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Kerala Medical Graduates Convention in Houston

Dr. Freemu Varghese

Dr. Freemu Varghese

HOUSTON: Association of Kerala Medical Graduates (AKMG), 34th Annual Convention concluded in Houston with a Grand Gala at Hilton Americas in Downtown. A musical concert lead Malayalam’s music legends KS Chitra and MG Sreekumar,  featuring a 12 artist live orchestra followed the Gala and entertained the guests till late at night.

The convention started when Convention Chairman Dr. George Mammen opened it on Friday evening with a Reception held at Regal Ranch and which was aptly called “Western night”. The evening was packed with food and entertainment in true Texas style. Guests, numbering about 300, arrived in Western attire, wearing Cowboy Boots, Jeans, Hats and the Bandanas. They had an opportunity to ride and take pictures with Texas symbol, The Longhorn bull. Barbeque Dinner followed. The entertainments for the night included Western dancers and live music. Guests joined the dancers learning Texas two steps and line dancing. Dr. Dominic from Houston coordinated these events.

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Saturday morning started with CME (Continuing Medical Education), led by Dr. Lavannya Pandit.. Eminent faculty members from various Universities across the USA and Canada spoke on various Medical topics. Non physician guests including family members spent their morning with Yoga, Bollywood dancercise and Tennis, co ordinated by Geetha Mammen and Sreedevi Venugopal.

Lunch on Saturday was a traditional Onam sadya accompanied by entertainment programs including Thalapoli ezhunnallathu of Maveli, Thiruvathira and vallamkali. Indian Consul General of Houston, Mr. Harish was the Chief Guest at the lunch. Conference attendees and their guests numbering almost 400 arrived in traditional Kerala attire for this event. Dr. CV Sathees, Sathya Sathees, Dr. Jay Raman and Viji Raman coordinated Onam programs and the Sadya. Dr. Chithra Chandrasekhar served as emcee.  Saturday’s dinner followed family entertainment, called “Campus Comedy” which was co ordinated by Dr. Lila Cherry. AKMG’s physicians and their family members displayed their talent at this event. Entertainement programs included many dances, comedy programs and  a live orchestra. Younger physicians got together at one of city’s prominent nightspots.

Sunday morning started with CME again. During that time, family members had an opportunity to tour Houston’s famous Mahatma Gandhi district  (Hillcroft) were they could shop for traditional Indian goods at the district’s many Ethnic shops. Lunch conference was specifically addressing Kerala Health initiative where Dr. Enas Enas and Dr. Mohandas, vice chancellor of Kerala Health University, presented the plans. Other speakers included KHI leaders, Dr. Freemu Varghese; Dr. Basil Varkey, Dr. Pichchumoni. This was another well-attended event.

Main programs of the convention concluded with the Sunday night Gala at the Grand ballroom of the Hotel. AKMG members and their guests numbering more than 400 attended this Black-Tie event, coordinated by Dr. Mohan Kumar. Speakers at the podium included Convention Chairs Dr. George Mammen and Dr. Venugopal Menon, Outgoing President Dr. Freemu Varghese, Vice Chancellor Dr. Mohandas, Harris County Medical Society president Dr. Cridell, Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) president Dr. Jayesh Shah, incoming AKMG president Dr. Parameswaran Hari and Dr. Narendra Kumar who has previously served as president of both AKMG and AAPI. The emcees for the evening were Rachel Varghese and Anu Das. Sponsors of the Convention including prominent businessman and philanthropist Bobby Chemmannur were recognized at the event.  Dr. Zacharia Thomas proposed the vote of thanks.

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