JUNE 2012
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

Florida News


Rahul Mehra, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of MehraVista Health, and Tazine Jaffer, CEO of Cantera Construction and owner of Flippers Carwash, of the Tampa Bay area were picked as this year’s Man & Woman of the Year for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Suncoast Chapter on April 28.

Tazine Jaffer

Tazine Jaffer with
Boy of the Year Sean Covais.

All nine candidates were judged solely on their success in generating funds to advance the mission of LLS. In this campaign, every dollar raised counts as one “vote.” The candidates competed in honor of the Society’s Boy of the Year, 7-year old, Sean Covais and Girl of the Year, 11 year-old, Paige Trotman. Both children are blood cancer survivors and sources of inspiration to our candidates and supporters in the community. “I am humbled and honored to have been elected Man of the Year, but this campaign is about educating the public and supporting those individuals and families affected by blood cancers,” said Dr. Mehra.

Rahul Mehra, M.D.

Rahul Mehra with Girl of the Year Paige Trotman.

Man and Woman of the Year candidates and winners were not alone in their fundraising efforts. It takes a dedicated team to be a success. Jaffer, of Valrico, and supporters raised more than $43,000; Dr. Mehra, of South Tampa and his campaign team, raised almost $47,000.

For information, visit www.mwoy.org/sun




Story provided by HSCF and CAPI

Hindu Society of Central Florida (HSCF) along with Central Florida Physicians of Indian origin (CAPI) hosted a seminar on “The Puzzle of Autism” on May 6. Judging by the number of attendees – almost 200 – and the intense question-and-answer session, this challenging condition is affecting many families from South Asia.

According to CDC March 2012 study, one in every 80 children born in the United States is diagnosed with autism and boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism. To understand this growing puzzle, the panel of experts and pediatricians and with audience participation, discussed the detection and intervention for autism spectrum disorders. Some of the points raised were: Are vaccines to blame? Pediatricians’ stand on vaccines, the role of environmental risk factors, age of parents, warning signs every parent should know, etc.

Moderated by gynecologist Udita Jahagirdar M.D., the speakers were Naina Mehta, M.D., pediatric neurodevelopmental specialist, Anita Mathur, M.D., general pediatrics, Krishna Panchal, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and George Rosen, board member of Provides Autism Links and Support (PALS).

“We are committed to bringing many more medical topics that affect the public in general and the South Asian community in particular,” said Dr. Nikita Shah, president of CAPI. In the pipeline is a workshop for Women’s Work/ Life Balance and demonstration of heart healthy ethnic cooking organized by Shobana Daniell, public relations member of the Hindu Society.

 For more information about autism, visit www.autismspeaks.org or www.cdc.gov

INDIAN AMERICAN Srini Subramaniam Joins Scripps IN JUPITER

Story provided by Scripps

Srini SubramaniamThe Scripps Research Institute has appointed Srini Subramaniam, Ph.D., as an assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience at its campus in Jupiter. Subramaniam, who investigates the signaling networks involved in neurodegenerative diseases, was a research associate in neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University before joining Scripps Research.

Subramaniam received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, botany, and zoology in 1992 from the University of Bangalore, and a Ph.D. in neuroscience in 2004 from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, graduating summa cum laude. He also received the German Anatomical Society’s Wolfgang-Bargmann Prize, and the Young Investigator Award from the University of Heidelberg.

During his graduate studies, Subramaniam founded the Samatva Trust for Rural Education in Bangalore. The trust’s goal is to support children who excel in school but cannot pursue further education due to lack of financial support. More than a 1,000 students have benefited from the scholarship program. For information, visit www.samatvatrust.org

Subramaniam completed his postdoctoral work at Johns Hopkins University. In 2010, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine honored him with the Daniel Nathan Research Award.

At Scripps Florida, Subramaniam’s laboratory will focus on finding target genes involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and developing novel therapeutics to treat them.

Subramaniam lives with his wife, Neelam Shahani, Ph. D., who is also a neuroscientist, and two daughters, in Jupiter.


More than 400 attendees and over 30 physicians participated in the 14th annual Community Health Fair on May 12 at the Hindu Temple of Florida community hall in Tampa.

The volunteer-run community service has been a tradition at the temple since 1998. Volunteers and physicians alike worked together to bring free screenings and health information services to the public.

Participants had their blood screened for cholesterol, hemoglobin level and blood sugar levels. Many attendees were benefited by dental consultations, eye exams and osteoporosis, hearing checkups, cancer alert information, digestive disorder and imaging services and had their blood pressure, weight and body fat analyzed. For the first time, the health fair introduced stroke screening. Informative seminars were held by Dr. K.V. Sundaresh, Dr. Hanff and Dr. Meena Jain.

Also on the agenda were raffle prizes, jewelry, sari sale, clowns, face painting and of course delicious vegetarian food prepared by the temple kitchen.

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