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Huge response for SAI health fair at Gujarati Samaj

Mahadev Desai
October 2009
Huge response for SAI health fair at Gujarati Samaj The 23rd SAI Health Fair, held at the Gujarati Samaj of Atlanta, in Tucker, Georgia, on October 10, elicited a huge response. The health fair, as always, was spearheaded by Dr. Sujatha Reddy, a well-known physician. This year, the event also served to mark the 140th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, which fell on October 2, and to promote his and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s philosophies of non-violence, community service and social justice. SAI is an acronym for Selflessness, Awareness and Integrity.

The event was sponsored by the Gujarati Samaj of Atlanta in collaboration with the Gandhi Foundation of USA, Sneham Charity, BAPS charities, Patel Brothers, Global Mall, and Khabar, Inc.

The sunny Saturday morning drew over 400 people of diverse nationalities and cultures from all over Atlanta to the Gujarati Samaj’s Sardar Patel Hall, where free consultation and testing services were provided by 30 physicians representing 18 specialties, 16 nurses and EKG technicians, and over 50 volunteers including those from Georgia State University, Emory Medical School and the College of Pharmacy, University of Georgia, Athens.

The services included blood tests, EKGs, glaucoma screenings, preventive cardiology tests, bone density tests, and consultation in, dermatology, orthopedics, dentistry, endocrinology, internal medicine, cardiology, ENT, gastroenterology, urology, ophthalmology, pulmonary medicine, chiropractic medicine, physical therapy, chronic pain, gynecology, and physical rehabilitation medicine.

Over 300 EKGs were carried out by Southern Heart Specialists, Riverdale, Georgia, and Dr. Sreeni Gangasani, Cardiovascular Group, PC, Lawrenceville, along with Dr. Aman Kakkar, Heart and Vascular Care, Cumming, Georgia. Dr. Shalini Reddy and Dr. Sesi Reddy, together with medical students from Emory, carried out over 200 cardiovascular risk assessment tests and also provided education and advice on anti-smoking and nutrition, while Melanie Cassity, RN, of Athens Regional Medical Center gave information and advice on diabetes.

Over 150 vision and glaucoma screening tests were conducted by Dr. Indira Menon from Decatur, Georgia. Bone mineral density screening tests were in big demand: over 50 bone density tests were performed by Madhusudhana Siddagunta and Vijaya Reddy under the supervision of Dr. Sujatha Reddy. Over 340 blood tests were carried out for a nominal fee of $20 per test. The lab work was provided by the Medical Center of Central Georgia Lab., Macon. Results of the blood work were mailed within 48 hours.

Gujarati Samaj of Atlanta arranged for free breakfast and lunch for participants, doctors, nurses and volunteers.

Dr. Arshed Quyyumi, Professor of Medicine, Emory School of Medicine, who is involved in a research study, said people attending the health fair had consented to participate in a study being conducted by the Emory University Hospital’s Division of Cardiology. The study was designed to discover novel genetic and blood biomarkers of increased risk of cardiovascular diseases including high blood pressure and diabetes in South Asians. Blood samples were collected at the health fair for analysis of DNA for genetic risk factors.
In his appreciatory comments, Antony Thaliath, Executive Director of Gandhi Foundation of USA, said his organization was grateful for the opportunity to co-sponsor the event.

Dr. Sujatha Reddy thanked Gujarati Samaj President Vipul Patel, Vice President Sunil Patel, the board of directors and health fair lead Dr. Dipak Patel for providing a space for the event, and for hosting nurses and volunteers attending from out of town. She also expressed gratitude to the event sponsors and the doctors, nurses, students and volunteers who worked to make the event a big success. “The mission of the SAI Health Fairs is to create an awareness of the importance of preventive health care among the public,” Dr. Reddy added.

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