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“IRS Tax Exemption No. 86-0586053” Donations can be made payable to "AAPI Charitable Foundation" and sent directly to the AAPI-CF operating account

Mailing Address: Girish Thakar, MBA, AWMA, Registered Principal, Raymond James,  2 Robinson Plaza, Suite 320, Pittsburgh, PA 15205. Tel: 412-809-0990 Cell: 412-901-0039

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 Dear Fellow AAPI Members,

I am writing to introduce you to a very special program called Project ECHO and to ask you to consider making a donation to the AAPI Charitable Foundation in support of this initiative as it gears up to provide much needed access to specialty medical care in India.

Several years ago, my friend Dr. Sanjeev Arora, introduced me to this unique project he has developed at the University of New Mexico (UNM).

Dramatically improving access to specialty care

Dr. Arora is a specialist in hepatitis C.  When I met him he was one of only a few serving the entire state of New Mexico.  Because of major potential side effects of hepatitis C, none of the 3,000 primary care providers in New Mexico were willing to treat the disease.  As a result, patients had to drive to Albuquerque each week to receive treatment by Dr. Arora for this potentially deadly disease.  For many patients, one trip could take several hours and hundreds of miles to be seen by specialists.

Even worse, because of this lack of access to specialty care, many patients ended up in his office too late to be treated and died of liver disease.

Frustrated at his inability to provide the care his patients needed, Dr. Arora and his team established Project ECHO (Extension for Community Health Outcomes).  ECHO dramatically improves both capacity and access to specialty care for rural and underserved populations.  This low-cost, high-impact intervention is accomplished by linking expert inter-disciplinary specialist teams with primary care providers through teleECHO clinics, in which the experts mentor primary care providers to help them manage their patient cases and share their expertise via mentoring, guidance, feedback, and didactic education.  The ECHO Model is much more than “telemedicine” where the specialist assumes the care of the patient, but instead a guided practice model where the primary care clinician retains responsibility for managing the patient, operating with increased independence as their skills and self-efficacy grow.

Force multiplying healthcare capacity through on-going mentoring

As demonstrated in a New England Journal of Medicine article published in 2011, over time these primary care providers offered at least as good, and in many ways even better, treatment than specialists at UNM hospitals.

Over the past 12 years, Project ECHO has expanded beyond hepatitis C to create teleECHO clinics dedicated to 13 different disease areas including HIV, chronic pain, endocrinology, and addictions and psychiatric disorders. Project ECHO has also expanded geographically and is now poised to expand dramatically in India.

We all know that in the coming years, India faces a critical shortage of specialty care, especially in rural and underserved areas.   Project ECHO is working with partners such as the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences in New Delhi, and Maulana Azad Medical College in New Delhi, to create learning networks throughout India that will expand primary care providers’ ability to provide specialty care. I’m requesting you to make a donation to the AAPI Foundation to be sent in support of Project ECHO*.  Your gift to the AAPI-CF will be matched dollar for dollar** by a generous donor to help increase the capacity of primary care.With your help, together we can make a real impact on the capacity of the Indian healthcare system to ensure that patients can get the care they need near their homes and in a culturally appropriate setting.

 Thank you,
Nick Shroff MD, FACS                          
Chair, AAPI Charitable Foundation 2012-2014
Strategic Consultant, Project ECHO

*Your donations are tax deductible.  Please make your check payable to AAPI Charitable Foundation. Please specify:  ECHO-INDIA Fund in memo and mail it to: Girish Thakar, MBA, AWMA, Registered Principal, Raymond James; 2001 Montour Church Rd., Ste 100; Oakdale, PA 15071   Phone (412) 901-0039

**Matching donor will provide up to a total of $300,000 to support Project ECHO’s work to promote specialty care for the underserved and rural population throughout India.


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About Us

AAPI boasts of an enthusiastic membership of physicians of Indian origin across the United States. AAPI's charitable foundation (AAPI-CF) aims to serve the millions of people who could benefit from a good standard of medical services.Through the assistance and hard work of several dedicated and distinguished AAPI Physicians, the AAPI Charitable Foundation was established in 1992. Our Foundation was designed to provide an infrastructure support system for needy patients in India. Please help us to continue supporting our clinics by donating, volunteering, and spreading the word about our organization.

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  • 600 Enterprise Drive, Suite 108, Oak Brook, Illinois
  • (630) 990-2277