aapi covid

Indian American physician Dr. Sajani Shah, chair of AAPI’s Board of Trustees. (photo provided)

With the COVID-19 pandemic pushing into its second year, the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin continues to make strides in mitigating the virus.

“Turning challenges into opportunities, the deadly pandemic COVID-19 that has been instrumental in the lockdown of almost all major programs and activities around the world, could not lock down the creative minds of AAPI leaders,” said Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, current president of AAPI, in a statement.

“With coronavirus impacting every aspect of life around the world, posing several challenges in carrying out with numerous plans and programs for AAPI in 2020, we have been right on task and have devoted the past year leading AAPI to stability and greater heights,” the Indian American physician added. 

The current year has been more challenging to the executive committee of AAPI than ever before, noted Jonnalagadda, adding, “I am honored to be able to have a dedicated team consisting of Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, president-elect; Dr. Ravi Kolli, vice president; Dr. Amit Chakrabarty, secretary; Dr. Satish Kathula, treasurer; Dr. Sajani Shah, chair of AAPI’s Board of Trustees; Dr. Ami Baxi, YPS president; Dr. Kinjal Solanki, MSRF president; and Dr. Surendra Purohit, chair of the AAPI Charitable Foundation.”

The pandemic had put a dent on several plans and activities Dr. Suresh Reddy and his team had on their agenda. However, he turned the challenge into an opportunity to enhance the agenda of AAPI.

“My term as the president of AAPI will be noted as an ‘unconventional year during unconventional times,’ said Reddy, the immediate past president of AAPI, as he enumerated several programs he and his team had accomplished in the past COVID year. 

AAPI became the first major organization to call for universal masking, the statement said. AAPI provided free masks to thousands of health care workers.

AAPI members also honored more than 10,000 nurses in over 100 hospitals across more than 40 states by sponsoring lunches for them during Nurses Week. AAPI has also stood against racial discrimination, a news release said.

Describing Indian American physicians as “the real heroes,” Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, president-elect of AAPI, said, “Several immigrant physicians’ work across the U.S. including at the epic centers of the pandemic. They are struggling with green card backlog and on temporary visa plans. We are proud of the services of Indian American physicians in this country.”

Responding to the national/worldwide shortage of masks and other personal protective equipment, during the initial days of the pandemic, AAPI raised funds, donated money, purchased and donated masks to several medical institutions across the United States. The contributions and dedication to their profession, especially during the pandemic, have come to be recognized across the nation, Gotimukula pointed out, the release added.

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