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Rediff.com  » News » GnanaDev wins AMA's Pride in Profession Award

GnanaDev wins AMA's Pride in Profession Award

Last updated on: March 01, 2007 00:14 IST
Dr Appannagari 'Dev' GnanaDev, medical director at the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, California, who helps uninsured and underinsured patients, and several other physicians of Indian or South Asian origin have been selected for the American Medical Association's 2007 Excellence In Medicine Awards.

GnanaDev is one of the four physicians selected for the top Pride In The Profession Awards, a component of the Excellence awards.

Other components of the awards are the Nathan Davis International Award in Medicine, Jack B McConnell MD Award for Excellence in Volunteerism, and Leadership Awards.

The Pride in the Profession Awards recognize the contributions of exemplary physicians who work in underserved areas or sacrifice their time for volunteer or public service efforts. Up to four physicians can receive this award each year.

Leadership awards are presented in medical students, residents/fellows, young physicians and international medical graduate physicians categories. Fifteen medical students, 12 in the Resident and Fellow section, 14 in the Young Physicians section and 10 in the FMG sections were chosen for this year's honor.

All the award winners were recognized at a ceremony February 12 in Washington, DC. The leadership honorees in the Resident and Fellow include Shirish Balachandra of the University of Rochester's department of family medicine; Pat A Basu of Stanford University's radiology department and Rahul N Khurana of the University of Southern California's Doheny Eye Institute.

Among the award recipient in the Young Physician category are Vikhyat Bebarta of Wilford Hall Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas; Ravi D Goel of Regional Eye Associates, Cherry Hill, New Jersey; Chetan U Kharod of MPH Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Department of Military and Emergency Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland; Prasad R Padala University of Nebraska Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Omaha, Nebraska; and Padmini Ranasinghe of Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland.

IMGs chosen include Mahesh Karamchandani, specialist in colon and rectal surgery, of Battle Creek, Michigan; Prem Menon, (pediatrics allergy immunology), of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Harmesh Naik (internal medicine oncology), of Livonia, Michigan; Sarala Rao (pathology), of Los Altos Hills, California; Kiran Shah (obstetrics-gynaecology), of Texas City, Texas; Anil Tibrewal, (general surgery), of Jackson, Michigan; and Shagufta Yasmeen (obstetrics-gynaecology), of Sacramento, California.

"I'm humbled and honored to have received this special award," said GnanaDev, a trauma surgeon, who is also the chairman of ARMC's surgery department. "Early in my career, I just wanted to do my job, but as I saw more and more indigent patients and their suffering, my purpose changed. I didn't want to simply provide these people with patch-up care; I wanted to make a difference in their lives," he said.

A trustee of the California Medical Association, Gnanadev, who has spent his entire 25 years as a physician in the public hospital setting, has been instrumental in starting several programs designed specifically to improve the health and well being of those who are less fortunate. In 2002, he started the ARMC's Cardiac Health Management Program, using his own money.

The program provides free services to qualifying patients with no health insurance who are recovering from a heart attack or coronary bypass surgery.

"A longtime AMA member and leading figure in the CMA, GnanaDev has dedicated much of his career to improving the quality of life for patients in his home state, California," the AMA said.

"GnanaDev donated his own money to start the free cardiac rehabilitation program at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center for patients who lack health insurance; he worked with local fire-fighters to create the Inland Empire Burn Institute, which provides aid for burn victims and runs a camp for young survivors; he founded New Beginnings, a laser tattoo-removal program that helps former gang members erase the inky stigma of their past life; he spearheaded a campaign to win approval for a state-of-the-art hospital to replace a crumbling county facility,' the AMA citation said.

GnanaDev, a former president of the San Bernardino County Medical Society as also president of its medical staff, earned his MD degree from the Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, India and residency in surgery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, New Jersey, where he served as chief resident. He had a fellowship in cardiovascular surgery at the Arizona Heart Institute and has an MBA from Cal State University, San Bernardino.

"Dr GnanaDev's impact on the care of (patients) is immense," said San Bernardino County Medical Society President Dr Manmohan Nayyar, who nominated GnanaDev for the award.

"He is highly respected by his peers, his friends, his patients, and our elected officials. He exemplifies the true leader in the physician community (and) is a giving physician with exceptional experience," the AMA Foundation quoted Nayyar as saying.

A Correspondent