Indian-American physicians welcome Dr. Vivek Murthy’s nomination as Surgeon General

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Former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy speaking at the virtual town hall hosted by South Asians for Biden and AAPI Victory Fund July 18, 2020. (Photo courtesy Biden For President)

The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, welcomed President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination of Dr. Vivek Murthy as U.S. Surgeon General.

In a Dec. 10, 2020 press release, the top leadership of AAPI, praised the choice and described Dr. Murthy as an accomplished physician and a representative of the next generation of Indian-American health care professionals.

In a press release from the organization, Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, president of AAPI, “offered fullest support” to Dr. Murthy, while describing the choice as “cementing the reputation of physicians of Indian origin have across America.”

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Dr. Murthy held the same position during the Obama administration from 2014 to 2017, Murthy is expected to have an expanded portfolio, as the President-elect’s team crafts their plans to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media and ITV Gold, told News India Times, “I congratulate Dr. Murthy as a physician colleague. He is a great physician and leader, and we witnessed that during his previous term as Surgeon General, easpecially how proactive he was.”

The appointments Biden announced on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020, to the US Health Department, “will help round out Biden’s team charged with addressing the pressing COVID-19 crisis, that has taken over 280,000 American lives,” Dr. Sajani Shah, Chair of AAPI Board of Trustees, said.

Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, president-elect of AAPI, which says it represents over 100,000 physicians of Indian origin in the United States, said, “We are proud of Dr. Vivek Murthy and his many accomplishments and look forward to supporting him throughout the process confirmation to be the US Surgeon General, as the nation and the entire world seeks to find best possible solutions to tackle the pandemic that has taken the lives of millions of people around the world.”

Dr. Ravi Kolli, vice president of AAPI noted Dr. Murthy’s role in the Biden Transition Team, advising on COVID-19, and added, “His ethics, quiet leadership style and impeccable credentials make him the smart choice for this leadership role.”

“Dr. Vivek Murthy represents the next generation of Indian American physicians,” Dr. Amit Chakrabarty, secretary of AAPI said, noting how Dr. Murthy was America’s youngest-ever top doctor, and first surgeon general of Indian-American descent

“Having a wide range of experiences and passion for science-based approach, Dr. Vivek Murthy will bring in new perspectives to the many healthcare issues that require immediate attention and concrete action plan,” said Dr. Satheesh Kathula, treasurer of AAPI said, adding, “We at AAPI, look forward to working closely with Dr. Murthy and his team to end this deadly pandemic.”

During his prior nomination in 2014, AAPI lobbied hard to garner support for him in the U.S. Senate. Dr. Ravi Jahagirdar, recalled how he had led a delegation of AAPI leaders to be at the historic oath taking ceremony of Dr. Murthy April 22, 2015.

“I am proud of our community of Indian physicians for all the progress that we have made over the years, and I know that AAPI has been a critical force in making this process possible. The advice you shared and assistance you kindly offered were important pieces of this journey,” Dr. Murthy had said in a letter at that time, to Dr. Jayesh B. Shah, a past president of AAPI, who along with AAPI’s Legislative Affairs Chair, Dr. Sampat Shivangi and several others had led several delegations to U.S. Senators, lobbying for his confirmation.

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