Pennsylvania Indian American Physician Couple get humanitarian award

Drs. Neelima and Mukul Parikh of Mechanicsburg were recently honored with the 2016 Humanitarian Award from United Way of the Capital Region’s Tocqueville Society for their outstanding commitment to improving lives throughout the region during a special reception, sponsored by M&T Bank, Wilmington Trust, Clarion Hotel Partners and The JDK Group.

The society said that the Indian American physician couple, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., were honored for their outstanding commitment to improving lives throughout the region.

The Humanitarian Award is presented annually to a local leader, or leaders, who meets the criteria of having a commitment to voluntary systems of human services; having a creative approach to serving the community; are outstanding in providing leadership and working with others; provide sustained service over a period of years; are inspirational in encouraging others to serve; their actions have had or will have a major impact on changing and saving lives; and, produce results that are clearly visible and tangible.

Neelima and Mukul have practiced anesthesiology since 1984 at West Shore Anesthesia and Riverside Anesthesia Associates respectively and both have served in leadership positions within their profession.

Since the 1980s, Neelima and Mukul have used their medical talents, as well as their spirit for philanthropy to take medical mission trips to parts of Africa, Haiti, India, the Philippines and Thailand. These trips are financed using personal vacation time as well as personal funds. The couple strives to complete two mission trips a year.

In 2013, Mukul and Neelima founded Operation Medical, a nonprofit organization comprised of trained professionals and volunteers committed to providing high quality medical care and education to the most at-risk communities around the globe. Mukul, president of Operation Medical, along with Neelima, conduct surgeries, help secure financial resources, medical supplies, equipment and pharmaceuticals, and inspire others to join in this life-changing work.

Both Neelima and Mukul are very active with the Hindu American Religious Institute (HARI). Neelima served as the first female president of HARI and on its board of directors. Mukul has served as chair of the board of HARI, where he also taught Sunday school for 25 years and coordinated youth group activities for a decade.

Longtime donors to United Way, Neelima and Mukul have continued to grow their generosity. In 2015, they donated $100,000 to our United Way – the largest gift from individual(s) last year. In 2005, the couple established a private foundation to help support the many educational, health care, religious and community service activities they ardently support.

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