000 medicals professional in the USA and is deeply engaged in medical education in India through its mentorship activities with medical students in India and annual Global Healthcare Summit program bring together medical experts and academicians from the USA and India to interact with medical students and postgraduates in India with educational seminars and workshops at the summit. For more information, please visit: www.aapiusa.org

Addressing Diabetes in Asian Americans

In 2021, Shaheen Aamir found herself too exhausted to engage in active play with her children. She recalls telling them, “‘You guys can play, Mom wants to sit.'” Aamir admits to never exercising and being concerned about her weight at the time.

Fast forward three years, and now 32-year-old Aamir begins each day with yoga or dancing. This transformation occurred after she enrolled in a four-month course focused on preventing Type 2 diabetes. “It changed my life, health- and fitness-wise,” says Aamir, adding that she feels “light and energetic” and has experienced a boost in self-esteem.

Aamir, an immigrant from Pakistan with a family history of diabetes, was among nearly 550 individuals who participated in the South Asian Healthy Lifestyle Intervention Program (SAHELI). The study aimed to address and prevent diabetes and heart disease among South Asians residing in the Chicago area.

Compared to whites, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have higher diabetes rates and are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes at younger ages and lower body weights. South Asians, Filipinos, and Pacific Islanders face particularly high risks among Asian subgroups.

A team of Asian American researchers is working to uncover the reasons behind these disparities and develop programs like SAHELI to reduce diabetes rates. They are investigating root causes and improved solutions while advocating for their communities to adopt healthier habits. Here are some key findings that can make a difference.

Identifying the Dangers of ‘Skinny Fat’

In the mid-1990s, when epidemiologist Maria Rosario Araneta joined UC San Diego’s faculty, she noticed a pattern: numerous patients at a nearby Veterans Administration hospital suffering from kidney damage due to diabetes were slim Filipino men. “They weren’t obese, they weren’t overweight,” Araneta says, emphasizing that “they had access to care” and were required to exercise as part of their Navy service.

This trend resonated with Araneta, a Filipina, because her father and grandmother both developed diabetes while appearing slim and healthy. “I thought – I’m definitely at risk. My community’s at risk,” she remembers.

Although there is a well-established connection between being overweight or obese and the risk of diabetes, Asians in America are 40% more likely to be diagnosed with the disease than whites, despite having lower average BMIs.

Dr. Alka Kanaya, a diabetes researcher and professor of medicine at UC San Francisco, suggests that one explanation could be that Asian bodies tend to store fat “in all the wrong places.” Instead of accumulating fat under the skin around the hips or thighs, Asian Americans often deposit it “in the liver, around the abdominal organs, in the muscle, around the heart.”

This can result in a condition known as “skinny fat,” where an individual may appear thin externally but possess a significant amount of visceral fat deep within the belly and surrounding the organs. Araneta explains that “visceral fat is not just a place where we store excess calories,” but rather, this hidden fat may contribute to Type 2 diabetes risk by promoting inflammation and insulin resistance.

Researchers are currently trying to determine how to reduce visceral fat, suspecting that building muscle might help, but they have yet to gather sufficient data to confirm this theory.

Adapting Screening Guidelines for Asian Americans

There is limited U.S. research funding available for studying diabetes in Asian populations, leading to issues with screening and underdiagnosis due to the historical lack of data. However, Dr. George King, founder and director of the Asian American Diabetes Initiative at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, emphasizes that “it’s not that we have to wait for that for the research [to act]. There’s plenty we can do ourselves.”

King, Araneta, Kanaya, and other Asian American and Pacific Islander healthcare professionals successfully advocated for changes to screening guidelines. This was based on research indicating that many Asians develop diabetes at lower weights. In 2015, the American Diabetes Association began recommending that Asian Americans be screened for diabetes at a body mass index (BMI) of 23, instead of the BMI of 25 recommended for the general population.

The “Screen at 23” campaign helped spread this message, as Asian Pacific Islander physicians and others pushed for increased awareness and policy changes. Several states with high Asian populations have adopted these changes. The Asian American Diabetes Initiative provides a calculator that allows Asian Americans to check their BMI and determine if it falls within the at-risk or healthy range.

Double Screening for At-Risk Individuals

Araneta highlights issues with diagnostic tests, such as the A1C test, which measures blood sugar levels without fasting. An A1C level of 6.5% or higher indicates diabetes based on current medical guidelines, primarily derived from research on people of European descent. However, Araneta’s research shows that many Asians may have diabetes at lower A1C levels. In a study, the A1C test missed half of the Native Hawaiians diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes using the “gold standard” test and two-thirds of Japanese Americans.

This means that many Asians with diabetes might go undiagnosed for years until complications arise. To address this issue, Araneta and other researchers recommend that Asians with A1C levels in the “prediabetes” range (5.7% to 6.4%) undergo further testing for a more accurate diagnosis and proper interventions.

Understanding Subgroup Differences

Araneta stresses the importance of researching differences in diabetes risk among the diverse Asian American and Pacific Islander population, as some groups have much higher rates overall – South Asians, Filipinos, and Pacific Islanders. For example, while Chinese Americans generally develop diabetes at age 70 or older, South Asians tend to develop low insulin production at a younger age, leading to a subtype of Type 2 diabetes often associated with heart disease but not kidney problems, according to Kanaya.

Behavioural Changes for Prevention

While researchers continue seeking answers, doctors aim to reduce people’s risk now. The SAHELI diabetes prevention course that Shaheen Aamir participated in focuses on improving diet, exercise, and stress levels, proving even more effective than commonly prescribed drugs for warding off diabetes. The program is specifically adapted for South Asian foods and culture, addressing the stress of being an ethnic minority and the challenges faced when immigrating to a new environment.

Aamir credits the program with helping her change her family’s diet and lifestyle, resulting in weight management and increased energy to play with her children. Advocacy and prevention programs are making a difference, but the number of Asians and Pacific Islanders with diabetes continues to rise. Long-term lifestyle changes are needed to address the issue, and researchers are committed to this work for years to come.

50 New Medical Colleges Approved In India, Boosting MBBS Seats to Over 1.07 Lakh Nationwide

The National Medical Commission (NMC) has approved 50 new medical colleges, resulting in the addition of 8,195 MBBS seats. The total count of MBBS seats in India now exceeds 1,07,658. However, concerns have been raised regarding the de-recognition of medical colleges due to non-compliance. According to official sources, 20 out of the 50 colleges who faced de-recognition threats have lodged appeals with the NMC. In addition, 102 medical colleges have received show cause notices for non-compliance, and six colleges have lodged an appeal with the health ministry. Some of these colleges are located in states including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, and others. “The medical seats in these colleges are reduced from that total count pending inquiry,” the sources added.

The 50 newly approved medical colleges are located in various states including Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Nagaland, Assam, Haryana, Gujarat, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Madhya Pradesh. The government considers this a significant increase in the number of medical colleges in the country since 2014.

The addition of new medical colleges will help in addressing the shortage of medical professionals in India. According to a report by the World Health Organization, India is short of 6,00,000 doctors and an equal number of nurses. With the approval of these new colleges, the Indian health system can take a progressive step towards addressing this shortfall. “This is an important achievement for the country, which has for long been struggling with a shortage of staff in the healthcare sector,” said a spokesperson.

The approval of 50 new medical colleges will significantly increase the number of MBBS seats available in the country. However, compliance issues remain a concern, and the authorities are taking action to ensure that medical colleges adhere to the required standards.

Yoga’s Benefits Are Precious, Says UN Secretary General

United Nations Secretary General Antnio Guterres on the eve of International Day of Yoga said that benefits of this ancient practice (Yoga) are precious in today’s dangerous and divided world.

“In a dangerous and divided world, the benefits of this ancient practice (Yoga) are particularly precious. Yoga offers a heaven of calm,” he said in a message on Tuesday, on the eve of the International Day of Yoga, which is observed on June 21 every year.

He further added that, “On this International Day of Yoga, let us embrace the spirit of unity, and resolve to build a better, more harmonious world for people, planet and ourselves.”

Prime minister Narendra Modi is set to lead a yoga session at UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday during the course of his ongoing US visit.

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the International Day of Yoga, observed on 21 June:

The International Day of Yoga celebrates the restorative healing and inner peace provided by this ancient practice.

This year’s theme — Yoga for Humanity — reminds us how yoga is truly universal.

With roots in India, yoga is now practiced worldwide, giving people of all faiths and walks of life the tools and practices they need to enhance and balance their physical, spiritual and mental wellbeing.

For hundreds of millions of people worldwide, yoga has also been an essential lifeline during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing an important means of coping with the challenges of social isolation and stress.

And in a world beset by disaster and division, yoga’s values of mindfulness, balance, moderation and discipline are essential as we seek out a new relationship with one another and with our planet.

On this important day, let us be inspired by this timeless practice and its values.

New England’s 9th Annual Health, Fitness & Wellness Expo Planned

INDIA New England News has announced that the 9th annual free Health, Fitness & Wellness Expo, New England’s premier health, fitness and wellness exhibition, will take place on August 13, 2023 at the Burlington Marriott Hotel in Burlington, MA.

The event will run from 10AM to 4PM, and feature exhibitors and speakers covering all aspects of health and wellness.

“We are excited to present our 9th annual in-person, immersive experience for all; and it is free for everyone to be healthy, fit and well,” said Upendra Mishra, publisher of INDIA New England News and the producer of the event.

For the last eight years, the Health, Fitness and Wellness Expo has organized expos featuring top panelists in their fields, including cardiology, internal medicine and medical entrepreneurship.

The expo is produced by The Mishra Group, in collaboration with INDIA New England News, Boston Life Sciences Times and IndUS Business Journal.

The expo was founded in 2013 by Mr. Mishra and Dr. Manju Sheth, MD, President of INE Multimedia.

The expo brings together the region’s top health and wellness providers, top speakers and fun workshops to promote life-long health, fitness and wellness in the Indian and South Asian community of New England. From free medical screenings to knowledgeable speakers to intensive yoga workshops, they bring the best options for a lifetime of health for the New England community.

The expo is free to attend for all registered participants. To register, please visit the link here on Eventbrite, or visit healthfitnesswellnessexpo.com.

INDIA New England News is New England’s oldest and largest print and online publication covering the Indian and South Asian community.

Updated daily, they cover the latest news in Bollywood, business, fashion, health, lifestyle, community events that touch the Indian and South Asian community.

Produced by the Mishra Group in collaboration with INDIA New England News, Boston Life Sciences Times and IndUS Business Journal, the Health, Fitness and Wellness Expo has organized expos featuring top panelists in their fields, including cardiology, internal medicine and medical entrepreneurship.

The expo brings together the region’s top health and wellness providers, top speakers and fun workshops to promote life-long health, fitness and wellness in the Indian and South Asian community of New England. From free medical screenings to knowledgeable speakers to intensive yoga workshops, they bring the best options for a lifetime of health for the New England community

US FDA Discovers Regulatory Failures in Indian Pharmaceutical Factories

The United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) has recently uncovered a series of regulatory failures in Indian pharmaceutical factories, raising concerns about the quality of drugs manufactured in the country. India is one of the largest producers of generic drugs, supplying approximately 40% of generic medicines consumed in the United States. Consequently, any lapses in manufacturing standards could have far-reaching implications for both the Indian pharmaceutical industry and patients relying on these medications.

The US FDA’s inspection reports reveal several instances of inadequate quality control measures, lack of data integrity, and improper sanitation practices in various Indian pharmaceutical plants. These issues have led to multiple warnings and import alerts from the regulatory body, which could potentially damage the reputation and export prospects of Indian drug manufacturers.

One such case involved Lupin Ltd., India’s third-largest drugmaker by sales, which received a warning letter from the FDA in November 2017. The warning cited significant violations of current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) regulations at two of the company’s facilities. Issues raised included insufficient oversight of suppliers, poor laboratory controls, and a lack of proper documentation.

Similarly, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, another major Indian pharmaceutical firm, faced an FDA warning in 2015 for CGMP violations at three of its manufacturing plants. The regulatory agency observed inadequate quality control systems, incomplete investigations into product failures, and a lack of data integrity in the company’s records.

These findings have prompted the Indian government to take action to improve the compliance of domestic pharmaceutical companies with international standards. The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), India’s national regulatory body for pharmaceuticals and medical devices, has initiated efforts to strengthen its inspection processes and enhance collaboration with the US FDA.

To address the issue of data integrity, CDSCO is working on guidelines that will clarify expectations for Indian pharmaceutical companies regarding data management and record-keeping. The organization is also focusing on capacity-building initiatives, such as training programs for drug inspectors and regulatory staff to improve their understanding of CGMP requirements.

The Indian pharmaceutical industry has acknowledged the need to enhance its manufacturing standards and maintain transparency in its operations. Industry representatives have expressed their commitment to working closely with regulators to address these concerns and ensure the safety and efficacy of their products.

US FDA’s findings have highlighted significant shortcomings in the quality control measures employed by some Indian pharmaceutical factories. These revelations underscore the importance of stringent regulatory oversight and adherence to international manufacturing standards to safeguard public health. As the Indian pharmaceutical industry continues to expand its global presence, it must prioritize compliance with CGMP regulations and work collaboratively with regulatory bodies to uphold the highest standards of drug quality and safety.

Bill Introduced In US To Hire Foreign Health Workers On H-1B Visa

Two US Congresswomen have introduced a bill to make it easier for the Department of Veteran Affairs to hire foreign employees on H1-B visas when they cannot find a suitable applicant in the country.

Introduced by Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Delia Ramirez on Thursday, the Expanding Health Care Providers for Veterans Act, will help address the healthcare provider shortage in the US by allowing immigrant health workers, who are H1-B visa holders, to offer the services that the veterans need.

The bill designates the Department of Veterans Affairs and State Veterans Homes as cap exempt institutions for the purposes of the H1-B visa program.

“We have a duty to uphold our commitment to our veterans, who are being affected by the health worker shortage in our nation. We can address this shortage with the immigrants in our communities who are ready and want to work, but face so many hurdles to do so,” said Congresswoman Ramirez, member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

The Expanding Health Care Providers for Veterans Act was developed after the Detroit VA Medical Center nearly had to close their clinic — which provides life-saving care to more than 90 local veterans — earlier this year due to hiring difficulties imposed by the H1-B visa cap.

Representative Tlaib’s intervention was able to prevent the clinic’s closure, and this bill is designed to ensure such a situation does not arise again in the future, a statement released by the Congresswoman’s office said.

“Our veterans deserve high-quality health care, and our district knows firsthand the importance of providing access to care, especially mental health services for veterans who need it most,” said Congresswoman Tlaib.

“I am proud to introduce this legislation to expand healthcare providers for our veterans by welcoming healthcare professionals who are immigrants to care for them, and I will continue to ensure that our veterans are not forgotten when they return home,” she said.

This legislation is endorsed by The Veterans For Peace Save Our VA National Project and The American Immigration Lawyers Association. (IANS)

Nurses Week Celebrations In New York

As we all know, May is National Nurses month and May 6 to 12 is National Nurses Week. On May 25, Dr Renee Mehrra of Reenbow Media and Indian American Forum organized a webinar in honor of National Nurses Week celebrations. Mrs. Indu Jaiswal, RDN and Chair of IAF together with Dr Urmilesh Arya Co-Chair of the event presented the program via ZOOM. Dr Renee Mehrra in her welcome remarks spoke about the importance of Health Care workers and to recognize for their services. Co Host of the evening Dr Bhavani Srinivasan spoke about the importance of Nurses in providing Quality care to patients all over the world.

Indu Jaiswal introduced Honorable Deputy Supervisor from Town of Hempstead MS Dorothy Goosby, who congratulated all Honourees and thanked Nurses and health care employees for their valuable services. Also present was Nassau County Legislature Rosemarie Walker, who thanked the nurses and congratulated all Honourees.

Tara Shajan, RN , NAINA Treasurer and Director of Nursing from Lincoln Hospital spoke about the history of Nursing profession, how Nurses are advancing in the Medical Field and paid tributes to Florence Nightingale, Lady with the Lamp.

Ms Anuradha Khanna started the program with Ganesh Vandana. Five nurses were recognized, and presented with Citations from Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and Nassau County Legislature Rosemarie Walker

Suda Sharma: Born in Nairobi, studied in London and worked in USA as Registered Nurse. Along with Nursing, she is the founder of Three Community projects that started 19 years ago. She started the Annual Food Drive for Long Island Soup Kitchens and Homeless Shelters., Penny project for Foster Children, and Fundraiser for Safe Home. Suda is very active in all community activities.

Jaya Bahadkar studied Nursing in Bombay and has worked in Nursing in the USA for more than 25 years. She is also a Pillar of Indian American Community, very active in IALI, IAF, India Home and several other organizations’ is was recognized by Assembly woman Michele Solages Office Woman of Distinction Award in 2019.

Tara Shajan was born in Pondicherry, India graduated in Nursing. She has her private pilot license. In 2004 migrated to USA and worked as RN, progressing into leadership experience in Health care services, She is currently Treasurer for NAINA, Director of Nursing in Lincoln Hospital Tara is also very active in community services in USA and has received several awards.

Suja Madhu Studied Nursing in India and is a nurse for more than 40 years. Migrated in the USA in 1987 and started working as an assistant nurse manager in 1992 in Northwell. In 2008 transferred to Zucker Hillside Hospital and continues to work there still. She has been recognized as the Nurse of the Year award 2023for Northwell Health…

Grace Alexander was commissioned from Secunderabad as Lieutenant and midwifery from INHS ASVINI. After few years of work in Medical surgical floors, she worked at University Hospital in Saudi Arabia for 15 years and migrated to US in 2006. She has 20 years of experience as a med-surgical nurse and 15 years in OR. She is a Life member of NAINA and AORN. Currently she serves as Awards and scholarship chair in INANY 2021-2022 and member of scholarship committee.

Several distinguished members joined and praised the efforts of Nurses and their profession. Dr Rajiv Jauhar, Chief of Cardiology at North shore University hospital also commented on the importance of Nursing staff and their contributions in patient care in the Hospitals.

Dr Jagdish Gupta, a past President of the biggest County Medical Society in the State of New York and serving Brooklyn Community as a Physician for 50 years, said, “I truly believe that Nurses are an integral part of our healthcare team, and they play the most significant role in the care of our patients while in the hospital during the most critical period. Physicians, no doubt as leader of the team, are very important but, with time constraints, are only able to spend limited time. Servicing and caring are left to nurses, so much so, that it has become part of the fabric of their DNA to serve since Florence Nightingale time. Their compassion, dedication and expertise make a remarkable difference in the lives of countless patients every day. As a community leader and President of AIA(NY) Chapter, I am grateful for their unwavering commitment to providing exceptional care and making a positive impact on the World. During this “National Nurses Appreciation week. We honor and celebrate you as you are true heroes in every sense, today and every day.”

Gobind Munjal, National President of The Association of Indians in America (AIA) said, “May 6 is National Nurses Day, an annual opportunity to appreciate the nurses in our lives and remind ourselves of the innumerable ways they contribute to our health and the well-being of those we love. People have celebrated nurses for decades, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that the United States honored these integral healthcare professionals with their own day of recognition. National Nurses Day is the first day of National Nurses Week, which takes place from May 6-12 each year and concludes on International Nurses Day, the birthday of Florence Nightingale.”

The 2023 Nurses Week theme “Nurses Make a Difference: Anytime, anywhere – Always”

Nurses work every day to ensure patients get the care they need — and the comfort and compassion they deserve. The complex nature of nursing continues to be physically and emotionally draining, yet nurses carry on providing quality patient care and moving the profession forward, which reinforces the importance of nurse appreciation.

“Nurses need to be emotionally, psychologically, and morally refueled regularly to enable them to resist burnout and its many negative impacts such as moral distress,” said Bonnie Barnes, FAAN, Co-Founder of the DAISY Foundation, in a Nurse.com blog. One way to do this is through expressions of gratitude.“Nurses are refueled when they know they have made a difference in the life of a patient or family member, especially when they were unaware of the difference they made,” said Barnes.

This is why nurse appreciation events are so important. Nurses’ contributions are celebrated and recognized each year — as they should be — through special nurse appreciation days, weeks, and months set aside to honor nurses and their specialties.

Thanks to the Honorees and all nurses. We do appreciate the work that they do. Happy Nurses week to all the nurses present here. The webinar was well attended and some of the Community members present were Mrs. Neelam Modi, MS Nalini DAS RD, Sandy Bhatia, Dr Usha Bansal, Mr Amba Sharma, Dr Sollymol Kuruvilla RN PHD, Dr Shyla Roshin RN DNP,Mr Paul Panakal RN MSN, Dr Esther Devadas RN DNP the webinar was successful with the cooperation of Mrs. Flora Parekh Mrs. Beena Kothari, Anju Sharma, Sanju Sharma, Dr Renee Mehrra, Dr Bhavani Srinivasan and Dr Urmilesh Arya. For further details check Website www.indianamericanforum.org.

India’s Efforts in Curbing Smokeless Tobacco Use Lauded

According to the latest Lancet Global Health Research Review on the Global Impact of Tobacco Control Policies on Smokeless Tobacco Use, India’s efforts to reduce smokeless tobacco consumption have been lauded as “exemplary.” The review highlights India’s comprehensive approach, which aligns with the WHO FCTC and encompasses various measures such as taxation, regulation, labeling, education campaigns, cessation services, and restrictions on sale to minors. The review specifically mentions the ban on smokeless tobacco products like gutkha, along with mandatory depiction of harmful ingredients and pictorial health warnings on packaging. These efforts are commended as exemplary by the review.

The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2 conducted in 2016-17 revealed that the overall prevalence of tobacco users in India was 28.6%, with smokeless tobacco users comprising 21.38% of the population. These numbers indicate a decrease compared to the earlier GATS 1 survey, which reported 34.6% overall tobacco users and 25.9% smokeless tobacco users.

Additionally, India has implemented various policies to discourage tobacco consumption and protect public health. These include bans on advertisements, the prohibition of plastic sachets for packaging, and restrictions on tobacco use in public places. Notably, some states in India, such as Maharashtra, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Telangana, Nagaland, and Assam, have issued orders to ban smokeless tobacco products and spitting in public places, particularly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, experts have highlighted the need for more stringent implementation of tobacco-related bans in India, as several states have been lax in enforcing them.

Globally, smokeless tobacco use affects approximately 300 million people, leading to significant contributions to tobacco-related diseases and deaths. Many countries have adopted policies beyond the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to address smokeless tobacco control, which has been effective in reducing smoking prevalence.

The use of smokeless tobacco products, including pan masala, gutkha, and khaini, is a significant public health concern in India and the Southeast Asian region. Earlier estimates indicated that nearly 80% of smokeless tobacco users reside in Southeast Asia, with around 60% in India.

On World Tobacco Day, Poonam Khetrapal Singh, the WHO regional director for South-East Asia, emphasized the success stories from countries like Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka, where tobacco-growing farmers have transitioned to economically viable alternative crops. Singh called upon all partners to support governments in tobacco-growing countries to develop and implement suitable policies and strategies for farmers to shift to growing food crops, leading to improved livelihoods, national economies, and food security.

The Lancet review, which marks the first systematic assessment of the global impact of tobacco control policies on smokeless tobacco use, involved a meticulous examination of 11 electronic databases and literature from January 1, 2005, to September 20, 2021. The findings revealed that 57 countries have implemented policies specifically targeting smokeless tobacco, with 17 of them going beyond the scope of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

The review highlights that policy initiatives based on the WHO FCTC have led to reductions in smokeless tobacco prevalence. For instance, taxation measures have resulted in reductions ranging from 4.4% to 30.3%, while multifaceted policies have yielded reductions ranging from 22.2% to 70.9%. The implementation of Article 11 (Pictorial health warnings) and Article 13 (Tobacco advertisement, promotion, and sponsorship ban) of the WHO FCTC has been widespread and impactful.

Experts have emphasized the need to scale up tobacco-related research in light of these findings. Ravi Mehrotra, co-author and member of the ICMR’s India Cancer Research Consortium, stressed the significance of increasing taxation and improving the implementation of existing laws. He stated, “Given that 300 million people use it worldwide, emphasis on increasing taxation and better implementation of the existing laws is of paramount importance. While policies on smokeless tobacco prevention and control exist in various countries, there is a lack of comprehensive research and assessment of their impacts, with limited publication in prominent tobacco reports or scientific literature.”

The review also emphasizes the importance of continuously updating guidelines and frameworks to incorporate new evidence on effective smokeless tobacco control measures. This reflects the need to stay abreast of emerging research and adapt strategies accordingly to enhance smokeless tobacco control efforts.

Parenting In The Era Of Ubiquitous Screens And Social Media

An increasing number of states are taking action against Big Tech, the internet, and social media platforms. Montana recently became the first state to entirely ban TikTok, though the enforceability of this new law remains questionable. Other states, such as Arkansas and Utah, have introduced legislation to tighten regulations on social media platforms.

There appear to be three primary objectives behind these legal actions: preventing companies from collecting data on users and their children, safeguarding children online, and striking a balance between users’ rights and responsibilities when posting content online. For instance, should a platform be held accountable if it hosts content that results in harm to someone? As of now, the US Supreme Court has ruled “no.”

As a father of three teenage girls, I find the conversations surrounding smartphones and social media deeply personal. Like many parents, I initially viewed devices as mere entertainment for my children and a means of communication in emergencies. However, my perspective changed after reading Jean Twenge’s book, “iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy – and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood – and What That Means for the Rest of Us.”

In her book, Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University, argues that Generation Z (or iGen) is experiencing a fundamentally different upbringing than previous generations. She informed me that some of the most significant behavioral changes in human history coincided with the advent of smartphones. According to Twenge, today’s 12th-graders resemble eighth-graders from earlier generations, delaying participation in activities associated with independence and adulthood. They are less likely to socialize, drive, attend prom, or consume alcohol compared to their Gen X counterparts, instead spending more time scrolling through social media feeds. Though they may be physically safer, the long-term impact on their mental and brain health remains uncertain.

Twenge shared with me that she “saw just a very, very sudden change, especially in mental health but also in optimism and expectations … between millennials and iGen or Gen Z.” Her words resonated with me but also alarmed me. As a neurosurgeon, I often rely on evidence to address concerns, but when it comes to new technologies, there is a scarcity of data available. We frequently don’t even know what questions to ask, let alone have answers for them.

Consequently, my wife, Rebecca, and I found ourselves in a challenging and uneasy position: determining the appropriate age, duration, and type of screen time for our three iGen daughters based on limited information. I know I’m not alone in this struggle, as I often hear similar concerns from other parents, viewers, readers, and listeners. This is why my podcast, “Chasing Life,” dedicated an entire season to discussing this topic.

Examining the Data

Obtaining consistent statistics is challenging, but a 2023 survey conducted by reviews.org revealed that approximately 89% of American adults check their phones within 10 minutes of waking up. Astoundingly, the same survey indicated that American adults look at their phones an average of 144 times per day, or once every seven waking minutes!

The numbers for children are even more concerning. A 2022 Pew survey of individuals under 18 years old showed that 46% of American teens reported being online “almost constantly.” Additionally, 35% claimed to be “almost constantly” using one of the top five social media apps: YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook.

These statistics may not be surprising, considering the endless content available for consumption. In April 2022, data company Domo reported that over 500 hours of video were uploaded to YouTube every minute on average. Meanwhile, an estimated 1.3 billion photos are shared on Instagram daily, according to a photo industry estimate. Furthermore, Snap Inc. stated that over 4 billion Snaps were sent each day as of 2020.

My daughters, aged 17, 16, and 14, are digital natives who have never experienced life without devices. I often think about how this is not the world they chose, but rather the one we handed to them. My youngest daughter once expressed her wish to be a millennial because that generation had phones without smartphones or social media, so they weren’t constantly tethered to their devices. She says that many teenagers today feel compelled to use social media, fearing they will be left behind otherwise.

Lessons Learned

It’s undeniable that screens and technology play a crucial role in modern life, but managing our interactions with them can be challenging. While working on this season of the podcast, I gained valuable insights from experts in the field.

To summarize my findings, I would highlight three main points:

  1. Initiate a meaningful conversation with your child, free from distractions and judgment. By discussing their screen usage, social media preferences, and feelings about online interactions, you may gain surprising insights and foster a more open dialogue. Dr. Michael Rich, co-director of the Clinic for Interactive Media and Internet Disorders at Boston Children’s Hospital, emphasizes the importance of understanding the pain points of young patients, saying, “I want to look more at what their life is from the time they wake up to the time they go to sleep.”
  2. Avoid assuming the worst. While it’s likely that your child spends more time on screens than you’d prefer, not every individual will develop a problem. Dr. Keneisha Sinclair-McBride, a clinical psychologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and an assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, reminds us that social media isn’t the primary concern for most teens. She explains that the challenges faced by today’s youth are similar to those of previous generations, adding, “It’s not like every kid is going to get mental health treatment because social media is ruining their life. That is definitely not the case at all.”
  3. Keep in mind the words of author Catherine Price: “Life is what we pay attention to.” This empowering concept reminds us that we have control over our experiences. When using our devices, Price suggests asking ourselves three questions: What for? Why now? What else? She explains, “The point is just to make sure that when we’re using our devices or whatever apps are on our devices, it’s the result of an intentional choice instead of just our minds and our brains being hijacked.”

By following these guidelines and making conscious choices, we can navigate the digital landscape more effectively and maintain a healthy balance in our lives.

Navigating the world of screens While exploring the topic of problematic media use during this podcast season, I’ve considered various metaphors to describe it. Is it an addiction like substances or gambling? Are devices designed to keep us hooked? While there are similarities, one key difference is that it’s not feasible to completely avoid technology.

A more fitting analogy might be food: we need both, but we must be mindful of our consumption. Another comparison could be a car or powerful tool: useful and impressive, but requiring control and proper handling. We should view these small supercomputers as tools, not toys for young children.

Did Rebecca and I flawlessly navigate this with our girls? No, but we didn’t have a precedent. “It didn’t exist when we were young, so we are learning how to manage it ourselves,” Rebecca stated. We’re adapting to the learning curve alongside our children.

The kids will be alright Technology is neither good nor bad; it just is. Gen Z acknowledges this and wants improvements. Advocates like Emma Lembke demand change, and lawmakers and tech executives are starting to listen. Lembke told Congress, “Make no mistake, unregulated social media is a weapon of mass destruction that continues to jeopardize the safety, privacy, and well-being of all American youth. It’s time to act.”

Lembke envisions a future where social media is built differently, with more transparent algorithms, an end to autoplay, and image filters that don’t perpetuate beauty standards. She and her peers are concerned for future generations.

We must learn to make better decisions about our digital diets. Dr. Keneisha Sinclair-McBride reminds us that our time and attention are valuable resources, and we should allocate them wisely.

Starting the screentime conversation Unsure how to discuss internet and social media use with your kids? Here are some conversation prompts:

  • Describe your typical phone usage in a day.
  • How much time do you spend on your phone daily? Too much, too little, or just right?
  • What are your favorite apps, games, or platforms, and why?
  • Do you have a healthy relationship with technology and social media? What does that look like?
  • Do you have fair screentime boundaries? Are they easy to stick to? Would you change the rules?
  • Has technology ever interfered with an activity you wanted to do?
  • Do you feel pressure from friends or school to be on your phone?
  • Do you know people who misuse technology?
  • What concerns you about technology or social media?
  • Have you tried reducing screentime? Why, and did it work?
  • Are you hopeful for your future? Why or why not?

World-Renowned Health Leaders to Lead CMEs at AAP I’s 41st Convention in Philadelphia

(Philadelphia, PA: May 26, 2023)  “The 41st Annual AAPI Convention & Scientific Assembly scheduled to be held from July 6th to 9th, 2023 will feature world-renowned leaders in healthcare and academia, who are well known and are sought after around the world for their expertise and knowledge,” said Dr. Ravi Kolli, President of The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI).  “The multidisciplinary Continuing Medical Education (CME) during the convention allows specialists and primary care physicians to interact in an academic forum. The speakers at the CME will lead discussions on gaps between the current and best practices on wide-ranging topics,” he added.

It’s a well-known fact that physicians of Indian origin excel in their respective areas of work and continue to play key roles in patient care, administration, academics, and medical research. In order to cater to its diversity of medical specialties, AAPI continues to use a multi-disciplinary conference format. “The essence of AAPI is educational,” said Dr. Ravi Kolli, while describing the purpose of CME said.

“The 41st annual AAPI Convention in Philadelphia will provide physicians of Indian origin an opportunity to come together in an atmosphere of collegiality, enabling them to retrace and appreciate their common roots, culture, and bond that unites them as members of this large professional community,” said Dr. V. Ranga, Chair of AAPI BOT.

Picture : TheUNN

According to Dr. Anjana Samadder, President-Elect of AAPI, “This mission of AAPI translates into numerous CME and non-CME seminars by experts in their fields. CME will provide comprehensive and current reviews and guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of various disease states to reduce morbidity and mortality and achieve cost-effective quality care outcomes. At the end of the activity, it is expected that attendees will gain an understanding of the causation, diagnosis, and best clinical practices for the management of the diverse group of diseases discussed during this program.”

Led by Dr. Sreeni Gangasani, AAPI CME Chair and Dr. Brahma Sharma, AAPI Convention CME Chair, the CME Committee has Drs. Gunjan Shukla, Sunder Rao, and SACHIN MEHTA as members.

“As the Chair of the AAPI CME Committee, I am proud to announce that our program will be providing the highest level talks for AAPI delegates,” said Dr. Sreeni Gangasani. “Our team has worked tirelessly to curate a lineup of speakers and presentations that will provide valuable insights and information to our attendees. We understand the importance of staying up-to-date on the latest research, trends, and best practices in healthcare and beyond, which is why we have chosen speakers who are experts in their fields and who are passionate about sharing their knowledge with our delegates. We hope that our program will inspire and empower our attendees to make a positive impact in their communities and beyond.”

According to Dr. Brahma Sharma, Chair of AAPI Convention CME Chair, “CME has been a major highlight of AAPI conventions.  This year, our teams’ approach has been holistic and balanced, with sessions focusing on both old and new: bedside and bench side and usual care, in addition to personalized approach to chronic diseases which have become our nemesis today. The goal is not just to educate about current concepts of chronic disease management but also inform about emerging concepts like Genomics, Gene-editing, and Artificial Intelligence, which play a critical role in managing chronic conditions. AAPI has been fortunate to be able to tap in some of the world’s leading physician-scientists in these areas of Medicine.”

In addition, there is the popular parallel track for Life style Medicine, which touches Mind- Body side, making it a wholesome CME session, giving everyone something that they would love. I thank Dr. Ravi Kolli for giving me the opportunity to work with him and his team during the convention. I hope all these will be informative as well as enlightening CME sessions, Dr. Sharma added.

The inaugural CME session on July 6th is being led by Dr. Satheesh Kathula, Clinical Professor of Medicine and a Board Certified Hematologist and Oncologist, who will  address the delegates on “Rise of Immunotherapy in Lung Cancer.” Dr. Sujeeth R Punnam, an Interventional, Structural Cardiologist & Certified Cardiac Device Specialist in Stockton, CA will present on: “Update and Long term outcomes on Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacements.”

Dr. Prasad Chalasani, an Interventional Cardiologist at the Florida Heart Center and the Chief of Cardiology at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute; Clinical Associate Professor at Florida State University School of Medicine and at Florida Atlantic University School of Medicine will share insights on “Role of LAA Left Atrial Appendage Closure in Atrial Fibrillation.”

“Advancing Access to Care through Licensure Portability and Telemedicine” will be the topic addressed by Dr. Humayun Chaudhary, President and CEO of FSMB.  Dr. Vikas Khurana, Program Director of the Gastroenterology Fellowship Program at The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education will share his expertise on: “Inflammatory Bowel Disease in South Asian Patients.”

Chronic Disease: Non-Communicable Diseases is the theme for the CME session on July 7th. Dr. Pradeep Natarajan, Director, Preventive Cardiology MGH,  Associate Professor Harvard Medical School will lead the day’s sessions by focusing his address on: “Subclinical Atherosclerosis in South Asians: Early Detection and Management.” This will be followed by a session led by Dr. Sunder Rao, Senior Consultant at the Butler Health System MARS PA on: “Role of SGLT2 in Preventing Heart Failure.”

“Contemporary Approach in Prevention and Management of CKD” is the theme addressed by Dr. Wilcox Christopher, Chief Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Georgetown. Dr. Rajnish Mago, Clinical Assistant Professor at the
University of Pennsylvania will speak about: “Current Concepts in Management of Bipolar Depression.”

Dr. Surender Neravetla, Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Ohio will provide education on: “Role of Diet/Salt in Pathogenesis of Chronic Disease.” Dr. Indranill Basu Ray, MD
Founder President of the American Academy of Yoga in Medicine will share his insights on: “Yoga/Meditation in Chronic Disease Management.”

Dr. Indira Gurubhagavatula, Associate Professor Medicine and Director Sleep Medicine at UPenn will speak about: “Sleep and Public Health Policy,” while the concluding session for the day will be led by Dr. Vemuri S. Murthy, Adjunct Faculty
at the Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine
Chicago, Illinois, who will address the delegates on: “Update on Sudden Cardiac Arrests during COVID-19 Pandemic & Cardiac Arrest Registries, with Focus on India.”

The final day of the convention, July 9th will have “Frontier of Medicine” as the main theme. Dr. Sek Kathieresan, Director of Preventive Cardiology MGH, and Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School will lead an insightful session on: “Genomics and Gene Editing in Cardiovascular Disease.” Dr. Partho Sengupta, Professor CV Medicine at the Robertwood Johnson Medical School Rutgers University will share with the delegates on: “AI and Cardiovascular Imaging.”

“Percutaneous Mechanical Support in High-Risk PCI/ Cardiogenic Shock” is the theme addressed by Dr. Jon George, Director of Complex PCI at UPenn Hospital. Dr. BK Kishore, Academician, Innovator, and Entrepreneur, University of Utah Health and ePurines, Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah will lead the session on: “Impact of AI on Molecular Diagnosis and Therapy.”

Lifestyle Medicine Track will be the theme during the concurrent session on July 9th morning. Dr. Nina Vasan at the Department of Psychiatry, Stanford University will inaugurate the Track with her address on: “Mental Health and Social Media.” Dr. Natrajan Rangnathan, Founder and Lead Scientist will share his insights on: “Gut Biome/Dysbiosis and Chronic inflammation.”

“Personalized Diabetes Care and Glucose Device Monitoring” is the topic addressed by Dr. Bantwal Baliga, Chief Endocrinology Clinics, Georgia, and the concluding session will be led by Dr. Nori Dattatreyudu, Chair Oncology, NY Presbyterian Hospital, and will focus on: “Prevention and Precision in Cancer.”

“Giving them a platform to celebrate their accomplishments, the annual convention to be attended by nearly 1,500 physicians of Indian origin, it will also provide a forum to renew their professional commitment through continuing medical educations activities,” said Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Convenor of AAPI Convention.

“Physician leaders who will be part this convention have excelled in different specialties and subspecialties and occupy high positions as faculty members of medical schools, heads of departments, and executives of hospital staff. The AAPI Convention offers an opportunity to meet directly with these physicians who are leaders in their fields and play an integral part in the decision-making process regarding new products and services,” Dr. Raghu Lolabhattu, CEO of the Convention said.

American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) represents more than 100,000  Indian American Physicians and reflects the range of physician specialties seen in the physician community at large with 61% in Primary Care, 33% in Medical sub-specialties and 6% in surgical sub-specialties. Medical specialty representation includes pediatrics, psychiatry, anesthesiology/pain management, cardiology, family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, oncology, gastroenterology pathology, endocrinology, nephrology, rheumatology along with many other fields.

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. Almost 12% of medical students entering US schools are of Indian origin. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois, AAPI represents the interests of over 100,000 physicians, medical students, and residents of Indian heritage in the United States. It is the largest ethnic medical organization in the nation. For more details and registration for the convention, please visit:  www.aapiconvention.org and www.aapiusa.org

AAPI Leads Efforts Connecting Medical Education Boards (NREMS) In India With NBME Of USA Conducting USMLE

(Chicago, IL; May 26, 2023) India, home to one of the oldest medicinal systems in the world has made remarkable changes in medical education in the recent past. As the world is changing to meet the ever-changing needs, medical education in India is moving forward with the objective of rendering every medical graduate and postgraduate the best in the world. Several changes are being made for graduates from Indian schools to be at par and for easy mobilization around the world.

India is introducing the NEXT examination, which is the licensing examination similar to USML in the US, while the UKMLE is starting in the UK in 2024 in the place of PLAB examination.

NMC applied for WFME Recognition status, which is mandatory to apply for USMLE examination. 694 Medical schools in India with106,083 MBBs admissions a year selected from 2.1 million applicants through the UG NEET examination, one day across India in 3 hours. With the government policy of one medical college for every district to meet the Indian need,

medical education has many challenges in the transfer of knowledge and quality.

NBEMS is responsible for NEET PG Entrance Test, which is taken up by more than 200,000 students once a year. India’s Health Minister Mandaviya has said that the government of India is working to equal the number of medical UG and PG seats in 4 years: Post-graduate seats have grown from 34,000 to 64,000 in the last 8 years, the Union Health Minister said in a conference. To overcome the shortage of teachers in medical colleges, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has increased the professor-student ratio from 1:2 to 1:3 for postgraduate (PG) courses in all Medical Colleges from the 2018-19 academic session.

In this context, the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) has led efforts to help streamline medical education in India to meet the global standards for medical practice around the world.

AAPI took the lead last month to bring together the leaders of National Board of Examination in Medical Science (NBEMS) India, National Board of Examination in Medical Science (NBME) USA, and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) on April 27th at the NBME office in the nation’s capital, Washington, DC.

Dr. Lokesh Edara, BOT-Chair Elect, and Dr. Sumul N. Raval, current Treasurer of AAPI and Secretary-Elect represented AAPI at the meeting.

NBME was represented by Dr. Peter Katsufrakis; Dr. Mike Jodoin, USMLE Program; Dr. Daniel Jurich, Growth and Innovation, Overview National Board of Examinations; and, Pamela Treves, Senior Vice President of NBME’s Growth and Innovation Division.

Dr. Abhijat Sheth represented NMBE – India. FSMB was represented by Dr. Humayun Chaudhry, President and CEO of the Federation of State Medical Boards.

“Overview National Board of Examinations” was the main theme discussed during the meeting. According to Dr. Lokesh Edara, Chair-Elect of AAPI Board of Trustees, “AAPI hoped the excellence gained through long term vision, insight and hard work with both organizations and exchange of ideas and challenges will benefit the medical education system in India and help tens of thousands of medical graduates coming from India to have recognition in the US.”

He urged Dr. Sheth to increase family medicine PG seats and nationalized formative assessment tests in theory part for all post graduates and for post-graduate exit theory examination suggested computerized online test. Nationwide E-Learning systems for higher transfer of Knowledge in medical education

Dr. Raval said, “In order for us to meet the unprecedented demand and to bring up the quality of education, the Indian medical education system is changing rapidly. The meeting today was a great beginning to facilitate collaborative efforts between India and the United States.”

Dr. Sheth presented the NBEMS mission and PG NEET examination, FMGE examination and more than 50 specialties for postgraduate and super specialties courses they are conducting and graduating. He invited all the participants at the meeting to their office in New Delhi during their next visit to India. AAPI leaders invited the leadership of these regulatory groups to the AAPI annual convention in Philadelphia in July 2023 and to the AAPI Global Healthcare Summit meeting in New Delhi in January 2024.

Dr. Katsufrakis provided an update on the NBME history and current examination-system.  Dr. Katsufrakis is a board-certified Family Physician, whose professional focus has been to improve the quality of care provided to patients through effective assessment of health care professionals, and is leading the NBME to grow as an ally in helping health professionals maximize their mastery and performance.

Dr. Humayun Chaudhry, President and CEO of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), which was founded in 1912 and represents all 70 of the nation’s state and territorial medical licensing boards, represented FSMB at the meeting. FSMB operates the Federation Credentials Verification Service and co-manages the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) with the National Board of Medical Examiners.

Michael Jodoin is the Senior Vice President for Customer and Portfolio Management at NBME. In this role, he is accountable for the strategic and operational leadership for NBME’s portfolio of products and services and the customers and stakeholders that we serve.

Daniel Jurich serves as associate vice president for the USMLE® program. In this role, he leads and supports various validity, equity, and security initiatives that enhance the quality of USMLE for students, medical educators, clinicians, and licensing authority members.

Pamela Treves is the Senior Vice President of NBME’s Growth and Innovation Division. This division supports the organization’s strategic goals and vision by providing leadership to accelerate the pace of change and innovation for our products and services – in collaboration with medical education and health care to better support learners, advance assessment, and improve the care that patients receive.

Dr. Abhijat Sheth, President, National Board of Examinations, since 2016 completed his post-graduation in Cardiothoracic Surgery from Sheth KM School of Postgraduate Medicine and Research, Ahmedabad. He extensively worked as an academician at various medical colleges in India.  He worked in SMT NHL Medical College while in UK , worked in four NHS Trust Hospitals, and as the Director of Medical Services at Apollo Hospitals International LTD, Ahmedabad in India.

Dr. Lokesh Edara, board certified in Allergy and immunology in Private practice since 1990, is a former President of the Michigan Allergy Asthma Society and former President of Calhoun County Medical Society. He serves as the President of the Association of Allergists and Immunologists from India 2001-2003. He is the Chairmen of AAPI Global Medical Education and Chairmen-Elect of AAPI Board of Trustees 2023-2024.

A board-certified neurologist and authority on brain tumors, Dr. Sumul N. Raval is one of the few neuro-oncologists in private practice in the United States. Dr. Raval is the founder and director of the David S. Zocchi Brain Tumor Center at Monmouth Medical Center – New Jersey’s first and most comprehensive facility specializing in brain tumors. He was recently elected as the Secretary of AAPI for the year, 2023-2024.

Expressing appreciation for Dr. Edara and Dr. Raval for taking the lead in facilitating interaction and dialogue between the Medical Education Boards of India and the United States, Dr. Ravi Kolli, President of AAPI said, “Since its inception over four decades ago, AAPI has been in the forefront advocating for medical school education reform and for the medical graduates from India to be treated on par with their counterparts in India. India is already leading the global pharmaceutical industry, and rebooting medical education will help India enter the league of leaders in healthcare around the world. The meeting today was a great start, and I look forward to AAPI continuing to lead such efforts in the coming years benefitting the medical fraternity.” For more information on AAPI and its many initiatives, please visit: www.aapiusa.org

WHO Urges Not To Use Sugar Substitutes For Weight Loss

Instead of relying on sugar substitutes, individuals should reduce their consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and opt for raw or lightly processed fruit as a source of sweetness. The new guidelines aim to assist government health organizations in implementing policy changes based on the latest scientific analysis.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation includes both low or no-calorie synthetic sweeteners and natural extracts, such as acesulfame K, aspartame, advantame, cyclamates, neotame, saccharin, sucralose, stevia and stevia derivatives, and monk fruit. According to Francesco Branca, stevia and monk fruit are newer sweeteners with less published research, but they likely share a similar physiological mechanism with other sweeteners. He states, “We cannot say they are different from the others based on the data we have — they play the same role.”

Branca emphasizes the importance of reducing dependence on free sugars and non-nutritive sweeteners, particularly in early childhood. Registered dietitian Lisa Drayer suggests training your taste buds by gradually cutting back on sugar, including artificial sweeteners, and incorporating more protein and fiber-rich foods into your diet. Additionally, she advises Sportschoosing no-sugar-added foods, avoiding sugar-sweetened drinks, enjoying fruit for dessert, and being aware of hidden sugars in various food products.

By checking nutrition facts labels and recognizing alternative names for added sugars, individuals can make healthier choices and reduce their sugar intake. This approach can help tame one’s sweet tooth and lessen dependence on sugar and sweeteners.

Dr. Sampat Shivangi Honored With Lifetime Achievement Award By Xavier University In Aruba

Dr. Sampat Shivangi, a physician, an influential Indian American community leader, and a veteran leader of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) was awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by the Xavier University School of Medicine on Friday, May 19th, 2023 at the Xavier’s Campus in Aruba. Dr. Shivangi was conferred with the  Life Time Achievement Award by the Honorale Minister of Aruba, Mr. Croes along with the President of Xavier University of School of Medicine Mr. Ravi Bhopalapu.

The award ceremony was part of the Global Leadership Summit organized by the University, which brought together world leaders in the Global Health Care community, who shared their insightful thoughts and expertise on various topics related to healthcare. The summit featured speakers from diverse backgrounds with areas of expertise, including healthcare policy, healthcare technology delivery, and healthcare education.

The summit was aimed at providing education not only to Xavier University School of Medicine students and faculty but also to healthcare professionals and educators, who are passi