Indian-American physicians in New Jersey hold first annual convention

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Hundreds of physicians and their spouses as well as supporters and sponsors attended the first convention hosted by the New Jersey chapter of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI-NJ)

From left, Dr. Gautam Samadder, Dr. Binod Sinha, president of AAPI-NJ, Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, Dr Krishan Kumar, Rajeev Bhambri, Dr. Himanshu Pandya, Dr. Ajay Lodha, and Dr. Raj Bhayani, pose for a photo at the Nov. 9, 2019, first annual convention of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin- New Jersey Chapter (AAPI-NJ). (Photo: AAPI-NJ)

The New Jersey chapter was formed a year ago by four physicians, Dr. Binod Sinha, current president; Dr. Raj Bhayani, the treasurer of national AAPI and convenor of the Nov. 9 convention of AAPI-NJ; Dr. Hemant Patel, past president of national AAPI; and Dr. Kishore Ratkalkar.

More than 300 people attended the convention held at Double Tree Hilton, Newark. Also present at the event were members from the national AAPI, including Dr. Seema Arora, member of the Board of Trustees of national AAPI, as well as  past presidents Dr. Ajay Lodha, Gautam Samadder, chair of the AAPI-NJ Board of Trustees, Dr. Durgesh Mankikar, chair of the National AAPI Boart of Trustees, and Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, advisor to AAPI-NJ and past president of the Federation of AAPI-NYNJCT.

“I would like this new chapter, AAPI-NJ to flourish and get to the level of the Federation, to help physicians, advocate for them and carry forward the legislative agenda,” Dr. Parikh told News India Times.

The AAPI-NJ notes on its website that many physicians in the state have fostered personal relationships with members of Congress and the Board of Medical Examiners “which is an invaluable asset to physician advocacy and ensuring patient-focused healthcare reform.”

Dr. Arora felicitated Dr. Sinha for the accomplishments of the one-year old New Jersey chapter of AAPI.

Dr. Bhayani welcomed the guests to the first convention. Dr. Sinha gave an overview of the activities AAPI-NJ had been involved in since it was formed a year ago.

In March this year, AAPI-NJ raised more than $50,000 at a fundraiser for the families of the soldiers killed in the Pulwama terror attack in Kashmir on Feb. 14. (http://www.newsindiatimes.com/aapi-new-jersey-raises-50000-for-families-of-soldiers-killed-in-pulwama-attack/)

The N.J. chapter also raised thousands for Kerala flood relief victims.

Dr. Binod Sinha, president of AAPI-NJ, speaking at the Nov. 9, 2019, first annual convention of the organization. (Photo AAPI-NJ)

Dr. Sinha also dwelt on future plans of the N.J. chapter, including expanding membership and also working to get more physicians involved.

Dr. Hemant Patel spoke of the educational activities planned for the coming months, as it was critical to keep physicians up-to-date with latest technologies and procedures in health care. He also spoke of connecting Indian-American physicians with lawmakers in order to influence health policy, an endeavor in which Dr. Sudhir Parikh would be closely involved.

Dr. Pooja Patel, treasurer of AAPI-NJ spoke of being focused on bringing in more younger physicians into the organization.

The convention also featured a dance performance and a music concert by Bhaven Shastri.

The New Jersey chapter of AAPI aims to bring together Indian physicians to serve the patients with the highest quality healthcare and take steps to help patients without insurance with the necessary service, the organization says on its website.

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