Medical Alumni Reunion 2016

The Medical Alumni Reunion was held from 11th to 13th, August 2016 with over 200 alumni in attendance. Gathered from various parts of the world in Vellore, the celebrations were particularly memorable to the batches of 1951, 1956, 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986 and 1991. The occasion commenced with the representatives of the special reunion batches Dr. Albert Johnson (1961), Dr. V. Srinivas (1966), Dr. Maya Subhashini (1971), Dr. Richard Jesudas (1976), Dr. Mani Rajagopalan (1981), Dr. Thomas John (1986), Dr. Sripriya Balasubramanian (1991) sharing their experiences with the medical students on 12th August, 2016. This was followed by a CME session featuring Dr. Vaskar Saha (1976), Dr. Mahiban Thomas (1981), Dr. Shajan Peter (1986) and Dr. Vikas Khanduja (1991).

The General Reunion on 13th August, 2016 began with the traditional tree planting. Welcomed by President of the Student’s Association, Mr. Joshua Abishek Christudoss, the alumnae then gathered and were updated on CMC’s recent developments by Director, Dr. Sunil Chandy and Principal, Dr. Alfred Daniel and Medical Superintendent, Dr. C.E. Eapen. The Alumni Awards of Distinction were presented to Mrs. Susie Koshi and Mrs. Anna Zachariah for the year 2016. At the General Body Meeting of the Alumni Association, the following office-bearers were inducted:
• Dr. Vinod Joseph Abraham (1989) renominated as Secretary for a period of 3 years.
• Dr. Kishore Kumar Pichamuthu (1994) elected as Editor for a period of three years.
• Dr. Abhay Deodas Gahukamble (1995) renominated as Entertainment Secretary for a period of one year.

Several Special batches have, as a token of gratitude to their Alma Mater, made contributions to the development of facilities both in the Hospital and College campuses. This was followed by introductions of the Special Batches and photographs. The afternoon session ended with lunch in the Men’s and Women’s Hostels. At the Thanksgiving Service, Dr. Thomas Kuruvilla (1976) delivered a thought provoking message. The newest batch of alumni (the present interns), were given the charge to serve and not to seek to be served.

Dr. Mary Jacob (1951), Dr. Thomas Sen Bhanu (1956) and Dr. Indira Radhakrishnan (1961) passed on the torch to the new alumni, Dr. Gifty and Dr. Kevin Nischal, representatives of the Batch of 2011. Later, Dr. Philip Finny (1990) and Dr Leejia Mathew (PG alumnus) were honoured with the College Motto Award. This was followed by the entertainment programme put up by the Special Batches.

Alumni Awards of Distinction 2016: Mrs. Susie Koshi & Mrs. Anna Zachariah

Mrs. Susie Koshi and Mrs. Anna Zachariah were honoured with the Alumni Award at the Alumni Reunion on 13th August, 2016.

Born in Kerala, Mrs. Susie Koshi married Dr. K.G. Koshi, who came to CMC, Vellore to train in Cardiology. However, at the Institution’s request, Dr. Koshi opted to train in the specialty of Hygiene, as Community Health was then known. On Dr. Koshi’s return to India after his training in Liverpool, they joined the CMC community, where she was to play an indelible role. One of Mrs. Koshi’s outstanding achievements was initiating the development of the College Hill Nursery School in 1954, where she remained the Secretary from its inception to1974, when Dr. Koshi retired. For 14 years, Dr. Koshi was the Warden of the Men’s Hostel. Apart from Sunday fellowship lunches for these students, Mrs. Koshi would invite those among them who couldn’t travel back to their home towns every Christmas. This led to the Big Bungalow Christmas Pot-luck dinner, a tradition that lives on. Later, she and Dr. Koshi initiated the Senatus Farewell dinner for the Final Year students. When Dr. Koshi took up the responsibility of Principal and later Director, Mrs. Koshi took on the role of the Hostess of Big Bungalow, making it a ‘haven of hospitality for guests,’ in the words of Dorothy Clarke Wilson. She was also an excellent tennis player. Mrs. Koshi found her calling on Good Friday, 1959, when Dr. Paul Brand ended his sermon by challenging the congregation: ‘Christ died for you, what are you doing for Him?’ It led her to the New Life Centre, a home started by Dr. Paul Brand for young men afflicted with leprosy, where, they were taught to care for their anaesthetic hands and feet, and were given vocational training. She supervised their kitchen and helped them in their daily activities as Superintendent of the Centre. She continued her work with the differently abled as a Board Member and Honorary Managing Trustee of the Mary Verghese Trust. Mrs. Koshi oversaw the construction of the Home for the Disabled as well as the vocational training provided to rehabilitated patients. At the heart of all that Mrs. Koshi did was an abiding awareness of God, His love and grace. She is recognised for her faith with deeds and spirit of inclusiveness, qualities that embody the CMC community that Mrs. Koshi so selflessly helped evolve.

Mrs. Anna Zachariah, or Mrs. Zach, as she is fondly known, was born in 1939 into a Syrian Christian family, strongly rooted in entrepreneurship and devotion to their faith. She graduated in Home Science from the Women’s Christian College, Chennai, which had a strong bias towards Nutrition. This led Mrs. Zach to taking her Masters Degree in Food and Nutrition from the Baroda University, which had a pioneering department in the field. In 1962, she married Dr. P. Zachariah and they moved into the Warden’s quarters in the Men’s Hostel which was to be their first home in Vellore. Their two sons, Anand and Santosh were born during this five-year stint. Professionally, she worked with Dr. Mary Dumm of the Biochemistry Department in the early field work of CMC in rural nutrition. She later became associated with the Rehabilitation Institute under the leadership of Dr. Mary Verghese, establishing a food service in the Institute aimed at developing a high protein diet. She supervised the New Life Centre for cured leprosy patients and continues to be a trustee of the Mary Verghese Trust for Rehabilitation. She was the secretary of the Balavihar Committee and later member of the Vidyalayam Committee; the next step was the founding of Ida Scudder School, where she helped to start a lunch programme for less privileged pupils of the school. Mrs. Zach took a keen interest in the activities of the CMC Alumni Association, such as the Alumni Directory and the Annual Reunion. For five years she was the hostess of the Big Bungalow. She also embellished the role of the Big Bungalow as the centre of social life in CMC. She subsequently established the CHTC Dining Room and the mess for the Joske Hostel for men students of Allied Health Sciences. Mrs. Zach is a prime example of someone who gave her time, effort and energy to the diverse aspects of institutional and community development.

The Alumni Association joins the CMC community in thanking Mrs. Susie Koshi and Mrs. Anna Zachariah, for her immense contribution to the Christian Medical College, its staff and their children and to those in need of kindness through their commitment and compassion, and is proud to honour them with the Alumni Award for the year 2016.

College Motto Award 2016: Dr. Philip Finny & Dr. Leejia Mathew

The College Motto Award 2016 was presented to Drs. Philip Finny and Leejia Mathew at the Alumni Reunion.

Dr. Philip Finny joined CMC in 1990. He was among the toppers of his class, winning several academic prizes including the Jacob Memorial Award for the Best MD student. Unashamed of the Christian faith and values, his dream was to serve in a remote area where medical facilities are rudimentary or non-existent.After completing his MBBS in 1996, Philip served for 2 years with Emmanuel Hospital Association (EHA) at Satbarwa (Jharkhand) and at Makunda (Assam). Here he gained first-hand experience of working in rural and tribal parts of North and North-East India. In 1999, he married Dr. Leejia, who shared his vision and passion for missions. After his M.D in General Medicine at CMC, Vellore, Philip was increasingly convinced of his call to serve in North Indian Mission hospitals. With Leejia, he moved to Oddanchatram for a year to gain mission experience, where together they trained young doctors and were available to them as Christian mentors. Philip further equipped himself by undergoing higher specialty training in Endocrinology, while Leejia completed her post-graduation in Anaesthesia in CMC between 2003 and 2006. They worked in the EHA Hospital in Makunda, Assam for a year, before moving to the Duncan Hospital, Raxaul, where they have been based since 2008.Though a qualified endocrinologist, Philip has served mostly as a General Physic to meet the needs of people in remote parts of Assam and Bihar.

In his own words, “My greatest desire has been to nurture and mentor visiting medical students from Government medical colleges in Bihar and junior doctors in EHA who are posted at Duncan Hospital, Raxaul. Pouring out our lives to build others professionally and spiritually has brought me immense satisfaction.” Philip also conducts clinical teaching programmes across all 20 EHA hospitals by organising CMEs. He is involved in promoting medical missionary enterprise among the Christian medical students in Bihar, Jharkhand and Nepal. He is actively involved in clinical and epidemiological research on common medical problems in Raxaul with a view to advise Government health policy changesand to educate general public through media. He has served as the Deputy Medical Director at Duncan Hospital for over 4 years and has worked to improve laboratory quality standards in the EHA mission hospital network. He has completed a Masters in Organisational Leadership and Management and has written 5 articles in the Voice magazine of EMFI about working in mission hospitals.

Dr. Leejia is almost always the only trained anaesthetist for the busy secondary hospital that has over 6,500 deliveries a year. Following a PG Diploma in Palliative Medicine from Cardiff, Leejia is now establishing a Palliative Care Service in North Bihar. She trains nurse anaesthetists from EHA and other Mission Hospitals, as well as government doctors doing PG Diploma in Family Medicine Course from the Department of Distance Education, CMC. She also helps in the Medical OPD on a regular basis. Despite constraints, they have kept their vision clear, reflecting their desire to serve the underprivileged. Philip and Leejia’s lives are an example of ‘being’ what God intended them to be in addition to ‘doing’ and upholding Aunt Ida’s vision and the College motto, “ Not to be ministered unto but to minister”. The CMC Alumni Association is proud to present the College Motto Award 2016 to Drs. Philip Finny and Leejia Mathew.

 
 
 
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