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Sheth off to fast start as 2013 IMANE president

Thursday, April 25, 2013 1:24 PM | Deleted user
Sheth off to fast start as 2013 IMANE president

By Martin Desmarais
Dr. Manju Sheth took over as president of IMANE in January 2013. Photo by Rasik Mehta
2013 IMANE
Executive Committee
and Board of Trustees
Executive Committee
Manju Sheth, M.D.
Sajani Shah, M.D.
Seema Arora, M.D.
Sapna Agarwal, M.D.
Members at Large
Sameer Kapsi, M.D.
Suresh Reddy, M.D.
Subha Thiagarajan, M.D.
Srilatha Kodali, M.D.
Anita Vanka, M.D.
Board of Trustees
Apurv Gupta M.D., M.P.H.
Purnima Sangal, M.D.
Manorama Mathur, M.D.
Geeta Trivedi, M.D.
Nasir Khan, M.D.
Young Physicians Section
Jatin Roper, M.D.
Nominating Committee Chair
Ammani Dasarai, M.D.
AAPI Regional Director
Lalit Savla, M.D.
Past Presidents
1979 Bhagwan Shahani, M.D.
1980 Dinesh Patel, M.D.
1981 Yogeshwar Dayal, M.D.
1982 Narendra Shah, M.D.
1983 Manorama Saini, M.D.
1984 K. Ramaswamy, M.D.
1985 Shankar Garg, M.D.
1986 Pramod Shoparkar, M.D.
1987 Sharmishta Patel, M.D.
1988 Madhukar Pathak, M.D.
1989 Mohani Malhotra, M.D.
1990 Chander M. Kapasi, M.D., M.P.H.
1991 Janine Saldanha, M.D.
1992 Pankaj Shah, M.D.
1993 Teju Shah, M.D.
1994 Mohan Korgaonkar, M.D.
1995 Ammani Dasari, M.D.
1996 Neelam Sihag, M.D.
1997 Babu RaM.D.ev, M.D.
1998 Santosh Shetty, M.D.
1999 Shreekant Chopra, M.D.
2000 Venkata Ravi, M.D.
2001 Brinda S. Kamat, M.D., M.P.H.
2002 Anup Singh, M.D.
2003 Sahdev Passey, M.D.
2004 Onaly Abdulkarim Kapasi, M.D.
2005 Lalit Savla, M.D.
2006 Purnima Sangal, M.D.
2007 Apurv Gupta, M.D., M.P.H.
2008 Manorama Mathur, M.D.
2009 Nasir Khan M.D.
2010 Geeta Trivedi M.D.
2011 Arun Chaudhary, M.D.
2012 Sucheta J. Doshi, M.D., M.P.H.
Any new president or head of an organization typically takes over with an ambitious agenda in mind, and current Indian Medical Association of New England President Manju Sheth is no different. However, while practicality may win out over ambition in many cases, this does not appear to be the case for Sheth as she gotten off to a very strong start for her term as president of the medical organization, already tackling many of the agenda items she said she would.

At the start of her tenure as president, Sheth, who is a primary care physician at Beverly Hospital, publicly expressed her opinion that IMANE, despite the great job of prior leadership and the efforts of members, was at a crossroads.

In a message to IMANE members, she said: "Today, we face twin challenges of dwindling membership and diminishing funds. I believe that one of my biggest strengths is community outreach and I hope to utilize that to help us find a suitable solution to both challenges. We plan to host a collaborative health expo in April, which will bring together various hospitals and health care providers to the community, thereby increasing the visibility as well as the membership of IMANE. We also plan to actively engage our leaders working in various hospitals to develop effective strategies for increasing the number of our members. We will also host/collaborate in some fund raisers. Our Indian-American community is very vibrant and growing rapidly and we do want to work to have a stronger voice in the political arena, especially in the context of health care reforms."

Sheth also pledged to strengthen and build the organization's ties with the research and academic medical community, as well as with medical organizations such as the Massachusetts Medical Society, the American Medical Association and the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin.

As most leaders of IMANE have done, Sheth also made a special point to emphasize the necessity to continue the organization's charitable projects, such as its free clinics.

Sheth also pledged to encourage the participation of new residents and doctors in IMANE with the strengthening and expansion of "observership" and "mentorship" programs. She also announced plans to add an additional Continuing Medical Education meeting in September, on top of the group's annual effort in May.

"I started my term as IMANE President on January 1 with the promise that I will use my strength of community outreach to bring IMANE and our community together, educate the community about vital health issues and also help with their medical needs. Helping IMANE grow its membership and raising funds for IMANE Charity were also some of my commitments," Sheth said. "I have kept all my promises in the first three months. We are hosting the first free Health Expo for the community in partnership with INDIA New England on April 27. We have a very distinguished panel of speakers and have received tremendous support from various local organizations and hospitals. With over 500 registrations already to attend the expo, we are on our way to fulfilling our mission.

"I was also an organizer of Shaam-e-Burman, one of the first musical shows that was also supported by IMANE doctors. A donation from the show was given as seed money for starting a new free medical clinic that is coming up soon in Woburn, and to another clinic in Billerica that is already providing great service to community. We also continue to support our two more free clinics from our charitable foundation of IMANE," she added. "Our membership has grown rapidly in last three months and we have been very blessed to be recognized and honored by our community. We have a great education event planned for physicians on May 4 at Mass Medical Society. I am looking forward to a great year with continued service to our vibrant and growing community."

Since becoming president of IMANE, Sheth has already accomplished some of the goals she set at the start of her tenure.

The Lynnfield, Mass., resident, who was named INDIA New England Women of the Year in 2011, has widespread involvement with many organizations and has used these ties to broaden IMANE's reach. Sheth is involved with groups such as the Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence, the Massachusetts chapter of the Indian American Forum for Political Education and Saheli. IMANE has already partnered with Saheli for the cause of fighting against domestic violence and has scheduled an event with them in September. IMANE's Charity Fund raised money through its involvement in the Shaam-e-Burman and IMANE was also honored at a concert by Adnan Sami with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sheth said that the efforts to organize IMANE's first public Health Expo are close to her heart and her passion for community service and educating people about overall health care. She said she believes IMANE can make successful efforts to educate the community about the health challenges faced by Indians and South Asians. According to her this is specifically why the Health Expo has such a broad range of topics such as Indian diet practices, unleashing the power of mind, osteoporosis, woman's health and wellbeing, diabetes in Indians, anti-aging therapy, yoga therapy and Ayurveda.

Sheth is also very excited about the launch of an IMANE mentorship program, which is being spearheaded by Dr. Sanjiv Chopra, an author and professor of medicine and faculty dean for continuing medical education at Harvard Medical School. Chopra's book, "Leadership by Example:  The Ten Key Principles of all Great Leaders" was published in May 2012 and has received widespread praise by many leaders in the United States and abroad.

"The mentorship program is a great service for young physicians and new comers to the area," Sheth said.

A native of New Delhi, Sheth earned a medical degree from Kolkata National Medical College and did her training in internal medicine at England's Royal Infirmary in Hull and a hospital affiliated with St. George's in London. In 1997, Sheth finished more training in internal medicine at Salem Hospital in Massachusetts, but eventually chose to practice in general medicine and start a family.

She has spoken openly about her excitement for having the honor of leading IMANE in 2013 and called it a privilege that she takes very seriously.

Sheth has also praised the organization's executive committee and asserted her belief that the strength of IMANE leadership is the team as a whole. "I truly believe in what Henry Ford once aptly said: •Coming together is the beginning, staying together is progress, working together is success.' We are a very enthusiastic and committed team with belief in the idea that together everyone achieves more. With the blessings and guidance of our senior members, and supported by innovative ideas from our younger members, we hope to take IMANE to new heights of success," she said in her initial message to members. 

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