BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
“I recall a specific example where an uninsured patient contacted the Medical Association of Georgia for an expensive life saving procedure and Dr. Indrakrishnan volunteered to perform this free of charge. This patient has been forever grateful and now has a great quality of life. This is the type of person he is – he renders care regardless of ability to pay and consistent with his oath as a physician. I am proud to be associated with Dr. Indrakrishnan.” Don Palmisano, CEO, Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) was happy to share his thoughts with NRI Pulse about the recent Georgia Senate resolution honoring Dr. Indran Indrakrishnan, as were many key people of various organizations.
In late spring this year Dr. Indrakrishnan received communication from the Georgia Senate requesting him to drop in at a convenient time to handover some documents. Between a packed Gastroenterology practice in Lawrenceville, GA, serving on several boards of the government and non- profit organizations in leadership roles and giving back to society, Dr. Indrakrishnan did not tend to it right away assuming it was a document related to one of the many healthcare projects he has been working on for the betterment of Georgians’ healthcare. He was wrong.
Eventually when he visited the Senate in July, Dr. Indrakrishnan found out that the Georgia Senate had unanimously passed a resolution in his honor in recognition of his contributions in various fields. The resolution – Resolution 364, authored by Senator David Shafer of the 48th district and supported by Senators Renee Unterman of the 45th, P.K. Martin of the 9th, Fran Millar of the 40th, Jack Hill of the 4th districts and others, bears testimony to the many roles Dr. Indrakrishnan embraces, enhances and enriches along the way. The devout doctor extends his gratitude to all the authoring senators and President/Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle. The Resolution, a unique recognition, awarded by members of Georgia General Assembly honors constituents, local heroes, and celebrities who have achieved notable deeds in their fields along with serving the community. The resolution stays in the archives of the Georgia Assembly.
Resolution 364 honoring Dr. Indrakrishnan recognizes his exceptional contributions in the treatment and raising of colon cancer awareness and other gastroenterological diseases, wisdom and leadership as a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Emory University, appointment by Governor of Georgia to serve on the Georgia Board for Physician Workforce, service to the state in a variety of ways, including being an active member on the boards of Fight Colorectal Cancer, Fill Ministries and many other distinguished organizations, his active role with Meals By Grace, a charity that provides meals to families in need, his active membership at the Hindu Temple of Atlanta, and honors from local , national and international organizations for his achievements.
“He is a great leader of the South Asian community and I am proud to see his vast talents being put out to good use and he richly deserve this recognition.” Said President Pro-tempo, David Shafer. “Georgia is a better place for having him serving us,” said Representative Brooks Coleman, Chair of House Education Committee.
Dr. Claire Sterk, President of Emory University was eager to share her enthusiasm with NRI Pulse. “Dr. Indrakrishnan has an outstanding record of service to patients and families across Georgia. In his roles as physician, healthcare leader, and teacher, he embodies the spirit of Emory University and Emory Healthcare, delivering quality care with integrity and with the kind of compassion that transforms communities,” she said.
Raising awareness about colon cancer is one of the many issues Dr. Krishnan is passionate about. This is the fourth year in a row where Governor Deal has declared the proclamation for March as the colorectal cancer awareness month at the request of Dr. Indrakrishnan.
“This cancer is becoming more common in people younger than age 50, although the standard recommendation is to start screening at age 50. Colonoscopy – a painless outpatient procedure done under sedation can detect and remove polyps, a benign growth on the lining of the colon that grows larger and becomes cancerous,” explains Dr. Indrakrishnan. As board member for Fight Colorectal Cancer, a national patient advocacy not for profit organization, Dr. Indrakrishnan has served to help patients.
“He is personally committed to our mission to save lives and helps patients impacted by colorectal cancer. Working alongside him, it is clear, he has earned the respect of his colleagues, peers, and friends. We are excited for him to receive this much-deserved honor by the state of Georgia,” says Anjee Davis, President Fight Colorectal Cancer.
“I have always been impressed by his dedication to the fight against colorectal cancer. Whether at the state level through his determination to enhance awareness and screening or at an individual patient level through his tireless efforts to ensure the highest standard of care, Dr. Indrakrishnan’s contributions to the field of colorectal cancer in Georgia are very evident. This most recent recognition is a clear reflection of this work and its impact,” says Professor. Bassel El-Rayes, Vice Chair for Clinical Research, Department of Hematology and Oncology at Emory University. “He has been a leader in the area of colon cancer screening, has served on the Board of the Georgia Gastroenterologic and Endoscopic Society, and despite a very busy practice, still takes time to go and work with our fellows and residents helping underserved patients at Grady.” adds Dr. Field F. Willingham, Director of Therapeutic Endoscopy program at Emory University.
On Jan 12, 2017 Dr. Indrakrishnan added another of many firsts to his credentials when he was sworn in by Governor Nathan Deal as the first Asian American to the Georgia Board for Physician Workforce (GBPW).
“Georgia Board for Physician Workforce is excited about the honor Dr. Indrakrishnan has received from the Georgia General Assembly. Dr. Indrakrishnan dedicates his time to support the development of medical education programs and to increase the number of physicians and health care practitioners practicing in underserved rural areas,” says LaSharn Hughes, Executive Director of GBPW. The GBPW works to see Georgia communities, especially in medically underserved areas, have improved access to needed physician generalist and specialists, thereby enhancing the health and well-being of Georgia’s citizens.
Dr. “I” as Suellen Daniels, President, Meals by Grace fondly refers to Dr. Indrakrishnan, was introduced to the organization through his daughter, Harini, when she volunteered for a week. “Dr. I decided to invite his family and friends to come experience helping our children and families in need as his “birthday present” from them. He came and brought many of his friends/family. That was the first of many visits,” she says. “Dr. Indrakrishnan offered rent-free use of a 1800 sf storefront that they occupied for over 2 years. He currently serves on their hi-level advisory board to bring Aquaponic Farm to fruition. “No one understands the need for healthy organic fresh foods in our hungry children/families’ diets more than Dr. I. He’s been a wonderful ambassador, a powerful proponent and a truly supportive counselor/friend along this journey,” she raves.
A trustee of Hindu temple of Atlanta, Dr. Indrakrishnan admits that he rarely attends religious poojas, yagas and homas. He was however a major contributor to the elevator built for the elderly, disabled and otherwise needy people in 2014. “Dr. Indrakrishnan is very generous with supporting the programs like art and culture, health fairs, and spiritual activities. We are so proud of him. On behalf of the board of trustees, I’d like to congratulate him for his achievement,” says HTA President Kusuma Kotte.
Adding more feathers to his ever growing, ever-glowing cap of achievements is his graduation from the class of 2017 Leadership Gwinnett program. “As a non-profit mission, Leadership Gwinnett educates, equips and engages leaders through a diversity of people, thoughts and experiences that lead Gwinnett to a better future. A resident of Gwinnett, a well-respected physician and an alumnus of the Leadership Gwinnett Class of 2017, Dr. Indrakrishnan has utilized his community influence to advance several initiatives that are positively impacting Gwinnett and the Region. Leadership defines Gwinnett and it’s the leaders like Dr. Indrankrishnan that give back to the community and blaze new trails for civic engagement,” quotes Lisa Zaken, Executive Director of Leadership Gwinnett.
Dr. Indrankrishnan was an honoree of 2016 GAT Most Influential Asian Americans in Georgia. “Dr. Indrakrishnan deserves the accolade and recognition by the Georgia Senate. His works in the community has helped so many individuals in the state of Georgia,” says Li Wong, Publisher, Georgia Asian Times.
In her 2013 feature titled “The Changing American Family” published in The New York Times, Pulitzer-Prize-winning writer Natalie Angier encapsulates the impact by the likes of Dr. Indrakrishnan imparted on America as a society. “Dr. Indrakrishnan is part of a new tide of immigration that has been sweeping America, upending old voting blocs, reconfiguring neighborhoods, diversifying local restaurant options and casting a fresh perspective on the meaning of traditional family value,” she writes.
“A person of magnanimous strengths with an unimpeachable reputation for integrity, intelligence, service, fairness, and kindness and, by the example he has made of his life, he has made this world a better place in which to live,” – Dr. Indrakrishnan’s description in his honor, Resolution 364, stands testament to his many accomplishments as a physician and as a person.
A champion for causes with claims to many firsts, Dr. Indrakrishnan is a force to reckon with. He dedicates this rare gesture of honor to his wife Gayathri without whom he feels he would not have received this exceptional recognition from the law makers.
Accolades from the Senate and the people he works with apart, we can only assume his passion for service will propel this assiduous physician’s aspirations to new heights.