AUA Graduate Leads Puerto Rico Relief Team
Multiple online news outlets including India Abroad and The Hour interviewed AUA graduate Bilal Khan, currently a sleep medicine fellow at Norwalk Hospital in Norwalk, Connecticut and a critical care and emergency physician.
In the wake of Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico, Dr. Khan lead a relief team of AUA students and graduate volunteers to Vieques, a Caribbean island off Puerto Rico’s eastern coast.
Key AUA alumni team members included Indian-Americans, Drs. Rachna Patel, a geriatrics fellow at Mount Sinai in New York and Kevin Ramdas of Florida; and Kirill Alekseyev, a Brooklyn native practicing at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn. All of whom credit AUA’s diverse environment, that resulted in their camaraderie and effective teamwork in Puerto Rico.
Dr. Khan is Pakistani-American, born in London to parents originally from Karachi. Speaking to India Abroad, he said, “When you go on these trips, you get to understand people instead of telling people how they should be. For example, in a lot of countries, or in a lot of cultures, there are certain things that they must have, regardless of proper health or hygiene maybe, and so, it’s important to understand that you can’t change these things.” He added, “You have to work with them and it helps to understand people better. Now that I am back in the States, if I have someone of South Asian origin, or Vietnamese origin, or Puerto Rican origin, I understand from where they are coming.”
AUA is honored to have Dr. Khan as a proud graduate, and of his relief team’s efforts. Our thoughts are with the people of Puerto Rico, as they continue to recover from this natural disaster.