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BY MAHADEV DESAI
SThe 24th SAI Health Fair, held at the Hindu Temple of Atlanta, Riverdale Georgia, on Saturday, March 27, 2010 elicited a huge response. The Health Fair, as always, was spearheaded by well-known physician, Dr. Sujatha Reddy and was organized as a tribute to the life and legacy of Mahatma Gandhi and also to promote his and Dr. Martin Luther King’s philosophies of Non-violence, community service and Social justice. The event was strongly supported by Muthalamada Sneham Charities; Hindu American Seva Charities; Gandhi Foundation of USA; and by the Hindu Temple of Atlanta.
On the sunny Saturday morning, over 300 people of diverse nationalities and cultures from all over Atlanta availed themselves of the free consultancy and tests services provided by 38 dedicated physicians representing over 14 specialties, 14 nurses and over 59 service-oriented volunteers who attended to the various health related concerns of the people after they registered for blood tests, free EKGs; free glaucoma screenings; preventive Cardiology tests; free Bone Density tests to detect osteoporosis and Free Consultancy in dentistry, dermatology, endocrinology, Internal Medicine, Cardiology, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, physical therapy, chronic pain, Endocrinology, Gynecology, and Physical Rehab Medicine.
Many, including elderly and disabled people, lined-up as early as 7.15 a.m.The spacious and well- lighted hall and rooms in the Educational Building and below in the Banquet Hall had neatly laid out tables, where over 110 EKGs (male and female) were carried out, by Southern Heart Specialists, Riverdale, Georgia for males, and Commerce Cardiology,Commerce,Georgia, for females. Over 25 audiogram and hearing tests were carried out by Sridhar Krishnamurthy. And over 120 vision and Glaucoma screening tests were done by Dr.Tulsi Vannapalli staff and Indira Menon from the Eye physicians and surgeons, Decatur, Georgia. Six tests were abnormal and two had critical arterial problems. Bone Mineral Density screening tests were in big demand About 30 plus bone-density tests (of which 15 were abnormal) were performed by Dr.Sujatha Reddy,Madhusudhana Siddagunta,and Vijaya Reddy. Madhavi Kasam gave advice on homeopathy treatment whereas her husband Nagesh explained about the health benefits through yoga exercises. Blood tests too were in big demand. Over 215 cost –effective, basic quality comprehensive Chemistry profile of blood tests with PSA, and HBA1c were carried out at a nominal fee of $20 per test. The lab work was provided by the Medical Center of Central Georgia Lab., Macon. It is noteworthy that the results of the blood work were mailed within 48 hours! The test results helped identify some life threatening results which were immediately notified to the participants.
Kiran Patel and Mary Beth Weber,MPH SHAPE Project Coordinators, Behavioral Sciences & Health Education
Rollins School of Public Health - Emory University, also participated in the SAI Health Fair. Both thanked Dr.Sujatha Reddy for the opportunity to participate in the SAI Health Fair and commented “Emory University's South Asian Health And Prevention Education (SHAPE) study attended the Sai Health Fair to provide weight, height, and BMI measurements to fair-goers as well as promote its forthcoming diabetes prevention program to the community. The fair was an excellent experience for the research team to speak with different members of the South Asian community about ways to improve their overall health. The SHAPE team looks forward to continuing its relationship with the Sai Health Fair as it further develops its health program.”
Antony Thaliath, the Executive Director of Gandhi Foundation of USA,who volunteered along with GFUSA Secretary Dr.Thrivikraman said,” Every time when we take part in the health fair it is such a rewarding experience. I love to see these people getting great service and go home with gratitude. It is such a warm feeling to see all the volunteers and doctors serving with great enthusiasm and dedication.
he Gandhi Foundation is happy to be part of these health fairs and looking forward to doing more humanitarian services in the future. Dr. Sujatha Reddy's uncompromising dedication to service in this field is unprecedented.
SAI Health Fair arranged for the complimentary breakfast for participants, doctors, nurses and volunteers, whereas delicious lunch for all the doctors, nurses, health care professionals and volunteers, was provided by Larry Jones of Forest Lab, while Fruit trays, water bottles, cookies were provided by Charter Anchor Hospital, Forest Park, Georgia. SAI Health Fair also arranged lodging and dinner on Friday for out of town nurses.
SAI Health Fair publicity and coverage was carried by Khabar magazine; India Abroad, Nripulse.com, wownow.com and Atlantadunia.com. In addition, presidents of several local Associations also helped to notify their members about the Health Fair. Digital video and Photography services were provided by K.C.Patel and Krishnamurthy and media reporting by Mahadev Desai,
Current President of the HTA, Hymavati Mikkilineni also complimented Dr.Reddy for organizing Sai Health Fairs for the community at different venues including at the Hindu Temple of Atlanta, Riverdale, Georgia.
Dr. Sujatha Reddy thanked the Hindu Temple of Atlanta for providing the accommodation and help to stage the Health Fair. She further thanked supporting sponsors; the team of physicians, nurses, students and dedicated volunteers who together helped make the Health Fair a big success. And commented, “Inspired by compassion, dedication and commitment, many selfless physicians, Health Care professionals, volunteers, Community and Faith-based organizations have joined their hands in successfully staging these Health Fairs. Most of the physicians, nurses and volunteers on her team have been participating over and over again. I am thankful to God for uniting us all in our efforts to provide people basic screening & critical access to health care professionals, which might not normally be available to them due to no insurance or inadequate insurance ,managed care restrictions ,prohibitive medical cost or time constraints . With our screenings, individuals have become aware of diseases ,ailments, and other adverse health issues that might be debilitating or terminal. With early detection, treatment and prevention of further medical complications, we strive to help the community at large and thereby our health care system in countless ways."