Arizona – America Nepal Medical Foundation (ANMF) successfully conducted its 22nd Annual Conference and Members’ Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona from May 4-6, 2018. Over 120 attendees from different parts of United States and speakers from Nepal attended the conference. Over the three days, officials of ANMF shared achievements of the last one year and discuss about future plans. The conference organizing committee members worked day and night to make this event one of the most memorable and successful in the ANMF history. Program coordinator, Dr. Bidur Dhakal, helped in organizing the logistics for the event. Other members of the committee include Dr. Amar Bista, Amrit Tuladhar, Dr. Aparna Basnet, Dr. Bidya Sharma, Dr. Bikash Bhattarai, Dr. Dipak KC, Prof. Gyan Nyaupane, Dr. Maheshwor Kafle, Meera Nyaupane, Dr. Nabin Sharma, Dr. Pavitra Tuladhar, Dr. Pilu Dali, Dr. Priyanka Sherchan, Dr. Richa Bhattarai, Dr. Rishi Basnyat, Sara Hamal, Dr. Saroj Subedi, Dr. Siru Prasai, Sunanda Sharma, and Dr. Sushil Pandey.
The program featured the speakers from Nepal which included liver transplant surgeon, Dr. Ramesh Singh Bhandari and renowned physician Professor Dr. Buddha Basnyat. The event started with a grand reception hosted at the residence of Drs Amar Bista and Salma Jesmin. The attendees mingled amongst themselves over delicious Nepali cuisine and special Bharatanatyam dance performances followed by musical session. Last Board meeting of the current board was held and preparations were made for the election of the next Board of Directors.
On May 5, 2018, the program started with a welcome speech from the current ANMF President. This was followed by presentations made by invited guest speakers highlighting the work they have been doing in Nepal. Dr. Binay Shah, Hematologist and Oncologist at Peace health Hospital and Co founder of BinayaTara Foundation talked about his organization’s role in establishing Bone marrow transplantation program at Civil Service Hospital in Kathmandu along with other projects carried out by his organization.
Dr. Roshan Shrestha, a transplant hepatologist at Piedmont Healthcare, talked about his role in helping train doctors from Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital who attended courses at Piedmont transplant center and Emory University.
Dr. Ramesh Singh Bhandari, GI/Liver transplant surgeon from Tribhuvan University teaching hospital in Nepal presented about the opportunities and challenges of starting Liver Transplant in Nepal. There was also a panel discussion where Julia Shepardson, Drs. Siru Prasai, Prakash Thapaliya, Buddha Basnyat, and Janak Koirala shared their views. After a panel discussion focussing on the future direction of ANMF, followed presentations from ANMF secretary, Dr. Bhupesh Khadka, ANMF president, Dr. Sangita Basnet and Treasurer, Dr. Dinesh Mainali and co-treasurer Julia Shepardson conducted highlighting the works done by ANMF in the last 1-2 years. This was followed by the Election of the new Board of Directors for the year 2018-2019. This new Board comprising of 19 members unanimously elected Dr. Santosh Sapkota as the President, Dr. Bhupesh Khadka as the Vice President, Dr. Binod Dhungana as Secretary, Dr. Dinesh Mainali as Treasurer and Julia Shepardson as co-treasurer. Drs. Gaury Adhikary and Richard Katzman moderated the morning session and Drs. Sunil Sharma and Libby Wilson moderated afternoon session. During this meeting, ANMF Wilderness Medicine chapter was formed.
On the evening of May 5, 2018, a Fundraising Dinner was organized which was attended by over 200 people. Dr. Brendan Thompson, one of the founding members of ANMF, was felicitated with Life Time Achievement Award for his outstanding service to ANMF and Nepal over the years. About fifty thousand US dollars was raised during the evening which will go towards various projects supported by ANMF. One of such projects includes construction of psychiatric rehabilitation center in Dang, Nepal in collaboration with Health Foundation Nepal. The evening also included the cultural program where various doctors and members of Nepalis and Friends Association, Arizona (NAFA) performed different songs and dances. The Conference concluded on May 6, 2018 with a meeting planning strategies and course of actions for the upcoming year. Different committees have been reformed with new leadership and plan to foster and advance healthcare in Nepal. The meeting was adjourned with a formation of next year organizing committee under Dr. Guna Raj Subedi. The next conference will be held from May 10 -12, 2019 in Washington DC.