Indian-origin cardiologist named White House fellow

Washington, Aug 29 (IANS) Kapil Parakh, an Indian-origin cardiologist working in Washington area, is among a dozen people chosen by the White House for its prestigious fellowship programme for 2013-14.

A Zambia University graduate, Parakh is the director of heart failure at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Centre and assistant professor in the Departments of Medicine, Epidemiology, and Health Behaviour and Society.

He edged out two other Indian-Americans among the finalists -- Shilpen Patel, associate professor of radiation oncology at the University of Washington, and Jay Bhatt, geriatric medicine fellow at the University of Michigan Health System.

Starting with Indian-American neurosurgeon and CNN's chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, who was a 1997-98 fellow, Parakh is the latest person of Indian origin to join the White House Fellows Programme created in 1964 by then president Lyndon Johnson.

The programme is designed to give promising American leaders "first hand, high-level experience with the workings of the federal government, and to increase their sense of participation in national affairs", according to the White House.

"This unique opportunity to work within our nation's government is designed to encourage active citizenship and a lifelong commitment to service."

Parakh leads heart failure quality improvements in collaboration with the Joint Commission's Centre for Transforming Healthcare, using entrepreneurial techniques to cost-effectively improve outcomes, the White House announcement said.

Parakh's research focuses on understanding the increased mortality in patients with depression after a heart attack. Passionate about teaching, Parakh is a clinician-educator and has mentored trainees in award winning research.

Parakh is the co-founder of Health for America, a non-profit that mobilises youth to improve the health of communities through innovation while shaping the next generation of leaders.

In recognition of his contributions to public health, Parakh was recently inducted into the Delta Omega Public Health honour society. He has 27 scientific publications and serves as a peer-reviewer for a number of journals.

Parakh is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiology and Advanced Heart Failure and Transplantation.

Parakh received a BS and MD from the University of Zambia with honours, as well as a MPH and PhD from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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