President's Acceptance Speech
Namaste, Good Evening and Happy 4th of July!
I am delighted, humbled and honored to accept this important role in serving you as the President of the American Association of Physicians of Indian origin on this auspicious day the 4th of July 2021, here in Atlanta, Georgia.
To start with, I would like to thank Dr. Jonnalagadda, and the convention team for the terrific job and managing AAPI Convention during this very difficult time.
I would like to congratulate and thank the yeoman services and achievements of all our founding members and all the past leadership of AAPI who contributed to the growth of the organization.
We stand on the shoulders of our past leaders who fought the good fight in bringing AAPI to where we stand today: Vibrant, Thousands strong, healthcare heroes being recognized and valued by our peers, communities and most importantly patients.
We, AAPI are the largest ethnic physician organization in the United States and help to elevate the voice of Indian Americans everywhere.
What I would like to share with you today are three things.
- Where we came from
- What we have achieved in our fight against Covid-19
- Where we’re going
First and foremost, most of us came to America from towns and villages in India hoping for a better life and the pursuit of the American dream. Through hard work and a bit of luck, most of us achieved that dream and have become successful and caring doctors.
Through this wonderful organization, we were able to make a bigger impact with the many academic, philanthropic and social initiatives.
Second, we all have loved ones and family members both here and in India who were affected by this deadly disease. AAPI Physicians have made a significant difference in fighting this pandemic.
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 and most recently, providing much needed oxygen concentrators and ventilators in India.
You 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.
And for what we have achieved this past year – our communities are grateful. Please give yourselves a round of applause.
Third, as we look forward to the future beyond COVID-19, we at AAPI have so much more room to grow and serve.
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.
The first goal is: Healthcare & Societal Reform
Collectively, Indian American Physicians are one of the biggest stakeholders in the current healthcare system, with one in seven patients currently managed by us. This is an incredible matter of pride and also a great responsibility.
We need to be a part of the change we want in our healthcare system.
We must be involved and be vocal to fix a system that too often doesn’t serve the needs of ignored communities.
- We must improve health equity
- Get rid of discrimination
- Fight South Asian racial bias
- Other important issues
The second goal is: Healthcare Partnerships
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, for example by building on our core mission by partnering deeper with AMA and other medical and specialty organizations to work in tandem for common goals.
And finally, the third goal is: Women Leadership in Healthcare
This year, AAPI will leverage the 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 of Healthcare.
Through our shared goals, we can leverage our influence to help shape a better future for our children and grandchildren.
Let me conclude by saying that I do recognize that we have a large task ahead, and none of it will be possible without the excellent energy and efforts of each of you and of my incoming team.
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.
I thank you 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.
I want to thank my family, especially my Mom, for their enormous support to me throughout this journey. She flew in from Michigan today to support this special day. Thank you Amma.
As I close, my only ask is that you participate. Get involved. Get engaged. Lend a hand. And stand up and be heard. Let’s move forward and achieve great success together.
I look forward to inviting you all to the 40th Annual Convention next June 23rd to June 26th in San Antonio.
Once again, thank you all. Jai Hind and May God Bless America!
Anupama Gotimukula, MD