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Dr. Naresh Parikh in national spotlight as AAPI President

Compiled/partly written by Suzanne Sen and Murali Kamma Email Compiled/partly written by Suzanne Sen and Murali Kamma
August 2018
Dr. Naresh Parikh in national spotlight as AAPI President

(Left) Dr. Naresh Parikh, President of AAPI, delivering inaugural address.

Dr. Naresh Parikh, a cardiologist, entrepreneur, leader, and community activist, assumed charge as President of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) during the historic 36th annual convention at the Greater Columbus Convention Hall on Saturday, July 7th as the convention came to a conclusion with the gala attended by over 1,700 delegates from across the nation.


Along with Dr. Parikh, his 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 as the AAPI delegates cheered loudly wishing them the best in the upcoming year.

As the President of AAPI, “I will dedicate my time, energy and skills to maintain the integrity of AAPI and promote membership database and scrub data. 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. Our Mission and Motto for the upcoming year is “As your president I plan to invoke this year as the year of progress and balance,” the soft spoken Dr. Parikh declared in his inaugural address.

Dr. Parikh was gracious in acknowledging the contributions of Dr. Gautam Samadder, his predecessor. “I have enjoyed serving AAPI for all these years and it was a true pleasure this past year working in close association with Dr. Samadder. I have learned much from him and offer that as a compliment for his achievements for AAPI,” he said. 

Placing his confidence in the AAPI members who have elected him to lead this 37-year-old organization, Dr. Parikh said, “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. An organization is only as strong as its members make it and our AAPI membership is an incredible group of dedicated passionate individuals. I would like to congratulate the members of AAPI for their strength and the support they have given in its wings of flight.”

Graduated 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 a dozen locations. A practicing Cardiologist in Atlanta, Georgia for 30 years, Dr. Parikh 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.

Dr. Parikh has been very active and leading several local and national level programs for AAPI in the past several years. He has been a Patron Member of the AAPI Charitable Foundation since 2006. His organizing skills were highly appreciated when he served as the Chair and Convener for AAPI annual convention in 2006. Dr. Parikh was Chairman of the Organizing Committee of Shankar Mahadevan and Sunidhi Chauhan concerts and was instrumental in successfully raising money for AAPI.

Not satisfied with growing professionally and contributing and leading AAPI, Dr. Parikh has been generous with his time, talents, and resources towards charitable causes across the U.S. and in India. He started Atlanta’s first Charitable Medical Clinic in 1996 and was the Medical Director for over 10 years. He has led and organized several healthcare fairs and contributed in fund-raising events for AAPI in their mega shows by Shankar Mahadevan, Shreya Ghoshal, and Hema Malini.

“It’s been an honor and privilege for me to be associated with AAPI because I recognize the tremendous potential and the lead role that is being played by AAPI in promoting friendship between India and the United States. As members of AAPI, we have not forgotten our roots and are engaged in several activities such as conducting Indo-US Healthcare Summit that has shown us a new trail in healthcare sector in India and will continue to pave the way for new frontiers in public-private partnership.” As the president of AAPI, which has been playing a major role in supporting noble causes around the world, Dr. Parikh’s goal “is to be actively engaged in the SEWAK project in India.”

In 2014, as the Treasurer of AAPI, Dr. Parikh had the honor of meeting with Hon. Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi to launch the Swasth India Portal. In the same year, he had sponsored the screening of the popular movie in Atlanta, The Ship to Theseus, and helped to raise awareness about the need for organ donation. In 2015 Dr. Parikh sponsored the community reception of Vikas Swarup, author behind Slum Dog Millionaire, a winner of 8 Academy awards. Since 2017 onwards, he is serving as the President of Georgia Gujarati Doctors and Dental Association.

Dr. Parikh has been in the forefront in helping AAPI sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Thalassemia Major Koticha Foundation and the Kidney Research Foundation, both of Rajkot, Gujarat, India; and with AAPNA, BMANA – Formation of SAPNA. Thalassemia Major is a devastating disease, prevalent in the southern part of Gujarat. An NGO, Koticha Foundation is doing an excellent service for the Community. AAPI has signed an MOU whereby we have made an appeal to the Ministry of Health to make mandatory blood screening before marriage or high school/college admissions.

AAPI recently opened a charitable clinic in Panvel, Mumbai, MS known as Tara Clinic, 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 2 hours away from South Mumbai.

During a historical event on Jan 27th, 2018 in Miami, FL, Dr. Naresh Parikh, along with the immediate past President Dr. Gautam Sammader and AAPI Strategy Advisor Anwar Feroz Siddiqi, was installed as a Founding Member.

Dr. Parikh initiated a strategic and symbolic Signing of MOU with Physicians of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin with AAPI in Feb 2018 in Miami, Florida. This brings about a nonbinding 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, tuberculosis (TB) in India, with a major focus at The Global Health Summit to be held from Dec 28th to 30th in Mumbai. Dr. Ravi Jahagirdar, Dr. Manoj Jain of CDC, and Chief Strategy Adviser of AAPI Anwar Feroz Siddiqi have been instrumental in coordinating this new initiative with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and with various agencies in India. 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 a new partnership with USAID to end TB in India. Under the MOU, signed earlier this year in New Delhi and announced in Mumbai, AAPI and USAID will work together to utilize the 100,000-strong network of physicians of Indian-origin living in the United States to support health programs in India, engage AAPI’s network of private charitable clinics for TB awareness, detection, and treatment, and explore opportunities for collaborations between U.S. and Indian medical schools to exchange cutting-edge health care solutions.

Speaking about the USAID-AAPI collaboration, Dr. Naresh Parikh, President of AAPI, said: “Elimination of Tuberculosis has been a matter of national concern for many years now. Through our partnership with USAID, we aim to bring American technical expertise to help strengthen India’s fight against TB. Also, we intend to bring in leading subject matter experts, introduce global best practices and cutting-edge business solutions that will complement and grow existing USAID programs 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 around 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.

Dr. Parikh called upon the entire AAPI family to work towards staying united and for the betterment of the organization they all love dearly. “Let this year be a year of unity, progress, and balance. Let us set aside all our differences and we all pledge to unite and work together as one team for betterment of AAPI and keep AAPI in balance,” he said.

As the President of AAPI, Dr. Parikh will “carry forward my duties of AAPI Office and keeping transparency, accountability, and branding of AAPI. Under the current dynamic and dedicated team of executives, we strive to achieve higher standards for AAPI and to achieve our chosen agenda. I am committed to working with the AAPI team to establish AAPI’s image in the U.S. and globally.” 

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[The article above contains additional material not in the print and digital issues.]

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