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  • Thursday, May 10, 2012 4:52 PM | Deleted user

    Medical association head talks presidential election, health-care reform
    The IndUS Business Journal spoke to Dr. Sucheta Doshi, who is currently 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 became president of IMANE in January 2012. She was born, raised and currently resides in Brookline, Mass.

    Tell IndUS Business Journal readers about your role as president of the Indian Medical Association of New England and any plans for your tenure. What have you identified as one of the main challenges facing IMANE and how do you intend to address this as the association’s leader?

    I am currently the youngest president of IMANE, as well as the first second-generation president, born and brought up in the United States.  It is a tremendous honor and I hope to lead the organization forward this year by strengthening our alliances with other medical organizations, including the Massachusetts Medical Society and reinforcing IMANE’s presence in academia, research and collaborative ventures that form the future of medicine in the United States.  We have already held our first big successful event of the year, our 2012 Spring Education meeting on “Health Care Quality Improvement,” which featured speakers such as Dr. Stancel Riley, executive director of the Board of Registration in Medicine, and Dr. Ronald Dunlap, vice president of MMS. The audience was very engaged throughout the program and there has been demand for more continuing medical education programs along a similar theme of health care quality and practice improvement in this era of health care reform. IMANE has always embraced community service to the underserved as part of its mission, as exemplified by the ongoing charity clinics in Waltham and Shrewsbury. I hope to build on this mission through the development of key taskforces to address important public health needs in the Indian Community; we have already formed one such taskforce with the Indian Circle of Caring and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to address awareness, prevention and treatment of tuberculosis within the immigrant Indian community.  We will continue to also have many health and wellness fairs in the community, including our annual India Day health fair with the Indian Association of Greater Boston.

    The challenge facing IMANE is that as an organization, it is at a crossroads.  Founded in 1978, it is the oldest Indian medical organization in the United States, pre-dating the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin. We have many senior physician members and founders who faced different issues than those being faced by the younger generation of physicians today.  While the senior physicians were new immigrants from India who faced visa hurdles and struggled to find residency positions in the United States but are now quite well established and choose to socialize more within the Indian community, many of the younger physicians today were raised in the United States, face a different challenge of building a practice in today’s health care reform environment, and are well integrated in the community with a diverse ethnic viewpoint. While building ties with the Indian community was very important for the immigrant generation, building ties with the greater medical community is important for the younger generation. I owe a great deal to the past presidents of IMANE, many of whom have been my mentors throughout my medical education. I think this mentoring relationship is key to bridging the generational divide and encouraging the younger generation to become more active within the organization. Currently all medical organizations face a challenge with dwindling membership and revenue. If IMANE is to survive into the future, academic and professional accomplishments need to be at the forefront to minimize disenchantment by the younger generation of physicians. The IMANE membership is composed of many talented physicians in academia, research, and health-care administration and policy arenas. This talent needs to be harnessed and networking between the generations should be encouraged. I hope to accomplish this through mentorship programs for young physicians and increasing programming this year that promotes IMANE's mission to contribute to the education of medical professionals to advance the profession through physician advocacy and representation within all medical arenas.  

    How important are professional groups such as IMANE and what impact can your group have in the medical sector, on its own or in conjunction with the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin?

    Professional groups such as IMANE are incredibly important to help represent the profession in the greater community and advocate on their member's behalf. Physicians today have to deal with a growing number of changes to the way they practice medicine. However, those in practice do not always receive appropriate education or training on basic principles of quality improvement and risk management. With the advent of Accountable Care Organizations, changes in licensing requirements and ever increasing quality improvement measures to monitor patient safety, IMANE cannot refrain from participating in these changes and acting as a lead advocate on behalf of our members within the medical community.  We can do this by providing essential education to our members as well as by strengthening our own alliance with Massachusetts Medical Society. With AAPI, we can also build alliances with organizations such as the American Medical Association. As an organization representing one of the largest groups of physicians in Massachusetts and the United States, IMANE can have a great impact educating Indian physicians on these changes and representing their voice through physician advocacy as health care policy is debated at the State House as well as on Capitol Hill, in conjunction with AAPI.

    In the middle of a presidential election, health care and health-related issues always rise to prominence. In your view, what is the most important health-related issue that the presidential candidates should address? Do you feel that any of the candidates have been more effective, so far, at addressing this particular issue or health-related issues in general?

    I definitely believe in universal health care and the right for everyone to have their basic health needs covered. I think population health and prevention is one of the most important health-related issues that needs to be addressed during this election. When you look at the leading health indicators in all industrialized countries, the United States falls well below other countries on almost all of them. We need to create a culture of wellness where basic prevention education and screening occurs for all people in this country, specifically diet and exercise for healthy weight maintenance and prevention of chronic disease, immunizations against prevalent vaccine preventable diseases, preventive cancer screenings and education regarding healthy living habits. We have many national taskforces that are established to look at these issues but not many are composed of providers who actually practice direct patient care on a daily basis – this is the one place where I feel the candidates have failed.  While President Obama's initiatives, especially the Affordable Care Act, do take population health into consideration and his policies have included public health programs more than others in the past, the benefits of public health and prevention in its entirety should be considered, not just the services that are “proven” by health policy expert opinion versus that of those on the front-lines delivering the care.   This is why the recent guideline changes in cervical cancer and breast cancer screening which would limit the screening depending on age are so controversial, for example. We need to look at what can create an overall “healthier population” first. If everyone is able to access a doctor but all preventive needs are not going to be covered or paid for depending on someone's insurance, gender, ethnicity or age, then we're missing the boat on equitable health care delivery. We treat the individual rather than the population at present in the United States. A population health approach is literally the secret for transforming health care in the United States today. 

    What would you say if one of the presidential candidates asked you specifically what could be done to improve health-care in the United States?

    There has been constant discussion during this election about the cost of health care. While we need to decrease costs and increase efficiency, unfortunately, the amount of documentation that a physician needs to complete for each individual patient is extraordinary. With universal health care both in Massachusetts and nationally, there will be an increase in the number of patients that is seen by any individual physician. With increasing paperwork, there is less time spent on each patient which drastically impacts quality of care. One major improvement would be to help reduce paperwork by streamlining documentation requirements for the everyday physician in practice to increase the amount of time that can be spent on direct patient care, thereby delivering quality health care to the most important person in this equation, the patient.  

    What fuels your passion for medicine and dedication to the field, both through professional efforts and with IMANE?

    My passion has always been public health, specifically in developing countries; I went into medicine to be able to provide the best health care and humanitarian assistance to the underserved populations across the world. I am fortunate that I was able to accomplish this through my work with the Centers for Disease Control where as one of their disease detectives, I was able to work on the global polio eradication initiative in Uttar Pradesh in Northern India which was then the hotbed for all polio activity in India, a country that incidentally just celebrated one year of being polio free this January. Global health has always been my passion, specifically in the arena of infectious disease prevention and to have been able to participate in the movement to eradicate the next human disease after smallpox, especially one that impacted India so greatly, is what fuels my dedication for constant improvement in the field of medicine through research, teaching, patient care and administrative medicine. I saw that opportunity for organizational improvement with IMANE and the challenges it faces today. I feel that IMANE has a huge scope to provide quality improvement initiatives, through community outreach on important health topics affecting the Indian community such as tuberculosis and diabetes, through physician advocacy, mentorship for young physicians, and educational activities. 

    How would you respond if a child or teenager asked you why they should become a doctor when they grow up?

    Being a doctor is one of the most rewarding professions that one can belong to; you have the flexibility to address the needs of the community through various sectors. You can find a cure through research for a deadly disease affecting millions, you can inspire a young medical student through teaching to become an accomplished healer, you can touch an individual’s heart through direct patient care, or you can impact populations by developing national or international health policy. The possibilities are endless but the personal satisfaction 

  • Monday, May 07, 2012 8:20 PM | Deleted user

    The Indian Medical Association of New England held a first-ever joint meeting with the Massachusetts Medical Society on May 7 in Waltham, Mass.

    According to IMANE, the meeting and collaboration, which was the idea of association President Dr. Arun Chaudhary, was well attended.

    The meeting started with a morning welcome speech by Chaudhary. This was followed by a mock cross examination with attorneys John Faggiano, Christy Hepburn and Anne Kerney. 

    After a breakfast, there was a talk on the changing times in the world of medicine by Lynda Young, president-elect of the Mass Medical Society.

    Lunch, provided by Tamarind Bay, was accompanied by a talk by attorney James Bello of Morrison Mahoney Group, who emphasized the importance of accurate documentation.
    The final speech was Dr. Stancel M. Riley, executive director of the Mass Medical Board, who talked about all the changes and new requirements for license renewal in Massachusetts. Especially noteworthy was his discussion of the appropriate use of opiods and end of life care requirement for licenses renewal. 

    Dr. Sapna Aggarwal, a member of the IMANE executive committee, said the meeting provided a great platform for learning about upcoming changes in the health care which physicians need to be aware of.

    Dr. Manju Sheth, IMANE secretary, said that it was very satisfying to get so many compliments from some very happy physicians who attended the meeting. She said that the association will now seriously consider doing similar risk management lectures as a regular feature of the group’s education events.
  • Tuesday, July 06, 2010 5:06 PM | Deleted user
    Young Physician's Society - Pratham Gettogether

    The Young Physician's Society of the Indian Medical Association of New England is making great strides in following in the footsteps of their mentor senior physicians.  As the oldest Indian Medical Association in the country, founded in 1978, IMANE has a strong history of charitable work including free clinics, fundraisers and support for charitable organizations.  The younger generation is to be commended for their recent very successful fundraiser event held to support Pratham, one of the largest non profit organizations in India, dedicated to the education of underprivileged children between three and fourteen years old.
    On Thursday May 20th, YPS-IMANE, Pratham members and their guests enjoyed an evening of cocktails, mingling, a fine dinner and entertainment at  the Zagat best rated restaurant Tamarind Bay in Brookline. The event was organized by Sameer Kapasi, the YPS chair and Sucheta Doshi, secretary of IMANE.  They worked closely with Pratham board members Aditi Sahani and Vikas Sekhri to ensure the event went smoothly.  All enjoyed the great entertainment act featuring Brownstar Revolution.
    The restaurant was packed full with a young, well dressed, vibrating crowd as well as members of IMANE. The current president of IMANE Dr. Geeta Trivedi was joined by past presidents Drs. Nasir Khan, Manorama Mathur and Chander Kapasi and members of the executive committee to support the event.  They all congratulated the young physicians for holding this fundraiser for a noble cause in spite of their busy schedules and family responsibilities. Dr. Geeta Trivedi also announced a special deal on IMANE membership.

    Sameer Kapasi, YPS chair, is also on the IT Committee of AAPI and patron member of AAPI Charitable Foundation. Sucheta Doshi is on the Preventive Health Committee of AAPI. They combined their social and professional network for this great cause of raising money for the needy. They also successfully campaigned for making new members for IMANE and AAPI. Kudos to all of them!

  • Friday, October 12, 2007 12:34 PM | Deleted user

    Weekly facility reaches out to underserved in community

    SHREWSBURY, Mass. undefined Inside the India Center in Shrewsbury, Mass., on Oct. 12, two Sunday school classrooms looked like doctor’s offices. The glass windows on the doors were covered, an examination table was unfolded, and wooden tongue depressors were on top of a desk normally used by teachers.

    The Indian Medical Association of New England and the India Society of Worcester have teamed up to open the Free Stop Health Facility at the society’s India Center. The facility opened for the first time on Oct. 12, and it will be open every Wednesday night from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. The facility will provide medical help to the uninsured and the underserved of the community, and it is open to everyone, Indians and non-Indians alike. Patients will not be charged for a doctor’s services. According to Dr. Sahdev Passey, the past president of IMANE and the medical director of the health facility, Free Stop Health Facility is meant to help people who cannot pay for the “skyrocketing” costs of health care. He said they will help those who need non-emergency medical attention. “It is something to give back to the community,” he said. Passey, who was also the president of the India Society of Worcester from 1990 to 1994, said IMANE began planning this community service project in 2003. This year, the society offered their India Center for the health facility. “These doctors are part of our community,” said Meera Gupta, the ISW president said. “They are giving their valuable time for the community.” Along with physicians like Passey, who is a pediatrician from a private practice in Worcester, doctors who specialize in other medical areas like hypertension, diabetes, and obstetrics and gynecology will also be available. Passey, who will be there every Wednesday, said his group will advertise which specialist will be at the facility beforehand. Passey said that he plans to have about three doctors at the health facility every week.

    According to IMANE, the health facility will also provide information on health issues and a person’s diet. However, Dr. Purnima Sangal, who is the president of the association and a gynecologist at the Lowell General Hospital and the Saints Memorial Medical Center in Lowell, Mass., said that no narcotics will be given out at the health facility. She said that she does not want people coming to their facility who have no ailments and simply want a refill of their prescription. Gupta said volunteers will work at the health facility to assist doctors. She said that all volunteers will sign forms to keep a patient's medical records private. One of those volunteers on opening night was Ragini Seth, the vice president of ISW, who said she plans on being there to help every Wednesday night. Seth said that she thought the health facility was a noble operation. “Whenever you can volunteer, you do,” she said. Although this health facility is open to everyone, Passey said that he felt a facility for Indians to go to for their health needs was not available in the community, and was needed. “This piece was missing,” he said. “Hopefully, we will fulfill some pieces of it.” However, Passey said that in the two weeks since the health facility has been open, no one has come in yet. He said that he will give it two to three more months to see if anyone comes in, but he is optimistic that people will start coming in soon.

    The Indian Medical Association of New England was founded in 1978 and has about 350 members. It is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. ISW was founded in 1963, and has about 380 members. The society’s India Center was built a year ago. Free Stop Health Facility will be open every Wednesday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at India Center, 152 West Main St., Shrewsbury, Mass.
  • Monday, July 16, 2007 12:43 PM | Deleted user

    IMANE Fund-Raiser to help local groups AASRA, ISW, improve Hope clinic in MASS.

    Savla WALTHAM, Mass.- The Indian Medical Association of New England is stepping up its charitable activities with a charity gala on July 16 at the Carling-Sorenson Center for the Arts in Babson College.

    The event, which will include a dinner and variety entertainment, is raising funds to support an IMANE-run clinic, the New Hope Clinic in Waltham, Mass. In addition, it will support partnering associations such as the Asian American Support and Resource Agency and the India Society of Worcester. Individual tickets are available for $75, a gold sponsorship for $250, and platinum and diamond sponsorships for $500 and $1,000 respectively.

    "IMANE has been giving to society in a number of ways, but this is the first time we are trying a charitable event on such a large scale," said Dr. Lalit Savla, president of IMANE. The beneficiaries of the event were decided upon by a selection process, and AASRA president Anu Bandopadhyay presented her organization's mission before IMANE members. "Domestic violence and physical abuse happens here, and not only with married women coming here. It seemed like an important issue to support," said Savla, of IMANE's decision. Though there is no specific attendance target, Savla said they would like to get as many people in as possible. The venue can seat around 400 people. AASRA is helping IMANE out in organizing the event. "We are glad to provide any kind of assistance to IMANE, as we have experience in event management," said Bandopadhyay.

    Local artists will provide the cultural entertainment at the event. Singer Tapas Ghosh will perform at the event, along with classical dances by youth and rap performances by high school boys. IMANE is trying to raise funds for three of its goals - to improve the physical structure of the Hope Clinic that it operates out of a church in Waltham, to establish a clinic in the AASRA premises and to establish a permanent health clinic under the auspices of ISW. "We're trying to get our members to donate their time and services to these charitable institutions," said Dr. Purnima Sangal, president-elect of IMANE. Some of the more specific goals are to better the New Hope Clinic in Waltham, by setting up new equipment and furniture.

    "We basically want to provide to the community whatever we can, and have been helping out in medical camps and the like," Sangal said. "Now we want to take it to the next level." "We're more than happy, and it's a bigger win for our clients," said Bandopadhyay, who is helping IMANE with organizing and publicizing the event. AASRA will use the funds generated, for client services and for education and awareness about issues faced by South Asian women. The preliminary estimate for improvements to the Hope Clinic is around $50,000 and Savla said the gala is just the beginning. "We have to sustain the fund-raising, and we will plan something every year," he said. Ultimately, IMANE plans to expand its services to India as well. IMANE has around 250 members and was established in 1978.

  • Tuesday, September 05, 2006 12:30 PM | Deleted user

    IMANE 2006 Charity Gala held on Mother’s Day was the first of its kind to be held in the New England region. Organized by Dr.Purnima Sangal, MD, FACOG, and President of IMANE, this fundraiser was created to support the different service initiatives. IMANE has entered into several alliances and has launched new social service projects.  They have expanded their efforts through pro-bono work to meet the medical needs of the under-served, and uninsured patients at their free Health Stops in Waltham, Shrewsbury and Lowell (to be launched this summer). 

    On the morning of the event, Dr. Sangal invited and met with all the babies (some of them now children and adults) that she has delivered over her years of practice as an Obstetrician/ Gynecologist. It was delightful to watch the joy on her face as she met with all the ones she helped bring to the world. 

    The day was billed as a fun-mela and lived upto that expectation with delightful cultural events that featured Bhangara and Bharatanatyam performances. There were more than 30 booths by Law offices of Miller, Patel and Donabed, LLP.; Bombay Club; American Home Builders; India Center; Western Union; New York Life; medPolnte Pharmaceuticals; Leader Bank; Quest Diagnostics; Pfizer; Citizens Bank; First Financial Resources, and many others. Even though it was raining, there were hundreds of visitors getting their health and dental checkups at the free onsite health stop. 

    Three seminars on Retirement and Estate Planning, Global HIV and Asset Protection were very informative. Vikram Udeshi of New York Life focused on 412(i) plans which he said can be used to defer income up to $175K per year. Dr. David Sidebottom talked about the Global HIV epidemic. There are 4.58 million people infected. He stressed on the long term demographic impact, macro economic impact, and the Westoxification – Sexual Liberalization in emerging countries. Rao Garuda of First Financial Resources and Member of The Million Dollar ‘Top of The Table’ group, discussed the benefits of Separate Entity of Ownership, Umbrella Liability, Asset Protecting Trusts, Debt Shield for Homes, Variable Annuities with Living Benefit Guarantees, Multi-Generational IRAs and a host of other very important topics.

    The grand finale was the much awaited  ‘Rockstars’ concert featuring Salman Khan, John Abraham. Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Esha Doel and Mallika Sherawat. They delighted the audience by dancing to many popular numbers. 

    All in all a great event that supported a good cause. 

  • Sunday, May 14, 2006 12:32 PM | Deleted user
    MMS Member Throws Mother's Day Reunion for 230 

    MMS member Purnima Sangal, M.D., an obstetrician and gynecologist and owner of A Woman's Place in Chelmsford, has delivered more than 8,000 babies all over the world. On Mother's Day, she celebrated with dozens of them.More than 230 parents and children affiliated with Dr. Sangal attended the physician's “Meet the Children” event at the Tsongas Arena on May 14. The reunion featured talks from Dr. Sangal and Kenneth R. Peelle, M.D., newly elected president of the MMS. Activities included a children's health products exhibit, a reading program, entertainment, and finger-printing of the kids.At the event, Dr. Sangal read her favorite quote to her guests. 
    "Children are the focus of our lives," she said. "They are the apple of our eyes and the future of our universe. Let's love them, nurture them and guide them."

    Read the complete Lowell Sun article.     
  • Sunday, May 14, 2006 12:24 PM | Deleted user
    When the famed  Bollywood ‘ROCKSTARS’ ascend the stage at Paul Tsongas Arena on May 14th 2006, to the delight of New England residents, IMANE’s President, Purnima Sangal will be moving closer to her goal of charity work, the second item in her agenda of IMANE’s various activities. As she herself put it very clearly “ When  I took over as President of IMANE, I defined my agenda in three distinct areas – Education, Charity, Alliances and advocacy". In her address to the Board of IMANE, she reiterated that charitable projects are the soul of IMANE.  "Free Health Stops in Waltham  & Shrewsbury  will continue to operate and serve the uninsured patients in need.  At least one more new Free Health Stop will start operating soon in  Lowell .  

    Our participation at health fairs in  Providence ,  Worcester , Boston  and  Lowell  will remain strong.  We will clinch any new opportunity for a Health Stop or a Health Fair.  If needed, we will also display our charitable zeal by take a leading role in helping disasters such as Tsunami, Hurricane & Earthquake” The ROCKSTARS concert idea came into being when IMANE was on the look out for a charity event that would, in Dr Sangal words literally ‘rock’ the entire New England community and involve them in every possible way.” We wanted to generate some‘excitement” while making it a charity gala” she said. Dr Neelam Sehag, Chair of the Board of Trustees of IMANE agrees, “It is the first time we are bringing an event of this kind and we hope that it will give IMANE an opportunity to raise enough money through this to be able to do some solid charitable work here as well as in  India . As of now the response has been tremendous we ask the community to support this event by coming out on large numbers for the event”

    So what is the excitement all about?

    In a glittering night of song and dance see your favorite stars in action at ROCK STARS - LIVE IN CONCERT  brought to you by IMANE (INDIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION OF NEW ENGLAND)in association with The event will  be held on Sunday May 14th.(Mother's Day) at 6PM at Paul Tsongas Arena, Lowell MA. The performers include Salman Khan, John Abraham, Shahid Kapoor, Zayed Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Esha Deol, Mallika Sherawat and lots of Bollywood, Musicians, Singers and dancers, a total group of over 70 people


    Highlights include:

    Free Mela will feature over 30 vendors and Cultural Glimpse of India. Reserve a booth now $500 for the full day!  They are going fast!

    Free Health screenings onsite by doctors--  BP, BMI, Cholestrol, Vision, etc.

    2 Lucky Drawings at Mela @ 

    12 NOON &  3 PM for Grand Prizes.  WIN a free ticket to "ROCKSTARS" show. Free Drawing entry cards available at ticket outlets.  Must bring to Mela for lucky drawings!

    Opportunity for Sponsors, Ads, Booths.  Contact: Dr. Sangal @978-970-1000 or Anu @978-590-1780

    -- Event information on and

    -- Show tickets and bus service details at
  • Saturday, November 20, 2004 10:50 AM | Deleted user

    Group releases first-ever directory of South Asian doctors in New England

    Kapasi DEDHAM, Mass. - Under Dr. Onaly Kapasi's hand, the Indian Medical Association of New England had one of its most productive years in recent times. The group celebrated this success at its 26th annual meeting, held on Nov. 20 in Dedham. At the event, Kapasi capped off his year at the association's helm and welcomed the group's new president, Dr. Lalit Savla. Before Kapasi faded from the spotlight though, he took the time to kick off the evening and detail the group's accomplishments.

    The association, which was founded in 1978 to support medical professionals of Indian origin in the region, added close to 100 new members in the last year. It also gained 10 new life members, upping its total to about 109 life members. Kapasi was excited to report that the association had followed through with his stated focus on medical education by holding several additional meetings last year that featured continuing medical education programs for credit. These meetings - held in the spring and summer - had good attendance and were able to pay for themselves, according to Kapasi. In the last year, the association launched its medical journal club, the first such endeavor for the group. The association also published a medical report in the form of an osteoporosis study on Indian-Americans. The association carried on the success of its charitable projects in 2004.

    The group held two health fairs - one in Boston and one in Rhode Island. The group continued its work with the Waltham Area Free Health Center, which aids people who have inadequate or no insurance. Association members have volunteered time, services and money to keep the center running. In the past year, the group has established a medical student rotation at the Waltham clinic. Through this program, a first for the association, medical students from Tufts University spend time working at the clinic as part of their education. Having medical students working at the clinic is a tremendous help and supports the future of the center, Kapasi said. Wrapping up a year of firsts, the group has also published its first-ever directory of South Asian doctors in New England.

    The directory has more than 500 names and contact information. Kapasi said the publication of the directory ends a long journey that began in the late 1970s when the group first got off the ground. He said there has always been talk of a publishing a directory, and he is satisfied to have finally been part of the group that brought it to fruition.

    Kapasi, an orthopedic surgeon at the Merrimac Valley Medical Center in Haverhill, credited much of the association's recent success to the executive committee. "I had a great team spirit all around me," he said. "The executive committee was exemplary in all its facets. "I cannot and will not say that all I have done was me. It was not. It was a team," he added. The group's 2004 executive committee consisted of: Kapasi, president; Sahdev Passey, past president; Lalit Savla, president elect; Apurv Gupta, secretary; Manorama Mathur, treasurer; Manorma Sharma, Purnima Sangal, Birendra Sinha, Nandita Kapoor, members at large; and Deepa Jhaveri, young physicians representative. Kapasi told the physicians gathered at the annual meeting that he hopes the group can put aside some of its inconsistency from the past and continue forward on a cemented course for the future. New president Lalit Savla accepted Kapasi's challenge and acknowledged he had a big act to follow. "I cannot fit into the shoes Dr. Kapasi has," Savla said. "He will always be part of IMANE to help us and guide us when we need him." Savla set as his top priority the "happiness and well being" of the association's members. In this regard, his goals are to ensure members' grievances are heard, add more members and bring more enthusiasm. For Savla, one sure way to bring enthusiasm is to recruit younger members. "We have a bit of the empty-nest syndrome. The young doctors have left; we want them back," he said. He also emphasized the need for a cohesive group. "We need to leave our regional differences behind and work together," he said. "I would like to bring more unity and keep everyone happy and more productive." Savla will establish a new committee to specifically focus on the ideas of members and address what they think the association should do. As another priority for his tenure as president, Savla aims to improve the financial unity of the group.

    "We may have lofty ideas, but we can't deliver them," he said. The group needs to organize more fund-raising to support projects and initiatives, he added. Savla is hoping to start a fund-raising effort through which all members of the group donate $100. He pledged that his $100 would be the first. Savla suggested the group learn from the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin's recent success in the political arena and strive to become a more politically active group. "AAPI has been tremendous in political organization and I would like IMANE to do the same," he said. "I would like to see IMANE's name spoken in the statehouse." Lastly, Savla praised the close proximity in which the association's board of trustees worked with the executive committee in recent years and promised to continue the trend. "We want them to work with us more and more," he said. "If you work together, I believe we can bring IMANE to a higher height." The annual meeting also featured guest speakers David Cohen, mayor of Newton, and Dr. Jagan Ailinani, president of AAPI.
  • Saturday, October 16, 2004 12:47 PM | Deleted user
    By Meera Rajagopalan 

    Donor fatigue worries local organizations looking to help disaster survivors in Pakistan

    Even as the toll in the deadly earthquake in Pakistan and India climbed steadily following a second wave of deaths, local organizations got their relief efforts off the ground. Organizations held several fund-raisers, but are finding it difficult to keep up the momentum, and relief seems to have slowed down to a trickle. “We’re already seeing donor fatigue,” said Justin Stone, president of the Association for the Development of Pakistan. “This (earthquake) will soon fade from the media’s eye, and we want to keep getting the word out there.” ADP has raised $175,800 for relief efforts so far, and was one of the first Pakistan-oriented organizations to start fund-raising efforts, 36 hours after the disaster.

    ADP is now planning long-term redevelopment in the area, and is actively seeking organizations to support. “There is still a long way to go to redevelop the areas,” Stone said. Dr. Naheed Usmani, president of the Association of Pakistani Physicians of New England said, “The news about the earthquake seems to have disappeared already. There are still thousands of people dying there everyday.” Doctors from the national Association of Physicians of Pakistani descent of North America are already in Pakistan, and some members of APPNE will leave for Pakistan to help in relief efforts.

    APPNE recently worked with the Indian Medical Association of New England for the first time, to hold a fund-raiser on Oct. 16 at the Massachusetts Medical Society. Dr. Purnima Sangal, president of IMANE, who initiated the effort, said, “There is no question of politics here. Human beings are suffering, and we should take care of them as physicians.” Around 200 people attended the event, which raised around $65,000. IMANE also worked with the India Association of Greater Boston and Saheli, to organize a fund-raiser at the Bombay Club restaurant in Cambridge, Mass. About 50 people attended the event, and the organizations are yet to decide on a beneficiary. The Pakistani American Association of New England, based in Providence, R.I. organized a fund-raising drive in association with the Islamic Center of Providence on Oct. 15, which raised around $4,000. Around 150 people attended the drive. PAANE is planning a charity concert after the Eid festival.

    Realizing that many of the problems in relief efforts are due to lack of helicopters and means to reach the affected, ADP and the Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs of North America (OPEN) are independently mobilizing campaigns to urge local representatives to lobby for supply of additional helicopters to the region for relief efforts. To donate through APPNE, please visit To donate to the IAGB- Saheli initiative, visit To donate through ADP, please visit For donating to the president’s fund, visit the Pakistan’s embassy Web site at

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