Cricket Legend Sunil Gavaskar to address Indian-American Physicians’ Convention

Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar. Photo: courtesy AAPI

India’s legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar, who is also known for being an inspirational speaker, philanthropist, and the chairman of Heart2Heart (H2H) Foundation will be a keynote speaker during the 40th Annual Convention of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, AAPI, scheduled to be held in San Antonio, TX from June 23rd to 26th, 2022.“It’s a unique honor to be part of the important AAPI convention in Texas. I am looking forward to meeting you all in Texas,” Gavaskar is quoted saying in a Feb. 7, 2022, press release from AAPI

The announcement was made by AAPI President Anupama Gotimukula.


Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, president of AAPI. Photo: courtesy AAPI

Dr. Jayesh Shah, chair of Convention 2022 said that at a time when physician burnout was an issue, “a positive remedial” resource like Gavaskar would be an antidote at the first-ever Wellness Program being offered to participants at the Convention.

Dr. Jayesh Shah, chair of the AAPI 2022 Convention. Photo: courtesy AAPI

Recipient of Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awards for his contributions to Indian cricket, Gavaskar would headline a Meet & Greet Luncheon at the Convention and would highlight the fact that India remains the “world capital” for Congenital Heart Disease (CHD), with 300,000 children born with that problem each year, according to Dr. Ravi Kolli, president-elect of AAPI.

Without medical/surgical care, over 25% of children die before their 1st birthday, contributing to over 10% of the Infant Mortality Rate and resulting in 250+ children dying every day, AAPI said in the press release. Only a small fraction of children with CHD   can afford the cardiac surgery, which can cost over $100,000 in the United States.

The non-profit H2H Foundation has reduced the average cost of an open-heart surgery to only $2000  per patient, with a few innovations, the press release said. Otherwise, the procedure would cost and $5,000 to $9,000 in India. Gavaskar, who is touring the United States to raise awareness and funds to support the cause has personally sponsored 34 surgeries to match his 34 test centuries.

H2H provides free pediatric cardiac surgeries in collaboration with the group of Sai Sanjeevini Hospitals in India. Since February 2014, these hospitals have also been providing primary, secondary, and tertiary healthcare exclusively to children with CHD and over 10,000 surgeries have been performed free of cost, the press release said.

Several other executive members of AAPI lauded the inclusion of Gavaskar on the 40th Annual Convention roster.

The convention will be held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX located on the RiverWalk. Apart from the Continuing Medical Education seminars and other academic programs presenting cutting edge research, the Convention will also feature an exhibition to promote business relationships, and display ethnic items.

The Convention Committee Team is led by Dr. Jayesh Shah and includes Chief Executive Officer of the Convention Venky Adivi; Dr. Aruna Venkatesh, Convention treasurer; Dr. Vijay Koli, past president of AAPI & Convention advisor; Dr. Rajam Ramamurthy, convention advisor; Dr. Rajeev Suri, president of TIPS and co-chair of the Convention; other Co-Chairs of the Convention Dr. Shankar Sanka, Dr. Hetal Nayak, as well as Kiran Cheruku;  and Chief Operating Officers Reddy Yeluru and Ram Joolukuntla.

Some of the major themes at the convention include several Yoga events, including a visit to the first-of-its-kind in San Antonio, Aum Ashram as part of the Wellness session.

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