Great Immigrants

Rahul M. Jindal, a transplant surgeon, was named among the 2019 Great Immigrants named by Carnegie Mellon University. (screen grab of YouTube video/AUSIB)

Carnegie Mellon University recently unveiled its 2019 Great Immigrants list, with Indian American Rahul M. Jindal among the 38-person list.

Jindal, a transplant surgeon and professor of Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, was the lone person who hails from India on the list.

Some 30 million Americans suffer from chronic kidney disease, the ninth leading cause of death in the country. Through his breakthrough kidney transplant surgeries, extensive humanitarian service, and long career working in American military hospitals, Jindal has saved countless lives in the United States and around the world, the Carnegie Mellon report said.

In 2008 Jindal led the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center team that performed the first living kidney transplant in Guyana, setting up the first comprehensive renal replacement therapy program in the country, it said.

In 2009 Jindal was part of the Walter Reed team that performed the world’s first pancreas islet cell transplant, which can restore insulin production in diabetic patients, on a 21-year-old U.S. airman wounded in Afghanistan.

Jindal has spearheaded numerous blood and bone marrow donation drives in Indian American and other ethnic communities nationwide. Building on his humanitarian work in Guyana, where he continues to lead several medical missions a year, Jindal is currently organizing the Global Kidney Support Network to empower medical professionals and patients in developing countries, the university continued in its report.

Jindal is a professor in the Department of Surgery and Division of Global Health at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the Maryland-based federal health professions academy that trains future military medics.

He has also served as commissioner of the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism in Maryland and as commissioner to the Montgomery County (Maryland) Human Rights Commission.

Awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2015, Jindal was honored the same year with the Outstanding American by Choice Award from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. (See earlier India-West story here: https://bit.ly/2LHfyYW)

In his acceptance speech, he observed, “I love this country for many reasons — the most important is that this is the only country where immigration is celebrated. In good times and bad, we, the new citizens, should rise to current historical challenges and participate in the democratic process rigorously,” the CMU report said.

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