6 Indian Americans Receive Ellis Island Medals of Honor


Dr. Bharat Barai is one of six Indian Americans to receive the 2013 Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

By News Dispatches, Indiawest

NEW YORK, United States: Six Indian Americans joined more than 100 “outstanding Americans” who were awarded May 11 with the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

The Indian American winners are Dr. Bharat Barai, Prof. Vidyasagar Dharmapuri, Mahendra Patel, Ramesh Patel, Dr. Kamala Saxena, and Dr. Valavanur Subramaniam.

The medals are awarded annually to American citizens who have distinguished themselves in their respective ethnic communities and exemplified the American of way of life, according to a press release from the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, which presents the awards.


Barai is the president of Premier Oncology Hematology Associates in Munster, Ind., and medical director of the Cancer Institute, Methodist Hospitals, in Indiana. A native of Mumbai, his story as a successful immigrant has been selected for the “Building a Nation” section of the soon to be opened at Ellis Island Museum.

Dharmapuri is professor emeritus of pediatrics at the University of Illinois and has traveled internationally taking cutting-edge techniques and best practices in neonatal care to Lithuania, Poland, Uzbekistan and China, according to a report in The Times of India.

Mahendra Patel holds several international patents in the pharmaceutical field. His Navinta LLC provides low-cost medications to needy patients in India, and the Patel Charitable Foundation supports educational and medical concerns in both the U.S. and India.

A native of Gujarat, Ramesh Patel has spent more than four decades working for the local Indian American community in New York. He plays a significant role in the annual India Day Parade in New York City and advocates for tougher hate crime laws.


Saxena is a distinguished pediatrician who has served on the State Medical Board in Ohio. She is also a former active duty medical officer in the United States Air Force and is a supporter of medical charities and human rights in the U.S. and India.

Subramanian is internationally recognized as a leader in heart surgery and is considered the father of minimally invasive and robotic cardiac surgery. Having joined Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, he is the inventor of many ground-breaking medical devices including an intra-aortic balloon pump that has saved over a million heart attack victims.

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