USINPAC congratulates Indian American Dr. Vivek Murthy on his nomination as the surgeon general of the United States

President Barack Obama plans to nominate Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy, the Indian-American head of a doctors group that promotes his signature healthcare law to be the next US surgeon general.

Murthy is a hospitalist at the Brigham and is co-founder and president of Doctors for America, a Washington, DC-based group of 16,000 physicians and medical students that advocates for access to affordable, high quality health care.

If confirmed by the Senate, Murthy will replace Regina Benjamin, who was appointed by Obama in 2009 and left her post last summer. The job focuses heavily on public health issues.

Murthy was appointed to the President’s Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health in 2011. The prevention group was created as part of the Affordable Care Act health reform law.

His group, Doctors for America, was originally called Doctors for Obama and helped to campaign for Obama’s election.

Murthy co-founded VISIONS Worldwide in 1995, a non-profit organization focused on HIV/AIDS education in India and the United States, where he served as President from 1995 to 2000 and Chairman of the Board from 2000 to 2003.

Murthy received a BA from Harvard University, an MBA from Yale School of Management, and an MD from Yale School of Medicine.

“I am confident that these outstanding individuals will greatly serve the American people in their new roles and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come,” Obama said in announcing Murthy’s appointment along with three other key posts.

The announcement came shortly after Obama acknowledging that his administration “fumbled” in the troubled rollout of his healthcare law offered a fix that would allow insurers to keep for another year people on plans that were to be cancelled for not meeting minimum standards under the new law.

In the midst of mounting criticism of the troubled healthcare website, former President Bill Clinton had Tuesday suggested that Obama should make sure Americans can retain their current health insurance plans, even if it means revamping the Affordable Care Act.

“I personally believe, even if it takes a change to the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they’ve got,” Clinton told OZY, a news website.

Source: Business Standard

USINPAC congratulates Indian Americans Raj Mukherji, Upendra Chivukula, Latha Mangipudi, Sapana Shah and Steve Rao for emerging victorious in the recently concluded state legislatures and local body polls

Indian-Americans have affirmed their growing importance in US politics with at least five members of the community emerging victorious in the recently concluded state legislatures and local body polls.

The most significant victories came in the state of New Jersey, where rising Indian-American political star Raj Mukherji became one of the youngest member of State Assembly and will join fellow Democrat and veteran leader Upendra Chivukula.

Raj, a former Jersey City Deputy Mayor, won the State Assembly elections to New Jersey’s 33rd Legislative District.

Mukherji, 29, a first-time Democratic nominee for the 33rd Legislative District, had won the primary election in June by a 36-point margin.

Nellore-born Chivukula has been a member of the New Jersey assembly since 2002.

Chivukula, 63, was the first South-Asian American in the 120-member state legislature and the highest ranking South-Asian elected to office in New Jersey.

At more than four per cent, South Asians form the largest component of the state’s Asian-American group, which accounts for an estimated nine per cent of New Jersey’s nearly nine million population.

Meanwhile, in the state of New Hampshire, 52-year-old Democrat Latha Mangipudi defeated her rival Peter Silva in a special state representative election by a huge 18-point margin.

Democrat Sapana Shah won a berth in the Edison Municipal Council of New Jersey. The 36-year-old lawyer has been working with the Edison Board of Education since 2011.

Elsewhere, Steve Rao retained his seat on the Morrisville City Council in North Carolina despite a huge anti-incumbency wave to defeat Pete Martin. Rao is now the only remaining Indian-American in the Council and was the only incumbent to return to office.

Source: The Economic Times

Dr. Rahul Jindal, USINPAC Co-chair, Healthcare Subcommittee has been selected for prestigious “Outstanding American by Choice” award for his valuable contribution to US health sector.

An Indian-origin doctor has been selected for prestigious “Outstanding American by Choice” award for his valuable contribution to US heatlh sector.

Eminent transplant surgeon and philanthropist, Rahul Jindal, will be honoured by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on November 13.

The initiative recognises naturalised citizens who have made significant contributions to both their community and their adopted country.

Jindal, who recently received the Leadership Award by the International Leadership Foundation was recently appointed as Commissioner on Service and Volunteerism.

Currently a Staff Transplant Surgeon at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Professor of Surgery at Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, Jindal is also a Clinical Professor at George Washington University.

He obtained his MD from BJ Medical College, Ahmedabad and then studied in Britain where he and earned an FRCS from the Royal College of Edinburgh.

Known for his philanthropy and community services, Jindal is the Director of the National Blood and Bone marrow Drive Campaign which was sponsored by about 600 Hindu temples throughout North America.

Source: Business Standard

USINPAC congratulates Indian American Raj Mukherji on his victory at the State Assembly polls in New Jersey

Democratic party nominee Raj Mukherji, a rising Indian-American figure on the political scene here, has won the State Assembly polls in New Jersey, becoming one of the youngest to be elected to the house.

29-year-old Mukherji, a first-time Democratic nominee for the 33rd Legislative District and former Jersey City Deputy Mayor, had won the primary election in June by a 36-point margin.

According to the Office of County Clerk, Hudson County, Mukherji got 18,586 votes and will represent the Legislative District, which covers Hoboken, Union City, Weehawken and parts of Jersey City.

He is the son of Indian American immigrants and has had a stellar rise in the political arena.

According to information provided by his ‘Raj Mukerji for Assembly’ website, Mukherji supported himself through high school, college and grad school as an emancipated minor when his parents were forced to return to India due to economic constraints.His father Asim Mukherji was an accountant who could not work because of health reasons and could not afford health coverage without employment.

“This experience shaped Raj’s perspective and interest in healthcare and inspired much of his subsequent advocacy in that field,” according to personal information about Mukherji posted the website.

From March 2012 through June 2013, Mukherji served as one of the two Deputy Mayors of Jersey City, New Jersey’s second largest city.

He had also founded an internet consulting and software development company while in middle school, which he later sold to a larger technology company.

Following the September 11 attacks in the city, Mukherji joined the US Marines at age 17, where he served in military intelligence for the Marine Corps Reserve.

At 19, he co-founded a public affairs firm that he grew into the state’s third largest lawyer-lobbying firm while learning the inner workings of the State House.

With clients ranging from social justice causes to higher education institutions to government agencies to Fortune 500 corporations, he advocated to abolish the death penalty in New Jersey and replace it with life imprisonment without parole and lobbied for equality for lesbians, gays and transgender community.
At age 24, Mukherji was appointed the youngest Commissioner and Chairman in the history of the Jersey City Housing Authority – the state’s second largest housing authority – where his work for various reforms at the USD 70 million agency serving over 16,000 residents and over 6,700 households was widely appreciated.

Source: Deccan Herald

USINPAC NH chapter chair Latha Mangipudi wins the State Rep Special Election by a huge margin

US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) congratulates Latha Mangipudi on winning the special elections for State Representative in Hillsborough District 35 in New Hampshire by a margin of 59%-41%. Her opponent was Republican Peter Silva.
She joins fellow Democrats Daniel Hansberry and Mary Nelson in representing Ward 8, which is Hillsborough County District 35. Nearly 1,500 of Ward 8’s 5,973 registered voters turned out to vote, or just over 20 percent. It was the largest turnout of all nine city wards.
Latha is a first generation immigrant from India, who came to USA with a Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology. Latha used her experiences effectively in serving the community. She also served as a chair of USINPAC New Hampshire chapter and played a key role in motivating and involving the New Hampshire Indian American community to participate in the process of political advocacy. Latha organized several USINPAC events including Presidential and Congressional meetings at her residence.
On her victory, Latha said, “”We ran a great campaign, and I could not have done it without the support of my family, friends, campaign manager and the voters. My goal was to get the voters out to the polls and I am happy to see that there was such a great turnout. I ran for State Representative so I could represent the voice of the people from the community and I am happy that the voters in Ward 8 chose me to represent them. I am thrilled to represent Ward 8 in Concord and I will work hard to make decisions that are best for Nashua and for the state of New Hampshire.”
USINPAC Chairman Sanjay Puri said, “USINPAC is proud of Latha. Her massive victory is a significant boost for the Indian American community, especially in the State of New Hampshire where the number of Indian Americans is much less as compared to states like New York and California. USINPAC has supported her local efforts in past and will continue to do so. We wish her all the best for the journey ahead and hope to see her being sworn in at the State House very soon.”