As CardioServ continues our Educational World Tour, our next destination took us to Mumbai, India! Here, we volunteered to speak at the Essentials of Echocardiography conference, which was held at Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital on January 7, 2018. This blog will describe our experience in India. What started out with the goal of us teaching others, ended with us learning beautiful lessons about the people, culture and the one thread that ties us all together….the quest for excellence!
We arrived in Mumbai after two days of travel, tired but excited. A driver greeted us at the airport and drove us through the quiet streets of Mumbai in the dark, as it was only 4am. As we settled into our hotel rooms, we caught our first glimpse of the city as the sun began to rise. We watched the city wake up, and the noise, hustle and bustle began…it was the last time we would experience quietness, as we soon came to realize the city of Mumbai never sleeps.
We were too excited to sleep so we reached out to Rupali Shah, the sonographer at the hospital who had helped arrange the conference. She invited us to come visit the hospital, check out the echo department and meet the team. It’s funny, how you can be in some completely different country, culture and surroundings, yet walk into a hospital and feel completely at home.
The department felt familiar, busy and full of patients! The sonographers and cardiologists all worked together, scanning, diagnosing and treating their patients. We watched as the sonographers performed detailed scanning protocols, working side by side with the cardiologists. The pride of performing their job with excellence was palpable. We felt honored to be in the presence of such hardworking, dedicated professionals.
The following day, we arrived back at the hospital to attend the conference. We received a tour of the facilities and learned how the original Heritage Building, built in 1925, had recently been restored and a newly constructed 19-floor tower had been added bringing their total bed count to 345! The tower provides cardiac, neuro, oncology and woman’s health care, with state of the art equipment, cutting edge technology, scalable modular rooms and even a hybrid cath lab! All this while maintaining Green Building Conformance, with initiatives like harvesting rain water and using energy saving techniques to generate hot water. To be honest, not what we had expected!
The staff proudly explained how this is not just a hospital, but a movement built on the foundation of the respect for life. The hospital was started in 1925 by Sir Hurkisondas Nurrottamdas (HN), who pledged to establish a hospital for the Indians and by the Indians. In 1997, Reliance Industries stepped up to support the institution. By 2012 Reliance had begun the rebuilding project that culminated with Prime Minister Modi inaugurating the hospital in 2014. The vision was to build a world class hospital where everyone is treated with the same level of quality care that transcends socio-economic status.
The hospital fulfills this vision by maintaining strong ties to the community, an outreach program that has helped over 200,000 and initiatives to provide healthcare to remote areas of India through digital healthcare. As we grasped the deep sense of fundamental respect for life that the hospital stood for, along with their vision of improving healthcare across India, we started to comprehend the intense feeling of dedication we had felt the day before.
The conference began with a beautiful lamp lighting ceremony held by Dr. Gustad Daver, the Medical Director and Head of Surgery. He is a recipient of the ‘Life Time Achievement’ award for meritorious service and has been awarded the ‘Best Doctor Award’ by the Indian Medical Association, Mumbai. We were joined by Dr. Manoj R. Mashru, head of Cardiac Services, who’s encouragement and motivation made the conference possible. Dr. Daver, Dr. Mashru, Andrea Fields, and I, all took turns lighting the lamp. What an honor!
Light symbolizes knowledge while darkness symbolizes ignorance. Light removes darkness just as knowledge removes ignorance. I loved how they opened the conference with this beautiful practice to set our intention, and remind us that that knowledge is a lasting inner wealth by which all outer achievement can be accomplished.
The conference was attended by sonographers and physicians from all areas of Mumbia. The attendance was great and required a second room to be set up with a live stream of the presentation and audio. Even Dr. Daver’s wife, Dr. Rekha Daver (OB/GYN) joined us for the conference, just hours after delivering a patient’s baby!
Andrea and I, tag-teamed our presentations, speaking together on topics ranging from correct left and right heart quantification techniques to more in-depth clarification of quantifying the severity of mitral regurgitation and low flow aortic stenosis. We enjoyed presenting to an engaged audience that readily interacted with thoughtful questions and insight. In addition to our lectures, we had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Shreepal Jain, a local pediatric cardiologist, speak on Evaluation of ASD for Device Closures.
After the presentation, we were each presented with a beautiful pashmina, as a token of appreciation. Afterwards we enjoyed a tasty spread of delicious food and enjoyed mingling with the attendees and physicians. All were so appreciative of our visit and shared stories of their journey into the field of echocardiography. We were inspired by how every person we met demonstrated a commitment to striving for excellence. They all took such pride in their career with a focus on performing with skill and passion. We were welcomed into their hospital with such kindness and warmth that the memories will stay with us forever.
From Left to right: Dr. Bharti Sharma, Dr. Shreepal Jain, Dr. Sharukh Golwalla, Judith Buckland, Andrea Fields. Rupali Shah, Dr. Manoji Mashru, Dr. Vaibhav Dedhia, Dr. Hiren Shah
One of my guiding belief systems that drives the direction of CardioServ, is believing that all patients deserve to receive the same level of high quality diagnostic testing, regardless of the facility they walk into. This quest to raise the standards of diagnostic testing, fuels my pursuit of excellence. It is sometimes challenging to keep this vision bright, dimming as the bureaucracy of healthcare politics or the worn-down spirit of those burnt out within our industry weighs on me. However, my trip to India has refueled my passion for the relentless pursuit of excellence. I was touched by the kindness, dedication and clarity of the sonographers and physicians to always provide the best quality care. This reaffirmed my belief that every patient deserves the best quality care…not just within our nation, but throughout the world.
The impact this trip had on CardioServ, is best summarized by the symbolic lighting ceremony: Light removes darkness just as knowledge removes ignorance. CardioServ will continue to work tirelessly to be the light for the diagnostic imaging community by providing education and knowledge.
Special thanks to Rupali Shah, for all her hard work planning and preparing the conference and to Andrea Fields for joining me on this adventure. Thank you to Drs. Daver, Sharma, Jain, Golwalla, Mashru, Dedhia and Shah.
Judith Buckland, MBA, RDCS, FASE