The meeting was organized by Dr. Vijay Maurya, Dr. Hemant Yagnick, Dr. Tarak Patel and Dr. Sanjeev Kapuria. More than 75 physicians of Indian origin and their spouses attended the meeting. The state leadership of GAPI, AAPI and MAG (Medical Association of Georgia) was represented at the meeting by Dr. Naresh Parikh, Vice-President AAPI, Dr. Manoj Shah, Past President MAG, Dr. Raghu Lolabattu. President Elect GAPI and Dr. Asha Parikh, Past President GAPI.
Dr. Yagnick opened the meeting by welcoming all the attendees. He reminded the audience of the important role of physicians from the Augusta region and their important role in establishing and growing the organization from its inception. Also recognized the role of local Columbia County Free Clinic once a month run by Dr. Chitra Mani. He related his personal experience for the last few months of his involvement with the clinic which was very gratifying. He called on for contribution of one day a month from other GAPI members to the charitable clinic as a service to the community. Dr. Yagnick was followed by addresses from Dr. Maurya, Dr. Parikh and Dr. Kamath. Dr. Maurya, the current President updated the attendees about GAPI and its Mission, his plan for the growth of membership and activities locally in Augusta and around the state of Georgia. Following this Dr. Parikh emphasized and encouraged the importance of being a GAPI and AAPI members and supporting the charitable causes to the Society we live and work every day. He gave an inside view of these organizations and called on the physicians attending to get involved.
Time between the above speakers interspersed with timely Raffle announcement which was big draw for the crowd. As a part of the sponsored talk, Dr. Kapuria spoke on “Update in Pain Management” With the focus on Opioid abuse and diversion lately, introduction of PDMPs (Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs) in 49 states and the CDC Guideline on Opioids this year it was a great topic for the audience. Later, Dr. Tarak Patel took the stage between managing his Raffle announcements for the presentation on “Updates on Antibiotics”. It was a timely update on a topic of interest among the audience. After a lively question and answer session at the end of presentation Dr. Kamath was invited to speak a few works by Dr. Maurya. Although widely known fact but Dr. Kamath has n been instrumental in GAPI and AAPI in inception. He is the Chairman of Cardiothoracic Surgery in Medical College of Georgia, Augusta and also served on board and as past Chairman of the Medical Licensing Board of Georgia. He recognized the contribution of Physicians of Indian Heritage who make up more than 10% of US physicians, 40% of Hospitalists and 70% of Primary Care physicians. He lamented the poor participations of the physicians of Indian heritage for their lack of formal participation in GAPI and AAPI.
Dr. Patel finally gave the vote of thanks to all the participants- physicians, invited guests and sponsors. This meeting would not have been possible without the excellent support of the 14 companies who stepped up to sponsor. After a thoroughly engaging meeting finally it was time to close the GAPI Regional meeting in Augusta for 2016. Dr. Maurya and Dr. Yagnick in the end thanked the attendees and the leadership who traveled to attend the meeting and closed the meeting with hopes to see everybody again next year.