Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey praised Indian-American health workers who made the ultimate sacrifice when they took care of patients infected by the coronavirus.
In his tweet he sent out May 7, 2020, Gov. Murphy said, “Dr. Satyender Dev Khanna and Dr. Priya Khanna were father and daughter. This is a family dedicated to health and medicine. Our words cannot amply express our condolences.”
Dr. Satyender Dev Khanna, 78, was a general surgeon in Glen Ridge, New Jersey and had been in practice for several decades, and his daughter a nephrologist, Dr. Priya Khanna, 43, of Milltown, N.J. both died after being infected by COVID-19. Both died at the Clara Maass Medical Center soon after each other. Dr. Priya Khanna died on April 13, and her father died on April 21.
He was a graduate of Maulana Azad Medical College in 1964, and his daughter got her medical degree from the Kansas City School of Medicine in 2003.
In his press briefing May 7, Gov. Murphy dwelt on the lives of the two Indian-Americans, honoring them for their contributions. He said Dr. Priya Khanna was the medical director of two dialysis centers and that she was treated by one of her own students in the ICU.
Prefacing his remarks about the Khanna’s, Gov. Murphy said, “This one is a particularly tough one,” before going on to pay tribute to them.
“The dad, Dr. Satyender Khanna, was a surgeon who served both on staff and as the head of surgical departments for multiple hospitals across our state for literally decades and he passed at Clara Maass Medical Center, where he had worked for more than 35 years,” the Governor said, according to the live video posted on YouTube and watched by nearly 22,000 (21,965). “They both dedicated their lives to helping others. And we lost both of them,” Gov. Murphy said, calling Dr. Satyender Khanna as a pioneering doctor who performed one of the first laparoscopic surgery in the state.
She “proudly did her medical training right here in New Jersey. ” the Gov. said, adding, that Dr. Priya Khanna was “taking pride in teaching the next generation of doctors. And it should be noted that the ICU physician who cared for her was trained and taught by her as well.”
The Khannas are a family of doctors. The mother, Komlish, is a pediatrician, and the two remaining daughters, Sugandha Khanna, is an emergency room physician, and Dr. Anisha Khanna, isa pediatrician. The Governor said he had spoken to Dr. Satyender Khanna’s wife Komlish Khanna, also a physician,
Priya will be remembered as a “caring and selfless person” the Governor said. She was concerned about the rest of her family as she lay in the ICU.