Walter P. Blount Humanitarian International Award
Dr S Rajasekaran alongwith Dr Ajoy Prasad Shetty has got the prestigious Walter P. Blount Humanitarian International Award from Scoliosis Research Society, USA from Prof John P Dormans, President of the Scoliosis Research Society, USA and Prof Hani H Mahidli, Chairman, Global Committee
Coimbatore: Ganga Hospital Director Dr S Rajasekaran has got the prestigious Walter P Blount Humanitarian International Award and this is the first time an Indian surgeon has been given this prestigious American award given by the Scoliosis Research Society.
The Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) is an international spine society found in 1966 in USA and is now recognized as one of the World’s premier spine societies. Very strict membership criteria are ensured and the society now includes just over 1000 of the world’s most leading spine surgeons and researchers all over the world who have dedicated their life in the treatment of spinal deformities. The Society awards the Walter Blount Humanitarian Award to recognize one person globally who has excelled in great measure to extend the benefits of modern spine surgery to the citizens of the world.
Dr S Rajasekaran is the first Asian to receive the award during their Golden Jubilee Annual Meeting held at Minnesota, USA. The awardee is chosen by a special committee comprising of some of the most senior spine surgeons of the society.
The Blount Award is an international humanitarian award given to an individual who has provided outstanding service for those with spinal deformities, through their generous actions out of a sense of service to larger social and professional goals. Nominations are sought from the Fellows each year. A grand plaque will be awarded and the recipient will be honoured with an introduction by the President. The awardee is allowed to present his work and the impact it has created to the society.
Dr Rajasekaran is specifically being honoured for creating a low cost high quality spine surgery model which has benefited more than 7000 poor patients. Highly complex spine surgeries which cost more than USD 100,000 (Rs.65 lakhs) are being done in Ganga Hosptial for USD 1500 (less than Rs.1 lakh) through various welfare projects such as Project Helpline and Project Straight Spine. This model was created by a combination of the entire medical team operating free, development of low cost indigenous implants (that cost one hundredth of the cost of imported implants), a heavy subsidy from hospital and development of new techniques like low density implant fixation. This model has been appreciated by the International body as the most suited not only for developing nations but also for many advanced countries as adoption of these principles will bring the cost tremendously.
Dr Rajasekaran said that reaching to the Society has been one of the main aim of Ganga Hospital and all institution philosophies have been guided by the mission statement – ‘To provide quality treatment at affordable cost so that the expertise will be available to every citizen of our country’. To enable a large scale charity work, Project SWASAM was inaugurated by the Late President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam on 3rd May 2008 which made 10 free beds available for charity work. Since the inception of the speciality units in 1991, free surgeries worth more than Rs.15 Crores have been performed. This has benefited more than 3000 patients with complex spine and orthopaedic problems.
The high tech Ganga Hospital has 486 inpatient beds, 20 operating theatres, Intensive trauma unit care, regional blood bank, Bone and Tissue bank, Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre with inhouse conference facility of 425-seated auditorium