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GAPI Volunteer Clinic extends Dr. Reddy’s SAI Health Fairs

By: Mahadev Desai
May 2011
GAPI Volunteer Clinic extends Dr. Reddy’s SAI Health Fairs The Georgia Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (GAPI) took an innovative step in its humanitarian outreach program by opening a GAPI Volunteer Clinic in Suite 736 of Global Mall, Norcross, GA, on Sunday, March 27, 2011.

The opening ceremony was attended by Georgia physicians and nurses from diverse specialties, members of Gwinnett Medical Center; Republican Party activist Narender Reddy, BAPS Mandir officers Jayantibhai Patel and Pravinbhai Patel, and Global Mall owner Shiv Aggarwal, and was graced by the presence of Congressman Tom Price (R-GA) and his wife Betty, both MDs themselves. After Acharya Pandit Ved Joshi performed the Pooja ceremony, the guest of honor Dr. Price and other physicians took turns to light the diya (lamp). Amidst applause Dr. Price cut the ribbon to open the GAPI Volunteer Clinic.

GAPI President Dr. Sreeni Gangasani briefed the audience. “This is a great moment for GAPI. Following the astounding success of the SAI Health Fairs initiated by Dr. Sujatha Reddy, where thousands of poor, uninsured and underinsured in the community have received free and effective heath care through screening for diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and cancer, GAPI’s past Presidents thought of extending the services through the GAPI Volunteer Clinic. Dr. [Santanu] Das started the process and the present GAPI officers have implemented it. The Clinic, under Executive Director Dr. Sujatha Reddy, will provide good quality health care, irrespective of race, ethnicity, or gender, on a regular basis. Initially the Clinic will be open on the first Saturday of each month from 1 pm to 4 pm. Later it will be open twice a month and eventually every weekend. Labs will be done at discounted prices by American Clinical Labs. Two physicians will staff the clinic each time. GAPI members, nurses, and volunteers from the community will provide the requisite support to the clinic.” He thanked Carla Catalon-Scott from Georgia Volunteer Health Care Program for helping with liability insurance; Jay Shankar and his volunteers for helping with scheduling and running the clinic; Seena Mathew and other members of Gwinnett Medical Center for nursing help; Surya Pandiri for free EMRs; Dr. Satish Poddar, Dr. Dipak Patel and Viju Chiluveru for donating furniture and equipment; and Shiv Aggarwal for his generosity in offering the Clinic accommodation.

Michigan-born Dr. Tom Price was introduced by Dr. Sreeni as the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. “Republican Dr. Price is an outspoken advocate for patient-centered health care reform, energy conservation, and tax related issues. He graduated with an M.D. from University of Michigan and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at Emory University. He and his wife Dr. Betty Price are good friends of the Indian community.”

Dr. Price thanked GAPI for the honor of opening the clinic. “This Clinic is a safety net right here in our community. And I am fully confident that, as Dr. Sujatha Reddy has suggested that each of the GAPI’s more than 800 members volunteer his or her services just four hours a month, the Clinic will run smoothly. I am proud of what GAPI is doing. We are blessed to have in our community individuals of Indian descent. They participate in a wonderfully positive way to make the fabric of our community so special. A community is more than bricks and mortar, more than buildings. It needs volunteers who stand up and help each other. Betty and I feel deeply privileged and honored to be here today.”

Narender Reddy noted that Dr. Price “has 100% record in favor of Indian-American interests and was one of the cosponsors of the Indo-US nuclear deal. It is very unusual for someone from the South cosponsoring and he is the first one to do that.” The impressive ceremony concluded amidst hearty applause as Dr. Gangasani presented a commemorative plaque to Dr. Price.

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