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GAPI Celebrates 2012 Annual Meeting With Great Élan
BY MAHADEV DESAI
IThe Georgia Association of Physicians of Indian Heritage (GAPI) held its Annual Meeting at a glitzy banquet at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia, on Saturday, March 31. The gala event was attended by over 230 members from the medical field and graced by the presence of the Consul General of India in Atlanta, Hon.Ajit Kumar, President of MAG, Dr.Sandra Reed; President of AAPI Dr.Sunita Kanumuri and President-Elect of AAPI, Dr.Narendra Kumar.
The Educational Session, which was moderated by Dr.P.K.Natrajan included informative topics like ‘Calcium scoring in Myocardial infarction’, by Dr. N. Parikh, ‘Softwear issues in Medical records’ presented by Image Healthcare Solutions/Software company, ‘Did you Know?’ presented by Sangita Sharma, PharmD, BCNSP of Walgreen Home Infusion and Respiratory Services, and ‘The Changing Healthcare Environment’, talk on the changes physicians are facing in healthcare presented by Jessica Higgins from Xcenda supported by Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
The CME Session was moderated by Betty Scrutchin and presented by MAG Mutual on the topic, ‘Surviving a Malpractice lawsuit’.by Dr Ann Contrucci , a pediatrician and Bob Monyak, a Defense Attorney. Dr.Cotrucci discussed what she went through during a malpractice suit of $23 million.The discussion was very interesting and the audience was riveted by her presentation. Monyak discussed the defense of the case and said, the only thing that mattered was the good standard of care given, and not the consequences, which is what helped win the case. As physicians are under tremendous pressure due to the fear of malpractice lawsuits, this presentation helped every one understand the process.
During the social hour, the attendees intermingled and networked with each other, enjoyed Café Bombay Restaurant’s tasty snacks and also visited about 23 booths set up by pharmaceutical Corporations, Banking and Insurance providers, Health Care related businesses; and not for profit Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation, and Lydia Foundation. Anokhi Ada enticed ladies with its array of colorful saris.
The program was emceed by Pulak Patel, who welcomed all, and gave a brief history of GAPI. GAPI formed in 1987 now serves more than 700 members and over 300 Life members.
GAPI Secretary Dr. Piyush Patel conducted the business meeting. Dr Patel said that in accordance with the GAPI bye-laws, the Board had received nominations from the General membership as below: Dr.Abhishek Gaur-President; Dr.Piyush Patel-President-Elect-Dr.Indran Indrakrishnan-Secretary and Shreedhar Nagnur - Treasurer. With a show of hands, the attendees unanimously approved the new Executive Committee members.
In his brief address, Hon.Ajit Kumar congratulated Dilip Patel for his leadership. He further congratulated the incoming President Abhishek Gaur and Executive Committee members and said, “I feel proud to see the galaxy of doctors here, not only from the State of Georgia but other parts as well. The whole effort of the Consulate would be to engage with both AAPI and GAPI. The Indian American community has come of age. We are 3 million strong. You professionals are the pioneers and torch bearers and most dynamic of the Indian Diaspora I have seen. You are the best ambassadors of India and our close cooperation and relationship will make our task lot easier.”
MAG President Dr.Sandra Reed, who is the second female Physician to lead MAG as president. In her brief address updated the audience on recent legislation, and about MAG’s legislative efforts to protect physicians’ interest in Georgia.
An informative and riveting presentation of Dinner Symposium by Dr.Jay Chavda, entitled “Helicobacter Pylori” Importance of Appropriate Testing and Management. “The program was supported by the Medical Device Division of Grand Sponsor of the GAPI Event “Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.” The Sponsorship was facilitated by Phoenix Marketing Solution.
AAPI President Dr Sunita Kanumuri emphasized connectedness and working together.”AAPI is one of the largest ethnic Organizations with a membership of 10,000 strong and growing. I urge you to not only become member ($100) but also play an active role so that our voice in the crucial Health Care Reform is heard,” she said. “AAPI has been organizing Health Fairs, Walkathons etc. to promote nationwide community awareness on Prevention and Healthy Life Style. I request you to attend our upcoming Convention on June 27 at Long Beach, California and also continue with your dynamic partnership with AAPI,” she added.
AAPI’s President-Elect, Dr Narendra Kumar said after the Convention on June 27,there will be mini-conventions over three weekends in the country. GAPI and the city of Atlanta has been chosen for one such Convention at the end of September this year where India’s top female singer Shreya Ghoshal will perform at GAPI’s Silver Jubilee Celebrations and help AAPI Charitable Foundation to raise funds for GAPI charitable activities including the GAPI Free Clinic and maybe even a building for the GAPI Free Clinic.
The outgoing President Dr.Dilip Patel said that during the year 2011,GAPI had organized five Regional Meetings in Augusta,Valdosta, Atlanta, Gainsville and Columbus. It had also organized two Health Fairs in Columbus under the leadership of Dr.Piyush Patel and supported Dr.Sujatha Reddy’s SAI Health Fairs in Atlanta. March, 2012 also marks the anniversary of the GAPI Free Clinic which is helping those without healthcare insurance. GAPI Clinic Appreciation Awards were given to Madhavi Gangasani, Sreekanthi Vantipalli, Sonal Soni, Seena Mathew, R.N. Coordinator and Dr. Jayashree
Also recognized were, Dr. Ketan Patel, a podiatrist, and an Associate member of GAPI for his outstanding services as Board of Director, Dr.Narendra Mankan, Dr.Arvind Gupta and Dr. P.Natrajan for coordination of Regional Meetings in Valdosta and Augusta. Gayathri Indrakrishnan, C.P.A., was appreciated with a plaque for her pro bono accounting services to GAPI, getting sponsors for Atlanta Regional meeting and donation for the GAPI Free Clinic. Awards were presented to other members of Executive Committee, Treasurer Dr. Indran Indrakrishnan, Secretary Dr.Piyush Patel, and incoming President, Dr.Abhishek Gaur and to immediate past President, Dr.Sreeni
Dr.Patel also appreciated help of Surya Pandiri for EMR at GAPI Free clinic
Dr. Patel said that GAPI had also supported Ekal Vidyalaya’s fund-raiser held in November 2010 at the Palace Restaurant. He further announced that he and a few other GAPI members had formed a 251 Donation Club, where one has to commit $251 a year for five years to support Daksha Chudgar Lydia House in Augusta, which will provide for residential need to women undergoing intensive treatment for various cancers, at Health Science University in Augusta.
In addition to the Health Fairs in Columbus and Sai Health Fairs,GAPI also participates in BAPS Health Fairs. He requested the attendees to contact Dr.Mahendra Shah for the upcoming Health Fair.
Finally Dr. Patel appreciated all members, invited guests and all volunteers who helped him to make this event successful. He appreciated both President and President elect of AAPI as this was the first GAPI meeting where both AAPI president and President Elect were in attendance. He complimented his wife Dr. Daksha Patel, who allowed him to work many hours for GAPI.
Former president of GAPI, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Dr.P.B. Rao said that GAPI helps deserving students with merit and need based scholarships. The annual scholarship of
$1,000 and a Citation of Excellence for their accomplishments, was given to four students;
Aditya Rajshekaran;Aishwarya Venkatachalan;Aditya Raghunathan and Shivani
Humanitarian Awards were given to Ralph Parker and Swadesh Katoch, who have played an exemplary role in helping 3,600 Bhutanese refugees in Atlanta settle down and enabling them to lead a better
Ralph Parker and Swadesh Katoch(Sewa International,USA) thanked GAPI for the cash awards and said they would use the money to help the refugees.
The incoming President Dr. Abhishek Gaur, a practicing Cardiologist promised to do his best in helming GAPI. “My goal will be to expand the membership base, by enrolling especially the second-generation Indian- Americans and also non-physician health professionals. We will continue our relationship with umbrella organization AAPI and our support to MAG.”
As President, Dr.Dilip Patel extended GAPI’s philanthropic activities and strengthened ties with other national and local professional Organizations by playing a bigger role therein.
Dr.Gaur applauded the outgoing President Dr.Dilip Patel for his hard work, determination, and drive and presented him with an Award.
After a delectable dinner members were treated to Bollywood’s chart-toppers by Dr.Amit Chakrabarty and Aparajita of Geetanjali Music Group, which immediately got the audience on the dance floor!
The GAPI Annual Banquet 2012 was truly a memorable evening for all.