Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America
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The Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA) is an American nonprofit organization headquartered in Westmont, Illinois, dedicated to supporting scientific development and education in Medicine, and delivering better health care, regardless of race, creed or gender. It was founded in 1976 under the name "Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America", and was formally incorporated in 1977. APPNA is one of the largest ethnic medical societies in North America, representing more than 17,000 physicians and health care professionals of Pakistani descent in the United States and Canada.
APPNA members participate in medical relief and other charitable activities at home and abroad. APPNA physicians have actively participated in the relief activities in the aftermath of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, and other natural disasters and humanitarian campaigns around the world.
The organization holds conferences in different locations throughout North America and an annual Summer Conference. There are regional chapters for all major parts of the United States and Canada, with some areas having multiple chapters. APPNA has also helped develop North American alumni association chapters for all major Pakistani medical colleges.
APPNA SEHAT (Scientific Educational Health Administrative Training) is a subsidiary of APPNA that was established in 1989 and registered as Social welfare organization. In Urdu sehat means health. The main purpose of APPNA SEHAT was to develop a low cost model which could address health and related problems, and to implement practical low cost primary health care projects for poor and marginalized segments of rural communities in Pakistan. The project focuses on behavioral changes through education, guidance and capacity building through training sessions. The proposed model of self-help aims to transform marginalized, un-served communities which are dependent on handouts into effective, independent, self-sustaining communities, capable of meeting most of their healthcare needs themselves, especially in primary healthcare.
The model was pilot tested from 1989 to 1992 in four topographically and culturally diverse areas of Pakistan from the mountains of NWFP through hills and plains of Punjab to deserts of Sindh. It launched its first primary healthcare project in 1989 as a pilot project with 16,357 people living in 2,200 households of 15 villages in Mardan, Murree, Sahiwal and Badin. Through the policy of graduation out, which is the premise of the program, APPNA SEHAT financial support finishes after three years. The finances are then reallocated to other units. So far 37 units have been graduated out of the program, and 16 new communities have been added.
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