It is celebration time at Hallegere village in Mandya district.
A prominent Indian-origin doctor with roots in Mandya and heading a group that promotes Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law could become the next US Surgeon-General.
The President announced his plan to nominate Dr Vivek Hallegere Murthy to the top administration position on Friday.
Dr Murthy, if confirmed by the Senate to become the Surgeon-General, will be the youngest in US history to assume the post.
Co-founder and president of Doctors for America, Dr Murthy is a hospitalist-attending physician and instructor in medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital at the Harvard Medical School. Doctors for America is a group of 15,000 physicians and medical students that rallied behind ‘Obamacare’.
Dr Murthy co-founded Visions Worldwide in 1995, a non-profit organisation focused on HIV/AIDS education in India and the US, where he served as president from 1995 to 2000 and chairman of the board from 2000 to 2003.
He received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, an MBA from Yale School of Management and MD from Yale School of Medicine.
Hailing the announcement, Dr Jayesh B Shah, president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, said Obama has made the right choice.
“This news cements the reputation physicians of Indian-origin have across America,” Dr Shah said.
“We are proud of Vivek and his many accomplishments and look forward to supporting him throughout the confirmation process,” he said.
Hallagere Villagers Delighted
Vasanth, Dr Vivek’s cousin, said they plan to felicitate his family members who will visit their native village on December 8. “We are delighted to know that he has been offered the top position in the Obama government,” he said.
Dr Vivek is the son of Dr H N Lakshmi Narasimha Murthy, an alumni of Mysore Medical College who served in various capacities in the UK. Dr Vivek’s sister Rashmi is also a physician in Florida. With his roots in Hallagere, Dr Vivek makes annual trips and conducts free camps under his family-funded Scope Foundation.
A team of doctors, along with his family members, have conducted free eye camps and operated on 60 people in the past.
They also presented 100 computers to government schools in and around Maddur taluk. Although Vivek and his family had plans to donate computers to all schools in Mandya district, they decided to go slow as many of the systems were not being put to use due to the lack of power supply.
However, the Scope Foundation has decided to provide solar kits so that computers can be used in schools. He had also expressed his desire to give suggestions to the Central and state governments on the execution of free health cover and ways to improve services.
Vivek is the grandson of H T Narayan Shetty, a backward class leader and close associate of former chief minister D Devaraj Urs.