Dr. Suresh Reddy, a young and dynamic Neuro-Interventional Radiologist by profession, assumed charge as the 36th President of the President of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) for the year 2019-20, at the 37th annual convention in Atlanta, GA, on July 6th, 2019.
“I promise to align all the energies to make AAPI an enormous force,” Dr. Reddy declared immediately after assuming charge of the largest ethnic medical association in the country.
As the curtains drew at the fabulous and world famous Omni Atlanta at CNN Center and Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, over 2,000 delegates from across the nation cheered and wished him well in his new role, leading the dynamic and vibrant organization, according to a press release.
Dr. Vinod Shah, former President of AAPI, administered the transfer of office at the solemn celebration, while the audience gave a rousing applause to the new leader of AAPI.
Dr. Reddy received the Gavel from Dr. Naresh Parikh, the outgoing President of AAPI at the final day of the Convention at the Famous Georgia World Congress Center.
Dr. Suresh Reddy’s team includes Dr. Seema Arora, Chair of BOT; Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, President-Elect of AAPI; Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, Vice President; Dr. Ravi Kolli, Secretary; Dr. Raj Bhayani, Treasurer; Dr. Stella Gandhi, President of Young Physician section; and Pooja Kinkabwala, President of Medical student and Resident section.
In his farewell address, Dr. Parikh mentioned that there is significant decrease in pharma support to AAPI, and he wished incoming team a successful year and he was confident that the new team will take AAPI to newer heights.
“I am honored to be serving with such an enthusiastic and cohesive group of physicians,” Dr. Suresh Reddy, the young leader of AAPI, said. In his capacity as the President of the largest ethnic organization of physicians in the United States, Dr. Reddy is committed to take the more than three decades old organization to the new heights and “bring all the AAPI Chapters, Regions, Members of the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees to work unitedly for the success of AAPI and the realization of its noble mission.”
“At the outset I would like to immensely thank you for electing me with landslide majority in my last three elections. I feel honored to take charge as the President of AAPI,” he added. “As I have promised you, we will bring increased dignity, decency, professionalism and eliteness into the organization.”
Among the goals Dr. Reddy has set before him as he takes on the leadership of AAPI is to: “Make AAPI financially robust and increase our endowments enormously so we can focus on our mission of E, M, R (education, mentoring, research) and service.”
The four-day long annual event was packed with activities, celebrating the success story of Indian American physicians and the fast growing Indian American community at large, offering an intimate setting that facilitated sharing of knowledge about cutting-edge research through CMEs, promoting personal, professional and business relationships, and displaying ethnic items, and an array of ethnic cuisine that was appreciated and enjoyed by all.
The convention is filled with CMEs, Women’s Forum, CEO Forum, Obesity Awareness Walk, Entertainment, Research Contest, Spiritual & Political Discourses, Fashion show, Speech Contests, AAPI Got Talent, Networking, Fellowship, Honoring of Past Presidents & BOTs. Shri Sadhguru, a well-known for Isha Yoga who is mystic and an author, inaugurated the convention with his wisdom filled spiritual discourse on July 4th.
In his keynote address, Sadhguru said, “The moment we learn to see things as they are, we will be peaceful. No one can make me happy or angry. I do it to myself by choice. You need to treat the lifestyle illness. What happens within you is your choice… 100 percent.”
Patrice Harris, MD, President American Medical Association, referred to some the key initiatives AMA is pursuing in recent years. She spoke about AMA’s three strategic areas: attacking the dysfunction in health care by removing obstacles and burdens that interfere with patient care; driving the future of medicine by reimagining medical education, training and lifelong learning for future generation of Physicians, and by promoting innovation to tackle the biggest challenges in health care; and leading the charge to confront the chronic disease crisis and improve the health of the nation. Pointing to the immense contributions made by Indian American Doctors, she said, “We value your contributions in healthcare. AMA is your partner and ally in patient care. We all need to work together to address the healthcare needs of the nation.”
On July 3rd, Georgia Chapter of AAPI hosted the inaugural dinner event with gala, recognition of various individuals who had worked hard to put together the convention and mesmerizing cultural events by local artists. In his address, Dr. Sreeni Gangasani acknowledged the efforts of the local committees that made the events spectacularly successful. “The convention team has been working incredibly hard to provide a delightful 4 days of events packed with educational CME credits, world-class entertainment, leadership seminars, networking opportunities, exhibits, and more,” Dr. Gangasani added. “Without their hard work, dedication, talents, skills and generosity, this mega event would not have been a success, I want to thank each one of them personally and on behalf of national AAPI for their dedication.”
In her address, Consul General of India in Atlanta, Dr. Swati Vijay Kulkarni, praised the many contributions of AAPI members in the United States and back home in India. “You have excelled in your fields of medicine, and thus make significant contributions through hard work, commitment and dedication to your profession and the people you are committed to serve,” she said.
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi praised the achievements of the Indian American community and the doctors, who are the role models for the rest of America. He urged AAPI leaders to take active role in local and national politics, in order to be able to shape the destiny of the nation.
The crowd cheered loudly as Shankar Mahadevan performed before a packed audience, not disappointing the audience even a single moment of their more than three hours long non-stop music.
An Obesity Awareness Walk led by Dr. Uma Koduri and other AAPI leaders at the famous Centennial Park in Atlanta drew hundreds of physicians and their family members as they walked around the Park wearing Yellow T Shirts emphasizing the need to create awareness about healthy lifestyle.
At the Executive Committee Luncheon members of the powerful and dynamic body were honored. Senior Advisors to the Team led by Dr. Naresh Parikh, including Surendra Purohit, Past BOT Chair, Vinod Shah, Dr. Narendra Kumar, and Dr. Ravi Jahagirdar, all Senior AAPI Leaders and AAPI Presidents, were honored.
At the Luncheon Gala hosted by AAPI’s Board of Trustees, Dr. Ajeet Kothari provided an update on the efforts of BOT under his leadership in strengthening AAPI. Dr. Seema Arora, the incoming BOT Chair assumed charge at the event and stated of her commitment to continue to strengthen AAPI and work with the Team to make AAPI financially sound and responsive to the needs of larger AAPI Body.
Also, for the first time, all past AAPI Presidents and past BOT Chairs were recognized and honored with a decorative shawl for their able leadership and continued guidance to AAPI. AAPI honored its members for their achievements. Most Distinguished Physicians Awards were given to Drs. Sanjeev Gupta; Ramesh Bansal; and Enas Enas. Distinguished Service Award was bestowed on Dr. Sanat Gandhi. The Young Physician Award went to Dr. Rupesh Raina & Dr. Sandeep Bagla, while the Most Distinguished Medical Student/Fellow Award was given to Dr. Radhika Chimata.
AAPI Got Talent and Mehfil, led by Dr. Amit Chakrabarty and Dr. Hemant Dhingra kept the audience enchanted every night often until 3 am, where AAPI members showcased their talents before their peers. Yoga sessions in the mornings, Speech contests and the Fashion Show by Archana Kochhar were some of the other events that were much appreciated by the delegates.
Golf with Cricketer Kapil Dev and his keynote address at the final gala and special address by Bollywood actor Gulshan Grover and signing of the books by the two legends and donating their sale of books to AAPI and its Charitable Foundation were other highlights of the convention.
The Women’s Forum, chaired by Dr. Asha Parikh & Dr. Udaya Shivangi, had Bollywood actress Preity Zinta, Archana Kochhar, an International designer who promotes India and Indian-ness through fashion, Consul General of India in Atlanta, Ambassador Swati Kulkarni; Aparna Bhattacharya, Executive Director of Raksha, Malini Moorthy, Vice President of Medtronic, and Dr. Ila Shah, a Physician and AAPI Leader.
In her welcome remarks, Dr. Asha Parikh said, “The Women’s Forum is where successful and powerful women come and share their life’s dreams, challenges and this empowers and inspires other women. Today’s forum is about how career changes by women affect t them and the larger society.” In her keynote address, Preity Zinta said, “Women have come to be successful and they have to be working really hard.” She stressed on the need for equal wages. Respecting women and have them walk shoulder to shoulder with men is the biggest challenge, she said.
Among his several priorities, Dr. Reddy assured that collaboration and cooperation is essential among AAPI leadership that all members of the lead team speak and act in one voice. “I promise you that I will work closely with the next two confirmed presidents so we can start strategic planning on multiple projects,” Dr. Reddy said. This will ensure continuity and smooth transition of programs and initiatives from current President to next.