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Association of Kerala Medical Graduates launches Georgia chapter

BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE

Atlanta, GA, May 2, 2020: Just before Georgia and the rest of the world locked down to contain an unprecedented pandemic, AKMG (Association of Kerala Medical Graduates} officially launched the Georgia chapter, complete with Tax ID on February 29, 2020 at Madras Chettinaad restaurant in Alpharetta. Current AKMG President Dr. Usha Mohandas and Convention Chair Dr. Pradip Baiju presided as the guests of honor.

“We are very happy to announce the new 501(c)(3) corporation for the Georgia Chapter. Charity work in Georgia and Kerala will be done under this organization. Student scholarships will be given once we have established enough funds,” said Dr. Mohandas. She also highlighted the upcoming 2021 AKMG Convention, scheduled to be held on August 13th and August 14th, 2021 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Buckhead, Atlanta with Onam and Indian Independence themes. “Please mark your calendars and plan on attending our AKMG Convention in Atlanta,” she announced. Atlanta’s Dr. Lizy Thaliath will be the convention will chair the convention with Dr. Swapna Madhavan and Dr. Sheraj Jacob as co-chairs of the event. The office bearers of the Georgia Chapter include Dr. Subrahmanya Bhat, Director, Dr. Shankar Unnikrishnan, President, Dr. Ashley Joseph, Secretary and Dr. Sreekala Sateesh, Treasurer.

More community service locally and internationally ( Kerala in particular), bringing more members especially younger generation, unite AKMG doctors and support local community organizations especially free clinics serving under privileged people are my upcoming goals for AKMG,” said Atlanta’s Dr. Subrahmanya Bhat who will be  President of the AKMG in July, 2020.

Dev Sebastian and other doctors including Dr. Anu Bhat entertained the audience with their musical renditions. Dr. Bhat recognized all sponsors including 27th Investments, Rajesh Jyothishi ( ShalinFinancial), Vijay Patel ( ML),  Mathews Kurian, Atlanta International travels, and the media including NRI Pulse.

AKMG was founded in 1981 as a social and non-profit organization by Dr. Gokulanathan. Originally named “Alumni Association of Kerala Medical Colleges in North America” during the first General Body meeting on May 24, 1980 held at Bombay Palace in New York, the current name “Association of Kerala Medical Graduates ” was adopted in 1984.

Since its origin, AKMG has held annual conventions throughout the US and Canada, AKMG annual conventions are known for camaraderie, educational and socio-cultural events and humanitarian endeavors.

Having spread its wings globally, AKMG is involved in educational and humanitarian efforts locally and globally. Their efforts include LRCs {Learning Resource Centers} in various Kerala based Medical Colleges, CME activities in AKMG Conventions as well as presentations by AKMG members in CME activities in UK, UAE and India. Humanitarian efforts have funded those in need in North America and Kerala. Over the past 20 years, AKMG has collaborated with various medical/dental/ professional/alumni organization including AKMG-Emirates, ATMG {Association of Trivandrum Medical Graduates-UK}, MMA {Malayali Medical Association-UK}, TMCAA {Trivandrum Medical College Alumni Association-Kerala}, to name a few. 

In 2013, AKMG-HS’s collaboration with AAPI-Charitable Foundation was instrumental in establishing the recent AAPI Clinic in India, recognized nationally. The AAPI-AKMG-AKMG-HS, Panangad clinic is a full service, seven days a week, outpatient clinic providing both primary care and specialty services. AKMG has also donated to disaster relief funds in Kerala and Louisiana, among others.

A cruise convention scheduled for July 2020, was canceled owing to Covid-19.

“Truly a pandemic which we never witnessed in our lifetime,” said Dr. Bhat when asked to comment about the spread of virus. “Covid 19 has appeared as a monster viral illness killing thousands of people. Started in Wuhan, China in November 2019, it has spread to over 180 countries. Unfortunately, the world or USA was not prepared for this deadly pandemic.  Even though mortality is very high in elderly and sick individuals, we have witnessed many young and otherwise healthy individuals dying from this. Right now, we do not have any FDA approved treatment available!  Combination of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin, Antiviral medications, Immunosuppressive treatments have been tried with mixed results. Plasma from convalescent patients has been tried with some success. Vaccines will be extremely useful for prevention but not available yet. Death toll being over 100, 000 worldwide, no one knows when this will end!” he noted.

“All we can do is remain positive, calm yet take all preventive precautions and seek help immediately when needed,” advised Dr. Anu Bhat.

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