Indian-American physicians association president receives Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award

Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, president of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, AAPI. Photo: courtesy AAPI

Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), was conferred the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA) during the 16th annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention, held virtually on January 9, 2021.

The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards were conferred by the  President at the PBD Convention in the valedictory session of the celebrations.

The Samman Award is the highest honor conferred on Non-Resident Indians, Persons of Indian Origin or an organization/institution established and run by the Non-Resident Indians or Persons of Indian Origin in recognition of their outstanding achievements both in India and abroad.

Dr. Jonnalagadda was chosen for the prestigious award by the government of India in the field of Medicine and for his leadership of AAPI, the largest ethnic medical organization in the United States.

“I wanted to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the government of India for selecting me for the prestigious award. In recognizing me, the government has recognized all the medical professionals who have been in the forefront fighting Covid, including those who have laid their lives at the services of treating patients infected with the deadly virus,” Dr. Jonnalagadda is quoted saying in a press release.

“This award will strengthen the medical fraternity to recommit our efforts, skills and talents for the greater good of humanity,” Jonnalagadda added.

Assuming office as the 37th President of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) July 2020, Dr. Jannaladda committed himself to “make AAPI stronger, more vibrant, united, transparent, politically engaged, ensuring active participation of young physicians, increasing membership, and enabling that AAPI’s voice is heard in the corridors of power,” the press release said.

AAPI is the largest ethnic medical organization in the United States, which says it represents the interests of more than 100,000 physicians and Fellows of Indian origin in the United States.

Dr. Jonnalagadda was born in a family of physicians. His father was a Professor at a medical college in India and his mother was a teacher. He and his siblings aspired to be physicians and dedicate their lives for the greater good of humanity.

“I am committed to serving the community and help the needy. That gives me the greatest satisfaction in life,” he said.

Originally from Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Jonnalagadda is a Board-Certified Gastroenterologist/Transplant Hepatologist, working in Douglas, Georgia. He was previously an Assistant Professor at the Medical College of Georgia.

He was the President of Coffee Regional Medical Staff 2018, and had served as the Director of Medical Association of Georgia Board from 2016 onwards.

He was President of Georgia Association of Physicians of Indian Heritage (GAPI) 2007-2008, and was the past chair of Board of trustees, GAPI.

He was the chairman of the Medical Association of Georgia, International Medical Graduates section.

A graduate of Georgia Physicians Leadership Academy (advocacy training), Dr. Jonnalagadda’s vision for AAPI is to increase awareness about the organization globally and help get its voice heard in the corridors of power.

“I would like to see us lobby the US Congress and create an AAPI PAC and advocate for an increase in the number of available residency positions and green cards to Indian American Physicians so as to help alleviate the shortage of Doctors in the US,” he said.




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