Chicago Roundup - Physicians of Pakistani Descent Celebrate the First Anniversary of APPNA Community
By Dr. Mujahid Ghazi


Pictures above: Physicians of Pakistani Descent Celebrate the First Anniversary of APPNA Community Health Center


Chicago: Dr. Imtiaz Arain, Chair of the management committee of APPNA Community Health Center, welcomed the audience, especially Dr. Zeelaf Munir, President of APPNA, who came from Delaware for this occasion. He said it was always the vision of APPNA to open a facility of health services for the community, to help the poor and needy, uninsured and underinsured, who could not afford to pay medical bills, as we are in the business of providing health care. Lately everything in the news papers and media has been about health care. Senate, Congress and every State Assembly is talking about health care. We thought at a smaller scale we should start something that may become a role model and program like this free clinic eventually will help the community at large and all those people who are in real need of medical help in this tough economic situation. He commended the support of Pakistan Physicians' Society and mentioned the supportive role of its President Dr. Fatima Ahmed and Dr. Javed Imam in establishing this center.
He also thanked the APPNA office staff and its Executive Director Tariq Cheema and all the volunteers who are making this dream come true. He informed the Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital has shown willingness to help the center. He mentioned that the Central Dupage Hospital is already partnering in lab services.

Explaining the administrative structure he said that currently this center is run by an interim board and nominations for an advisory board, which will be the governing authority in future, are now sought. The board will include physicians from the local chapter of APPNA and the local community like the Mayor of the town or the Fire Marshall. It is important to have a broad-based representation. This will eventually help to get grants in future. He mentioned that the center has many physicians who are volunteering every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm, including medical students and physicians who are in the process of getting their residency and who want to gain more experience. Describing the services he said these include a walk-in clinic, health screening, immunization, laboratory and diagnostic services. He recognized Dr. Zaheer Khawaja for graciously providing the professional content of Radiological Services.


Pictures above: Jafer and Arshia Hasnain Win Asian Model Family 2009 Award

Giving a brief overview of the year's progress he said that during last year starting from nothing we publicized the project through bulletin boards in the mosques, Asian Broadcasting's Sunday Talk Radio, regular news reports in Urdu Times and Pakistan Link. We have not done an aggressive advertisement as we don't have that capacity at present.
During last year we entertained 300 patients. We have provided through local chapter and Advocate Hospital Immunizations for the community.
Meningitis vaccines were donated to the center free through the CHASH Program. We gave those vaccines to Islamic Foundation Villa Park and the left over through this center to people proceeding for Hajj.

Explaining about the expenses he said that the only expense this center has is its two part-time employees Asif and Faisal Khan. Utilities and space is the gracious donation of APPNA Charity Program.
He said that the future goals for this center include increase in the operation and expansion of the premises.
He said that alliances are being built with the hospitals by convincing them that if the chronic illnesses, hypertension and diabetes are treated upfront then these needy patients will not arrive at their emergency room for free treatment. Alleviating the natural anxiety of the American doctors who would like to volunteer for this center he said that center is acquiring occurrence policies for physicians to save them from malpractice claims. He further said that in future umbrella coverage will be bought.

For fiscal requirement to meet the expenses he said beside donations, help is being sought from professional grant writers who would help to tap money from President Obama's stimulus package and getting funding from other national foundations.

Congratulating the community, Dr. Zeelaf Munir, President of APPNA, said that PPS was the first chapter of APPNA and this is the first chapter that has been successful with this initiative which should be the heart and soul of APPNA. She said APPNA is about "service" - service to the local community and service to the larger community. As physicians what we can do best is to offer medical services and medical education. It is unfortunate that it took thirty years to get to this stage. She said she is very grateful that this community makes this happen. For future, she said, she wants to see a document to be developed which would help to replicate this project in other cities through their chapters, in a way, that it become easy for those chapters to take such initiatives. She said that when every chapter of APPNA will have its own community health center, it will eventually help APPNA to negotiate with the policy makers.

The meeting was attended by a houseful of prominent Pakistani American physicians.

Working in healthcare environment and not getting vaccinated is the most foolish thing one can do. This is especially true for people like me who try to be everywhere and do everything, from community service to print and electronic journalism, from family affairs to friendly affairs. Most of the time we ignore ourselves and become victims of our own ignorance and foolishness. This is what happened to me and though I am still waiting for results from CDC but the signs and symptoms and the virulence convinced my physician that it was H1N1. Then being diabetic it was not a far shot to get pneumonia as well. It is difficult for me to respond individually to people who had sent me their prayers and well wishes and helped me recover fast, so I am taking advantage of this roundup to thank them all. By writing this prelude I also wanted to make you understand the reason for this delayed news coverage.

I also want to urge the community to attend Free Community Health Fair on Saturday December 19th, 2009 from 10 am to 4 pm at 7324 N. Western Avenue in Chicago. Besides health screening for free, regular flu shots and H1N1 Flu vaccines are also arranged for free.
Please help the old, poor and needy population around you, find them and volunteer to bring them to the health fair.

Jafer and Arshia Hasnain Win Asian Model Family 2009 Award Chicago: November 22nd, 2009; Asian Chronicle announced the recipients of their annual awards last weekend. Famous Pilipino Pop Star Mr. Expo Tag hap emceed the occasion. He began the deliberations by acknowledging the presence of visionaries in the audience.
He said that despite the crucial economic challenge, we are blessed by visions and visionaries, who are here tonight for Asian Humanitarian and Model Family Awards 2009.

After the Color March by the ROTC cadets from Clemente Community College and National Anthem, invocation was done by Rev. Nicholas R. Desmond.

The founder of these awards and very well known community activist Ms. Lourdes G. Mon welcomed the audience and recognized the past awardees present in the audience. She announced the awards and medals.

President's Medal for Voluntary Service 2009: These are the medals given by President of United States in recognition of Voluntary Service provided by an individual. This year's winners are: Bronze: Dr. Pete Setabutr, MD Silver: Yohanes Leonardus Suharno Gold: Amarjit Atwal, Suhkmel Atwal , Chan Jo Cho, Sujata Deepankar, Arshia Hasnain, Syed Jafer Hasnain, Elvira Ocampo, Bonifacio Cava, Ana Woerjadi and Prabowo Woerjadi Life Time Awardees President's Call to Service Award: Rahul Deepankar MD, Chung Hwe Tark, Busra Thepjatri, Nguyen Trung Hieu PhD, Suchitra Surapiboonchai, Nakares Thepjatri MD, and Hy Xuan Nguyen.

Asian Model Family 2009 Awards Indian Community Atwal Family Mr. and Mrs. Sukhmel and Amarjeet Atwal Plaque and Medallion presented by Sikh Community Activist Rajinder Mago Indonesian Community Woerjadi family Mr. and Mrs. Prabowo Woerjadi Korean Community Cho Family Mr. and Mrs. Chan Jo Cho Thai Community Thepjatri Family Dr and Mrs. Nakares Thepjatri Pilipino Community Ocampo Family Mr. and Mrs. Edgardo Ocampo Sr.Pakistani Community Hasnain Family Syed Jafer and Arshia Hasnain Before calling them on the stage Lourdes Mon gave a beautiful introduction. She said, "The Hasnain Family personifies the globalization that strengthens the American experience. Having lived all over the world they are proud to call Chicago and the Midwest their home.

Arshia and Jafer got married while they were students at Stanford. After 10 wonderful years in Minneapolis and after the birth of Ashhad and Aon, they moved to Chicago, for work and, to be among friends. The twins attend Francis Parker School, and are taught the global culture by their parents. The Hasnains are active participants in building institutions that reflect positive outcomes, that shows their religious beliefs and American identity are inseparable. The Husnains accept the award of model family for 2009 from the Pakistani community with humility and a sense of shared experiences and unity across all communities represented and to present the award I request Dr and Mrs. Ali Naqi Syed, who were model family for 2008. Dr. Ali Naqi Syed brought with him gifts from his company Avlon Industries for everyone in the audience."

Jafer Hasnain, in his captivating acceptance speech, thanked the audience for being there for him and his family. He thanked the Asian Chronicle USA for honoring him and his family. He said that in this room, there are myriad of communities. He said that within all of us there are multiple identities. We are Americans, Asian Americans and sometimes we are defined by our religious beliefs and by our ethnicities, at other times by our professions, by our interests and hobbies and by our status as parents and children and so on... but at this instance as Pakistani American and also as Asian American I am very cognizant of the fact that together on a platform, such as the Asian Chronicle, Asian American Coalition and Asian American Institute provide, we can be very strong. As the point was made before, getting Asian American elected for public office in Illinois, and then God willing in the nation, is something that we should all be pressing for, and we should all unite and coalesce around. If there is message I would like to leave and our family would like to leave it is that coalesce around the candidate who work for our community broadly defined, because that way, we are going to win.

Present on the auspicious occasion were Mr. and Mrs. Rasheed Choudhry, Mr. and Mrs. Sadruddin Noorani, who are past recipients of this award, Dr. and Mrs. Ali Naqi Syed, also a past recipient, Jeff Kulenovic of Crescent Bank, Mr. and Mrs. Salahuddin Khan, Mr. and Mrs. Abbas Kanji, Mr. and Mrs. Saeed Khan and this scribe.

Pan Asian Model Family 2009 Award

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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