Raghu Ram Pillarisetti

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Raghu Ram Pillarisetti

Dr raghuram 4 x 6 1.JPG
Born (1966-09-22) 22 September 1966 (age 55)
OccupationFounder, Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation[1] & Director, KIMS-Ushalakshmi Centre for Breast Diseases[2]
Known forBreast Cancer Advocacy, Screening & Breast surgery
Parent(s)Prof P. V. Chalapathi Rao[3]
Dr Ushalakshmi Kumari
Awards2021 - Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE)[4][5][6]

2021 - Honorary Fellowship, The Association of Surgeons of Great Britain & Ireland[7][8][9][10]

2020 - President, The Association of Surgeons of India[11][12][13][14]

2020 - Honorary Fellowship, The College of Surgeons of Sri Lanka[15][16]

2020 - Honorary Fellowship, Chinese College of Surgeons[17]

2019 – Honorary Fellowship, The Royal College of Surgeons of Thailand[18]

2018 - Col. Pandalai Orator, The Association of Surgeons of India[19][20]

2016 - Dr B C Roy award[21]

2015 - Padma Shri[22]

2015 - Edward Kennedy Memorial award[23]

2013 - RSCEd
Overseas Gold Medal[24]

2011 - Vishal Bharat Ugadi Puraskar[25][26]

2010 - Visishta Ugadi Puraskar[27]

2009 - Rotary Vocational excellence Award[28]
Websitewww.ubf.org.in

Raghu Ram Pillarisetti OBE is an Indian surgeon, the youngest recipient of the Overseas Gold Medal of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh[29] and the Founder-Director of KIMS-Ushalakshmi Center for Breast Diseases[2][30] at KIMS Hospitals,[31] the first dedicated and comprehensive facility for breast healthcare in the Indian subcontinent.[32] He is also the Founder of Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation, a not for profit organisation[33][34] working in tandem with government and non government bodies for spreading awareness about breast cancer[35] and Pink Connexion,[36] the first newsletter from India, a quarterly, about breast healthcare.[36]

The Government of India honoured him in 2015 with the award of Padma Shri, the fourth highest Indian civilian award.[37][38]

In 2017, the Medical council of India selected him for the prestigious Dr B C Roy National award for ‘Outstanding service in the field of Socio Medical Relief’ for the year 2016.[39][21]

Dr Raghu Ram was featured in Queen Elizabeth II's 2021 New Year Honours list and is one of the youngest Surgeons of Indian origin in over 100 years to be honoured with an OBE – Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. This is the second highest ranking Order of the British Empire award (excluding a knighthood/damehood)[40] conferred in recognition of his 'services to breast cancer care and surgical education in India and to UK/India relations'.[41][42]

In 2021, he achieved the unique distinction to become the first surgeon of Indian origin in over 100 years to be conferred the Honorary Fellowship of The Association of Surgeons of Great Britain & Ireland[43][44][45][46]

Biography[edit]

Raghu Ram Pillarisetti was born on 22 September 1966 in Guntur in the undivided Andhra Pradesh in India to medical doctor parents,[36] Prof. P. V. Chalapathi Rao[3][47] and Ushalakshmi Kumari, a breast cancer survivor.[29] He graduated in medicine (MBBS) Siddhartha Medical College, secured a master's degree in surgery (MS) obtaining first place from Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore in 1995.[48][49][50] He then went to UK and obtained FRCS in 1997 from all the four Surgical Royal Colleges in the British Isles (Edinburgh, London, Glasgow & Ireland).[51][52][53] He subsequently completed Higher Surgical Training & subspecialty training in oncoplastic breast surgery at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in London and at the Nottingham Breast Institute. In 2002, his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. He relocated to India in 2007 and established a dedicated purpose built facility for breast health care at KIMS Hospitals in Hyderabad. The Centre, KIMS-Ushalakshmi Center for Breast Diseases,[54][55][56][57][58] bears his mother’s name (Ushalakshmi).[59][60][61]

Raghu Ram, over the course of time, founded Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation for spreading awareness about the disease[35] and, later, started publishing Pink Connexion, a quarterly newsletter to aid his awareness campaigns.[36]

Under the auspices of Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation, he championed a number of unique and innovative initiatives in India to transform breast cancer from a ‘taboo’ issue to a much commonly discussed one, thus creating the much needed awareness about importance of early detection. Since 2007, he has spearheaded the annual “Pink Ribbon Campaign”, which is a benchmark breast cancer awareness activity in Hyderabad’s calendar during the month of October (international breast cancer awareness month).[62][63][64]

Between 2012 – 2016, he has overseen the implementation of south Asia’s largest population based breast cancer screening programme in the southern Indian states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation in partnership with the Governments of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh screened 200, 000 underprivileged women spread across 4000 villages for early signs of breast cancer by way of Clinical Breast Examination (CBE) performed by over 3000 healthcare workers. Women diagnosed with breast cancer were treated free of cost under the State Government’s Arogyasree scheme.[65][66][67][68]

In 2016, the Government of India invited him to be part of the Steering Committee and a high powered Technical Advisory Group (TAG)[69] set up by the Union Ministry of Health, which has drafted guidelines to replicate the Clinical Breast Examination (CBE) based breast cancer screening programme across the nation.[70][65]

In 2017, under the auspices of the Foundation, he conceived, designed & developed the world’s first mobile app[71][72] that provides information in 12 languages[73][74][75][76][77] about every aspect of breast cancer and benign (non cancer) breast health issues in simple easy to understand format, which is freely downloadable in iOs and android platforms.[78][75][79]

In 2019, in an initiative for the first time in the world, he has utilized artificial intelligence by integrating life size augmented reality technology in a mobile app to spread the message of early detection of breast cancer to a large section of people. This is a futuristic technology that has a potential for the ‘celebrity and doctor’ to enter into people’s homes and create awareness, without actually physically being present.[80][81][82][83]

He is an International Surgical Adviser of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh[49][84] and has organised ten post graduate courses in India during the period from 2000 to 2013, the highest number of courses RCSEd conducted at an overseas location.[32] As local convenor, he has been organizing the Intercollegiate Final MRCS Examinations in Hyderabad on behalf of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh since 2008 and the Royal College of Surgeons of England since 2015.

He is one of the youngest surgeons elected to serve as President, The Association of Surgeons of India (ASI) for the year 2020. ASI is South Asia’s largest & World’s second largest surgical organization that represents the surgical fraternity in India.[85][86][87][88][89] As President ASI,[90] he launched five Skills Courses[91][92][93][85] & the National Online Skills Enhancement Programme (NSEP)[94] in 2020, which are aimed to enhance the knowledge base & improve the skill sets of surgical trainees.

As Convenor of International Affairs for the Association of Surgeons of India (2017 – 2018), he initiated a working partnership between the Association of Surgeons of India and the Royal College of Surgeons of England, thereby facilitating the process of selecting bright young surgical trainees from India to obtain advanced subspecialty surgical training at selected centres of excellence in the UK through the Royal College’s International Surgical Training Programme (ISTP).[95][96][97][98][99]

He was a member of the governing council of the Association of Surgeons of India from 2013 – 2015 and served as its overseas coordinator between 2009-2012.[100]

He played a pivotal role in garnering the support of the surgical fraternity in India to establish the Association of Breast Surgeons of India (ABSI), which represents general surgeons, surgical oncologists and plastic surgeons treating patients with breast disease. He served as its founder Honorary Secretary (2011–13), Vice President (2013–14) and as President (2015 – 2017), the youngest in the organization's history.[101][102][103] During his term as President, ‘ABSI Training module’ was launched in twelve cities and towns all over India. This pan India training module initiated in 2016 achieved the objective of imparting standardized teaching to trainees and surgeons regarding management of patients presenting with various breast disorders.[104][105][106][107] He also spearheaded the ‘ABSI-UK Fellowship Programme’, which allows surgical trainees from India selected on merit to obtain ‘hands on’ one year subspecialty training in breast centres of excellence in the UK. Commenced in 2016, five trainees from India have completed their training in the UK.[108][109][110]

He served as a member of the board of advocates of the American Society of Breast Surgeons in 2009, the first surgeon from outside USA to sit in the board.[111]

He has been associated with the Indian Association of Surgical Oncology as a member, as its overseas coordinator (2005–08), as the editorial secretary  (2009–10), as a member of the executive committee (2011–12) and as the joint editor of its official journal, Indian Journal of Surgical Oncology (IJSO) (2010–14). He has participated and organized several conferences and symposiums where he has delivered orations and keynote addresses and has moderated many panel discussions.[112][113][114]

He is the author of many articles on breast healthcare and has contributed nine chapters in three text books including the text book series, Recent Advances in Surgery and Bailey & Love Revision Guide.

Awards and recognition[edit]

Dr Raghu Ram features in the 2021 Queen Elizabeth II New Year's honours list and is one of the youngest Surgeons of Indian origin in over 100 years to be honoured with an OBE – Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. This is the second highest ranking Order of the British Empire award (excluding a knighthood/damehood)[40] conferred in recognition of his services to breast cancer care and surgical education in India and to UK/India relations.[41][42][115][116][117][118]

The Government of India included Ram in the 2015 Republic day honours list for the fourth highest Indian civilian award of Padma Shri,[22][119][120][121][122][123] making him the youngest surgeon from the southern Indian states of Telangana & Andhra Pradesh to have been conferred the award by the President of India.[29]

In 2017, the Medical council of India selected him for the prestigious Dr B C Roy National award for ‘Outstanding service in the field of Socio Medical Relief’ for the year 2016. He is the youngest surgeon from the States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to have been conferred this award by the President of India[124][125][126][127][128][129]

In 2021, he achieved the unique distinction to become the first surgeon of Indian origin in over 100 years to be conferred the Honorary Fellowship of The Association of Surgeons of Great Britain & Ireland[130][131][132][133]

In 2019, he was conferred Honorary Fellowship (Hon.FRCS) by the Royal College of Surgeons of Thailand[134][135][136][137][138][139] and Honorary Fellowship (Hon.FCCS) from the Chinese College of Surgeons[140] and Honorary Fellowship (Hon.FCSSL) from the College of Surgeons of Sri Lanka[15][141][142][16] in 2020.

He holds the Fellowship of all the four Royal Colleges of Surgeons in the UK (FRCS),[143][144][145][137][134][135]

besides the fellowship of the American College of Surgeons.[146][29]

He received the Overseas Gold Medal[147] from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 2013, the youngest ever recipient of the award n the 515 years history of the College.[29][32][148][149][150][151][152][153]

He is a recipient of  Visishta Ugadi Puraskar,[154][134] which is a State award conferred by the Government of undivided Andhra Pradesh and Vishal Bharat Ugadi Puraskar[155][156] by the Delhi Telugu Academy.

He features in the book, In Pursuit of Passion, a publication covering the lives of 50 young achievers in the state of Andhra Pradesh.[157][158]

He was made a Paul Harris Fellow[159] by the Rotary International to recognise his significant contribution to the Rotary Foundation and conferred the Vocational Excellence award[160] by the Rotary Club of Jubilee Hills for his distinguished service in Breast Oncology.[161]

He is a recipient of the Edward Kennedy Memorial Award for improving the art and science of Breast Oncology in South Asia.[162][163]

He is one of the youngest surgeons and the only one from the southern Indian States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to have delivered Col. Pandalai Oration (2018),[164][165] which is the highest academic honour that can be achieved by a Surgeon practicing in India.

In addition to delivering several other Orations and keynote addresses in India, he delivered the Tony Gabriel Memorial Lecture in Sri Lanka.[166]

He was an invited speaker at TEDx Deccan,[167][168] which brought together the spirit of TED to Hyderabad in 2011 and at INK talks[169][170][171] in 2018 & 2019, which are personal inspiring narratives that get straight to the heart of issues in 18 minutes or less.

COVID 19 response[edit]

During the months of April, May & June 2020, in his capacity as President, The Association of Surgeons of India, he championed a major fund-raising movement raising over Rs 1, 00, 00, 000 (Rs. Ten million) from the surgical fraternity and organised the procurement/delivery of the much needed Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for healthcare professionals across India, which was in acute shortage at that time.[172][173][174] UNICEF India invited him to feature in their COVID 19 awareness campaign and his message was posted on UNICEF India’s social media pages on 20 April 2020.[175][176] In July - August 2020, in partnership with Amway India, he coordinated delivery of 12,000 hand sanitizers, which were made available to frontline healthcare workers in 47 COVID designated Government Hospitals in 16 cities and towns across India (Delhi, Amritsar, Jaipur, Lucknow, Mumbai, Pune, Indore Patna, Ranchi, Guwahati, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kurnool & Vijayawada).[177][178][179][180] In an endeavor to reach out to the permanent office staff serving ASI for several years, from his personal resources, he procured a robust Health Insurance policy for them & their immediate families and pledged to annually renew the policies for the next five years until 2025.[181]

Dr Raghu Ram was an invited speaker at a Video Conference held with Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi on 24th March 2020. He highlighted the landmark initiatives actioned by ASI in response to COVID 19 crisis & pointed out some issues that should be addressed as a matter of urgency. Some of the points raised by Dr Raghu Ram were highlighted by the PM in his address to the nation on the same evening.[182]

He was invited to be part of a UNICEF campaign in partnership with the Government of India to create awareness about COVID-19.[183]

In May 2021, to address the rapidly rising infections and deaths associated with COVID 19 in Rural India, under the auspices of Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation & KIMS-USHALAKSHMI Centre for Breast Diseases in Hyderabad, Dr Raghu Ram embarked upon the “COVID-19 Pink Ribbon Mask Campaign” in the southern Indian State of Telangana. The aim of this initiative is to ensure the much-needed protection from COVID 19 in rural regions of the State of Telangana, and equally, create awareness about importance of early detection of breast cancer through the ‘pink’ coloured cloth masks (a colour that represents breast cancer awareness). 20, 000 masks have been distributed to residents in all the ten villages in Narayanraopet Mandal, Siddipet in the State of Telangana (Narayanaraopet, Ibrahimpur, Banjerpalli, Kodhandaraopalli, Laxmidevipalli, Malyala, Gurralagondhi, Jakkapur, Gopulapur, Matindla).[184][185][186]

Print & Electronic Media[edit]

During the COVID 19 pandemic, Dr Raghu Ram was invited to write several guest columns during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic by the Times of India[187] NDTV News,[188][189][190][191][192][193][194][195][196] Vogue India,[197] You & I,[198] and Wow Hyderabad[199] magazines.

He also appeared numerous times as an invited Guest Panelist on national prime-time TV news Channels - NDTV News,[200][201][202][203][204][205][206][207][208][209] CNN News 18[210][211][212][213][214][215][216][217][218][219][220][221][222][223] & Times Now News.[224][225][226][227][228][229] He voiced the importance of taking adequate precautions and staying safe during the pandemic.

Personal Philanthropy – Village adoption[edit]

In 2015, he adopted Ibrahimpur,[230] the remotest village in Medak District in the State of Telangana,[231] which has a population of 1500. Over the past five years, he has implemented several life transforming initiatives in this hamlet through personal philanthropy and has personally overseen completion of following projects,[232] which includes:

  • A study room with state-of-the-art internet facilities to enable students prepare for examinations.
  • A dining room at the village school,[233] so students do not have to eat their lunch in the open compound.[234][235]
  • A modern crematorium in a spacious one acre land so that people do not travel several miles to perform the last rites of their beloved family members. People from surrounding villages are also using this facility.
  • 46 cattle sheds constructed in the Village outskirts to minimise cattle-borne infections in the community. Previously 50 -100 cattle were housed under the same roof in each of the 46 households within the village
  • Home solar system, which provides reliable source of 100% free electricity to the poorest of the poor 26 homes[236]
  • Private Tuitions for students who require additional help after school hours
  • Village Gym & Yoga classes - To ensure village residents are in shape, and equally, to promote the concept of exercise & meditation as a way of avoiding lifestyle diseases
  • Swatch Bharath’ campaign in 2017- a cleanliness drive in the village[237] upon invitation from Prime Minister of India[238]

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Further reading[edit]

  • United Kingdom to India - a ‘Living Bridge’: Celebrating 25 Positively Eventful Years (1996–2021)”(Editorial). Indian J Surg (May 2021)[1]
  • Remembering ‘Nanna’—a Life Well Lived (16 November 1928–22 November 2020). Indian J Surg 83, 608–613 (January 2021)[2]
  • 2020—the Year That Was! (Editorial). Indian J Surg 82, 991–998 (December 2020)[3]
  • Vision 2020 - Creative Leadership and Accountable Governance” (Editorial) Indian J Surg 82, 1–5 (2020).[4]
  • ASI’s Consensus Guidelines: ABCs of What to Do and What Not During the COVID-19 Pandemic (Editorial). Indian J Surg 82, 240–250 (2020)[5]
  • “Improving Breast Healthcare – A passage to India”, 2019; Chapter 36, 369 – 374, Breast Cancer: Global Quality Care, Oxford University Press[6]
  • Indian Solutions for Indian Problems—Association of Breast Surgeons of India (ABSI) Practical Consensus Statement, Recommendations, and Guidelines for the Treatment of Breast Cancer in India. Indian J Surg. 2017 Aug; 79(4): 275–285.[7]
  • Bailey & Love Companion guide, 2015, Chapter 53, 448-464, CRC Press (Taylor & Francis group), London[8]
  • Breast healthcare in India – Time for a paradigm shift (Invited article). Ann R Coll Surg Engl (Suppl) 2011; 93:250–252.[9]
  • Guest Editorial, first issue of Indian Journal of Surgical Oncology. Indian Journal of Surgical Oncology. 2010 Jan; 1(1): 2[10]
  • Oncoplastic surgery for retro areolar breast cancer — a technical modification of the Grisotti flap. Indian J Surg 69, 160–162 (2007[11]
  • Pillarisetti, Raghu Ram; Querci Della Rovere, Guidubaldo (June 2012). "Oncoplastic breast surgery". The Indian Journal of Surgery. 74 (3): 255–63. doi:10.1007/s12262-012-0590-9. PMC 3397185. PMID 23730053.
  • Surgical training for overseas doctors in the UK – Facts, realities and solutions!. Indian J Surg 2004;66:265-9[12]

External links[edit]

  1. ^ Pillarisetti, Raghu Ram (11 May 2021). "United Kingdom to India—a "Living Bridge": Celebrating 25 Positively Eventful Years (1996–2021)". Indian Journal of Surgery. doi:10.1007/s12262-021-02806-1. ISSN 0973-9793. S2CID 234351493.
  2. ^ Pillarisetti, Raghu Ram (1 April 2021). "Remembering 'Nanna'—a Life Well Lived (16 November 1928–22 November 2020)". Indian Journal of Surgery. 83 (2): 608–613. doi:10.1007/s12262-020-02686-x. ISSN 0973-9793. S2CID 231690310.
  3. ^ Pillarisetti, Raghu Ram (1 December 2020). "2020—the Year That Was!". Indian Journal of Surgery. 82 (6): 991–998. doi:10.1007/s12262-020-02675-0. ISSN 0973-9793. PMC 7720925. PMID 33311862.
  4. ^ Pillarisetti, Raghu Ram (1 February 2020). "Vision 2020—"Creative Leadership and Accountable Governance"". Indian Journal of Surgery. 82 (1): 1–5. doi:10.1007/s12262-020-02089-y. ISSN 0973-9793.
  5. ^ Somashekhar, S. P.; Shivaram, H. V.; Abhaham, Santhosh John; Dalvi, Abhay; Kumar, Arvind; Gode, Dilip; Misra, Shiva; Jain, Sanjay Kumar; Prasad, C. R. K.; Pillarisetti, Raghu Ram (1 June 2020). "ASI's Consensus Guidelines: ABCs of What to Do and What Not During the COVID-19 Pandemic". Indian Journal of Surgery. 82 (3): 240–250. doi:10.1007/s12262-020-02452-z. ISSN 0973-9793. PMC 7280171. PMID 32837070.
  6. ^ "Breast Cancer Global Quality Care" (PDF).
  7. ^ Somashekhar, S. P.; Agarwal, Gaurav; Deo, S. V. S.; Chintamani; Raghu Ram, P.; Sarkar, Diptendra; Parmar, Vani (August 2017). "Indian Solutions for Indian Problems—Association of Breast Surgeons of India (ABSI) Practical Consensus Statement, Recommendations, and Guidelines for the Treatment of Breast Cancer in India". The Indian Journal of Surgery. 79 (4): 275–285. doi:10.1007/s12262-017-1666-3. ISSN 0972-2068. PMC 5549057. PMID 28827899.
  8. ^ "Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation". www.ubf.org.in. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  9. ^ "Breast Healthcare in India" (PDF).
  10. ^ Raghuram, P. (2010). "Indian Journal of Surgical Oncology 1(1):2". Indian Journal of Surgical Oncology. 1 (1): 2. doi:10.1007/s13193-010-0002-1. PMC 3421001. PMID 22930609.
  11. ^ della Rovere, Guidubaldo Querci; Pillarisetti, Raghu Ram; Bonomi, Riccardo; Benson, John (1 August 2007). "Oncoplastic surgery for retro areolar breast cancer — a technical modification of the Grisotti flap". Indian Journal of Surgery. 69 (4): 160–162. doi:10.1007/s12262-007-0012-6. ISSN 0972-2068. PMC 3452462. PMID 23132973.
  12. ^ "Surgical training for overseas doctors in the UK – Facts,realities and solutions".