Modern-Day Heros – BIMDA Leaders

The heroes of BIMDA (the Brevard Indo-American Medical and Dental Association) have been many over the years,” says Glad Kurian, a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Melbourne, FL and a volunteer leader with BIMDA since 1996.

Kurian functions at the center of group interaction, coordinating each year with the current president and the leadership committee, giving the group direction from a strategic angle while constantly pushing the envelope of excellence. Kurian, along with Dr. Ashok Shah, has been instrumental in expanding relations with the group’s many supporters over the years – hospital systems, sponsors and broad-based non-profit groups such as United Way of Brevard.  “Diversity and unity are accomplished at both the leadership level and in our relationships with our supporters. Volunteerism and community involvement are important values that we cherish,” says Kurian.

Glad Kurian, honorary executive director and co-founder of BIMDA

Dr. Ashok Shah, sponsorship chair, shares an interesting observation: “It wasn’t until the dawn of the Medical Expo in 2002 that BIMDA’s meteoric rise as a state leader in organized medicine was firmly established. BIMDA gives credit to Glad Kurian for his early vision of this event which he masterfully executed for the first time in 2002 with great success.

“Over the past decade, Glad Kurian has been recognized statewide as a leader in the medical community, working with several similar groups in cities ranging from Ft. Lauderdale to Orlando, Port St. Lucie, Palm Beach and Jacksonville, bringing together all players – physicians, hospitals, care givers, risk managers, pharmaceuticals and medical device makers.”

Dr. Ashok Shah has been serving as the chairman of sponsorship & underwriting since 2002, and is recognized for leading the organization’s growth since 2004 with his strong talent as the underwriting & sponsorship chair. Dr. Shah is a member of Parrish Medical Center’s medical staff. His leadership has expanded BIMDA’s presence in Titusville with great prominence, connecting the dots for BIMDA along its 72-mile stretch in Brevard County that reaches the outskirts of Palm Bay and Malabar.
Dr. Mukesh Aggarwal shares the groups’ mission statement


Dr. Mukesh Aggarwal is BIMDA’s past president (2003) and founding president of Brevard’s Indian Association of the Space Coast (IASC 1991), the pre-cursor to all Indian-American related activities on the Space Coast.

“BIMDA’s mission statement is providing compassionate medical and dental care to Brevard in pursuit of a better life for Brevard residents,” explains Dr. Aggarwal.

“Health care is changing from the care we knew back in the late ’70s,” he continues. “We, the members of BIMDA, are very much involved with the community, by not only hiring some 4,000 to 5,000 people in the local workforce, but often with on-the-job training for different people in the medical and dental field. We encourage young high school and college graduates to become doctors and ancillary staff. We have held conferences for young students to get into medical fields in cooperation with the deans of medical, dental and pharmacy schools. Our doctors are very much involved on a personal basis in local charities, such as Rotary Club and Lions Club, providing free care for indigent patients in cooperation with local charity clinics, hospitals and emergency rooms. Our members are involved on an international level by conducting medical missions, giving medicines and equipment and teaching local doctors overseas. These are some of our contributions.”
“BIMDA is a premier medical organization, dedicated to serving the people of Brevard County,” says Dr. Mahesh Soni.

UNSURPASSED SPOUSAL SUPPORT
“…Thriving medical couples are modern-day heroes; not just in terms of performing extraordinary fetes, but, even more, in our definition of the term: Heroes create safe spaces for other people…” (Success in Medical Marriage, 2007, Dr. Wayne M. Sotile and Mary O. Sotile, M.A.).

The collective physicians and spouses of BIMDA create these safe places for patients in Brevard County. “The success of a physician is in large part due to the support of his or her spouse, family and community,” says Kurian.  Kurian applauds a more “traditional approach” to medicine which unites physicians, dentists and health care providers with family and community—two pillars of support.

While BIMDA’s broad community contribution expands yearly, physician spouses have earned
their place as an invaluable pillar of support.
“Traditional is togetherness,” says Aparna Balaji, BIMDA’s spouse’s auxiliary chair for 2012. The spouse’s leadership each year is usually led by the president’s spouse.

Aparna Balaji, who is President Dr. Balaji’s wife, maintains that many BIMDA spouses volunteer in different capacities and contribute to the goals of the organization, helping with child care, planning the menus for the conference and organizing volunteers for the host committee. Children from physician families enjoy the privilege of growing up and interacting with other children from medical families, while spouses interact and host guest speakers on topics of special interest to the women.

BIMDA and its spouse auxiliary group epitomize family medicine. “We need to understand that no couple is more challenged than a medical couple, no family is more challenged across the journey than medical families, members of no other profession are more challenged than physicians,” writes Dr. Sotile. “To be resilient, you have to take care of business at home and in the workplace, and the most important requirement for that is caring connections. In order to promote that, I believe communities of physicians and their loved ones need to be rallied as emissaries of collaboration and collegiality.”

MILESTONES OF GROWTH


Informal medical education dinner meetings in the early ’90s, organized by Dr. Mahesh Soni and Glad Kurian, marked the start of BIMDA. Its formal incorporation took place in 1999, and the group witnessed steady growth through 2001. The first medical expo in 2002 is seen as a major turning point in the group’s growth.  In 2003, with Dr. Aggarwal as president of BIMDA, the AAPI Convention in Orlando further solidified the group’s role as a leading member organization in Florida. In 2004, the addition of Dr. Ashok Shah brought strength in underwriting and sponsorship. The addition of Dr. Sue Mitra and Dr. Prakash Reddy brought expanded interaction with a younger generation of physicians and the group witnessed further growth in members. Recently, AAPI chapters in Florida have started an informal Florida Federation, a state-level group, and are hosting their first event in Orlando as a fundraiser for AAPI Charitable Foundation on September 28.
Dr. Subhash Rege signed up as the group’s first life member in 1999, establishing his role as the dental co-founder.  Dr. N. Rao Kopuri, orthodontist, is slated to be the group’s first dentist president in January 2013, leading the way to greater collaboration between physicians and dentists for better patient care.

BIMDA’s first spouse’s auxiliary in 2002 was the idea of Mrs. Rekha Vyas, a local realtor, and spouse of Dr. Sharad Vyas, pediatrician. The spouse’s auxiliary has grown very well over the years, with a diverse set of ladies managing every aspect of the event as it relates to family, including the oversight of a professionally managed Kid’s Club during gala events, enhancing the ability of young physician couples to attend and interact with other members.

Some of the early young members of the BIMDA Kid’s Club are themselves on their way to joining the medical work force. Children of physician members volunteer at hospitals and doctor’s offices, gaining valuable community service hours. Senior members of the group, like Dr. Homi Cooper and Dr. Mukesh Aggarwal, serve as mentors, not only to younger physicians, but also to high school students desiring to become doctors.

The field of medicine is fast changing and BIMDA is a positive group adapting to change, busy preparing the next generation of doctors and community leaders for the challenges and opportunity that change brings.

For more information on BIMDA, visit BIMDA.com or call (321) 952-0853.

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