REACHING OUT, GIVING BACK, Changing Lives through…
By Arif Agha, MD (KE 1984)
The founding objectives that defined KEMCAANA as an educational, humanitarian, and charitable organization have produced a multitude of momentous and valuable projects.
It is inspirational to see what a dedicated and generous membership of a great Alumni association can do to elevate its alma mater and help change the lives of so many in as many different ways. It is my hope that after exploring the scope of projects, the reader will be stimulated or inclined to participate in some if not all projects.
Information Technology Project:
The information technology (IT) at KEMU is considered crown jewel project of KEMCAANA. From computers and Internet to software training, from academics to research and from online library to The Anatomy Learning center, each project has a unique value for those who started the project and those who are benefiting from it.
Over the course of years, 6 satellite computer labs have been established at North Surgical Ward (4 computers), North Medical Ward (2 computers), East Medical Ward (2 computers), Psychiatry Department (4 computers), Boys Hostel (10 Computers) and Girls hostel (10 Computers, named Alam Bashir Kohli Memorial Computer Lab).
In general, the main computer lab is a busy place. It is actively used by faculty and students. Free membership cards are issued to all KEMU and allied hospitals students and faculty members. In addition to its academic and research use, the lab provides students an opportunity to learn computer skills and receive training on computer programs, especially in the field of biostatistics and research methodology.
The computer lab is staffed by 5 KEMCAANA employees with Rashid Javed spearheading the facility. He is the face of KEMCAANA at KEMU and goes beyond the call of duty to mange this and other projects.
The COMPUTER LAB PROJECT was funded and is maintained by the donations of membership. The average cost to run this project alone is approximately $2000 per month.
High-speed Internet Access
KEMCAANA provides high speed Internet access to more than 300 stations across the university, Mayo and allied Hospitals at 60 different sites. Free Wi-Fi access is avaiable in KEMU & Allied Hospitals.
The Anatomy Learning Center
The Anatomy Learning Center. This is a Project of class of 1980 that was started in 2007. 13 P-4 computers with LCD displays, multimedia projector with fixed wall projection screen, licensed 3-D dissection software for all computers, plastic models of the entire human anatomy, large scale histology models and high speed internet connectivity have brought the KE Anatomy Department at par with International Standards. This facility is used both by the undergraduate and postgraduate students.
KEMCAANA provides need base and merit scholarships in the following Categories
a. General Scholarship Rs.3000 per month.
b. Adopt a Student Scholarship: Donors pledge to adopt a student for financial aid for 1-5 years with Rs.3000 per month (est. $500 per year)
c. THANKS scholarship (Tuition Help from Alumni for New KE Students). It pays Rs. 2000 per month to a recipient. The minimum donation to establish this scholarship is $ 5000.00
d. A new Scholarship named Dr. Sajjad Hamdani Award of Excellence of $7000 was introduced this year (2010) to be awarded to one best and deserving student or a fresh graduate to facilitate the travel for clinical skill testing and interviewing process for the residency programs in the US
Beginning January 2011, the number of scholarships will be increased to 64. Out of these, 46 Scholarships are worth Rs.3000 per month and 18 THANKS Scholarships Rs.2000 per month. KEMCAANA committees oversee each scholarship category for complete transparency
Visiting Faculty Program
Special visit to KE / Mayo is arranged for alumni going to Pakistan to spend time in teaching, Garand rounds, and introduction of new procedures that can be easily done in Pakistan related to the specialty of the Faculty from the US. A 6 to 8 week advance notice is required to introduce the faculty to the related specialty at KE / Mayo. This allows time to define the specific areas of interest for the local faculty to benefit from the expertise of the visiting faculty. This program is becoming increasingly popular. It is a voluntary service, which is self-fulfilling with no monetary reimbursement.
KEMCAANA DOCTOR'S HOUSE
DOCTOR'S HOUSE located in Upper Darby section of Philadelphia is 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms facility established to facilitate stay for the medical students and young graduates from Pakistan while they prepare for qualifying exams, seek rotations or plan for interviews for residencies. This facility provides accommodation at a subsidized cost.
Document/ Credentials Verification Service
Verification of Transcript / credentials is required for US Licensing Boards or hospital Credentialing. This can now be done easily on line through the KMECAANA website with a turn around time of less than 2 weeks by courier service
KEMCAANA Young Investigator Award
KEMCAANA Young Investigator Award is given annually to Young Kemcolians practicing in North America in recognition of outstanding contribution to research (Basic sciences or Clinical) or scientific advancement of clinical practices by virtue of introducing novel approaches, including but not limited to new and improvised tools / Patents for delivery of exceptional patient care. The Award includes $1000.00 prize and a plaque presented at the annual summer meeting of KEMCAANA
Flood Relief and KEMCAANA Village Reconstruction Project
Under this humanitarian project KEMCAANA has pledged to build 100 homes in Farooqabad, Muzaffergarh for victims of 2010 Floods in Pakistan. The first 10 home are already completed and second phase is in progress at the time of writing. One home building costs about $1200. Readers may wish to join this noble cause by contributing in any amount at this time of need.
Charitable Projects with SPWS at KEMU
KEMCAANA actively contributes and partners with Students' Patients Welfare Society (SPWS) at KEMU. This student body engages in distribution of free medicines to poor patients and rehabilitation of facilities for the patients at Mayo Hospital amongst its other objectives. KEMCAANA and APPNA members have donated Defibrillators and other Lab equipment for the Mayo Hospital ER through this partnership. $10000 was recently donated for medical supplies for flood relief. The main focus now is on providing funds for medications for the deserving patients. The asthma fund is entirely funded by KEMCAANA and the goal is to fund the diabetic and hypertension medications as well.
KEMCAANA has been working with the KE administration for bringing the curriculum up to the expected International standards. In 2008, a seminar was held for this purpose at KEMU. KEMCAANA continues to engage in this process.
Development of membership data base: This is an important project that will need all members’ support to update their contact info on KEMCAANA’s data base on line. A dedicated effort by phone calls to collect this information may be needed. A strong database can lead to more effective communication and awareness of worthy projects.
As an organization we will require a lot of work focusing on several areas including: Organizational Structure, Governance, Policies, procedures, Values, Stake holder relationship management, Public relations, Quality assurance / Performance improvement, Compliance etc.
Facilitation of Clinical Clerkships / Electives:
Post Graduate Training Program:
Among many accomplishments of KEMCANNA, one of the most successful projects was the creation of the PGE fund in 1983 It started with one residency position per year for one best graduate in 1985, Unfortunately, the PGE program gradually suffered the impact of difficulties with visas after September 11, 2001. One by one all institutions withdrew from the program. While it lasted, over 100 physicians benefitted from it.
KEMCAANA Village Fund
$120,000 were donated towards building of School in Bagh / Azad Kashmir in 2005 after the earth quake
Model Medical and Model Surgical Wards were established. Project included maintaining adequate medical records, following established guidelines for managing major illnesses, creating a Q&A