AAPI’s historic 40th convention concludes with new leadership team led by Dr. Ravi Kolli taking charge
The historic 40th annual convention of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) concluded in San Antonio, Texas Saturday with the new leadership team led by Dr. Ravi Kolli assuming charge.
The four day long annual convention and scientific assembly, attended by over 1000 AAPI delegates, celebrated the achievements of the Indian American Physicians, focused on the theme, “Physician Heal Thyself.”
Read: AAPI to host 40th Annual Convention in San Antonio in June 2022 (November 18, 2021)
It included several unique opportunities to help AAPI members self-care, especially in the context of Covid related physicians burn out.
The convention also paid tributes and celebrated freedom and democracy, honoring India and 75 years of its independence with celebrations co-sponsored by the Embassy of India and the Consulate General of India (CGI), Houston.
“AAPI’s strength is in its numbers and members. Our Sakthi (power) is in our Samkhya (numbers) and our Sabhyas (knowledge),” Dr. Ravi Kolli said in his inaugural address.
“You are that powerful threads of this colorful and strong fabric, and your participation and contributions are essential for its continued success. So, thank you all,” Dr. Kolli told AAPI delegates and guests at the Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center during the presidential gala.
Dr. Kolli will work with Dr. Anjana Sammadar, President-Elect; Dr. Satheesh Kathula, Vice President; Dr. Meherbala Medavaram, Secretary and Dr. Sumul Raval, Treasurer of AAPI for the year 2022-23. Dr. V. Ranga will serve as the Chair, AAPI Board of Trustees.
Giving representation and strengthening the voice of young physicians of Indian origin, Dr. Pooja Kinkhabwala, President, AAPI Young Physicians Section (YPS) and Dr. Ammu Susheela, President of AAPI- Medical Student/Residents & Fellows Section (MSRF). Dr. Anupama Gotimukula will serve as the Immediate Past President of AAPI.
“Our leadership team has worked diligently on so many wonderful projects and activities including educational, philanthropic, legislative, networking, and many more activities benefitting our members and communities,” Gotimukula said.
This has been possible because of the incredible work and support from the dedicated team of leaders, members, and our supporting office staff,” the only 4th woman President of AAPI in the four decades long history of AAPI said.
“Our physician members have worked very hard during the covid 19 pandemic. The 2022 convention is a perfect time to heal the healers with a special focus on wellness,” said Dr. Jayesh Shah, Chair of AAPI Convention 2022.
The Convention was a unique experience for everyone, Dr. Sathessh Kathula, Secretary of AAPI said. Dr. Kusum Punjabi, the youngest ever to chair highlighted the many initiatives under her leadership including the launch of AAPI Medical Project Grant (MPG).
The purpose of this grant is to financially support AAPI medical students/residents/fellows/young physicians in various medical projects such as observerships, community service projects, entrepreneurships, innovation developments, she said.
Read: 40th AAPI convention to focus on ‘Heal The Healers’ (October 29, 2021)
The new BOT chair Dr. V. Ranga said, “My goal in the coming year is to formalize and create AAPI leadership academy working with executives from American College of Physicians for the development of leadership roles for all AAPI members. I want to work hard to engage young physicians and attract them to AAPI. They are the future of AAPI.”
Welcoming AAPI delegates to San Antonio, Ron Nirenberg, Mayor of San Antonio, declared June 24 as AAPI Day and International Yoga Day in the City of San Antonio.
Praising AAPI and its members for their contributions, Nirenberg said, “We are honored to host the largest gathering of Indian American physicians in our vibrant city, home to some of the best healthcare facilities in the nation.”
Commemorating 75 years of India’s Independence, AAPI delegates had a rare glimpse to the rich cultural heritage of India through a video presentation depicting the unique diversity of India and a variety of mesmerizing performances of Indian/Mexican Fusion dances.
National Spelling Bee Champion 2022 Harini Logan was recognized during the convention Gala.
In his keynote address, Indian Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu lauded the several initiatives of AAPI over the past four decades.
Speaking about the growing Indo-US relationship, he said, “Over the last two decades, India and the United States have overcome the hesitations of history and fashioned a remarkable partnership, built on a bipartisan consensus in the US and cross-party support in India.”
“From the provision of active pharmaceutical ingredients to generic medicines that have lowered drug prices and created jobs and investments, India has demonstrated its reliability as a supply chain partner, especially as de-risking from single country supplies has become a priority.”
Aseem Mahajan, Consul General of India in Houston, referred to the significance of India and the United States, the two most vibrant democracies, working together in several areas of interest to both the nations.
Dr. Jack Resneck, President of American Medical Association praised the contributions and achievements of Indian American physicians, who serve and provide best healthcare to every 7th patient in the United States. “It’s time our nation renews our commitment to you for the incredible services you provide to our nation,” he said.
Keynote speaker, legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar said, “Yours is the greatest of all professions in the world. You have put your lives at risk during the pandemic to save the lives of others. Yours is the noble profession that I have admired always.”
Dr. Rahul Gupta, the nation’s “drug czar” and top drug policy official, while conveying the greetings from President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris praised the contributions of Indian American Physicians.
“The role of the Drug Czar has never been as critical as it’s today,” he told the AAPI delegates, who have been advocating for price control of drugs to contain overall healthcare costs.
Several distinguished physician service awards were presented by Dr. Gotimukula. Dr. Jagan Ailinani was honored with Life Time Achievement Award. The Distinguished Physician Award was given to Dr. Vijay Yeldandi and AAPI’s Most Distinguished Award was given to Dr. Ravindra Nathan.
AAPI’s Most Distinguished YPS Award was given to Dr. Sejal Hathi and the AAPI’s Most Distinguished MSRF Award was given to Aaiswariya Gulani. Dr. Udaya Shivangi, Dr. Sujeeth Punnam, Dr. Dwarkanath Reddy and AAPI’s Legal Advisor Harilal were honoured with Presidential Awards for their dedication and support during her presidency.