May 9th, 2016: Dr. Ajay Lodha, President-Elect of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), the largest ethnic medical society, representing the interest of over 100,000 Indian American physicians, was honored with the prestigious Ellis Island Medals of Honor on Saturday, May 7th, this year. Dr. Lodha, who was the past president of Rajasthan Association of North America (RANA),Rajasthan Medical Alumni Association (RAJMAAI) and AAPIQLI received the award during the 30th annual Ellis Island Medal of Honor ceremony, held on Ellis Island in New York.
“I am humbled for being chosen to receive this prestigious award,” Dr. Lodha said soon after receiving the award. “I feel there are lot more Indians here in the United States, who are doing outstanding job and make us feel very proud. This award is for all of them.”
Dr. Lodha, a former Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Caritas Health Care System representing St. John’s Hospital and Mary Immaculate Hospital, is an Internist by profession. A graduate of RNT Medical College, Udaipur, Rajasthan, DR. Lodha completed his residency at Flushing Hospital, NY. , a primary care practice with two locations serving Queens, NY since 1995 and is a partner in Hillaire and Nesconset Nursing homes and is a partner of ACO.
In 2008, Dr. Lodha was part of a coalition that built a state-of-the-art 11 bed Surgical Intensive Care Unit for Government Hospital located in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India – free care is given to all the patients. Dr. Lodha in his commitment to the health of the community has organized numerous Health Fairs, Blood Pressure Screenings, and Medical Awareness programs as well as the delivery of educational materials at churches, temples and senior centers. Dr. Ajay Lodha was appointed a member of the Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos’s MWBE Advisory Council last year.
Dr. Lodha will assume office as the President of AAPI during the AAPI Convention on July 3rd, 2016. His vision for AAPI ‘is to increase the global awareness of APPI. “I would like to see us lobby Congress for an increase in the number of available Residency Positions so as to help alleviate the shortage of Doctors. That younger physicians and MSRF members feel fully integrated into AAPI and take a more active role.” His experiences in organizing conferences and meetings which help to bring members together and attract new members which is vital to the success of the organization. Dr. Lodha lives on Long Island, New York with his wife Dr. Smita and their two children Amit and Shweta.
Ninety distinguished individuals were bestowed with the honor this year, amonf them were five, who are of Indian origin. Padma Lakshmi, an author, actress, model, television host and executive producer, and Dr. Rekha Bhandari, an internist in Brooklyn, New York and is affiliated with Brooklyn Hospital Center and Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, were among other Indian Americans who received the award last week.
To date, nearly 2,000 U.S. citizens have received the medals. The National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations awards Ellis Island medals to Americans who “embody the spirit of America in their celebration of patriotism, tolerance, brotherhood and diversity.” NECO recognizes “individuals who have made it their mission to share with those less fortunate their wealth of knowledge, indomitable courage, boundless compassion, unique talents and selfless generosity; all while maintaining the traditions of their ethnic heritage as they uphold the ideals and spirit of America.”