Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther joined Acharya Lokesh Muni to inaugurate the 36th Annual Convention of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) in Columbus, Ohio, July 5. More than 1,500 Indian-American physicians from around the country are at the event July 4-8, according to a press release from AAPI.
“The Future is now– Its time to step up to a new era of innovation through a new age of digital healthcare that transcends biological and chemical medicine into the future,” declared Dr. Gautam Sammadder, president of AAPI, in his inaugural address. “As physicians we must be equipped to tackle the next generation’s unique set of challenges and opportunities in healthcare,” he added.
Mayor Ginther praised Indian-American physicians for their contributions to the country, particularly the state of Ohio. “You have excelled in your fields of medicine, and thus make significant contributions through hard work, commitment and dedication to your profession and the people you are committed to serve,” Ginther is quoted saying in a press release. He described the fast growing health sector, particularly the pharmaceutical industry in India. He also highlighted the fast growing and diverse city that Columbus has become and urged Indian- American physicians to invest in and make Columbus their home.
Acharya Lokesh Muni highlighted importance of having a platform such as the Convention to share knowledge. He underscored the importance of ancient Indian wisdom that is he said, the basis for modern Medicine. He praised the contribution of the physicians to the world, describing it as participating in the work of God and noted that what they do today will shape the future of the world.
Member of Indian Parliament, Vallabhbhai Katharia, in his speech, said physicians of Indian origin are well known around the world for their compassion, passion for patient care, medical skills, research, and leadership, adding, “Indian-Americans constitute about one percent of the country’s population, but you account for nine percent of the American doctors and physicians, serving one out of seven patients being treated across the nation.”
In his speech, Katharia also praised India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “inspiring” leadership in steering the largest democracy in the world to “new heights.” The MP also urged AAPI to endow an AAPI Chair in India to share the knowledge and experience of AAPI members with their counterparts in India.
Dr. Veena Gandhi of the Health Foundation of Rural India shared with the audience the work the Foundation does in 70,000 villages across India, which she said, reaches millions of people.
At the business meeting and the fund raising meeting led by AAPI Charitable Foundation, Dr. Chander Kapasi helped raise money for the Foundation, while highlighting the many charitable initiatives of AAPI both in India and in the United States. Also, AAPI recognized Raja Rajadhyaksha and Dr. Sanju Bhaghya for their contributions to society and for AAPI. Earlier, Neeraj Antani, the youngest elected official in the Ohio state Assembly felicitated AAPI and presented a Citation to AAPI.
A fashion show presented by Rohit Verma and the Mystic India show were crowd pleasers.
The day was packed with back to back Continuing Medical Education seminars, as well as a beauty pageant, children and youth activities, medical school alumni meetings, and speeches. A busy market place saw vendors luring hundreds with their products.
Dr. John Johnson, Chair of the Convention Committee, praised the local chapter for its hard work and meticulous planning for the the event.