The Association of Kerala Medical Graduates, AKMG, possibly the oldest Indian-American physicians’ organization, is holding its ‘Ruby Convention’ this July end. As a precursor to that and to reach out to the community, AKMG held a kickoff event at the Indian Consulate in New York May 21.
It was attended by close to 65 members and supporters as well as representatives from the Consulate and the media, according to Dr. Alex Mathew, chair of the July 25-28 convention which will be held in New York City at the Sheraton at Times Square.
“We wanted to make it known to the public through the media that we are a 40 year-old organization with a lot of charitable and other activities under our belt and we want all the support we can get for this convention,” Dr. Alex Mathew told News India Times.
Speakers at the kick-off included, among others, National AKMG President Thomas Mathew; India’s New York Consul for Community Affairs Devadason Nair; Chief Guest Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media and ITV Gold; and Dr. Alex Mathew.
Citation being presented to Dr. Sridevi Menon, an internal medicine specialist of 45 years standing and graduate of Calicut University Medical College, at the May 21 kickoff event of AKMG, held at the Indian Consulate in New York. Also seen in photo are, from left, Indian Consul for Community Affairs in NY Devadason Nair, Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chief guest at the event; Dr. Menon, Dilip Chauhan, president of the New York South Asian Chamber of Commerce, and Dr. Thomas Mathew, president of AKMG. (Photo: Amal & Bobby Kunnath for Media Logistics courtesy AKMG)Also recognized were Dr. C.S. Pitchumoni, chief of gastroenterology at St. Peter’s University Hospital, and formerly chairman of the Department of Medicine at Lady of Mercy Medical Center, as well as Dr. Sridevi Menon, an internal medicine specialist of 45 years standing and graduate of Calicut University Medical College.
Dr. Thomas Mathew welcomed those present and gave a brief history of AKMG. He also acknowledged the presence of senior members of the organization, Dr. Pitchumoni and Dr. Menon.
Nair, in his speech, thanked Indian-American physicians for services they render to the community and their charitable work. He also asked for them to consider discussions on including India’s traditional Ayurvedic medicine on their agenda.
Dr. Parikh dwelt on the history of organizations like AKMG and the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, which was formed after AKMG, and how they helped Indian physicians come to the U.S. and get residencies etc. and fought for the recognition of foreign medical graduates. He expressed his support and help for the upcoming Convention.
Citations were presented to Dr. Pitchumoni and Dr. Menon by Dilip Chauhan, deputy comptroller for minority affairs in Nassau County.
Dr. Alex Mathew outlined the program in the July 25-28 Convention, and focused on the highlights: Different from earlier conventions, this year the AKMG is making a special effort to encourage young doctors to come forward and take leadership, he said. That includes giving free entry for medical and dental students; reduced rates for resident physicians; special Young AKMG sessions; entertainment tailored to the liking of the younger generation.
Also, for the first time a ‘Women in Medicine’ seminar is on the program, to recognize the increasingly important role women are playing in society. That seminar will be led by Dean of Stony Brook Medical School Dr. Lata Chandran, and Dr. Nisha Pillai, cardiologist with Northwell Group.
An afternoon would be devoted to the subject of Health Innovations & Global Health Care, he informed those present.
Registration for the Convention is flexible – allowing attendees to come for just one day or one session, and for special events such as cruises.
According to the organization, it now has more than three thousand member physicians.
The three jam packed days of the Convention have their own themes to represent each night. The TEMPEST night on Thursday July 25, will feature a cruise around N.Y city with music, dance, entertainment and dinner served on one of New York‘s prestigious cruise ships, Cornucopia.
The EUPHORIA day on Friday July 26, will feature Continuing Medical Education talks, poster presentations from Young AKMG (medical residents and medical students); and the Women’s seminar, a Literary Seminar or Sahithya Samelenam; Friday evening entertainment will conclude with AKMG ‘s Got Talent, a night of music, dance and singing.
The final day of the convention on Saturday July 27 will continue with world renowned C.M. E presentations. The afternoon seminar on Health Innovation which will focus on integrating all the major health systems in the U.S and India and talks from Anthony Sathydas details of which will be announced on a later date.
Friday evening will be Gala Night — themed as Dhwani Tharangam, that will include performances from Malayalam film industry’s lead choreographer and Kerala State Award Nominee Biju Dhwani Tharang.
Playback singers like Swetha Mohan and Vidhu Pratap will be featured,
The AKMG has also provided a platform for business vendors to connect with the physician clientele on Friday and Saturday, a press release from AKMG detailed.