WALTHAM, MA– Dr. Umakanth Khatwa, director of sleep laboratory at Boston Children’s Hospital and a faculty member at Harvard Medical School, has been appointed president of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin–Sleep, known as AAPIOS. This forum brings sleep medicine experts from the United States and India together to share and develop collaboration in clinical and research area.
“It is my hope to take our efforts to the next level,” said Dr. Khatwa. “As our membership diversifies and expands, we can lead efforts across the globe.”
With the appointment of Dr. Khatwa, AAPIOS hopes to expand its agenda of international outreach.
“We must dispel the myth of Obstructive Sleep Apnea being a malady exclusive to patients with the classic build—obese with a large collar size,” said Dr. Anuj Chandra, who served as President of the AAPIOS for the past 3 years.
AAPIOS was formed 6 years ago to act as a forum to exchange ideas and improve the awareness of sleep disorders in the United States and India. The organization initially focused on the Asian-Indian population because OSA affects the South Asian population at a similar rate to the U.S. despite lower rates of obesity. There are also close to a thousand physicians of Indian origin who practice Sleep Medicine in the United States, AAPIOS said in a statement.
AAPIOS encourages and welcomes physicians of any background to join, and it is not an association exclusive to those of Indian origin or South Asian ethnicity.
“Sleep is universal, and sleep disorders defy geographical boundaries,” said Dr. Chandra.
AAPIOS celebrated its 6th annual dinner conference in Denver on June 12th. There were 170 attendees. The Keynote Speaker, Dr. Jaspal Singh, Sleep physician from the Carolina HealthCare System in Charlotte, NC, led an interactive session on “The Future of Sleep Medicine from a Business Perspective.” The presentation addressed telemedicine and how gadgets already being utilized by patients may provide additional clinical information.
A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented by Dr. Teofilo Lee-Chiong to Dr. Suresh Kotagal a pediatric neurology and sleep physician from Mayo Clinic for his significant contributions to sleep medicine. Dr. Narendra Kumar, past president of AAPI presented an Academic Excellence Award to Dr. Bindu Kutty, professor of neurophysiology from NIMHANS, Bangalore India.
The Outstanding Research Award was given to Dr. Sachin Relia a sleep medicine trainee from the Cleveland Clinic for research paper titled Depression Score Changes in Response to Sleep Disordered Breathing Treatment with CPAP in a Large Clinic Based Cohort. Dr. Anupama Gupta from the All India Institute Of Medical Sciences New Delhi won young investigator award for the research paper titled Prevalence of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea among patients with Ischemic vs. Hemorrhagic stroke. Also present were several international exerts in sleep medicine such as Dr. Atul Malhotra, Dr. Naresh Punjabi, Dr. Sudhanshu Chokroverty, Dr. Neal Friedman and Dr. Sharon Keenan form the School of Sleep Medicine at Stanford.
Dr. Deepak Shrivastava, Professor and Program Director of Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine at UC Davis, Sacramento, has joined as a member of the Board of Trustees and brings years of academic and entrepreneurial experience to the organization. Stated Dr. Shrivastava,“I envision AAPIOS making a huge impact in the advancement of sleep medicine in the U.S. and South Asia.”
For more information, visit aapios.org .