Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, President of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), was conferred the Excellence in Leadership Award during the 7th annual International Media Conference (IMC 2020) organized by the Indo-American Press Club (IAPC) on 18th 2020. Dr. Jonnalagadda was chosen for the prestigious award by IAPC for his great leadership of AAPI, the largest ethnic medical organization in the US, especially during the Pandemic.
In his acceptance speech, Dr. Jonnalagadda, said, “Wanted to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to Indo American Press Club for selecting to receive the Excellence in Leadership Award. As you are aware Wanted to congratulate IAPC for your contributions, especially during the Covid pandemic for being the heroic warriors who work hard and go beyond to report accurately of the challenges humanity faces. Thank you all for reporting and sharing the news about the challenges and accomplishments of Indian Americans and in particular those in the Healthcare industry. Congratulations to all of my coawardees.
Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda assumed office as the 37th President of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) on Saturday, July 11, 2020, and committed himself to “make AAPI stronger, more vibrant, united, transparent, politically engaged, ensuring active participation of young physicians, increasing membership, and enabling that AAPI’s voice is heard in the corridors of power,” .
AAPI is the largest Medical Organization in the United States, representing the interests of the over 100,000 physicians and Fellows of Indian origin in the United States, serving the interests of the Indian American physicians in the US and in many ways contributing to the shaping of the healthcare delivery in the US for the past 39 years. “AAPI must be responsive to its members, supportive of the leadership and a true advocate for our mission,” he said.
Dr. Jonnalagadda was born in a family of Physicians. His dad was a Professor at a Medical College in India and his mother was a Teacher. He and his siblings aspired to be physicians and dedicate their lives for the greater good of humanity. “I am committed to serving the community and help the needy. That gives me the greatest satisfaction in life,” he said modesty. Ambitious and wanting to achieve greater things in life, Dr. Jonnalagadda has numerous achievements in life. He currently serves as the President of the Medical Staff at the Hospital. And now, “being elected as the President of AAPI is greatest achievement of my life,”
As the President of AAPI, the dynamic physician from the state of Andhra Pradesh, wants to “develop a committee to work with children of AAPI members who are interested in medical school, to educate on choosing a school and gaining acceptance; Develop a committee to work with medical residents who are potential AAPI members, to educate on contract negotiation, patient communication, and practice management; Develop a committee to work with AAPI medical students, and to provide proctorship to improve their selection of medical residencies.”
Dr. Jonnalagadda wants to emphasize the importance of Legislative Agenda both here in the US and overseas, benefitting the physicians and the people AAPI is committed to serve. According to him, “The growing clout of the physicians of Indian origin in the United States is seen everywhere as several physicians of Indian origin hold critical positions in the healthcare, academic, research and administration across the nation.” He is actively involved with the Indian community and member at large of the Asian Indian Alliance, which actively participates in a bipartisan way to support and fund electoral candidates.
His vision for AAPI is to increase the awareness of APPI globally and help its voice heard in the corridors of power. “I would like to see us lobby the US Congress and create an AAPI PAC and advocate for an increase in the number of available Residency Positions and Green Cards to Indian American Physicians so as to help alleviate the shortage of Doctors in the US.” .
A Board-Certified Gastroenterologist/Transplant Hepatologist, working in Douglas, GA, Dr. Jonnalagadda is a former Assistant Professor at the Medical College of Georgia. He was the President of Coffee Regional Medical Staff 2018, and had served as the Director of Medical Association of Georgia Board from 2016 onwards. He had served as the President of Georgia Association of Physicians of Indian Heritage 2007-2008, and was the past Chair of Board of Trustees, GAPI. He was the Chairman of the Medical Association of Georgia, IMG Section, and was a Graduate, Georgia Physicians Leadership Academy (advocacy training).
“AAPI and the Charitable Foundation has several programs in India. Under my leadership, we will be able to initiate several more program benefitting our motherland, India,” Dr. Jonnalagadda said.
The solemn Award Ceremony by IAPC was led by Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, Chairman of Parikh Media and an active leader of AAPI. The virtual ceremony was organized, among others, by Dr. Joseph Chalil, IAPC Chairman; Korason Varghese, Award Committee Chair; & Dr. P.V. Baiju, IAPC Board Member. Dr. Vinod K. Shah, Managing Director of MedStar Shah Medical Group, CEO of Health Prime, and former President of AAPI, was conferred with the prestigious Karma Shrestha Award.
WHEELS Global Foundation, a charitable initiative by the Indian Institute of Technology alumni, was conferred The Sathkarma Award. Ranjani Saigal, Executive Director of Ekal Vidyalaya, and Dean Nitin Nohria, Dean of Harvard Business School, were given The SathKarma Award. Ambassador Pradeep Kapur, the author of the book Beyond Covid-19 Pandemic and former Ambassador of India to Chile and Cambodia, received the Excellence in Literature Award.
Chancellor of the University of California San Diego, Pradeep Khosla, was awarded the Excellence in Technology & Education Award. The Humanitarian Award was given to Dr. Sunil D. Kumar, Broward Health Medical Center, and former President of AKMG. Satish Korpe, the past President of the Indian American Forum for Political Education, and Madhavan B. Nair, former President of FOKANA, received the Community Service Award. Lalit K. Jha, Chief US Correspondent for Press Trust of India (PTI), was given the IAPC Media Excellence Award.
The Indo-American Press Club (IAPC), a 501 (c) 3 Non-Profit Organization headquartered in New York, was formed in 2013 with the ideals of providing a common platform to journalists of Indian-origin living in the United States and Canada committed to professionalism and well-being of the larger society. IAPC is also committed to recognize and honor the outstanding entities and individuals in the community that creates a social impact and excel in their field of profession, culture, service, and business.