AKMG Greater New York Chapter was reinstated after many years of inactivity in April of 2014 under the Leadership of Dheeraj Kamalam MD as President and Thomas P. Mathew MD as Secretary. Since then it has grown under the leadership of Dr. Kamalam and later by Dr. Mathew and Dr Palangat. Our Chapter is enthusiastic and has been acclaimed in involving young /second Generation Physicians. Educational CME is part of each meeting although we incorporate cultural activities into our programmers for our spouses and children. We have a 503c (b) Charitable status and have been able to donate a Primary Health Post in Earthquake struck Nepal and the most recent Kerala floods. We have been growing steadily and hosted the 40th National AKMG Convention in 2019. Our physicians are in the forefront in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic and saving many lives.
AKMG GREATER NY – INCEPTION EARLY 2014 TO DEC 2015
It was in the beginning of 2014 that the National AKMG realized that the problem that has been plaguing the organization about lack of participation in organizational activities has to be solved at a regional level. Strengthening of the organization in the North east was sought to be done by reactivating the AKMG of Greater NY which was lying dormant after the NY convention. Past Presidents Dr Hari PN , Dr Alex Thomas along with Dr Mathew Chacko ,Dr Mohan Abraham, Dr Chengot, Dr Benjamin , Dr Anto, Dr Alappat among others were the inspiration behind the launch of the Greater NY chapter with at a regional meeting in NY Cotillion restaurant, with unanimous selection of Dr Dheeraj Kamalam as President and Dr Thomas P. Mathew as Secretary. The initial half of 2014 was spend mostly in identifying the potential members and updating the meagre data base that existed. We created mailing lists and groups in Yahoo, later on in G mail which made it possible to contact large numbers of physicians at short notice.
AKMG Past Presidents from the Michigan chapter
We started with an Inaugural and general body meeting on 28th of June 2014at Cotillion Restaurant which was well attended. This Meeting was inaugurated by our senior physician member Dr Joseph Pottannatt and AKMG national President Dr.Alex Thomas .We brought up ideas for improving participation for chapter meetings as well as to encourage young physicians from community to join. Dr Joseph Pottanatt gave the felicitation address and Dr Geetha Menon thanked the audience for a great participation. An advisory committee was selected including Dr.Anto Joseph, Dr.John Benjamin Dr Mathew Chengot, Dr Chacko Mathew, and Dr.Mohan Abraham.The executive committee was selected including Dr.Alex Mathew, Dr.Madhu Bhaskar, Dr Deepu Alexander, Dr Geetha Menon, Dr.Ashalatha Nair, and Dr.Sabu Varghese. This meeting was enriched by a ' Financial Planning Seminar 'conducted by Sabu Lukose MBA of North coast Financials group and songs by Shalini Rajendran and Thomas Zachariah and team from New Music Productions.
In Jan 10, 2015, The New year meeting was conducted with multiple cultural activities and also was a curtain raiser for the Philadelphia convention. There were acapella singers, dance and songs by young talented musicians coordinated by Salini Madhu and Smitha Haridas. In spite of the bitter January, the meeting was very well attended by the careful strategic involvement of Greenvelope evite introduced by Deepu Alexander. Plans for a regularly scheduled CME meetings were also formulated .We also had credit card payments for the first time. For facilitating the smooth running of the organization, AKMG of Greater NY had started a Bank account in Indus American Bank at Hicksville. After discussion with the executive and advisory committee, a decision was made to apply for 501 c (3) IRS exemption and we subsequently received status by June 2015. This event was sponsored by Saji Abraham of Hedge Equity and Kerala Gardens.
April 25, 2015- spring meeting of the AKMG was highlighted by a lecture from Dr.Neeraj Kaushik Newer innovations in GI/Advances in Therapeutic endoscopy.
This meeting also featured various cultural activities including by Golden Oldies and new Malayalam/Hindi songs by Sabarinath and party. Joseph Karott CPA presented a Mimicry Session which took us back to the eighties. Event was sponsored by Vincent Cyriac of Canyon Mortgage.
May 10, 2015. AKMG Greater NY signature event of the Nepal Earthquake fundraiser was done in collaboration with Thomas and Elsy Nedunilam of Cotillion Caterers and all Malayalee Cultural Sports and Charity organizations including ECHO, Kerala Samajam of Greater New York, Nair Benevolent association, Association of American Indian Social workers, MAHIMA,Y's Men's International, New York Malayali sports club, Vinod G Abraham CPA, Cross island Reality, Helping Hands, Long Island Malayalee associations and many more was the Mothers Day Dinner and Cultural event in collection for Nepal disaster relief collected $23000 which was subsequently decided to be given to the doctors charity organization ANMF (American Nepal Medical Foundation) by the committee formed for this purpose with Drs .John Benjamin, Deepu Alexander and Alex Mathew. This event was widely acclaimed as the first of its kind as we were able to bring all our cultural organizations in one venue for a common cause.
June 26, 2015 Medical conference and Philadelphia Convention New York Region Kick off Meeting was conducted at Divan Restaurant, Port Washington,NY. Medical Conference was led by Dr Vinay Kapoor: Chief Division of Endocrinology, Flushing hospital on Updates in Diabetes. Followed by interesting presentation on Pancreatic Islet Cell Transplant by Dr Horacio Rilo (Director Center for Diseases of Pancreas; NSLIJ) and Dr Ernesto Molmenti (Chief Division of Transplant Surgery).This meeting was innovative again as we identified and recognized 10 of our second generation new medical graduates and Dr Ernesto Molmenti and Dr Kapoor along with Dr Alex Thomas presented them with the momentoes on behalf of Greater NY AKMG. The Continuing medical education conferences were organized by Dr Madhu Bhaskar and he has been working relentlessly to get the CME accreditation for our medical conferences.The entire team of Advisory Board members including Dr.Anto Joseph, Dr John Benjamin ,Dr Mathew Chengot, Dr Chacko Mathew, Dr.Mohan Abraham and executive Committee Members including Drs Alex Mathew,Dr.Madhu Bhasker, Dr.Deepu Alexander,Dr.Geetha Menon ,Dr. Sabu Varghese and Dr.Ashalatha Nair whose commitment and hard work to this organization has been the key for this many of activities including coordinating our activities, contacting physicians and improving participation in the meetings. A total eight combined Advisory Board and executive Committee Meetings were conducted which were all well attended and generated lot of Ideas and advises which helped us to cruise through these initial phase of our reorganization.
The year and a half plus time we worked together, we also had the opportunity to work closely with the National Leadership as, many of us were actively involved in National and Convention Executive Committees .Dr Dheeraj Kamalam was Co Chair for Convention Committee and is also Member of Board of Governers .Dr Mathew Chacko was Entertainment Committee Chair and along with Dr Mohan Abraham presented the Campus Comedy hour during the Convention. Dr Ramachandran Nair was the Chair for Literary Committee and Dr Ashalatha Nair was Sports Committee Chair and also was Master of Ceremony for the Onam Celebrations during the Convention. Dr.Bindu Pillai was Chair of Young Physician Committee and as you all know her father Mr.Appukkuttan Pillai was the "Maveli" for our Onam celebrations during the convention. DrThomas P.Mathew was the Souvenir Committee Chair and with the help of Dr. Radhakrishnan Palangatt and Dr.Satheesh Joseph we were able to release the Souvenir in time for the Convention.
AKMG Greater New York submitted an Organisational Name Change Memorandum to rename the organization as AKMG-AKPKO ( Association of Physicians of Kerala Origin) to meaningfully and candidly expand the scope of the organization. It was brought up during the National AKMG Meeting as a resolution, but was rejected as many senior members thought that it will jeopardize the trade Mark of AKMG, but they agreed to add an explanation on the logo to clarify that it includes Medical Graduates of Kerala Origin.
As part of participating in the national activities of AKMG, the we had the privilege to travel and meet many of our senior and national leaders and got inspired further with their enthusiasm and commitment towards the cause of fraternity and our Alma Mater and of course to the cause of Medical education our homeland of Kerala.
We conducted our inaugural meeting as the AKMG of Greater NY chapter in June 28,2014. We wanted to create a structure for the organization which will help in creating a long standing legacy and sustainability in its activities. We also gave stress to identifying and incorporating young physicians into the activities. Bindu Pillai helped us a lot in that regard.We realized that because of the difficulties in getting pharmaceutical sponsorship the sustainable model for conducting regular meetings was a partially sponsored and partially self funded model. We had selected committees and conducted periodic executive and advisory committee meetings to plan and ratify decisions. We created a bank account seeded with self contributed money and registered the organization in NY state to help to coordinate the activities. We initiated the credit card payment models for convenience during registration in meetings. With the help of Jolly Jacob CPA, we were able to successfully file for and obtain 501 c (3) tax exempt status for the organization. This was intended to help us coordinate charity activities or possibly assist the almamater colleges with academic or educational support.
One of the most successful events that we conducted was the Nepal earth quake fund raiser and Mother's day dinner of May 10, 2015 which we did together with many leading Malayali organizations in and around LI and Mr Thomas and Elsy Nedunilam of Cotillion restaurant . It was a remarkable success netting around 23 k which were handed out to the Nepali doctors American Nepal Medical Foundation ( ANMF) identified by the earthquake relief distribution committee led by Dr Benjamin, Dr Deepu Alexander and Dr Alex Mathew. Since Cotillion restaurant provided the venue and the food, we were able to contribute almost the entire sum $23,000 collected to the cause of Nepal earth quake relief.
We closely coordinated with the national leadership of AKMG for the successful conduct of the Philadelphia 36 th national convention as co chairs, Entertainment committee Dr Mathew Chacko, Literary forum Dr Ramachandran Nair and sports committee Ashalatha Nair. Dr Thomas Mathew did a great job in the souvenir committee bringing out a worthy souvenir in conjunction with Dr Radhakrishnan Palangat and others and raised contributions for the national A Dec 6 ,2015 ; AKMG Greater New York Chapter in association with Cotillion Restaurant ,New York area Malayalee organizations had collected 23,000 dollars which was distributed to American Nepal Medical Foundation representatives during the Annual Gala and General Body Meeting of AKMG Greater New York on Dec 6,2015 at Cotillion restaurant.The Committee led by Dr.Deepu Alexander Dr.John Benjamin and Dr.Alex Mathew who identified the Nepal doctors charity ANMF -American Nepal Medical Foundation, handed over the amount to representatives of ANMF Ms Jyoti Panta and Krishna Pokhrel (NRN NCC of USA) in the presence of Mr Thomas Nedunilam of Cotillion caterers whose vision and philanthrophy initiated the project.They will be using the funds to reconstruct and launch a Health Post Project (Primary Health Center) in SIPA POKHARE a village in Sindhupalchok District in Bagmati Zone of Central Nepal, one of the hardest hit area in the Earthquake under the auspices of the Greater NY AKMG.
At the AKMG Greater New York general body meeting on Dec 6 presided by Dr.Dheeraj Kamalam who also welcomed the gathering, the annual report was presented by the Secretary Dr.Thomas P.Mathew who thanked the Greater New York area physicians for a vibrant 2 year period filled with multitude of activities including CME meetings , cultural events,and Nepal earthquake relief Mother's day charity dinner hosted by AKMG.
Dr.Thomas P.Mathew was elected new President of the Greater New York chapter and Dr.Radhakrishnan Palangat was elected as the new Secretary.Dr Mathew K A,Dr Ramachandran Nair and Dr.Thomas Poomkudy were selected to Advisory board and Dr Shajan Casper,Dr Binu Chacko were selected to executive committee for the year 2016/17.
Program was MC'd by Dr.Ashalatha Nair included Dance performance by the students from Prema kalalayam School of Dance led by Jarumila Premathayalan ,songs by Bhairavi Dandhapani and Sujith Moolayil,also included Mimics parade by Asianet Vodaphone Comedy star Fame Rogin Thomas.Dr Madhu Bhasker rendered the Vote of thanks and it was decided to conduct the next event on 2nd Saturday of March 2016. Forest Hill Financials Mr Meyyan discussed strategic planning for retirement.
Including this last function this year AKMG of Greater NY conducted up to 6 events excluding the advisory and executive committee meetings which mirrors our vision of having a quarterly scheduled event to keep our organization active and thriving going forward. Coming to the conclusion of the 2 nd year we envisage new physicians coming up in the leadership position to make the organization stronger to have more committed participation we will not have a worthy organization to leave to the coming generation.
As Vince Lombardi , the head coach of Green Bay Packers in the 60's in whose honor the NFL trophy is named said, 'The achievements of an organization are the combined efforts of each individual in the organization.' Future of our organization is in our hands and we alone can steer it in the direction we want. The ultimate intent of our cohesiveness is "Fraternity" and furthering education ,humanitarian and cultural enhancement through this fraternity. We have seen our sister organizations able to deliver all the above with their commitment and leadership and hence we will also be able to render those if we keep our hearts together in the oneness of our culture.