Physicians conclude 41st Annual Convention on high note

Collage of pictures from the 41st AAPI Convention held July 6-9, 2023, in Philadelphia, PA. Clockwise from top – AAPI executives and special guests, Dr. Anjana Samadder, incoming President, Sri Sri Ravishankar with Dr. Sudhir Parikh and Dr. Ravi Kolli, and Dr. Ravi Kolli, outgoing President addressing AAPI gathering. PHOTOS: AAPI, and ITV Gold

The 41st Annual Convention and Scientific Sessions of the  American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) held its July 6-9, 2023, in Philadelphia, ended on a high note with a new leadership of AAPI assuming charge under the leadership of Dr. Anjana Samadder, July 8.

“I am committed to your well-being and dedicated to advancing AAPI’s mission for a brighter future,” she said in her presidential address. Her husband, Dr. Gautam Samadder is a past President of AAPI.

AAPI executives and special guests with Sri Sri Ravishankar at the 41st Annual Convention in Philadelphia, PA, held July 6-9, 2023. PHOTO: AAPI

Other members of the new executive leadership were also sworn in, including Dr. Satheesh Kathula as the   President-Elect; Dr. Amit Chakrabarty as the Vice President; Dr. Sumul Raval as the Secretary; Dr. Sreeni Gangasani as the Treasurer; and Dr. Lokesh Edara as the Chair of the Board of Trustees.

A section of the audience of approximately 1,000 delegates who attended the July 6-9, 2023,
AAPI Convention held in Philadelphia, PA. PHOTO: AAPI

Held at the Marriott Downtown on the theme, “True and Total Health is the Wellbeing of Mind, Body, and Spirit” the gathering of more than 1,000 delegates from around the nation, a press release from AAPI said.

The Convention was officially inaugurated with the chanting of the Sanskrit mantras, ribbon-cutting and lighting of the traditional lamp by AAPI leaders and distinguished guests on July 7.

Dr. Ravi Kolli, outgoing president of AAPI, delivering his speech at the 41st Annual Convention in Philadelphia, PA, held July 6-9, 2023. PHOTO: AAPI

Outgoing president Dr. Ravi Kolli, spoke about the history of AAPI, started by a few physicians 41 years ago, and how the physicians of Indian origin have been sought after for their excellence in medicine. “I applaud you and thank you for your support all through the year. And your presence here with your blessing and your goodwill and warm wishes for the successful 41st annual convention here in our City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia,” Dr. Kolli said.

Dr. V. Ranga, immediate past Chair of the BOT, echoed these sentiments, and expressed confidence in the incoming leadership.

From left, Dr. Sampat Shivangi, Congressman Jonathan Jackson, D-Illinois, Publisher Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media/ITV Gold, and Dr. Sudha Parikh pose for a photo at the AAPI Convention in Philadelphia, PA, July 6-9, 2023. PHOTO: ITV Gold

In his keynote address, Venkaiah Naidu, former Vice President of India, stressed the importance of giving back to one’s Motherland and praised the many initiatives of AAPI. “AAPI’s programs are more centered around addressing the issues related to the stigma of mental illness and the importance of the practices such as meditation, and yoga, which is a connectivity between the body and the mind.”

This year’s Convention saw AAPI members learn about and practice the importance of meditation in resolving one’s pressing health concerns and how Ayurveda, Yoga, and Meditation offered solutions to pressing health problems.

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar with Dr. Sudhir Parikh, left, and Dr. Ravi Kolli, right, at 41st AAPI Convention in Philadelphia July 6-9, 2023. PHOTO: AAPI

“The secret of meditation is in letting go,” Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar told the gathering, noting that physicians live 10 years less than their patients.

“Stress arises when we have too much to do, and not enough energy or time to do it. We can neither change time nor the number of things we need to do. So, the only option is to increase energy levels. And this can be accomplished through yoga, breathing techniques and meditation,” Sri Sri told the delegates.

In his address, Congressman Shri Thanedar, D-Michigan, praised contributions of physicians, especially during the Covid pandemic, and said he was fighting religious and other discrimination, and immigration reform on Capitol Hill.

Vivek Ramaswamy, a Republican candidate for the 2024 Presidential race, spoke passionately about the reasons for his Presidential ambitions.

“I stepped down from my job as a biotech CEO to focus on a different kinds of cancer,” Ramaswamy said, “Not a biological cancer, but a cultural cancer that threatened to kill that dream that Martin Luther King had 60 years ago, and that tried to kill the dream that allowed me to achieve everything I had in my life.”

In the US, he said, one gets ahead not on the color of their skin but on the content of their character and contributions.

Dr. Willie Underwood, American Medical Association Chair-Elect praised the contributions of Indian American physicians.

Several physicians were honored during the Convention:

Dr. Prem Reddy with the Special Presidential Appreciation and Achievement Award for his Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Philanthropy; Dr. Ranga Reddy, past AAPI President with the Lifetime Achievement Award; Dr. Manmeet Ahluwalia with the AAPI 2023 Most Distinguished Physician Award.

AAPI’s 2023 Most Distinguished Service Award was bestowed on Dr. Udaya Shivangi; Dr. Soumya Reddy Neravetla received  the AAPI’s 2023 Most Distinguished YPS Award; and, AAPI’s 2023 Most Distinguished MSRF Award was given to Mehul Mehra.

In addition, Mary Shaya, president of J & B Medical  was honored with the prestigious AAPI Presidential Humanitarian Award 2023; and, Stephen Shaya, M.D., Managing Director of Akkad Holdings and Executive Servant Leader at J & B Medical was bestowed with the prestigious AAPI Presidential Healthcare Leadership Award 2023.

The convention included CMEs with accredited courses as well as a variety of panel discussions, presentations and a research and poster competition. There were forums for AAPI Young Physicians Group (AAPI YPS) and for AAPI MSRF for medical students, residents and fellows. A nearly sold out Exhibitor Hall included medical and pharmaceutical products, devices and equipment, insurance and tourism, art, and medical and dental practice-related services.

The CME section was led by Dr. Sreeni Gangasani, AAPI CME Chair and Dr. Brahma Sharma, AAPI Convention CME Chair.

The Women’s Forum was led by Dr. Udaya Shivangi and had an esteemed panel of successful women leaders.

The CEO Forum was moderated by Dr. Achintya Moulick and had eminent leaders from the healthcare and technological industries.

Dr. Raghu Lolabhattu, Chair and CEO of the Convention praised the Convention team for its months of dedication and hard work.

Apart from the scientific and healthcare exchange, the forum stressed culture with authentic Indian cuisine, fashion, yoga and entertainment from top Indian performers. The event also included AAPI’s Got Talent, led by Dr. Amit Chakrabarty and Dr. Seema Jain.

Artists from the Arya School of Dance performed an item on the  history of Bollywood films from the 1960s through the present. Renowned artist, Milka Singh was a major highlights, and the day came to a close with Mehfil & Khaas.

Dr. Samadder announced that the 42nd Annual Convention would be held in New York City from July 18-22, 2024, and promised to be the largest ever.

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