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 passionate about making a positive impact on the healthcare industry and improving patient outcomes worldwide.
“We are excited to bring together stingrays naked ladies from around the world did experiences and insights,” said Dr. Ravi Bhoopalpur, President of Xavier University School of Medicine. “The goal is to create a platform for the exchange of ideas and best practices that will help shape the future of healthcare and improve the lives of people around the world.”
In his response to being chosen for the award, Dr. Shivangi said, “I am truly honored to receive this prestigious Xavier University of Aruba award, which has made a worldwide impression as a premier Institute of learning. It’s even a greater honor to be in such distinguished ranks of those present and past honorees, who have made important contributions to healthcare.”
Describing the honor as “a significant milestone in my life and a moment to cherish,” Dr. Shivangi said, “Health care across the world is regarded as an important determinant in promoting the general, physical, mental, and social well-being of people around the world and can contribute to a significant part of a country’s economy, development, and industrialization when efficiently improving human health and providing access to affordable high-quality health care.”
Addressing the epidemic of mental health, Dr. Shivangi, a champion of women’s health and mental health, and whose work has been recognized nationwide, said, “Mental health illness continues to impact more people each year and is now a global disease.” Quoting the World Health Organization, Dr. Shivangi, said, “WHO estimates 1 in every 8 individuals worldwide suffer from a mental disorder, impairment in childhood, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, & psychosis in maturity and ending with dementia in old age. 5.6 crore Indians suffer from depression, while 3.8 crore suffers from anxiety disorders.”
Focusing on Mental Health, Dr. Shivangi said, “Mental Health literacy is the gateway for mental health intervention. However, there is a lack of awareness, which can lead to overlooking, misjudging or dismissing the signs that someone needs help. Dr. Sivangi, an obstetrician/gynecologist, the first Indian to be on the American Medical Association, the apex law-making body, pointed out that substance abuse in the United States causes over 10,000 youth to die annually.
Quoting studies that point to the fact that Mental Health has emerged as an “ever-challenging task,” Dr. Shivangi said, nearly 1 in 5 Americans has some type of Mental illness. During the Covid pandemic period, 78% of adults were experiencing a mental illness, an equivalent of over 50 million Americans, with millions of adults in the USA experiencing serious thoughts of suicide, with the highest rate amongst multi-racial individuals.
Responding to realities, the US Government has initiated several measures to help people struggling with mental health issues and substance abuse. In this context, he referred to two recent initiatives by the US Government to address the twin issues of mental health and substance abuse:
The exclusive 988 National Emergency Phone Number for the mentally ill has revolutionized the mental system that has saved thousands of lives and reduced by a third of hospital visits. In addition, making the antidote, Naloxone free of cost and available over the counter has helped save so many lives.
Dr. Shivangi said, one can get instant help by calling #911 in crisis; they can call or Text #988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, a new Nationwide service, attended by trained staff, and trained crisis counselors who can counsel, guide and get them admitted into nearby crisis center, community mental health center or hospital immediately that includes ambulance service. “This has caught nationwide attention. I would strongly recommend that Aruba should think along these lines.”
The SAMHSA Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is another major initiative of the US government. Dr. Shivangi serves on the Board of SAMHSA, a prestigious position, appointed by the President of the United States. I was first appointed by President Trump & now by the current President Joe Biden.”
Recalling his recent visit to Poland, where Dr. Shivangi shared about the huge impact through these initiatives, Dr. Shivangi said, the government of Poland was impressed and wanted to use them in their country as a way to save lives. Dr. Shivangi offered similar programs and services made available to the people of Aruba and was open to helping the Government of Aruba make them part of the healthcare delivery in the island nation.
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.