Indian-American physicians conclude 16th Global Health Summit on high note

Cervical cancer HPV vaccination and awareness meeting during the Global Health Summit held in Vishakapatnam, hosted by the American Association of Physicians of Indian origin and the local committee, Jan. 6-8, 2023. Photo: Ajay Ghosh, AAPI

The 16th annual Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) organized by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) jointly with its local Indian organizing committee, came to close Jan. 8, 2023, with a call and commitment to give back to India, and make healthcare accessible, efficient and equitable for all.

The convention was held Jan. 6-8, at Hotel Novotel on the seashore in Visakhapatnam and was attended by close to 500 delegates from the United States and India, a press release from AAPI said. The GHS 2023 theme was “True and Total Health is the Wellbeing of Mind, Body, and Spirit.”

Leading medical professionals, thought leaders, heads of several health industry sectors, and policy-makers participated.

India’s Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, in his message to GHS, urged AAPI members to give back to the society which gave them an opportunity to pursue medical education and become successful in India and abroad. “I’m sure this platform will bring together best in the healthcare field from professionals, who will provide innovative solutions for the challenges being faced by all,” Reddy said.

Minister for Health, Family Welfare & Medical Education, and Chief Guest Vidadala Rajini, said the GHS was opportunity for all healthcare professionals to learn from each other and enhance fellowship. “I’m grateful to have this opportunity to attend and learn from all of you,” she said. “I believe that by working with you, we can improve the health and wellbeing of the people in the state. The government has the ability to design the best policies on healthcare, while delivering the best of the patient’s treatment eventually falls into the hands of the physicians.”

Others who spoke on the occasion and felicitated AAPI and the local organizers of the Summit included, IT Minister Gudivada Amarnath.

Dr Ravi Kolli, president of AAPI in his opening remarks, noted the GHS aims at raising awareness on key health care issues affecting the Indian subcontinent such as Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases, Women’s and Children’s Health, Infectious Diseases and Mental Health.

A walkathon held during the Jan. 6-8, 2023, AAPI Global Health Summit held in Vishakapatnam. Photo: Ajay Ghosh, AAPI

The highlight of this Summit is to reaffirm NRI Physicians’ commitment towards improving health care and create model programs for management of various diseases and to improve outcomes universally, he added. The Summit also focused on mental health, reducing the stigma for seeking mental health services, and working on physicians’ burnout.

“We are sure that the Summit offers a rewarding experience not only on intellectual but on aesthetic front as well, as the scenic beauty of Visakhapatnam and the many places around will be worth going during your trip. The organizing committee is immensely pleased to be at your service,” said Dr. Ravi Raju, Chair of GHS (India) 2023.

Describing some of the objectives of the GHS, Dr. Prasad Chalasani, Chair of GHS (USA) 2023 said. “We want to create an intellectually charged platform for experts to share their experiences on some of the common professional issues that still remain a challenge in spite of all the advancement. The exchange of expertise and transfer of technology by the best brains is bound to offer positive and innovative solutions to some of the problems faced by humankind.”

Among the many initiatives that emerged from GHS 2023 was an action plan to collaborate with the Government of Andhra Pradesh to address mental health and wellness of students in high school in Andhra Pradesh. Other initiatives announced included effective treatment modalities on non-communicable medical diseases, reducing the infant and maternal mortality and HPV Vaccination.

Panel discussions included- Stigma of Mental illness, Suicide Prevention, Management of Chronic Diseases and Non Communicable Diseases, and other Global issues including Climate Change and its impact on health.

Numerous Continuing Medical Education and non-CME seminars by experts in their fields were held. CME sessions with academicians from the United States offered unique opportunities for local medical staff and healthcare professionals to advance learning. Research competition and awards were held during the 3-day meetings.

AAPI, in collaboration with the AAPI India Foundation administered free HPV vaccines to more than 100 poor and deserving young women chosen from several Government schools in the region, during a special launch and awareness camp organized at the Mahatma Gandhi Cancer Hospital, Visakhapatnam Saturday, January 7.

Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, former World Health Organization (WHO) chief scientist was conferred with the prestigious Prof P. Brahmayya Sastry Oration & Dr. T. Ravi Raju Excellence Award during on Friday, January 6. The event jointly organized by Prof P. Brahmayya Sastry Memorial Oration Committee and Andhra Medical College, Visakhapatnam was chaired by Dr. Abhijat Sheth and Dr. Sridhar Chilimuri.

Led by Surgeon Rear Admiral R. Ravi, Command Medical Officer, Eastern Naval Command, Visakhapatnam, nearly 500 students from local schools and colleges, and dozens of delegates at the 16th annual Global Healthcare Summit participated at the Walkathon on the oceanside Jan. 8, with a mission  to create awareness on Mental Health with the theme: “Be the Change: All for Global Health.”

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