India Post News Service
COLUMBUS, OH: Dr. Naresh Parikh, a cardiologist, assumed charge as President of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) at its 36th annual convention at the Greater Columbus Convention Hall on Saturday, July 7. The AAPI meet was attended by 1,700 delegates from across the country.
Along with Dr. Parikh, the executive committee consisting of Dr. Suresh Reddy, President-Elect; Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, Vice President; Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, Secretary; Dr. Anjana Samadder, Treasurer; and Dr. Ajeeth Kothari, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, were administered the oath of office for the upcoming year.
Addressing the august meet, Dr Parikh said “We will work together encouraging and motivating more and more physicians and dentists to join AAPI and work towards increase in AAPI membership representing all sections, including, women, young and old, while providing enhanced membership benefits including liability insurance carrier, billing, collection company, cardiac remote monitoring, and credit card transactions through reputed banking services.
Dr. Parikh acknowledged the contributions of Dr. Gautam Samadder, his predecessor. Placing his confidence in the AAPI members who have elected him to lead this 37 years old organization, he added “AAPI has made great progress from a fledging association of the 1980s to what you see today, a robust, powerful medical organization in our country.
Dr. Samadder, through a visual presentation summarized the many achievements of his year-long presidency, including GHS in Kolkatta, Health Clinic inauguration in West Bengal, African safari, contributions to Veterans Obesity and Lukemia Society, India Day Parade and Leadership seminar, among many others. He thanked his executive committee members, convention committee and all who have generously devoted their time, talent and resources for the success of the many programs he had initiated under his leadership.
Graduating from Nagpur Medical College in 1972 and a cardiologist by profession, Dr. Naresh Parikh is serving as the CEO of Georgia Clinic, a multi-specialty organization, founded in 1998, serving patients from dozen locations. A practicing Cardiologist in Atlanta, Georgia for 30 years, he was instrumental in starting IPA in 2016 with 53 participating providers and has been active in DRS ACO. Dr. Parikh is also involved with Cigna Health Spring as a counsel to improve Hedis score and improve MRA scoring for Georgia physicians.
“I had started working as an ordinary member in 1986 with Georgia Association of physicians of Indian Origin and was elected President of GAPI, and then rose to be the Regional Director of AAPI SE and had served as a member of the BOT of AAPI. And today, I am honored and humbled by AAPI members, entrusting the largest ethnic medical organization, representing the over 100,000 physicians of Indian origin, with the responsibility of leading it to newer heights,” Dr. Parikh recalled.
AAPI recently opened a charitable clinic in Panvel, Mumbai, known as Tara Clinic and is being sponsored by Naresh and Asha Parikh Foundation in collaboration with AAPI Charitable Foundation. This clinic is serving residents from the Panvel tribal community which is about two hours away from South Mumbai.
Dr. Parikh initiated a strategic and symbolic “Signing of MOU with physicians of Pakistani and Bangladesh origin with AAPI in Feb 2018 In Miami, Florida. This brings about a non-binding alliance of three South Asian physicians groups that will help support strategic and agreed upon programs that impact health and wellbeing of South Asians, such as addressing the higher incidence of heart diseases in South Asians.
Dr. Parikh said he will form a national panel and advisory committee to help and guide the international medical graduates from South Asia. He wants to have an alliance of 10 percent of the nation’s doctors. The group can be more engaged in mainstream policy through the American Medical Association. Efforts will also include civic engagement in health fairs and providing telemedicine services to South Asian nations.
Dr. Parikh wants to address three key priorities for the year July 2018 to June 2019: Opioid epidemic and awareness, to be coordinated by Dr. Kavita Gupta and Dr. Sanjay Gupta; Lymphoma and Leukemia Research, under the leadership of Dr. Vinod Shah; and, the Silent Epidemic, TB in India, with a major focus at The Global Health Summit to be held from Dec 28 to 30 in Mumbai. He plans to continue the “work initiated by past president Dr. Ravi Jahagirdar on Traumatic Brain Injury as we all know India is leading capital of roadside auto accidents resulting in deaths.”
He wants to continue to support past president Dr. Narendra Kumar’s project of Dr Ramesh Kumar Foundation for trauma rescue initiative in Kerala. Also, Dr. Parikh pledged to “work on Atherosclerosis prevention and education within Indian population, which is also very dear to me. Georgia Clinic will be doing research on patients in Atlanta Metro.”
Dr. Parikh was instrumental in launching of a new partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to end tuberculosis (TB) in India
In his efforts to make AAPI’s voice heard in the corridors of power, Dr. Parikh wants to continue “our ongoing and year round efforts to have a meaningful and convincing conversation with USA Lawmakers to increase Residency Slots for Physicians of Indian origin that can help fill up slots and partner with USA in easing shortage of physicians, particularly in underserved areas. This effort is being coordinated by Dr. Ajeet Singhvi who is very passionate about leading this initiative.
During the luncheon, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthy, talking about the fast-growing Indian American community, said, “The Indian-American community is often hailed as one of the most successful ethnic groups in the United States. This socio-economic achievement has not translated into commensurate political clout, as shown, for example, by the community’s lack of success in federal elections.”
He urged them to get actively involved in the political process of the nation. “We have the choice to be at the table or on the table. Given our heritage, we the Indian Americans belong at the table. Get actively involved in the affairs of the local community and that’s the path to larger role in the nation.”
Ambassador Sandeep Chakravarthy, Consul General of India in New York, in his keynote address praised the contributions of Indian American physicians for their commitment, dedication and, especially for contributing to the advancement of Indo-US relationship. Describing it to be the “elephant in the room, he spoke about how Artificial Intelligence is coming to play a key role in the healthcare sector.”
Dr. Parha Nandi, in his inspiring and motivational speech stressed the need for continuing to live one’s values in everyday decisions one makes despite challenges and fear of failures.
AAPI honored its own accomplished members for their excellence in respective areas. Dr. Atul Mehta was honored as the Most DistinguishedPhysician; Dr. Amit Chakraborty for his Distinguished Service; Dr. Jay Bhatt as the Most Distinguished Young Physician from YPS; and Dr. Rahul Damania as the Most Distinguished MSRF member. Research and Poster Contest winners were recognized and given cash awards. Dr. Kanuj Patel and Dr. Amu Susheela were declared the winners.
The India-focused CEO Forum discussed about concrete ways AAPI delegates can contribute to the growth of the nation. Children were engaged in several activities challenging their minds. A beautifully choreographed fashion show was a treat to the hearts and souls of all as beautiful women and handsome men catwalked wearing elegantly designed Indian attire.
Dr. Naresh Parikh invited all delegates to come and participate at the 37th annual convention to be held in Atlanta, GA from July 3 to 7, 2019. And the Global Healthcare Summit is planned for December 28 to 30 in Mumbai.