BY MAHADEV DESAI
Photos by Krish Photography
Atlanta, GA, November 2, 2022: Despite it being a festive month, more than 200 people attended the 44th SAI Health Fair in coordination with Georgia Indian Nurses Association (GINA) at the Hindu Temple, Riverdale, Georgia, on Saturday, October 15, 2022. The Health Fair was organized by Dr. Sujatha Reddy as a tribute to the life and legacy of Mahatma Gandhi and also to promote his philosophy of Non-violence, community service and social justice. It was strongly supported by healthcare professionals, nurses, and 17 noted physicians in nine diverse specialties. It was heartening to see Georgia Association of Physicians of Indian Heritage (GAPI) also partner with Sai Health Fair in reaching out to the community.
From early morning, people began lining up at the Health Fair for blood tests and also availed themselves of the free consultancy in nine specialties by 17 committed, dedicated, widely respected and experienced physicians, supported by six GINA nurses, lab technicians and 30 courteous service-oriented volunteers.
Dr. Tulasi Vanapalli; Dr, Reneeta Basu and GAPI President Dr. Uma Jonnalagadda provided internal medicine consultations. Endocrinologist Dr. Geetha Soodini; GAPI’s former President and Cardiologist Dr. Sreeni Gangasani and Dr. Devendra Koganti; OB/Gyn. Doctors-Dr. Padma and Dr. Clarissa Brook; Gastroenterologist and past President of GAPI Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda; Orthopedic doctor -Dr. Natarajan; General Surgery specialist Dr. Nuli Balakrishna; Dentistry: Dr. Supriti Balyan kept fully engaged with the public. Ophthalmologists Dr. Indira Menon and Ravali Reddy saw 15 patients at the ophthalmology desk for consultations. The conditions included presbyopia, diabetes, cataracts, hypertension, glaucoma and dry eyes. Dr. Menon also informed about the “Bone Marrow Drive” “Uma Kaila and Nysha Reddy volunteered at the table, and signed up people to be registered with the bone marrow registry, as well as gave information and understanding of the process. This should be helpful in increasing awareness re the need for Asian and Indians on the bone marrow registry and in helping patients in need of a bone marrow transplant.”
Over 80 costs –effective, basic quality comprehensive Chemistry profile of blood tests with HBA1c were carried out at a nominal fee of $30 per test. The lab work was provided by Quest Labs It is noteworthy that the results of the blood work were mailed within ten days with instructions to be followed at the free clinics as mentioned in the covered letter. The test results helped identify some life-threatening results which were immediately notified to the participants
Over 50 EKGs were carried out by Gwinnett Heart Specialists Heart Associates-Stockbridge, and Southern Heart Specialists. Over 25 Audio screenings were done by Dr. Sridhar Krishnamurthy, Auburn University, Alabama. Half were found to be abnormal.
Peripheral Bone Mineral Density screening tests were in big demand. More than 55 bone-density tests were performed by a team of Madhu Siddagunta, GINA’s Sherly John and student Alekya, under supervision of Dr. Sujatha Reddy. About 27 were abnormal. These bone density tests helped the participants about awareness of osteopenia and osteoporosis.
GINA member Vidya Kanagaraj gave stroke information and CPR demonstration while patients were waiting to be seen by doctors. Nurses Jecy Mathew and Ancy Chemmalakuzhy helped with the lab work, while nurses Shahnaz Mulla and Scicily Joseph helped in the triage area, checking BP, BMI and providing education on diet and medications.
Ayurvedic treatment consultation was provided by Nagesh Kasam, while Madhavi Kasam gave useful guidance on homeopathic treatment. “Homeopathy works wonders for all kinds of problems from cold to cancer. It cures the problem without side effects. Homeopathy works from the root. Homeopaths take care of person suffering with problem rather than the disease. Homeopathy helps people to heal themselves by assisting healing mechanism they are born with. By this method people come out of recurring health conditions and incurable problems. Homeopathy has shown wonders in Eczema, Ear infections, Asthma, Allergies, Migraines, PMS, Arthritis, Digestion issues, ADHD, Autism, Hypertension, Diabetes, Hypothyroidism, Sleeplessness, Anxiety and Depression. It is a very good option in mechanical injuries and first aid also. “Madhavi advised.
Health & Wellness Lifestyle coach and nutritionist, Rajitha Bommakanti provided information and advice on holistic weight loss, nutrition, exercise, stress management through meditation etc. as per their culture, personal preferences and family support. She shared that she has been using motivational interviewing techniques to empower people to make better lifestyle choices to reduce their risk of developing chronic conditions.
GAPI President said that she felt delighted and honored that GAPI had partnered with Sai Health Fair for over several years. GAPI also participated in a Health Fair by IACA. These Health Fairs help strengthen relationships with other ethnicities. Asians are at high risk for heart diseases. GAPI in future can offer coronary calcium scoring at cheaper price in future health fair.
Breakfast snacks were provided to all the participants by Uma Shanmugam family and lunch to all the doctors, nurses, technicians and volunteers was provided by Sai Health Fair.
Publicity coverage was carried out by Khabar magazine, NRI Pulse, Telugu Patrika, Rashtradarpan, Desi-express, and Atlanta Dunia. Ravi Ponangi, Krish Photography and Mahadev Desai, helped with the media coverage and digital photography.
GAPI, GINA officials Dr. Uma and Vidya Kanagaraj respectively, and Rajitha Bommakanti, praised Dr. Sujatha Reddy for her initiative and vision for organizing Sai Health Fairs, her energy, drive, compassion and selfless service. They also thanked all the doctors, nurses, volunteers who participated in the Health Fair.
Dr. Sujatha Reddy
effusively thanked GINA, GAPI, all the Doctors, nurses, technicians, and
volunteers for their tireless efforts, for making the Sai Health Fair a grand
success. “I’m glad to see so many people, from all walks of life, come to avail
the opportunity to get free screenings & consultations with medical
specialists. We have been hosting Health Fairs for a long time in different venues,
and feel proud in serving the community. I also wish to thank the Hindu Temple
President Prashanthi Asireddy for graciously allowing us accommodation to hold
this SAI Health Fair.”