Indian-American heart specialist wins top Florida honour

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New York, Sep 19 (UNI) Governor Charlie Crist of Florida has recognised Dr Rao Musunuru, with the Point of Light award for outstanding volunteerism.

Dr Musunuru, who is based at Hudson in Pasco County of the state, has been an active volunteer with the American Heart Association since 1979.

''Dr Musunuru, a Board Certified Cardiologist, works tirelessly to serve the community through his dedicated service to cardiology, community education, charity and advocacy,'' the governor said in a recent statement.

''The commitment that he demonstrates to promote heart health and education is a shining example to countless Floridians,'' he stated.

Dr Musunuru is often recognised for his commitment to his community and for improving the health of others. He served as the American Heart Association Florida Affiliate President in 2002-03 and headed numerous committees that promote improved health education and advocacy for healthy living.

Dr Musunuru has also played an instrumental role in the passage of the '2004 Florida Stroke Act' and the '2006 Student Health Promotion Act.' In 2004, he served as the Board Secretary of 'Floridians for Youth Tobacco Education' an advocacy group that was critical in the reinstatement of a nationally recognised tobacco prevention program.

In 2006, Dr Musunuru was honoured with an 'Exceptional Service to Humanity' award from the International Fellowship of Pastoral Counselors and Chaplains. In 2007, he received the 'National Volunteer Advocate of the Year Award' from the American Heart Association and the 'Health Care Heroes Lifetime Achievement Award' from the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

The honour recognises a Florida resident who demonstrates exemplary service to the community.

Dr Musunuru has been instrumental in transforming the Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, a 50-bed rural hospital, into a nationally recognised heart institute. It is among the nation's top-50 heart institutes, according to the US News and World Report.

He is a graduate of the Guntur Medical College in Andhra Pradesh and did his postgraduate training in New York City before moving to Florida in 1981.


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