BY MAHADEV DESAI
September 2012: Over 600 people attended the twenty ninth SAI Health
Fair and Red Cross Blood Drive held at the South Forsyth Middle School
in Duluth, Georgia on Saturday, August 25, 2012. The health fair was
spearheaded by well-known physician Dr. Sujatha Reddy and was organized
as a tribute to the life and legacy of Mahatma Gandhi and to promote
his and Dr. Martin Luther King’s philosophies of non-violence,
community service and social justice. The event was organized by the
Telugu Association of Metro Atlanta (TAMA), sponsored by Madhu Tata,
Malleshwar Rao Yarlagadda, Suresh Sajja, Swapna Kommeneni, Kiran
Katragadda and Gowtam Gurram and supported by Muthalamada Sneham
Charities, physicians, health care professionals and volunteers.
of diverse nationalities and cultures from all over Atlanta availed
themselves of the free consultancy and tests services provided by over
35 dedicated physicians representing 15 specialties, 15 technicians and
over 75 service-oriented volunteers, including those from Mercer
University, who attended to the various health related concerns of the
people. Services provided included blood tests, free EKGs, free
glaucoma and vision screenings, preventive cardiology tests, free bone
density tests to detect osteoporosis and free Consultancy in Ayurveda,
internal medicine, family medicine, cardiology, chiropractic,
dentistry, dermatology, endocrinology, gastroenterology,
OB/Gyn., ophthalmology, orthopedics, surgery, psychiatry and physical
135 EKGs were carried out by the Commerce Cardiology Group, Commerce,
GA, and Cardiovascular Group, Lawrenceville. Vision and Glaucoma
screening tests were done by Dr. Indira Menon. Forty audio screenings
were done by Dr. Sridhar Krishnamurthy from Auburn University, Alabama.
Bone Mineral Density screening tests were in big demand and more than
31 of the tests were performed by Madhusudhana Reddy and Vijaya Reddy
under the supervision of Dr. Sujatha Reddy. These bone density tests
helped educate the participants, especially women, about osteoporosis.
A bone marrow drive was organized in the Health Fair by AT&T and
majority of the attendees wanted blood tests. Over 150 cost –effective,
basic quality comprehensive chemistry profile of blood tests with PSA,
and HBA1c were carried out at a nominal fee of $25 per test. The lab
work was provided by the American Clinical Labs. Inc. in Stone
Mountain. Those who came for blood tests were provided with
complimentary breakfast by TAMA. It is noteworthy that the results of
the blood work were mailed within a week. The test results helped
identify some life threatening conditions, which were immediately
notified to the participants. Many lined up to consult Naturopathy and
Ayurveda expert Dr. Satish Nair of Gentle Awakening, together with Ms.
The TAMA Organization formed in 1981 is an
integral part of the close-knit, vibrant and progressive Telugu
community in the Metro Atlanta and beyond. The current dynamic and
enthusiastic Board of Trustees and the executive team of Suresh Peddi,
Mahesh Pawar, Vijay Kothapalli, Sandhya Yellapragada, Varaprasad
Yadana, Vijay Ravilla, Venkat Meesala, Vinay Maddineni, Mallik
Medarametlla, Upendra Narra and Vijju Cheluvuru actively participated
in the Health Fair.
Another milestone at the health fair this
year was the Red Cross Blood Drive. The Red Cross staff had arranged
six donation stations and donations began at 10.30 a.m. The blood drive
was a huge success and 61 units were collected by the end of the day.
The blood donors were served with fruits, juices and protein bars
generously donated on behalf of Sathyavati Lavu by Gurram.
Michelle Clarke, donor recruiter representative for the Red Cross in
the Forsyth area location and eight counties north and west of the
location, commented, “The Red Cross was invited by TAMA at the Health
Fair today for a blood drive. The blood drive is goaled at 48
life-saving units which can assist about 150 patients live one more day
in the world.” Lauding TAMA members she said, “I have noticed a high
rate of commitment level, approximately 68% first-time donor rates
amongst individuals that I have worked with. It is quite amazing that
when an individual says that he will donate blood, he keeps his word.
We expect to see 63 donors today to go through the process of donating
blood. Each unit of blood can save up to three lives.” Right now, Red
Cross is on a national appeal. We have gone out in the communities and
solicited donors. Our blood banks are at their lowest levels in 15
years. I thank TAMA for embracing the mission and providing life-saving
blood units to patients in need.”
Restaurant served a complimentary Indian breakfast and lunch to all the
doctors, technicians and volunteers. TAMA President Suresh Peddi and
Dr. Sujatha Reddy thanked the South Forsyth Middle School for providing
the premises and help in staging the health fair. They also thanked Ms.
Michelle Clarke, for coordinating the blood drive and all the blood
donors. They further thanked Mercer University’s pharmacy students,
supporting sponsors, the team of physicians, nurses, students and
dedicated volunteers and blood donors who together helped make the
health fair and blood drive a big success.