AAPI organizes its Annual Convention in Atlanta
American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) held its 39th Annual Convention at Omni Atlanta at CNN Center and Georgia World Congress Center on July 4th.In an event attended in-person by hundreds of AAPI delegates from around the nation, Dr. Anupama Gotimukula assumed charge as the President of AAPI from the outgoing President, Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda.
“I am happy to declare that AAPI is stronger and is going to be in safe hands as I pass on the traditional gavel to Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, the new President of AAPI,” said Dr. Jonnalagaddain his farewell address.
Dr. Jonnalagadda, who had assumed office a year ago during a virtual convention, said, “Despite the Covid pandemic and the many challenges AAPI had to face, I am proud of the many accomplishments under my leadership.” AAPI’s Clinical Observership Program; the launching of JAAPI, a medical journal; and the AAPI endowment Fund have been some of the initiatives under Dr. Jonnalagadda’s leadership. However, the most important all were the numerous efforts he and his team had undertaken to help India that is faced with the second wave of the deadly covid pandemic.
“AAPI has been coordinating several efforts, including telehealth to patients and doctors in India,” Dr. Jonnalagadda said. “Thanks to the overwhelming support of its members, AAPI has raised over $5 million. They have been working very hard in sending oxygen concentrators and ventilators to India to deal with the calamity and are in the process of helping to set up oxygen generator plants in different hospitals in India.”AAPI has shipped over a thousand oxygen generators, masks, PPPs and essential supplies, and will continue until the pandemic is overcome. Dr. Jonnalagadda further said, “Under my leadership with the pioneering efforts of Dr. Surender Purohit, Chairman of AAPI Charitable Foundation, we have been able to strengthen the programs benefitting our motherland, India.”
“The innovative ways healthcare professionals have learnt and begun to practice medicine gives humanity hope. AAPI will continue to be an active player in crafting the delivery of healthcare in the most efficient manner in the United States and India. We will strive for equity in healthcare delivery globally. We will be able to takeAAPIto stability, unity, growth and greater achievements,” he further said.
The concluding day of the convention had a music and dance show by the local organizing committee of the Convention headed by Dr. Sreeni Gangasani. He and his team were praised for their hard work, dedication and creative ideas in putting together an amazing convention in less than three months. “For the first time ever, we had to stop registration as we had reached the required number of participants for the convention. Thank you for joining the AAPI community as we celebrate the victory of science over calamity while paying tribute to all the fallen healthcare workers including some from AAPI family. We also want to show the world that we can start socializing with precautions once you are vaccinated,”said Dr. Gangasani.
During the Board of Trustees (BOT) luncheon on July 4th, Dr. Sajani Shah, the outgoing BOT Chair in her powerful message enumerated the numerous programs BOT had initiated in the past one year. She invited all the past BOT Chairs onto stage and honored them for their leadership of AAPI.
Dr. Raghu Lolabhattu,Convention Vice Chair, called on stage every member of the convention committee, while Dr. Jonnalagadda and Dr. Gangasani recognized them with a plaque.
Delivering a spiritual discourse at the Convention, Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Author of Hollywood to the Himalayas led the AAPI delegates into an experience of peace and serenity. In her keynote address, she inspired the participants to engage in the scholarly exchange of medical advances, to develop health policy agendas, and to encourage legislative priorities in the field of medicine.
After she took the oath of office, Dr. Gotimukula vowed to make AAPI a premium healthcare leader, focusing to improve and reform the current healthcare system and to help towards making a better healthcare model for the patients; creating awareness projects on major chronic diseases burdening our health care system through lifestyle modifications ; establishing a support system to members going through racial discrimination in the US; supporting AAPI legislative efforts to make healthcare better and affordable to all and promote charitable activities globally
Stating that healthcare professionals have made a significant difference in fighting this pandemic, Dr. Gotimukula said, “You are truly healthcare heroes who stood up and risked your lives to serve when it was most needed. A value that is not just American but also something we brought along from our motherland of India.”She said, “As one of the biggest stakeholders in the current healthcare system, there is an urgent need for healthcare and societal reform. We need to be a part of the change we want in our healthcare system.”
She further said, “AAPI will leverage that power of our purpose and networks to help address specific challenges related to women and the numerous challenges women face: the dual roles balanced by a wonder woman physician, at work and at home and their increasing role in the future in the Healthcare delivery, Through our shared goals, we can leverage our influence to help shape a better future for our children and grandchildren.”
Dr. Gotimukula urged AAPI to “improve health equity, get rid of discrimination, fight South Asian racial bias, reduce physician burnout, and improve the career trajectory of the younger generation of Indian American doctors who will be taking care of us as we age.”She said her yeahgoal is to work towards “Healthcare Partnerships” with other similar groups.
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