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Psychology services at busy health fair; high-schoolers see “selfless service”

By Mahadev Desai
April 2015
Psychology services at busy health fair; high-schoolers see “selfless service”

 

(Left) Dr. Sujatha Reddy with a few of her large team of volunteers for the Sai Health Fair. (Photo: Vinod Devlia)

 

The 33rd Sai Health Fair in coordination with Georgia Indian Nurses Association (GINA), in Global Mall, Norcross, Georgia, on March 15, 2015 saw an attendance of over 350 participants. Dr. Sujatha Reddy organizes the events to promote Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s philosophies of nonviolence, community service, and social justice. The event was also sponsored by Sangisetti Charitable Foundation.

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Dr. Reddy with GINA’s President Lilly Anickat in blue, ex-president Mary Jose, and other GINA officers who were in the frontline for coordinating the event. (Photo: Vinod Devlia)

The health fair serves people of diverse nationalities and cultures from all over Atlanta with free consultancy and tests services provided by over 29 physicians representing 14 specialties, supported by over 25 nurses and technicians and 35 volunteers. Available free were EKGs and preventive cardiology tests (over 120 EKGs by Gwinnett Heart Specialists), glaucoma and vision screenings (Dr. Niraj Desai and Dr. Milan Patel from Milan Eye Center carried out over 60), audio screenings (30 done by Dr. Sridhar Krishnamurthy from Auburn University, Alabama), bone density tests (more than 32 performed by Madhusudhana Reddy, Vijaya Reddy, Janet Augustine, Leela Kaul, and Vasantha Bandari), and consultancy in internal medicine, family medicine, cardiology, dentistry, endocrinology, gastroenterology, opthalmology, orthopedics, pediatrics, ENT, dermatology, OB/GYN, and nephrology.

Over 120 blood tests were carried out at a nominal fee of $25 each. Lab work was provided by American Clinical Labs. Inc. in Stone Mountain and results mailed within a week. Participants are immediately notified of any life-threatening results.

Stroke Risk Factor Education was provided by Elizabeth and Joshua Dunn from Emory Stroke Center: stroke is a leading cause of death in the U.S. and time is critical in preventing damage, so stroke victims must be taken to the hospital immediately.

Potentially lifesaving donors were recruited by volunteers for the National Marrow Donor Program. Coach Aarti Patel provided exercise and weight management advice.

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(Left) Dr. Shital Gaitonde; Dr. Deepa Ranganathan (in MD Junior T shirt and green scrubs) and team of high school students. (Photo: Vinod Devlia)

High school students had a profound experience: Dr. Deepa Ranganathan is chief mentor with MDJunior, a White House recognized student-run mentoring nonprofit. She explained, “I often get an opportunity to work alongside teens in a service mission. Last week was a unique experience at the Sai Health fair, to work with several high-school students from the South Forsyth High MDJunior Chapter. … For our young students, it was a profound experience as they got to see firsthand and learn about many aspects of health care …. and interacted directly with the physicians and other healthcare professionals one-on-one, while helping out as volunteers. Most importantly, the healthcare professionals at this event exemplified “selfless service” as role models, truly fulfilling the mission of MDJunior as a leadership society. The students and I are grateful to have been a part of this experience."

Making psychology services visible was an important service. Dr. Shital Gaitonde said, “Several people asked us about what a psychologist does and how the psychologist can help with their problems. We were able to talk to them about general stress management techniques, when to seek professional help for psychological issues, and how to find the resources in the community. We were able to answer questions about what various professionals' roles are in the mental health field (psychiatrist vs. counselors vs. psychologists). Also, we were able to talk to them about the availability of low-cost therapy services at Georgia State University's Psychology Clinic. We all know that there are several chronic health conditions which can be linked to mental health issues which significantly affect people's quality of life and increase demands on healthcare. Thus public awareness programs such as these, that promote encouraging people to take care of their overall health (mental and physical), will help people to come out of their preconceived notions about mental health and explore further options. This supports the missions of both the organizations (Georgia Psychological Association and GSU Psychology Clinic) that I represented.”

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(Photo: Vinod Devlia)

Website Bonus Features

Thanks to all those mentioned above, and to the following:
GINA’s President Lilly Anickat, ex-president Mary Jose, and other GINA officers were in the frontline for coordinating the event. GINA provided 25 volunteers: 22 nurses, 2 nursing students, and one medical student, who helped in many areas.
Snacks, fruits, and drinks were provided to all participants by Charter Anchor Hospital, and GINA provided lunch to all the doctors, technicians, and volunteers.
Publicity and coverage was provided by Atlanta’s digital and print media, and Anjali Chhabria of TV Asia. Vinod Devlia helped with photography services.
Dr. Sujatha Reddy thanked Shiv Aggarwal for providing accommodation at the Global Mall, Ravi Ponangi, and supporting sponsors.



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