Kerala Medical Graduates Hold 42nd Annual Convention in Atlanta

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Ribbon cutting ceremony at the 42nd Annual Convention of the Association of Kerala Medical Graduates. Photo: Krish Photography, courtesy AKMG

The Association of Kerala Medical Graduates (AKMG) convention held its 42nd annual from Friday, August 13 to Sunday, August 15, 2021, at the Inter-Continental Buckhead Hotel in Atlanta, GA.

It was attended by 425 fully vaccinated doctors of Kerala origin and their families from the US and Canada.

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the executive team worked hard to make the Convention profitable and successful, Dr. Subrahmanya Bhat, president of AKMG is quoted saying in the press release.

Leaders and organizers of the Association of Kerala Medical Graduates 42nd annual convention held in Atlanta, GA, Aug. 13-15, pose for a photograph. Photo: Krish Photography, courtesy AKMG

“We have added close to 400 new life members to the AKMG organization. We have started a mentorship program for young physicians who are working on improving their craft,” Dr. Bhat noted, adding, “We have supported several food banks that have fed the hungry. In addition, our teams raised enough funds to feed 10,000 homeless people last Christmas.”

Dr. Bhat said he and his team have “raised over $200,000 for Covid relief in Kerala and provided PPEs and Pulse oximeters to Healthcare workers and Hospitals in Kerala. Furthermore, we have started a new telehealth service called Dronacare, in partnership with Innovation Incubator Inc with the intent of providing free healthcare consultation to people in Kerala.” In addition, AKMG has initiated the steps to bridge Kerala CDC and Atlanta CDC under the direction of Dr. MV Pillai, Past President of AKMG.”

In her keynote address, Consul General of India in Atlanta Dr. Swathi Kulkarni, described the Indian American Physician community as a “Testament to the greatest growth story.” She shared details of the many programs and plans offered by the Government of India to alleviate the sufferings of the people of India during the pandemic. She also stressed the importance of the Indo-US Strategic Alliance, especially in the health sector.

Dr. Vikas Kapil from the CDC delivered the keynote address. Dr. Asha Thomas, an IAS officer and head of Health and Human Services and Medical education in Kerala, attended the convention.  Governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, Dr. Vivek Murthy, US Surgeon General, and the Chief Minister of Kerala sent messages to the delegates.

In his message, Kerala’s Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, praised the achievements of the Indian doctors using the knowledge gained from India. He also congratulated AKMG for being the oldest medical organization with 42 years of history and for its members being the ambassadors of Kerala.

Attendees at the Association of Kerala Medical Graduates in Atlanta Aug. 13-15, 2021, celebrated Onam in the traditional way. Photo: Krish Photography, courtesy AKMG

Those attending also celebrated Onam with traditional festivities, including a reception to King Mahabali with thalapoli and chenda melam followed by an Onam feast. The Fashion show was choreographed by Anu Bhat, Mamta Mohandas, a famous actress from the Malayalam Cinema world, was an added attraction during the Fashion show.

The Campus Comedy Night started in 1986, showcased the diverse talents in music, art and acting by the members of AKMG fraternity.

“The AKMG, the pioneering organization of Indian physicians in the US, formed three years earlier than the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, AKMG inspired the formation of AAPI,” Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, Immediate Past President of AAPI, said.

The annual Souvenir was released during the convention, under the supervision of Dr. Annapurna Bhat, chair of the AKMG Convention Souvenir Committee.

At the Saturday Nite Gala, Dr. Bhat handed over charge to incoming president Dr. Nigil Haroon, who in his inaugural address, promised to work to strengthen the organization and enhance its relationship with organizations of other medical professionals.

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