India Abroad May 2, 2014 A49 COMMUNITY NEWS
Dr Rimal B Bera has been named the 2014 Physician of the Year by the Orange County Medical Association, Southern California.
The award will be presented during the OCMA General
Membership meeting in May.
“It’s the Orange County’s biggest award and I am happy,”
said Dr Bera, clinical professor, psychiatry and human
behavior, School of Medicine at the University of
California, Irvine and chief of the adult in-patient
research unit at the UCI Neuropsychiatric Center.
Dr Bera has been involved in the investigation of new
medication and treatment for schizophrenia, major
depression and bipolar affective disorder.
“There has been a lot of research, but still we have a long
way to go,” Dr Bera told India Abroad. “Depression and
anxiety together are the number one medical condition
worldwide — above cancer and heart disease.”
A lot of stigma was associated with mental disorders
and most people were not comfortable speaking about
them, Dr Bera added.
“I teach every medical specialist to know how to access
and feel comfortable in asking patients about these two
issues,” he said. “Instances of depression and anxiety are
not more today than they were 50 years ago. There is no change, we just didn’t talk about it and just kept
it hidden. So the ratio is the same, but the outcome is more. Today we discuss it more.”
“Whenever you treat a smoking or alcohol addict, you must gauge their mood because their mood plays
a role in continuing with the addiction,” he said. “I think the medical community should regularly be ask-
ing about their (patients) mood. People may look happy, but that don’t tell you what’s going on under-
Most South Asians, he felt, were likely to hide the disease due to the stigma associated with it.
Dr Jayakrishna Ambati, professor and vice chair of ophthalmology and
visual sciences at the University
of Kentucky, received the
Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award
The annual award recognizes
a faculty member from each of
the 14 SEC universities for
teaching, research and scholarship.
The winners will receive a
$5,000 honorarium from the
Southeastern Conference and
become his/her university’s
nominee for the SEC Professor
of the Year Award.
“I am honored and humbled by this singular distinction from the
Southeastern Conference and the University of Kentucky. It is a reflection of the dynamic team of people I have been fortunate to recruit to my
group over the years, and of the highly supportive and nurturing environment I am blessed to have at home,” Dr Ambati said.
His research has led to path breaking discoveries in ophthalmology.
Dr Ambati was named a Fellow of the American Association for the
Advancement of Science three years ago for his distinguished contributions to age-related macular degeneration and ocular angiogenesis.
“My group has made some foundational research contributions to the
understanding of macular degeneration, a disease that affects 30-50 million people worldwide. We hope to realize those advances in the form of
new diagnostics and therapeutics in the not-too-distant future,” he said.
Dr Ambati holds the Dr E Vernon Smith and Eloise C Smith Endowed
Chair in Macular Degeneration Research.
Dr Rathna Kumar, artistic director, Anjali School of Performing Arts, and her group of 40 dancers brought a dance drama, depicting
Dashavatar or the ten incarnations of Vishnu, to the
Cullen Theater in Houston recently.
For the performance, Kumar chose a song written
by the 13th century poet Jayadev. Musicians in
Chennai composed the music.
The one-and-a-half hour dance drama, included
depictions of the demon Soma, the arrogant
Mahabali, the raging Parasurama and the righteous
Rama as each avatar of Vishnu triumphed over evil.
In a finale, all the dancers gathered to celebrate the
dawn of a new era and a new world with a group
Kumar thanked India’s Consul General of Houston,
P Harish, his wife and the audience for their support.
A recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
in 2010, Kumar is an exponent of not only Indian
classical dance forms like Bharata Natyam and
Kuchipudi, but also Western dances like ballet.
She has choreographed 26 full-length dance productions and over 400 dances.
A story in dance
Dr Jayakrishna Ambati
Dr Rimal Bera is
Physician of the Year
The hour dance drama, included
depictions of the demon Soma,
the arrogant Mahabali, the raging Parasurama and the righteous Rama as each avatar of
Vishnu triumphed over evil.
Dr Rimal Bera
Dr Jayakrishna Ambati