BY AJAY GHOSH
Atlanta, GA; July 5th, 2021: “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. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, the outgoing President of AAPI in his farewell address on July 4th at the Omni Hotel in Atlanta, GA.
Dr. Jonnalagadda, who had assumed office a year ago during a virtual convention, told the AAPI delegates, “Despite the Covid pandemic and the many challenges AAPI had to face, “I am proud of the many accomplishments under my leadership. I am grateful for the immense and life-changing moments, probably the best of my life ever, that came with my association with and leading AAPI.”
Describing how his own life has changed over the past years, he said, “Working with many physicians motivated me to be a better physician myself. I understood the higher meaning of being a physician, especially even more now during the COVID pandemic. AAPI has given me so much — networking, advocacy, and education — and I am honored to serve this noble organization. I sincerely appreciate the trust you placed in me as the President of AAPI, and I am deeply committed to continuing to work for you.”
Dr. Jonnalagadda expressed gratitude to his executive committee members: Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, President-Elect; Dr. Ravi Kolli, Vice President, Dr. Amit Chakrabarty, Secretary of AAPI; Dr. Satish Kathula, Treasurer of AAPI, Dr. Sajani Shah, Chair of AAPI’s BOT; Dr. Ami Baxi, YPS President; Dr. Kinjal Solanki, MSRF President; and Dr. Surendra Purohit, Chair of AAPI Charitable Foundation, for their cooperation, collaboration and leadership in helping AAPI meet the vision for AAPI.
Dr. Jonnalagadda enumerated several programs under his leadership AAPI had undertaken in the past one year. “AAPI and the Charitable Foundation has several programs in India. Under my leadership with the pioneering efforts of Dr. Surender Purohit, Chairman of AAPI CF, we have been able to strengthen the programs benefitting our motherland, India.”
AAPI has been actively involved in community awareness programs like Obesity prevention, sharing medical knowledge at the weekly webinars on team building activities such as the Share a Blanket program, medical education programs such as CPR training, and educating the public and creating awareness on healthcare issues through ZeeTV and ITV Gold, NDTV, BBC, and CNN. Almost all the ethnic publications from coast to coast across the US and several leading publications in India have run timely stories on AAPI‘s several initiatives and programs.
“AAPI’s Clinical Observership Program, the launching of JAAPI, a medical journal and the AAPI endowment Fund are some of the other initiatives under his leadership. However, the most important all was the numerous efforts he and his Team had undertaken to help India that is faced with the 2nd wave of the deadly covid pandemic.
“AAPI has been coordinating several efforts, including tele-health to patients and Doctors in India,” Dr. Jonnalagadda said. “Thanks to the overwhelming support of its members that 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 in India and are in the process of helping to set up oxygen generator plants in different hospitals in India.”
AAPI has raised over $ 5 Million towards Covid relief funds for India and has purchased, shipped and coordinated with local authorities the supply and distribution of medical supplies to several parts of India. AAPI has shipped over a thousand Oxygen generators, masks, PPPs and essential supplies, and our pipeline will continue until the pandemic is overcome. As with anyone else, our doctors believe that they can best carry out our service to God through our service to our fellow humans.
“The year 2020-21 has been a year that has fundamentally challenged long established certainties about what we think is safe and what we believe is healthy in all areas of our lives. The innovative ways healthcare professionals have learnt and begun to practice Medicine gives humanity HOPE,” Dr. Jonnalagadd said.
“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 take AAPI to stability, unity, growth and greater achievements,” the out-going President said. “My message to the new Team led by Dr. Gotimukula: AAPI must be responsive to its members, supportive of the leadership and a true advocate for our mission.”
The concluding day of the convention had the usual pomp and show displayed in music and dance by the local organizing committee of the convention headed by Dr. Sreeni Gangasani, who and his team were praised for their hardwork, dedication and creative ideas in putting together an amazing convention in less than three months. “We are delighted to have been able to plan and organize the convention in record time,” said Dr. Gangasani.
Calling it a historic convention, the cardiologist from Atlanta said, “For the first time ever, we had to stop registration as we had reached the required number of participants for the convention, disappointing many who wanted to come and join the annual meet. 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,” added Dr. Gangasani.
During the BOT luncheon on July 4th, Dr. Sajani Shah, the outgoing BOT Chair in her powerful message enumerated the numerous programs BOT under her leadership had initiated in the past one year. Dr. Shah invited all the past BOT Chairs onto stage and honored them for their leadership of AAPI.
Dr. Raghu Lolabhattu, Convention Vice Chair shared with the delegates about how in a mater of less than three months the Atlanta Chapter has put together a fabulous convention. He later on called on stage every member of the convention committee, while Dr. Lonnalagadda and Dr. Gangasani recognized them with a plaque. The past Presidents of were called on state on the 2nd night’s gala and were recognized for their leadership and continued guidance.
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, Sadhvi ji inspired the participants to engage in the scholarly exchange of medical advances, to develop health policy agendas, and to encourage legislative priorities professionals in the field of medicine. She emphasized the important and critical connection between mind and body by saying “As the Bhagavad Gita reminds us: the mind is the cause of all problems and the mind is, therefore, the solution.” She offered them a “Mantra” which she called, CURED, where C stands for Connections – Connect with your inner self; U stands for Understand that you are a tool in the hands of God; R stands for Reconnect with your inner self day in and day out; E stands for Equanimity – stay balanced in all you do; and, D stands for “Dhanyavad or Devotion” that is being grateful which will lead one to enjoy happiness kin life.
In her inaugural address after she was administered the oath of Office, Dr. Gotimukula vowed to make AAPI a premium healthcare leader, primarily focusing to improve and reform the current healthcare system and help towards making a better healthcare model for the patients; create awareness projects on major chronic diseases burdening our health care system through Lifestyle modifications; establish a support system to members going through racial discrimination in the US; support AAPI legislative efforts to make healthcare better and affordable to all and promote charitable activities globally. For more details, please visit: www.aapiconvention.org/ www.aapiusa.org.