NEW YORK: The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), a premiere organization of Indian American physicians, will be promoting a healthy life style among people by staging walkathons in different cities across the US.
Dr Sunita Kanumury, who took over as President of AAPI end of June said as part of the organization’s social responsibility and educating the public, AAPI has taken up the project of promoting wellness and healthy living across the US. AAPI will conduct walkathons in several cities and distribute flyers highlighting various aspects of healthy living.
AAPI will focus on creating a healthy lifestyle concept among the public and in this direction, it will stage a Health March initiative to work on education and prevention, she added.
Dr Kanumury addressing her first press conference in Bombay Palace restaurant in Manhattan last week said AAPI would also engage younger physicians productively to take the organization to next level. AAPI is planning to enroll more young physicians into the fold and more AAPI chapters are to be formed to accommodate newer members under the AAPI connect slogan, she said.
Dr Kanumury said AAPI has chalked out top-notch leadership development programs for young physicians in the areas of practice management, membership drive and strategy. There is quite a bit of discrimination in some of the hospitals and unless Indian-American physicians unite, it would become difficult for fellow physicians to serve, she said.
Over 25% of healthcare in the US is provided by International Medical Graduates (IMG) and almost all of them belong to Indian subcontinent, and 44% primary care physicians are from this region.
On the question of lobbying with lawmakers to increase the residency slots to meet a physician shortage that is imminent with at least 16 million new patients coming under the healthcare net in the wake of the Affordable Care Act, Dr Kanumury said AAPI will work in tandem with other professional and ethnic organizations and the American Medical Association (AMA) on the issue.
“The focus of healthcare reform is to strengthen primary care, preventive care, and completely change the way we have thought about delivering healthcare,” she said.
“I had attended the annual meeting of Pakistani physicians and also engage the African-American physicians group and Hispanic organizations to provide collective voice and address the common objectives. AAPI will be in the driver’s seat this year,” she said.
Women’s health will be accorded top priority under her leadership, Kanumury said. “We will reach out to temples, local chapters and community organizations in the next three months as part of the community outreach program. AAPI has recently formed, for the first time in its 29 year-old history, a Women’s Health Advisory Board. This year, we are launching Health Smart, an initiative that will help women make informed decisions, lifestyle changes and maximize good health throughout their lives.”
AAPI has also created a task force to look into medical education in India and present a paper end of the year on its functioning to the Medical Council of India.
Addressing the media, Dr Satish Anand, Chair of Board of Trustees of AAPI, said the Board would coordinate and cooperate with the President and the executive committee in their vision.
“We want to take AAPI to the next generation of Indian-American physicians born and raised in the US and bring them on board in our activities such as CME, Legislative lobbying and issues that affect patients and physicians,” he said.
Answering questions on the spate of arrests of Indian-American physicians on charges of committing fraud, Dr Anand said physicians work in individual capacities though part of an organization. Not all of these physicians are AAPI members and AAPI would address this issue, he said.
India Post News Service