During a solemn ceremony attended in person by hundreds of AAPI delegates from around the nation, Dr. Anupama Gotimukula assumed charge as the President of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) during the 39th annual Convention at the at fabulous and world-famous Omni Atlanta at CNN Center and Georgia World Congress Center on July 4th.
Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalgadda, the outgoing President of AAPI passed on the gavel to Dr. Gotimukula, the fourth ever woman President of AAPI in the 39 years-long history of AAPPI, while the audience gave rousing applause to the new leader of AAPI.
Dr. Gotimukula has a new Executive Committee, consisting of Dr. Ravi Kolli, President-Elect; Dr. Anjana Samadder, Vice President; Dr. Satheesh Kathula, Secretary; Dr. Krishan Kumar, Treasurer; Dr. Kusum Punjabi, Chair, Board of Trustees; Dr. Soumya Neravetla- President, Young Physicians Section; and, Dr. Ayesha Singh, President, Medical Student/Residents & Fellows Section.
Dr. Gotimukula will lead AAPI as its President in the year 2021-2022, the largest Medical Organization in the United States, representing the interests of the over 100,000 physicians and Fellows of Indian origin in the United States, serving the interests of the Indian American physicians in the US and in many ways contributing to the shaping of the healthcare delivery in the US for the past 39 years.
In her inaugural address after she was administered the oath of office, Dr. Gotimukula reminded the AAPI members about our origin. “We came to the US pursuing the American Dream. Through hard work and a bit of luck, most of us achieved that dream and have become successful and caring doctors who play a crucial role in the American healthcare system. We serve patients. Raise money for local causes. Contribute to our education system and improve the lives of millions of Americans. We joined AAPI to socialize and meet others like us and in that journey learned that through this wonderful organization, we were able to make a bigger impact with the many academic, philanthropic, and social initiatives.”
While acknowledging and thanking “our founding members and all the past leadership of AAPI who contributed to the growth of the organization,” the only 4th woman president of AAPI in the nearly four-decades-old histories of AAPI said, “We stand on the shoulders of our predecessors, who fought the good fight in bringing AAPI to where we stand today; vibrant, strong, healthcare heroes being recognized and valued by our peers, communities and most importantly the patients. We are the largest ethnic physician organization in the United States and help to elevate the voice of Indian Americans everywhere.”
Stating that healthcare professionals have made a significant difference in fighting this pandemic. “AAPI and our members have been on the frontlines serving patients, working with local public health authorities donating and distributing resources such as PPEs, critical hospital supplies as well as most recently providing much-needed oxygen concentrators and ventilators in India. You are truly healthcare heroes who stood up and risked your lives to SERVE when it was most needed. A value that is not just American but also something we brought along from our motherland of India.”
The soft-spoken, thoughtful, and visionary leader, Dr. Gotimukula says “I like to hope. I am a passionate people person with a pleasing personality. I strive to be an empathetic team leader and good listener, always seeking and doing my best to achieve the team’s goals,”
As a woman leader, being the leader of the largest ethnic physician medical organization in the United States, Dr. Anupama wants to make AAPI a premium healthcare leader, primarily focussing to improve and reform the current healthcare system and help towards making a better healthcare model for the patients; create awareness projects on major chronic diseases burdening our health care system through Lifestyle modifications; establish a support system to members going through racial discrimination in the US; support AAPI legislative efforts to make healthcare better and affordable to all and promote charitable activities globally;
“As we look forward to the future beyond COVID-19, we at AAPI have so much more room to grow and serve,” Dr. Gotimukula said. “I challenge myself, my Executive Committee, and you all, my AAPI colleagues, to rise up to the task of building on our accomplishments and successes over the last several years. My team and I have defined several goals for this year to further AAPI’s mission, along three key dimensions.”
As President, she wants to focus on: “As one of the biggest stakeholders in the current healthcare system, there is an urgent need for Healthcare & Societal Reform, she said. “We need to be a part of the change we want in our healthcare system.”
Dr. Gotimukula urged AAPI to “improve health equity; get rid of discrimination; fight South Asian racial bias; reduce physician burnout; and, improve the career trajectory of the younger generation of Indian American doctors who will be taking care of us as we age.”
As the President of AAPI, Dr. Anupama’s goal is to work towards “Healthcare Partnerships” with other similar groups. “In addition to the good community outreach programs, we need to develop new innovative partnerships around Academics & Research. Providing a solid foundation of science for better patient outcomes. We must reinvigorate industry partnerships & programs. Build on our core mission by partnering deeper with AMA and other medical and specialty organizations to work in tandem for common goals.”
As a Healthcare Leader, Dr. Gotimukula recognizes that “API has power. We have legitimate respect and trust of our communities in every corner of America. AAPI will leverage that power of our purpose and networks to help address specific challenges related to women and the numerous challenges women face: the dual roles balanced by a wonder woman physician, at work, and at home and their increasing role in the future in the Healthcare delivery, Through our shared goals, we can leverage our influence to help shape a better future for our children and grandchildren.”
A resident of San Antonio, TX, Dr.Gotimukula is a board-certified Pediatric Anesthesiologist, practicing since 2007, is affiliated with Christus Santa Rosa, Baptist, and Methodist Healthcare systems in San Antonio.
After graduating with distinction from Kakatiya Medical College, NTR University of Health Sciences in India, she did Residency at the University of Miami & University of Illinois, and a Fellowship in Pediatric Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan.
Dr. Gotimukula urged the API fraternity to “participate. Get involved. Get engaged. Lend a hand. And stand up and be heard. To all the team members, I want to thank you for your efforts thus far and for the next year ahead. Together we will all make AAPI the community standard-bearer for a better future.”
While thanking AAPPI members for “this wonderful honor of serving as your leader and I look forward to working with you all to help accomplish these goals and create greater impact through our efforts,” she said, “My hope is that this year will bring us all back together to see the warm smiling faces from region to region across the country. Let’s move forward and achieve great success together.”
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