AAPI convention teaser offers glimpses of 40th annual convention in San Antonio

iNDICA News Bureau-

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome you to the 40th annual convention and scientific sessions of the American Association of Physicians of Indian origin (AAPI), which will be held from June 23-26, 2022, in the historic city of San Antonio, Texas,” Dr Anupama Gotimukula, AAPI president, said at a convention teaser organized virtually Sunday, May 15.

“We are planning a historic convention in San Antonio to celebrate 40 years of AAPI that coincides with 75 years of India’s Independence, with excellent educational sessions and other programs,” she added.

Dr Gotimukula, the fourth woman president of AAPI, thanked the organizing committee led by Dr Jayesh Shah and praised the dedication and generosity of each member for giving of their best to make the convention a truly memorable event.

“Bienvenidos a San Antonio, Tejas!” Dr Shah, convention chair and past president of AAPI, said in Texan style. “It is with great pleasure that I, along with the San Antonio 2022 convention team, welcome you to the 40th AAPI annual convention in San Antonio, the eighth largest city in the U.S. I still have vivid memories of inviting you to San Antonio in 2014. This is going to be the fourth convention in Texas.”

The teaser gave a glimpse of the 40th convention with its theme, ‘Heal the Healers — Rejuvenate and Rekindle Your Mind and Spirits’. “Our physician members have worked very hard during the Covid-19 pandemic and the 2022 convention is a perfect time to heal the healers with a special focus on wellness,” said Dr Shah.

Put together by a talented and dedicated team of the convention committee, the four-day event will be filled with programs and activities that cater to the body, mind and soul and will be a unique experience for everyone, he added.

Dr Shah introduced the strong and dedicated team of convention committee members, including Venky Adivi, chief executive officer of the convention; Dr Aruna Venkatesh, convention treasurer; Dr Vijay Koli, past president of the AAPI and convention advisor; Dr Rajam Ramamurthy, convention advisor; chief operating officers R Reddy Yeluru and Ram Joolukuntla; Dr Rajeev Suri, president of TIPSSW and co-chair of the convention, and the other co-chairs, including Dr Shankar Sanka, Dr Hetal Nayak and Dr Kiran Cheruku.

Honoring India as the country celebrates 75 years of independence is part of the convention, which is co-sponsored by the Indian embassy in Washington D.C. and the consulate general of India in Houston.

Each day of the convention has a specific theme. The theme for the opening day Thursday is ‘Unity in Diversity’ and the delegates will showcase their state dress. ‘Heritage India’ is the theme for Friday honoring and celebrating India’s rich culture and diversity. Saturday, the focus is on the much-loved ‘Bollywood’ with a special performance by popular singer Shaan, followed by a mehfil. The food served each day will match the theme chosen for the day.

Some of the events at the convention are workshops and hands-on sessions on well-being, 12 hours of continuing medical education (CME) sessions, a women’s forum, a CEOs forum, ‘AAPI’s Got Talent‘, mehfil, Bollywood Nite, fashion show, Medical Jeopardy, abstract posters/research contest, alumni and young physicians’ events, and exhibition and sale of jewelry, clothing, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and finance.

The convention will be held at the newly renovated Henry B Gonzales Convention Center in San Antonio, located on the colorful and vibrant Riverwalk. This world-class facility will afford an intimate setting that will facilitate one’s ability to convey cutting-edge research and CME, promote business relationships, and display ethnic items. The team has prioritized vendor satisfaction and comfort.

Giving an overview of the programs for each day, Venky Adivi said, “It takes a village to put together a fabulous convention, and I am grateful to the committee members, chairs and advisors. Special thanks to Ms Vijaya Kodali for her expertise and skills.”

Dr Rajeev Suri, president, TIPS SW, and convention co-chair, urged everyone to get their sombreros ready for a special evening organized by the Texas Indo- American Physician Society (SW Chapter) that will end with a Bollywood Dandiya Night.

Saturday evening will begin with the presidential banquet, which will be followed by a live show by singer Shaan. “Sunday we bid you ‘hasta la vista’ with the closing ceremony,” said Dr Vijay Koli, convention advisor.

Dr Kiran Cheruku, convention co-chair, said, “Friday, a popular fashion show, Abby V show and colorful Rajasthani dance awaits you.”

“Saturday, with the celebration of the International Day of Yoga, imagine hundreds of people doing yoga all around the Riverwalk,” said Dr Rajam Ramamurthy, convention advisor.

The AAPI delegates will have a multidisciplinary CME conference that allows specialists and primary care physicians to interact in an academic forum. World-renowned speakers will discuss gaps between current and best practice on a wide range of topics.

Dr Shankar Sanka, co-chair, said, “The 2022 exhibit hall is the nerve center of the convention. The unique layout offers maximum exposure to the pharmaceutical and commercial booth.”

Dr Aruna Venkatesh, convention treasurer, added, “The exhibition stage will have the performances to keep our audience in the exhibit hall to keep our booth supporters happy. The research pavilion will enable you to view the outstanding works of our students, residents and fellows.”

Dr Hetal Nayak said, “The unique part of the convention is our yoga-based wellness package which is thoughtfully created with world-renowned speakers. The experience can transform you.”

In addition to entertainment and authentic Indian cuisine, esteemed yoga gurus and experts who will share their wisdom and lead the wellness sessions include Paramguru Sharatha Jois, Sadhvi Bhagawati, Saraswati Eddie Stern, Dr Sat Bir Khalsa, Dr Dilip Sarkar, Dr Pankaj Vij and Dr Param Dedhia.

“Our speakers are some of the best names in wellness and yoga,” said Dr Cheruku. “And do not miss the world-famous yoga workshop by Guru Sharatha Jois.”

The confirmed plenary speakers are Dr Jack Reseneck, American Medical Association president, and Dr Peter Hotez, Nobel Prize nominee. Other confirmed guests are legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar, Dr Rahul Gupta, director, National Drug Control Policy, spiritual leader Sadhvi Saraswati and D. Prem Reddy, CEO of Prime Health Services.

For the first time, AAPI is planning to organize an in-person plenary session on India-USA Healthcare Partnership with India’s Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on June 25. The minister is yet to confirm his attendance.

Gavaskar, the original Little Master, praised AAPI members for being part of the “greatest profession in the world”. He said, “It’s an honor to be part of the AAPI convention in Texas. I am looking forward to meeting you all.” Gavaskar also referred to his association with the ‘Heart to Heart Foundation’ and how it is touching many hearts around the world.

“Physicians and healthcare professionals from across the country and around the world will convene and participate in the scholarly exchange of medical advances to develop health policy agendas and encourage legislative priorities in the coming year,” said Dr Gotikukula. “We look forward to seeing you in San Antonio!”