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  • 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. 
  • Wednesday, April 24, 2013 8:18 AM | Deleted user
    IMANE presidents share memories of group's rise

    By Martin Desmarais
    The Indian Medical Association of New England has grown from a handful of doctors gathering together in unity over their profession to one of the most influential organizations in New England with about 400 members. The list of presidents who have led the group is impressive and contains leaders in their respective medical fields. The accomplishments and footprint the group has left can be seen on the medical community and on the Indian American community as a whole. Reflecting back on the start and growth of the group most share a pride in how the group has matured and for the important role it plays in the lives of its members.

    Dr. Bhagwani Shahani was the first president of IMANE in 1979. Photo courtesy of IMANE
    Early leaders speak about IMANE's start
    In 2003, the Indian Medical Association of New England celebrated the 25th anniversary of the organization. Under the guidance of then president Dr. Sadhev Passey, the group held a 25th anniversary celebration at the Worcester Centrum Centre on Nov. 15, 2003. In addition, the organization put together a 25th anniversary guide that looked back at all the history of IMANE and include reflections from many of the past presidents and founding members. In addition, the anniversary guide collected quotes from some of the organization's founding members. Below are some of the responses.

    "By and large, I think our objectives have been met, even though we have not done as much or gone as far as we would have hoped! For example the health fairs that were started 25 years ago, still persist today in other venues such as the IAGB India Day at the Hatch Shell. Our dialogue with AMA began in 1978 and resulted in a joint membership package. The AAPI-PAC also started in 1978 as a result of these discussions. As far as our lack of growth in recent years, the impact of managed care and the presence of other competing organizations may not be as severe in other regions of the country. Also, as the older members hand over the reins to the younger members, they tend to focus on issues of family and retirement." undefined Dr. Dinesh Patel, IMANE president in 1980.

    "IMANE was the first Indian doctors association in the United States followed by MAPI and AAPI. The first AAPI convention in Washington D.C. had a large Boston and Gujarati doctor contingent and steadily grew in membership after the second convention hald in Boston, while Dr. K. Ramaswamy was IMANE president." undefined Dr. Narendra Shah, IMANE president in 1982.

    "I think that the early years of IMANE had a lot of continuity in leadership, which served to guide and stabilize the organization. We had a system of rotating positions, so that there was connection between consecutive committees." undefined Dr. Maya Shahani, IMANE founding member.

    "I think IMANE has served many useful purposes. We had lots of great social and educational functions over the years. We created an organization where we could participate on an equal education and intellectual basis. We did not know each other before and now we are all great friends and that is very important in a new country. Manorama Saini was our first woman president and since then we have had so many capable women presidents of IMANE. Trustees were started in her year since we had a little more money and felt we need continuity with more input and participation." undefined Dr. Teju Shah, IMANE founding member.

    "Dinesh Patel was a vision. He felt we needed to speak up or else we would be overlooked. In Narendra Shah and Teju Shah, IMANE received two for the price of one! They did all of the work for the early organization. Some other early members I remember are Drs. K. Ramaswamy, Madhu Pathak, Sharad Chitre, Shankar Garg, Sanjiv Chopra and Niranjan Dudhani." undefined Dr. Yogeshwar Dayal, IMANE president in 1981.

    "My best friends were made in IMANE. I can still close my eyes and drive to Howard Johnson in Burlington for our monthly meetings. The second meeting was in my house since the others were fed up of cooking and that was when the name Eemaan, i.e. imandari (an Urdu world meaning honesty and faith) was suggested. In fact, Virendra and I joined because we were social friends of the Shahani's and they asked us to join. We felt we would be well placed to help each other and introduce our children to their common cultural heritage." undefined Manorama Saini, IMANE president in 1983.
    The first president of IMANE was Dr. Bhagwan Shahani, who led the group in 1979.

    By most accounts, IMANE was started to address the social, cultural, educational and professional needs of physicians of Indian origin settled in New England with the early groundwork for the organization done by a handful of Indian physicians living in Massachusetts.

    The general consensus of most reflecting back on the birth of IMANE, point to a group of five founders of the group undefined Dr. Shahni and Dr. Maya Shahani, Dr. Dinesh Patel, Dr. Narendra Shah and Dr. Teju Shah.

    The genesis of IMANE can be traced back to meetings of the Middlesex South Medical Society in the mid-1970s, during which some of the founding members interacted with physicians of Greek origin and discussed problems that foreign-born physicians in the United States had, namely not having anyone to advance their common goals, a lack of an avenue for networking or others of a common background to socialize with. The Greek doctors had formed their own group, the Hellenic Medical Society, to address some of these problems and it the Indian American doctors thinking about starting a similar group.

    As the story has it, the founders of IMANE spent several years meeting on weekends and reaching out to other doctors of Indian origin to get an organization off the ground. The early mindset was that the group should encompass New England, which is what led to that region's inclusion in the name. It has also been explained that the acronym for the Indian Medical Association of New England, IMANE, was pronounced similar to "Eemaan" such as in "imandari," which is an Urdu word meaning honesty and faith. The founders felt this was a perfect name association behind the organization.

    Bylaws from the Hellenic Medical Society were used to guide the bylaws for IMANE and the group was formally announced in 1977 and 1978 was the first year of the organization's existing with Dr. Shahani as its head. The early years consisted of a lot of outreach to Indian doctors to grow membership and establish the model of the organization going forward. Early meetings had a lot of educational talks, and IMANE also invited political figures to meetings.

    A young IMANE reached out to well-established groups such as the Massachusetts Medical Society and the American Medical Association to open doors to those groups to its members.

    In 1980s, IMANE held talks with the Michigan Association of Physicians of Indian Origin and this led to the formation of a national organization, the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin. Over the years, IMANE has a strong connection to the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin and hosted the national group's annual convention in 1982 and in 1996. Over the years, IMANE members have held leadership roles in AAPI, including Dr. S. Jayasanker as president and Dr. Chander Kapasi as chair of the board of trustees.

    Today, IMANE describes itself as a "dynamic organization for medical professionals of Indian origin in the New England area" that "organizes and supports numerous professional and social activities for the benefit of our members and the communities they serve."

    The organizations stated objectives are:
    • Advance the professions of medicine and dentistry
    • Support medical education
    • Sponsor charitable healthcare projects
    • Recognize the contributions and achievements of physicians of Indian origin
    • Provide opportunities for career building and professional development
    • Provide forums for networking and socializing
    IMANE follows a leadership model that includes a president, executive committee, members at large, a board of trustees, a young physicians section representative, a nominating committee chair and American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin regional director. The organization provides professional resources, such as clinical rotations in internal medicine, pediatrics and anesthesia/surgery, as well as a career center.

    It has alliances with numerous groups, from its main medical industry relation the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin to other medical groups such as the Association of Pakistani Physicians of New England to the Connecticut Association of Physicians of Indian Origin. It has worked with community groups such as the India Association of Greater Boston, the India Association of New Hampshire and the India Association of Rhode Island. IMANE has ties with professional groups such as the Boston chapter of the Indus Entrepreneurs and the Network of South Asian Professionals, as well as industry specific groups such as the South Asian Bar Association of Greater Boston. It now even has connected nonprofits such as Ekal Vidyalaya and the Indian Circle of Caring.

    In addition to the professional and social benefits IMANE offers its members, the organization also offers specific benefits such as long term disability insurance, long term care insurance, auto insurance, home insurance and business insurance, all at discounted rates.

    Also part of IMANE are the Young Physicians Society and the Women's Forum.

    The organization launched a free health clinic in Waltham, Mass. in 2004, which provides free basic medical care to poor, undeserved, or uninsured patients from the surrounding communities. IMANE launched another free health clinic in 2005 in Shrewsbury, Mass. The organization currently has plans for several other clinics, with at least one in Woburn, Mass., set to open shortly.

    The IMANE Charitable Foundation reflects the organization's commitment to service and provides an outlet for the group to promote the mental and physical health of underserved individuals in the United States and India.

    Dr. Dinesh Patel, a founding member of IMANE and president in 1980, said that the early days of the organization provided a way to come together with doctors of Indian origin, which prior to its existence was difficult to do.

    "Those times there were not too many doctors coming from India • and there was always this concern about licensing and the opportunity to get residency and a fellowship," said Patel, who is chief of arthroscopic knee surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "We thought let's form an organization where we can talk about our common issues.

    "The idea of forming this was to really look at your ability to heal the hurt and you cannot heal the hurt until you have a license to practice," he added.

    According to him, IMANE in those early days was really focused on the simple things like helping doctors find jobs, get credentials and establish relationships with vendors. "In order to accomplish these goals we have to be part and parcel of a society," he said.

    Patel believes that IMANE's early relationship with the Massachusetts Medical Society and the American Medical Association was key in its ability to support its members in their medical professions.

    Reflecting on the maturity of IMANE since those first days, Patel said he is proud of what the group has become.

    "Personally speaking it is sort of fun to see that [IMANE can now] really help people. We got people excited to get into the system so they can become good citizens," he said. "It is quite an impressive thing being done. To promote health care into a larger society it is quite impressive. • We feel pretty good about it.

    "It is a nice idea that we started something 30 to 40 years ago and things are moving in very positive directions. • That kind of thing makes you really happy," he added. "It is like a little baby of yours and you see it grow up and go to college • You feel good about it to see people growing and working together."

    Dr. Pankaj Shah, who joined IMANE in the 1980s and served as president in 1992, admitted to really feeling the community aspect of the organization when he first became involved.

    "For me it was important because it was meeting people from the country that I came from. They had similar issues and similar hardships and I could freely among them. There was definitely a sense of security in it," said Shah, who is a doctor of obstetrics and gynecology at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates in Wellesley and Quincy, Mass.

    After serving as president in 1992, Shah continued to be involved at the leadership level in the group, chairing the committee that helped organize the hosting of the AAPI convention in 1996. "For a small organization I thought we did quite well," he said.

    Shah said he has also always been struck about how IMANE members work together from the older members to the younger members and how the organization provides a lot of opportunity for involvement on the leadership level to all those interested. "I always thought it was a very, very fair organization. If you worked you could come up," he said.

    Looking at IMANE today, Shah said he is very impressed with the younger generation of doctors and the work they are doing to breathe new life to the group by engaging peers. "They are getting these people involved," he said.

    Shah also believes that IMANE's recent involvement with more Indian American groups is a good thing. "You feel better of being in New England when you get involved with other organizations."

    As a senior member of IMANE, Shah said he has reached out informally to younger members of the organization and believes that the group's overall efforts to encourage older doctors, through formal mentorship programs and informally, are very important.

    Dr. Ammani Dasari, who served as IMANE president in 1995, echoes Shah's sentiments that involving the younger generation of doctors is crucial for the organization's future. In fact, it was a message she preached from her early tenure with the group.

    Dasari, who is a retired anesthesiologist and last worked at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Brockton, Mass., said she attended IMANE's annual meetings every year from the group's start, but was not actively involved until 1990, when she became a member at large. She threw her initial focus with the group into increasing the membership, in particular life members. "I felt in 1990s we should do something to improve the organization, increase the membership," she said. "My main interest at that time was also to involve the second generation.

    "I felt it is my duty to help the foreign medical graduates who come from India to help them. • And we involved the medical students and the residents," she added. "That is how we wanted to build it and then we tried to maintain that level."

    Dasari is thrilled to see the emergence of the Young Physicians Society and to see younger doctors step up as leaders of IMANE. "I feel now it is the time for the youngsters to take it over," she said.

    And also like Shah, she believes that the senior doctors should be very actively involved with engaging the younger generation. "We should help them and we should guide them," she said.

    According to Dasari, her favorite IMANE memory is the summer meeting in 1995 that was held at the Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire. She said this was a great experience that really emphasized the family nature and close-knit atmosphere of the organization. "It is like a family it is not just like a group of doctors together," she said. 

    Dr. Sahdev Passey, who has a pediatrics practice in Worcester, Mass., and was IMANE president in 2003, joined the group in the mid-1990s. He said his early involvement with the group was focused on overcoming any residual discrimination against foreign medical graduates, which had been a big problem when the group was first formed. Now, though, he admits that problem has been eradicated. "In 2013, I don't see that barrier much any more. I think people have overcome that part of it," he said.

    Passey has also been a long time member of IMANE's bylaws committee, something he said he has enjoyed greatly. "Somehow my clique is the bylaws. I like to conduct the meetings and keep people in line," he said. "That has been my passion." He also works with AAPI on the bylaws aspect.

    When Passey was president in 2003, IMANE was celebrating its 25th anniversary and held an anniversary celebration at the Worcester Centrum Centre on Nov. 15, 2003. In addition, the organization put together a 25th anniversary guide that looked back at all the history of IMANE and include reflections from many of the past presidents and founding members. 

    He is also a key organizer at the group's free medical clinic in Shrewsbury.

    While IMANE was partially born out of a need to connect with other Indian doctors, including socializing, Passey said that is changing now as more and more of its members are born here. For them, he believes the group's efforts to provide continuing medical education may be more valuable.

    "Our platform for medical education has really become a base now for the future generations," he said. "They are not looking for social interaction and support they are more looking for medical education and networking opportunities."

    With many older members still actively involved in IMANE, Passey said that connecting the different generations is crucial and that the older members must help, support and encourage the new generations. "We are working to bring this organization together so there is some voice," he said. 

  • Wednesday, April 24, 2013 8:17 AM | Deleted user
    Young Physicians Society engages new doctors

    By Martin Desmarais
    The Young Physicians Society has been part of the Indian Medical Association of New England, but as more and more second generation Indian Americans graduate from U.S. medical schools and start out into the medical industry and their own practices, the role of these doctors in the growth of the organization is critical and the young physician’s section provides an early indoctrination.

    The young physicians section is target for young doctors, residents, fellows and medical students. Its efforts are currently being headed up by Dr. Jatin Roper and Dr. Anita Vanka. Both Roper and Vanka are part of IMANE’s executive committee. Roper is the Young Physicians Section Representative and Vanka is a member at large.

    Both in their early 30s, Roper is a gastroenterologist at Tufts Medical Center and a graduate of Boston University Medical School, and Vanka is hospitalist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School.

    While IMANE represents all of its doctor members, Roper said he likes the young physicians section because connects directly to the younger generation of Indian American doctors, especially doctors like him who grew up in the United States and went to college, as well as medical school, here.

    “The young physicians section has been more specific in trying to identify the needs of the young physicians,” said Roper, who has been involved with IMANE for three years and the Young Physicians Section Representative for two years.

    According to him, there is small group of volunteers that are helping run the young physicians section.

    Part of this is just making sure the young physicians have a good presence at IMANE events and with IMANE activities, but the section also does some things specifically for young doctors. One example is annual session that has been done for many years that is set up to help young doctors learn about financial planning, insurance.

    A newer activity are happy hours every couple of months. “It is a meet and greet to get to know it other. Since we all work in different hospitals it is an opportunity for us to all meet each other,” Roper said. 

    While not all of the doctors that turn out for the happy hours events are IMANE members, the hope is that such events might get them to join. “It is easy for people to say, ‘Yeah, I will go to a happy hour versus commitment to a more formal event,” Roper said.

    According to Roper, the young doctors are also excited that IMANE has launched a 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.

    “He is a very dynamic and personable fellow and he has been gracious enough to work with us,” Roper said.

    Roper believes that most young doctors understand the benefits of getting exposure to more experience doctors, especially ones in their specialties, who could help with research and collaboration and even jobs. “Even if we don’t get direct incredible specific advice just meeting then and seeing what they have done and seeing that they are successful and happy with what they are doing it is really nice to see,” he said.

    With IMANE’s youngest ever president just finishing leading the group last year, Roper said it points to a sign of things to come with more of the younger generation taking leadership roles in the organization.

    “We are in the transition point already and that is another reason why you need a young physicians section,” he said. “You need to pass the torch to someone, otherwise it will get extinguished.”

  • Tuesday, April 23, 2013 8:22 AM | Deleted user
    Women's Forum thrives with rebirth

    By Martin Desmarais
    Dr. Deepa Jhaveri, left, and Dr. Manju Sheth of the Women’s Forum. Photo by BINITA PATEL PHOTOGRAPHY
    Women doctors have played a big role in the Indian Medical Association of New England, from the early founding members to many presidents over the years, including the last several presidents and currently a majority of the executive committee is comprised of women. The organization has had some sort of women’s group or forum often in its history, but a re-launch of the specific Women’s Forum in late 2008 has triggered a particularly successful period.

    The Women’s Forum was re-launched with the goals of helping with social causes related to women, linking with organizations working with women in this area, fundraising, networking with other women physicians, promoting Indian culture, developing a support system and empowering women to be achievers.

    Current IMANE President Dr. Manju Sheth and Dr. Deepa Jhaveri are co-chairs of the forum. Dr. Mohani Malhotra is the moderator of the forum. Other doctors, including Manorama Mathur and Prema Ramdey, are credited with help reignite interest in the Women’s Forum.

    According to Jhaveri, who is a podiatrist at Beverly Hospital in Danvers, Mass., as well as in her own practice in Winthrop, informal gatherings of women doctors several years ago led to the decision to reestablish a more formal Women’s Forum.

    “We decided that it kind of made sense to reform and restructure it and have a more focused plan for meetings,” Jhaveri said.

    This has led to the Women’s Forum having several large meetings a year with guest speakers covering health and professional topics. The next big meeting is targeted for June and will feature a talk from a noted nutritionist. 

    However, the Women’s Forum also has smaller, more frequent meetings that bring together women doctors to network and socialize.

    “It has been great over the last three or four years, people have become friends, had great networking and people have found jobs,” said Jhaveri.

    While Jhaveri acknowledged IMANE’s openness to women, including as president, she said there is something nice and different about having a venue only for women doctors. She described the gatherings of the Women’s Forum as welcoming, warm and cozy.

    “IMANE Women’s Forum is only for women and it kind of gives us a chance to talk or discuss things that are not really possible to talk about at IMANE meetings,” she said.

    Women’s Forum meetings are also not restricted to IMANE members only, which she believes is a good entry point to the group for younger doctors getting their feet wet in the idea of being part of a large professional organization. “We cater more to the younger physicians who can’t be a president of a big organization,” she said. “I think the women’s forum is to their benefit.”

    Even though Jhaveri is an IMANE member she admits that she has found more of a home with the Women’s Forum than she has with the group as a whole.

    “If I had to pick and choose, I would rather go to a smaller group where I can get to know people she said.

  • Monday, April 22, 2013 8:11 AM | Deleted user
    Dedicated IMANE physicians take pride in serving locally, to offer free services at Health Expo
    Experts in various fields of medicine will be conducting free Health Screenings along with Dentists and Podiatrists at the upcoming Indian & South Asian Health Expo on April 27 at the Marriott Hotel in Newton, Mass.

    Thiagarajan Sheth
    “We will also have specialists at the ‘Ask the Doctor’ segment at the Expo,” said Dr. Subha Thiagarajan, chair of community service at the Indian Medical Association of New England. “A healthy lifestyle, preventative care, routine screenings and physical exams can improve health and prevent major health related cost for individuals and families.”

    Organized by IMANE and INDIA New England news, the day-long free Health Expo will bring the area’s major hospitals and health care providers together with the Asian Indian and South Asian communities in New England.

    “IMANE team has worked very hard to put together a day dedicated to health screenings at the Expo. We will have blood sugar checks, blood pressure measurements led by doctors from IMANE executive committee,” said IMANE President Dr. Manju Sheth. “Patients will be given general advice related to their health and will need to follow up with their own physicians.”

    Dental screenings will be led by Dr. Anita Gohel from Boston University Medical School from noon to 2:00 pm. Dr. Deepa Jhaveri, podiatrist, will be available for advice related to foot problems from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. A number of pediatricians led by Dr. Meera Subramaniam and Dr. Manorama Mathur will also be available during the day. Dr Sucheta Doshi will provide information related to TB screenings. An eye exam will be provided by Dr. Rahul Modi and there will also be a bone marrow as well.

    “While preventative care was targeted for the underserved, we are aware of the cost of neglecting routine screening in our ‘healthy adult’ population who are limited by time, work and social obligations,” said Thiagarajan. “We at IMANE have been inspired by our physicians who run Free Clinics and would like to offer routine screenings to all of our population in events like these.”

    Dr. Thiagarajan said that while traditional Indian practices have been the foundation of Indian diet and habits, Western medicine has offered cures to serious illnesses.

    “We are, however, at a juncture where our children and some of us are changing our habits and are losing the benefits or Eastern medicine and depending solely on Western medicine. Hence we are offering the best of both worlds by incorporating health screening, advice, and lectures in both traditional and western medicine at the Expo,” said Dr. Thiagarajan. “We are also incorporating the concept of Mind Body Medicine, which has been neglected with rise in depression and stress affecting physical health and loss of function in young adults and working class in our community. We are looking forward to serving you all.”

    The Health Expo is sponsored by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and supported by the following organizations: American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence, Association of Pakistani Physicians of New England, Ekal Vidyalay, Gujrati Association of New England, the India Association of Greater Boston,  the India Association of New Hampshire,  the India Society of Worcester, the Indian American Forum for Political Education, Indian Americans of Lexington, Learnquest Academy, New England Hindi Manch, NetSap Boston, Saheli Boston, the United India Association and Vision Aid.

    Health Tips of the Week

    Here are some health tips from readers of the Health Expo event page on Facebook. Neither IMANE nor INE are responsible for these tips. Please consult your doctor.  

    Submitted by Dolly Takhtiani:
    Sindhi Spinach Sabzi: One bunch of spinach, 1 cup water, 1 diced onion, 2 tomatoes, half cup chana dal, half tsp. ginger, 3-4 cloves garlic,1 tsp. cumin seeds, 1 cup water, Red/green chilies, salt to taste. Wash and chop the spinach. Heat 2 tbs. of oil and fry the onion till golden brown. Add spinach and all the ingredients. Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Final touch: mess the spinach roughly and serve with hot rice. 

  • Thursday, January 10, 2013 10:24 AM | Deleted user
    IMANE, INE to hold free Health Expo for South Asian community

    Gupta, left and Sheth, right
    The Indian Medical Association of New England and INDIA New England News will hold a Health Expo in April that will bring the area's major hospitals and health-care providers together with the Indian and South Asian community in New England to educate them about common diseases and their prevention.
    The Health Expo, which will also include workshops and seminars on health-related issues led by foremost physicians, will be held on April 27 at Newton Marriot Hotel in Newton, Mass. Both IMANE and INDIA New England News will also outreach and collaborate with major local community organizations to create awareness about the Health Expo, which will be one of the first major collaborations with community groups on such a large scale.

    "IMANE team is very excited to partner with INDIA New England News for this Health Expo," said Dr. Manju Sheth, president of IMANE. "Community service is a very important mission of IMANE as well as my primary focus as president of IMANE in 2013. We have already received commitments from some of New England's renowned doctors such as Dr. Sanjiv Chopra and Dr. Om Ganda to lead workshops and seminars at the Health Expo. Our experts will address some of the most important health issues that affect Indians and South Asian community like heart disease, diabetes and joint disorders. We will have something for everyone, and will also bring well-known speakers who will talk about Indian diet and even topics related to anti-aging and mind body medicine."

    Founded in 1978, the Indian Medical Association of New England is a dynamic organization for medical professionals of Indian origin in the New England area. Based in Waltham, Mass., IMANE organizes and supports numerous professional and social activities for the benefit of its members and the communities they serve.

    Dr. Sheth, who works at Beverly Hospital and specializes in internal medicine, is also involved with numerous professional organizations, charities and advocacy groups. 

    "I am very delighted about the upcoming Health Expo, which is a joint collaboration between IMANE and India New England News," said Dr. Apurv Gupta, chairman of the board of trustees of IMANE. "The Health Expo will provide informative seminars and workshops on health, free health screening and helpful health-related educational information. It's a first-of-a-kind event in this area, representing a bold undertaking by the two organizations. I hope that the community and our physicians will appreciate and support the event."
    "This will be a free event for all attendees. Both IMANE and INDIA New England News are looking forward to outreaching and involving numerous community organizations and leaders, local hospitals and health care providers to make this expo a great success," said Martin Desmarais, editor-in-chief of INDIA New England News.

  • Monday, October 01, 2012 5:00 PM | Deleted user
    Harvard's Chopra to headline IMANE annual meeting

    By Martin Desmarais
    (Photo by Rose Lincoln/
    Harvard University)
    Harvard Medical School Faculty Dean for Continuing Education and Professor of Medicine Dr. Sanjiv Chopra will be the feature guest speaker at the Indian Medical Association of New England’s 34th annual meeting on Nov. 17 at the Taj Boston. The annual meeting, “Leadership in Medicine,” will have a focus on leadership. Chopra, as well as being a specialist in continuing education, is also an author and a noted speaker on the topic of leadership. He will give a talk titled, “Leadership by Example: The Ten Key Principles of All Great Leaders.”

    In addition to hearing from Chopra, IMANE’s annual meeting will feature the passing of the guard from current president Dr. Sucheta Doshi to president-elect Dr. Manju Sheth, as well as the election of a new executive committee for 2013.

    Doshi is the medical director of occupational health and a women's health staff physician at the VA Boston Healthcare System. She is double board certified in family medicine and general preventive medicine/public health. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin School of Medicine she has an extensive background in global health, vaccination policy and infectious disease prevention. She is a long-standing member of the American Association of Physicians of India Origin and has been a member of the Indian Medical Association of New England since 2004. She served IMANE as president since the start of 2012. She was born, raised and currently resides in Brookline, Mass.

    Sheth works as a primary care physician at Beverly Hospital and is dedicatedly involved in many professional and community organizations. She is on the board of directors of the Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence. She is co-chair of the Indian Women Physicians Forum. She is on the executive committee of the Massachusetts chapter of the Indian American Forum for Political 
    Education. She is closely involved with women’s support group Saheli. She is also on the diversity committee at Beverly Hospital and involved with the Massachusetts Medical Society.

    Founded in 1978, Indian Medical Association of New England is an organization for medical professionals of Indian origin in the New England area. IMANE organizes and supports numerous professional and social activities for the benefit of its members and the communities they serve.

    Chopra wrote a book on the topic of leadership with the same title as the lecture he will give at the IMANE event: “Leadership by Example: The Ten Key Principles of All Great Leaders.” He has received wide spread praise for his book. Chopra told India New England that, in addition to his medical education efforts, his newest passion is teaching leadership to young people.

    This new passion began two years ago when he started giving a talk at continuing medical education conferences on what he called “the 10 key principle of leadership.” The talk became very favorable and word got out about it and he was asked to do it more and more. Since the talk is not specific to the medical profession, he even started to get speaking engagements outside the CME arena. And everywhere he did the speech everyone always asked him, “Where is the book?” It happened so much that he finally decided to write the book, “Leadership by Example: The Ten Key Principles of all Great Leaders,” which was released in May.

    Chopra said he believes that everyone can lead and he hopes that the principles he examines in his book can help others do so. A lifelong educator, Chopra is naturally working with other academics on a way to bring the principles in his leadership book into a class curriculum that can be offered to college students. He also wants to examine leadership through academic research. He says his dream is to create a leadership institute at Harvard.

    A Harvard Medical School graduate, Chopra has remained at his alma mater for almost 30 years and. In addition to his work as dean and professor, he is also a senior consultant in hepatology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He is editor-in-chief of the Hepatology Section of “UpToDate,” an electronic textbook that is subscribed to by an estimated 450,000 physicians worldwide. He serves as the course director of several CME course including seven annual “Current Clinical Issues in Primary Care” conferences, which each draw as many as 8,000 doctors. He has produced approximately 120 publications and published five books. 

    Prior to his book “Leadership by Example: The Ten Key Principles of all Great Leaders” he published “Dr. Chopra Says:  Medical Facts and Myths Everyone Should Know,” co-authored with Dr. Alan Lotvin, in January 2011 and also released an updated paperback version, “Live Better, Live Longer. The New Studies That Reveal What’s Really Good and Bad for Your Health,” in March of this year.

    He has received numerous awards, including an Excellence in Teaching Award from Harvard Medical School, the American Gastroenterological Association’s Distinguished Educator Award and a Master of the American College of Physicians distinction. He was also awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor earlier this year.

  • Sunday, July 01, 2012 5:05 PM | Deleted user
    Affordable Care Act panel examines contentious issue

    By Martin Desmarais
    The Indian Medical Association of New England and the Greater Boston chapter of the South Asian Bar Association joined together to put on a successful panel discussion on July 18 at Tufts University about recent health care legislation and its impact. The panel, "Affordable Care Act and the Supreme Court: The Future of Healthcare Reform," featured area experts and included a lively Q&A session. Over 100 people attended the event.

    The discussion examined how the Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act will dramatically impact health care, law and politics for years to come. Panelists, which included representative from both health care and law, discussed the far-reaching consequences of the decision both locally and nationally.

    Dr. Sucheta Doshi, president of IMANE, said the goal of the event was to provide an opportunity for people to learn how the Indian legal and medical community is working together to promote awareness on a topic that impacts everyone.

    This was the first time that IMANE and SABA worked together to provide an educational panel for members and the community at large. "We had this idea that both of our organizations should do some collaborative work together. • We realized there are so many ways in which our organizations can collaborate," said Manisha Bhatt, president of the Greater Boston chapter of SABA.

    While the crowd at the panel was heavy on health-care professionals, Doshi and Bhatt agreed that both health-care professionals and legal professionals gained from the discussion.

    "The one nice thing about this panel is we had two excellent attorneys • to explain the legal ramifications of this act," said Doshi. "This law impacts how we practices • as a physicians that was one of the big things that I took away from it undefined how this act works from a legal standpoint.

    "I also took away from it what this act means for the future and how does it impact how we practice in the future," she added.

    "For me it was really interesting to learn about the issues that medical practitioners deal with on a daily basis," said Bhatt. "And it was really interesting how a lot of the focus was on the access to health care and how the act was going impact that."

    In covering some of the basic tenets of the Affordable Care Act, Doshi said it was very helpful to hear about aspects such as the elimination of annual and lifetime health-care coverage limits, the extension of children on parent's health care until the age of 26 and primary care physician boosts for Medicare payments. She felt it was very useful to move beyond the main headline that is dominant in the media about the whether the act is constitutional. "There hasn't been an explanation of everything else in the act," said Doshi.

    Bhatt said she was surprise to hear about the cost saving aspects of the act and equally surprised that this does not get as much attention. "It appears that there is an effort to reduce the costs," she added. "I don't think there is a lot of focus in the media on what this will cost individuals."

    Doshi said that the success of the panel clearly suggests that IMANE and SABA have more to gain from future collaboration. "We actually ran out of time. There were more questions than we had time to answer," she said. "It was a very interesting political dynamic between the two panelists on the health-care side and then the two attorneys."

    "This was a way for us as lawyers to really be able to bridge the gap explaining what the act means and also have a discussion about how it impacts real people," said Bhatt. "In order for lawyers to truly be effective advocates, regardless of who you advocate for, you really need to take a step in their shoes. • I do my best work when I truly understand what my clients needs are."

    "It really did bring together people from the medical side and the legal side, as well as the legal policy side," added Doshi. "This was a really good way to bring all the sides together."

    Panelists include:

    Jay Bhatt, DO, MPH, MPA: a senior fellow at NEHI, a Commonwealth Fund Minority Health Policy Fellow (Harvard Medical School/Harvard Kennedy School), as well as chair-elect of the American College of Physicians Council of Associates. Bhatt is a former president of American Medical Student Association and Zuckerman Fellow at the Kennedy School. He is interested in innovation in community health delivery and will provide the clinician's perspective on federal policy changes on the panel.  

    Renee Landers, Esq.: a professor of Health Law and Administrative Law at Suffolk University Law School. Most recently, Landers co-authored an article on the Affordable Care Act in the New England Journal of Medicine entitled: "Perspective, Supreme Court Review of the Health Care Reform Law." Landers has spoken in various media outlets with respect to the Affordable Care Act, most notably CNN and NECN. Landers is the first woman attorney of color to serve as president of the Boston Bar Association.

    Amy Lischko, PhD: an associate professor of public health at Tufts University School of Medicine and fellow at the Pioneer Institute. Lischko is a former commissioner of the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy and former director of Health Policy under Governor Mitt Romney. He has published numerous journal articles on Massachusetts health-care reform and health policy more broadly. 

    Regina Rockefeller, Esq.: a partner at Nixon Peabody's Health Services Group. Rockefeller has been selected as a "Hero of the Field," a health care attorney whose clients consistently sing her praises, by the Massachusetts Medical Law Report's 4th Annual Rx for Excellence Awards. She has published numerous health law articles on topics of importance to health-care providers. She served as the only lawyer on the Massachusetts Medical Society Task Force on Hospital Conversions and Mergers. Rockefeller represents and advises hospitals, physicians, group medical practices, accountable care organizations, captive insurers, faculty medical practice plans, continuing care retirement communities and other health care providers. She also advises health-care providers on cost-effective compliance with HIPAA, HITECH and state data breach laws and defends health-care professionals before state licensing boards.

  • Saturday, June 02, 2012 5:09 PM | Deleted user

    South Asian P.U.P Comedy

    June 2, 2012:  Nick’s Comedy Stop

    Headlined by Paul Varghese and Paul Singh
    Written and Produced by Usha Govindarajulu

    South Asian P.U.P Comedy, a charity fundraiser, was held at Nick’s Comedy stop in the heart of downtown Boston’s theatre district on June 2, 2012 with approximately 65 people in attendance. The show was hosted by two top-notch Indian standup comedians who have opened for Russell Peters: Paul Varghese and Paul Singh, along with Usha Govindarajulu, the skit writer. The two-hour long program consisted of stand-up pieces by Paul V and Paul S separately as well as comedic skits and interludes written by Usha. Each Paul has extensive experience in standup comedy. 

    The show first opened with introductions by Usha and Indian Medical Association of New England President, Dr. Sucheta Doshi, for the IMANE charitable fundriaser. a skit where Usha made fun of a medical school program based in India, immediately followed by a comic stand-up piece by Paul Singh. After this, there were two dynamic short skits about a college tuition woes and a skit about credit cards. Finally, the program concluded with a hilarious standup piece by Paul Varghese. The audience gave accolades for the production. 

    Naina Pathak said, “We enjoyed the skits and Paul Varghese’s standup piece. The venue was also nice and show was well set up.” Sucheta noted, “This was a wonderful opportunity for IMANE to support rising South Asian talent while raising money for our free health clinics and charity health and education fairs in the community which ensure free basic health care to all who need it."

    The strength of the show was carried by the headliner, Paul Varghese and the opening act by Paul Singh as well as the interwoven skits to break up the tempo between the two standup pieces.  Paul V has had extensive experience.  He has performed at the HBO Comedy Festival, the Montreal and Toronto's Just For Laughs Festivals and the TBS Comedy Festival. His TV credits include Telemundo 2's Loco Comedy Jam, NBC's Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central's Live At Gotham and he has been seen on Showtime's Russell Peters Presents. Paul S does comedy as a side gig. He had won the “Desi Comedy Idol” in NY in 2009, and he is starring in a newly released Bollywood film, ‘9-Eleven’.

    This was the sixth production by Usha. She got her start as a writer, but has been involved with theater work and dance productions on/off since college.  She became more involved with theater after producing the play, Bend It Like Auntie, which she had written, in October 2005.  In 2006, she directed and wrote skits for a theatrical event, NetSAP Comedy Mela, held at the Comedy Connection.  She was an assistant producer for the highly successful play, Indian Ink in collaboration with Small World Big Sky Productions. She was producer for Rape, Regret, and Retribution in conjuction with SETU in 2008. Her last production was just last October of 2011, Two Guys and Some Girl: South Asian Comedy with Paul Varghese and Rajiv Satyal.

  • Friday, June 01, 2012 8:24 PM | Deleted user

    United India Association of New England (UIANE) jointly sponsored with Indian Medical Association of New England (IMANE) their first collaborative Health and Wellness fair at the Westin Waltham Hotel on Sunday 6/3/12 from 10-4pm. It was a full house attended by over 100 people. The event was very successful & well complimented event! The event drew members from different organizations including UIANE, IMANE, Golden Club and Aavkar organizations.

    The event was organized by the UIANE and IMANE  team and cochaired by  Dr. Sapna Agarwal and Dr. Gayatri Vohra. The room was filled with people sitting around oval linen covered tables and all the Audio Visual equipment was provided by Mr. Girish Mehta from Indian Circle for Caring USA, Inc. (ICC). The mouth watering appetizers comprised of samosas were served with some warm masala tea which was great start to a rainy day outside.

    The program began with an overview by the services provided by Indian Circle of Caring followed by brief presentations throughout the day from various speakers including Dr.Sadru Kabani, Dr.Ram Chuttani, Joan Hill, Gita Patel, Dr.Lata Mundkar, Jay Gupta, Dr. Pratibha Shah, Dr. Anubha Sacheti, and Dr. Salil Midha. The speakers were introduced by the cochairs Dr. Sapna Agarwal, Dr. Gayatri Vohra and the Vice President of UIANE, Dr. Seema Arora.

    Dr. Sucheta Joshi, President of IMANE stated that IMANE is the oldest organization for medical professionals of Indian origin in the New England area and thanked all those who attended the event.

    Dr. Neela Gandhi, President of UIANE welcomed everyone and thanked all the attendees and speakers for taking the time to  support the event.She said this was the first time UIANE had organized a health fair and also the first event that they had collaborated with IMANE. She thanked the committee of IMANE and UIANE for the great team work to make the event such a success. She mentioned that the event was possible with the support of financial sponsorship from NOVO Nordisk, Aptalis Pharma, Velscope, Astra Zeneca, and Vitamin Shoppe.The other sponsors included Whole Foods who supplied samples of smoothies and salads, Indian Circle of Caring, Jay Yogacaps, Bhavna’s Wellness Group, Free Massages by Debra Baker, Sondarya Spa and Colgate.

    There was a delicious Indian Vegetarian lunch catered by Bollywood Grill served during the lunch break.There were several raffle drawings with prizes that included a Sonicare Electric Toothbrush and Britesmile Tooth Whitening donated by Dr. Neela Gandhi, Chemical Peel and Microdermabrasion sponsored by Dr. Anil Kumar of Center of Lasers and Cosmetics, Gift Baskets by Vitamin Shoppe, Bhavna’s Wellness Group, and Whole Foods, Happy Healthy Teeth book donated by Dr. Anubha Sacheti, Vegetarian cookbook Blending Science with Spices donated by Gita Patel, and DVD on Yoga Rejuvenation by Jay Yogacaps. Goodie bags comprising of free toothbrush,toothpaste ,floss and patient education material were distributed at the event and was donated by Colgate.

    The committee had raised some money at the end of the event and had pledged to donate to the research in the various medical specialties and will split the amount  and donate to Boston Cardiac Foundation, Massachusetts Dental Society Foundation, American Association of Diabetes Educators(AADE) Education and Research Foundation and Jay Yogacaps,a non-profit dedicated to sharing free yoga with underserved populations like cancer survivors, seniors and people with mental illnesses.

    UIANE is a non-profit organization that helps promote cultural events in the New England area, please visit their web-site for more information

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