Physicians of New Jersey celebrate 5th Annual Convention and Gala

From left, Dr. Kishore Ratkalkar, founder, and member BOT; Dr. Binod K. Sinha, chair of NJ AAPI; Padma Shri recipient Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media/ITV Gold; and Dr. Naveen Mehrotra. PHOTOS: ITV Gold

The New Jersey Chapter of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (NJ-AAPI) held its 5th Annual Convention and Gala December 10, 2023, at the Imperia Banquet All in Somerset, NJ.

Dr. Varun Jeph, Acting CGI New York
Dr. Kishore Ratkalkar, Founder Member, NJ state AAPI
Dr. Binod Sinha, Chair of NJ AAPI

“It was a successful event attended by more than 300 people. It was house full, sold-out event,” said Dr. Binoy K. Sinha, founder of the organization which was established in 2018.

Dr. Atul Prakash, President, NJ state AAPI

Among the several important guests, was Edison, NJ Mayor Sam Joshi, India’s Acting Consul General in New York Dr. Varun Jeph, and CEOs of three organizations under the Hackensack Meridien Health System, including JFK Hospital, Edison Hospital, and Old Bridge Hospital. Each CEO was presented with a plaque of appreciation for their support and partnership. Also present was Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media and ITV Gold.

Speakers at the event included Dr. Raj Bhayani, chair of the Convention, Dr. Sinha, chair of NJAAPI, President of NJAAPI Dr. Atul Prakash, Dr. Kishore Ratkalkar, member of Board of Trustees, India’s Acting Consul General Dr. Varun Jeph, and Mayor Joshi.

All speakers emphasized the need to give back to the community and to support upcoming students and physicians of the next generation. “My message is ‘gratitude’ – as American physicians of Indian origin,” for the free medical education that those present had received in India. “We have to give back, We have enough.” Many in the US, he noted, had served their country, paid their taxes, but don’t have money to buy their coagulents, and risk dying. “It is our duty to give back. You got a free education. Don’t you forget that,” Dr. Prakash said.

Dr. Ratkalkar echoed those views, and added that NJAAPI must continue its education initiatives, and engage with foreign medical graduates, help and guide them, etc.

Dr. Jeph praised Indian physicians for strengthening US-India relations, noting the milestones along the way such as PM Narendra Modi’s visit in June and President Biden’s visit to New Delhi, as well as India’s moon landing, and becoming the 5th largest economy in the world. “Healthcare is at the center of the relationship,” between the two democracies, he noted. “We are very very grateful to you,” he said recounting the Covid experience and the cooperation between the two countries in every field of endeavor. “Your’s is a profession that brings together knowledge and empathy.”

Mayor Joshi pointed out the clout that Indian-origin physicians could wield in the US if they engaged in politics and public policy. With a million Indian doctors in the country, making up 10 percent of the total physicians, serving 30 percent of patients, they carried a lot of weight. “The group in this room has an enormous pull in what this country does,” he said. “I encourage all of you to take part in public policy. As many of you are incredibly successful, it’s also time to give back,” for the sake of future generations, Joshi added.

Above and below, CEOs of hospitals within the Hackensack Meridien Health System being presented plaques of appreciation for their support to NJ AAPI and its health care initiatives.

The Hackensack Meridien Health System was a major sponsor of the event. The HMHS has also contributed $500,000 to the launch of SACHI, the South Asian Community Health Initiative, in partnership with NJAAPI. The NJAAPI will be putting in $100,000 a year for five years into the project. The goal of SACHI is to serve patients who have no health insurance, or are underinsured, providing them with treatment and follow-up, as well as home health care, mental health evaluation and treatment.

Entertainment from well-known artists at the December 10, 2023,
NJ AAPI convention and gala.

“Everybody enjoyed the event and it was conducted in a timely manner, and had good entertainment,” noted Dr. Sinha.



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