BURLINGTON, MA—A panel of nine independent judges on Friday chose Vision-Aid Co-Founder Revathy Ramakrishna as Woman of the Year 2019. The 17th Annual Woman of the Year Awards gala, which is organized by INDIA New England News, was held at Burlington Marriott Hotel in Burlington, MA and was attended by approximately 500 people.
Ms. Ramakrishna serves as the volunteer Vice-President for Vision-Aid, a non-profit organization that serves the visually impaired by enabling, educating and empowering them to live their lives with independence and dignity. Vision-Aid has blossomed into an organization which has offered enablement, rehabilitation and skills training programs for thousands of blind and visually impaired across 10 locations in India, besides also running several programs online through the Vision-Aid Online Academy.
Ms. Ramakrishna dedicated the Woman of the Year Award to visually impaired and volunteers of Vision-Ad.
The nine members of the judging committee were: Abhaya Asthana, Bell Labs Fellow; Monica Chandra, Managing Partner at 3EDGE Asset Management; Indira Desai, Founder & CEO, Waterview Lodge Skilled Nursing Center; Jeyanthi Ghatraju, Quality Assurance Specialist at Raytheon; Rakesh Kamdar, President & CEO, DB Healthcare; Anuradha Palakurthi, Indian-American Singer MITHAS Chair; Sanjay Saini, Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School; Praveen Tailam, Vice Chair, TiE Global, and Clint Valladares, Managing Director of Berklee India Exchange. Ms. Chandra served as chair of the judging committee.
Judges also selected two out of 20 Outstanding Women for Honorable Mentions: Meena Subramanyam, a scientist and an accomplished Bharatanatyam artist and teacher and Vice President and Global Program Leader in the gastroenterology therapeutic area unit at Cambridge, MA-based Takeda Pharmaceuticals; and Meena Ramamurti, Vice President at the Shishu Bharati School of Indian Languages and Culture.
Ms. Ramakrishna, the 2019 Woman of the Year, is an electronics engineer and health informatics professional by training. She works as a Program Manager at Fresenius Medical Care North America, a premier health care company focused on delivering the highest quality care to people with chronic renal conditions. She has been with the company for over 10 years and oversees the Government Reporting and Clinical Informatics program related to specific CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid) and CDC (Centers for Disease Control) government mandated quality and reimbursement initiatives that are aimed at improving the quality of health care and patient outcomes.
Her analytical and technical background, subject matter expertise and communication and collaboration skills help her liaise as effectively with the Medical Office, Clinicians and business team as with the IT and technical teams to build consensus among diverse viewpoints and build high quality systems.
Ms. Ramakrishna says that she feels privileged to serve Vision-Aid alongside so many other community leaders and volunteers and be in the front-row seat of this amazing cause which aims to bring independence and dignity to the visually impaired while also creating a more inclusive world for them through our advocacy efforts.
“I am very passionate about this cause because I have personally experienced the immense challenges posed by visual disability faced by members of my family and have also seen first-hand how these can be mitigated and overcome, when a supportive environment is provided,” says Ms. Ramakrishna. “Unfortunately, even today, in developing countries like India, too many people still lack this kind of support and are turned away when their impairment cannot be cured by modern medicine and surgery.
What cannot be cured, must be endured, says Ms. Ramakrishna.
“When my husband and I first started Vision-Aid it was a small organization running out of my husband’s home town in Vizag, India, benefiting people in that region. At the present time, it is gratifying to see its more expansive scope,” says Ms. Ramakrishna. “In 2019, Vision-Aid is bringing light into the lives of over 1000 visually impaired in 10 different locations across India each year. Our partners include the Aravind Eye Care system, the largest eye care system in the world, Sankara Netralaya of Chennai, Nethra Blind Schools in Hyderabad and Vizag and other leaders in the field.”