Indian-Americans win educational grant, recognitions from cardiac arrest foundation at Chicago fundraising gala


An Indian-American won a grant from a foundation that supports heart research at a gala held recently in Chicago. And several students of Indian origin also won recognition for their projects.

Dr. Sowmya Anjur, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (Photo IMSA Facebook)

Dr. Sowmya Anjur of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy was the recipient of the educational grant from the Sudden Cardiac-death Awareness Research Foundation (S.C.A.R.F) at its 2nd Annual Gala held at the Marriott in Schaumburg, Illinois July 27.

Dr. Anjur has received several awards in the past including the Promising Projects Award from the Illinois Association for Gifted Children, in February 2018.

Also, Co-founders of S.C.A.R.F, Rubina and Paul Nguyen, awarded the Dr. Harvinder Sareen Scholarship to student ambassador Morish Shah for her outstanding achievements and contribution to the mentorship class.

The gala also represented the end of the 2019 S.C.A.R.F. Mentorship and Career Guidance Program under which 50 high school and college-age interns were admitted to an 8-week mentorship program to research health care topics around heart disease.

Each year student ambassadors present their research via poster presentation to a team of judges. This year’s winning project, R.E.S.T. was on the topic of sleep apnea was created by Shalin Kadakia, Shravi Kothari, and Ananya Sehgal.

The 2nd “Rhythm of Life Gala”, a fundraising event to raise awareness about sudden cardiac arrest, was attended by more than 350 guests, according to an Asian Media USA press release.

According to research studies, South Asians appear to have a higher propensity for heart disease than the national average.

Dr. Paul Nguyen, founder of S.C.A.R.F, Dr. Rubina Nguyen Co-founder of S.C.A.R.F. and Dr. Sarah L. Alfano, Director of Clinical Information and Telemedicine of S.C.A.R.F with student ambassadors at the 2nd annual gala July 27, 2019, held at the Marriot in Schaumburg, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. (Photo: Asian Media USA)

“While S.C.A.R.F. has accomplished so much over the years, we still have a long way to go. Sudden cardiac arrest remains the number one cause of death in the United States and is responsible for more than 550,000 lives lost each year. Awareness surrounding the issue is vital because this number continues to rise,” Rubina Nguyen, co-founder of S.C.A.R.F. is quoted saying in the press release.

The event highlighted the achievements of S.C.A.R.F.’s automated external defibrillators (AEDs) donation program which provides free AEDs for non-profit organizations, including schools, park districts, places of worship, and charitable organizations. Through its AED donation program, S.C.A.R.F has approved 16 Chicago area facilities to receive an AED free of cost, thus far this year, the press release said.

The Foundation has launched a new program for students who are not yet of age to participate in the Mentorship and Career Guidance Program, S.C.A.R.F. junior. The SCARF  Junior is an introductory camp designed for youth between the ages of 10 – 13 to learn about the anatomy and physiology of the heart, professionalism, healthy lifestyles, and how to plan their career paths from an early age. Students also participate in a heart dissection and become officially CPR/AED certified by the end of camp.







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