WALTHAM, MA—Indian Medical Association of New England, one of the oldest organizations of the physicians of Indian origin in the United States, will honor Dr. Victor Saldanha and Dr. Manju Sheth with Community Service Award and Distinguished Physician Award, respectively at its 38th annual meeting on Nov. 19. In addition, IMANE will honor two young IMANE members–Tej Shah and Sangita Murali– with Raj and Prem Goyal Young Physician Achievement Award.
Raj and Prem Goyal Young Physician Achievement Award comes with monetary benefit of $750 dollars each and life time membership in IMANE. Dr. Sheth is being honored with Distinguished Physician Award for distinguished service to IMANE and the community.
Dr. Saldanha is being honored with Community Service Award for excellence in serving the community. After a brilliant academic career, winning honors in college, all three MBBS exams and the TMA Pai Gold Medal for Best Outgoing Medical student in 1962, Dr. Saldanha practiced medicine in Winthrop, MA (1973-2008). He held Annual Free Flu Clinic at Town Hall. He mentored High School students in his office, and instituted annual Olga Saldanha Healthcare scholarship for high school graduates considering a healthcare career.
What has motivated Dr. Saldanha for community services?
“I have been blessed in my personal and professional life and community service is a way of giving thanks for my good fortune, and helping those in need. I must give credit to Rotary International for providing motivation, and the means, by way of matching funds to leverage the money we raise,” Dr. Saldanha told INDIA New England News. “It enables ordinary people like me to do extraordinary things.”
He said that biggest challenge in health care in India is to provide health services in rural parts of the country.
“In the US, getting people to health care centers and getting them health care insurance is the biggest challenge; in India, getting health care to the people, especially rural India,” said Dr. Saldanha. “In this regard, I am currently working on a Telemedicine Project to connect the people with health centers using modern digital technology for lab tests, XRays, EKG, for example.”
Dr. Saldanha has been working on several charitable health related projects in India.
“I would say that the first major project was the Eye Clinic near Chennai, started in 1997-98, which is now the Sankara Eye Hospital,” said Dr. Saldanha, who in 2003 raised funds for a minimally invasive surgical unit at St. George’s Hospital in Mumbai.
More recently, Dr. Saldanha has raised funds for integrated development of eight Girls Schools in Telengana District near Hyderabad. This includes furnishing desks, computers, projectors and screens, water purification to provide clean drinking water and training teachers.
In New England, Dr. Saldanha has been active in a charitable food bank – Haven from Hunger in Peabody, MA, providing meals to the homeless and hungry. Also, he supports the work of Catholic Charities North providing education, health care and finding employment for those in need along the North Shore .
“My team has worked very hard throughout this year to have a very successful year for IMANE,” said IMANE President Dr. Sapna Aggarwal. “Personally it has been a great learning experience for me and I would like to invite all to come and attend our gala to celebrate our success.”
The gala will be held on Nov. 18 at Burlington Marriott Hotel in Burlington, MA. Here are bios of other winners:
Dr. Manju Sheth, MD
Dr. Sheth is a Board Certified Internist with keen interest in women’s health. She works at Lahey Health. She was recently voted in the 150 ‘Women of Influence’ by VW of Boston in 2016. Dr. Sheth, who served as president of IMANE in 2013, has been a big advocate for empowerment of women.
In recent years, Dr. Sheth has led many fund raisers for local charities including Saheli also serves on the advisory board of Saheli. Previously, she served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence. In addition, Dr. Sheth was a trustee of the Indian American Forum for Political Education, which helps increase political awareness among South Asians. She is also Co-chair of Indian Women Physicians forum She was voted Woman of the Year in 2011 for her numerous achievements.
Dr. Sheth is the producer and chair of the annual free mega Health & Wellness Expo and also the producer of popular video series called “Health talk.” She has received numerous awards for her work and community service and been appointed on Adult clinical advisory committee of Harvard Pilgrim Health care Dr Sheth is the president of INE multimedia, a nonprofit company. She is the creator and host of popular “Chai with Manju”celebrity interview series as well as of the show “Dream Catchers” featuring people from the local community who have made their dreams a reality. Dr. Sheth is the founder and producer of New England Choice Awards /NECA which honors achievers in multiple categories in New England.
Tej Shah, DMD
Shah is a dentist serving the New Hampshire and Massachusetts communities. He graduated from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in 2015 and is currently working for Gentle Dental and Aspen Dental. He has volunteered to the community using his various skills. He volunteered as a dental assistant at the Families First Community Health Center, a Math and Science tutor for the Seymour Osman Community Center, computer skills tutor at the Stonewall Jackson Middle School, and an IT volunteer at Frisbie Memorial Hospital. He has participated in many activities of IMANE including health screenings at hatch shell in Boston for last 2 years.
Sangita Murali, MS
Murali, a resident of South Dartmouth, MA, is a 3rd year dental student at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM). She received her B.S. in Neuroscience from Bates College in 2012 and her M.S. in Biomedical Sciences from Tufts University School of Medicine in 2014. Besides being an IMANE Member, she holds membership in the American Association of Dental Research (AADR), the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Indian Foundation’s Young Entrepreneur New England Chapter (AIF). Dr. Murali has participated in several dental public health programs including that of IMANE where she had the opportunity to provide oral cancer and soft tissue pathology screenings along with educational oral health promotion to children and adults. She was inducted into the Robert R. Andrews Research Honor Society at Tufts for her exceptional commitment to conducting research at Tufts and helping her colleagues fulfill their professional dreams in this regard.