Indian-American surgeon gets highest US immigrant award

Washington, Nov14: An Indian-American transplant surgeon has been presented with a prestigious immigrant award of the US government, in recognition of his outstanding achievements.

Dr Rahul Jindal, currently a staff transplant surgeon at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre and professor of surgery at Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences was presented "Outstanding American by Choice" award yesterday.

Lori Scialabba, Deputy Director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, while presenting the award, said that Jindal has played a crucial role in the medical team that conducted groundbreaking surgery at Walter Reed AMC on Thanksgiving Day in 2009.

His research work and observations have been published in American journals.

His research work and publications have been cited in text books and accompanied by editorials and press releases by the American Society of Nephrology and other specialist journals. She said Jindal has setup the first comprehensive kidney dialysis and transplant program in Guyana in South America, where his team visits 4 times a year and has performed numerous surgical procedures.

Jindal has also initiated a monthly kidney patients support group, which he leads by tele-medicine. The Indian-American doctor is also the Director of the National Blood and Bone marrow Drive Campaign which was sponsored by about 600 Hindu temples throughout North America.

"Immigration has been our greatest strength. Let us gratefully acknowledge the open arms of this great nation by giving our best every day –and knowing that America's best days are ahead of us…," Jindal said in his address.

"Today's ceremony is a powerful affirmation of America's strengths, nearly half a million new citizens every year from all corners of the world. We bring in new ideas and novel strategies to solve problems and ensure that the US will be ready for the next century," he said.

Saying his journey started from Ahmedabad to the United Kingdom for 6 years, Jindal added, "I then came to the US, first the East Coast, then to the Mid-West and finally to Maryland."

"Dr Jindal is the epitome of what it means to be an American and his story is another example of what makes American civilisation exceptional," said Kumar Barve, Majority Leader of the Maryland House of Delegates. Indian-Americans honoured by this prestigious award so far included Indra Nooyi, Renu Khator, Vivek Wadhwa, and Amarpreet S Sawhney.


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