Dr. Harendra Punatar and the NBIAA
Northern California Medical Associates’ cardiologist Harendra Punatar, MD, FACC, gives back to the community through his volunteer work with the North Bay Indo-American Association (NBIAA). In the late 90s, doctors began to notice a significantly higher propensity for heart disease and diabetes in Indian community members in the North Bay. The disease is almost twice as common than other groups. Due to the disturbingly high prevalence of these diseases, Dr. Punatar began organizing free annual NBIAA health fairs 15 years ago to spread awareness about disease prevention and treatment.
“The data on diabetes and heart disease made for a startling discovery. Members of the Indian community are on average more affluent than other groups in the area, and what we realized was that with that affluence came an increase of poor eating and exercise habits — both of which can be major health risks,” says Dr. Punatar. “Originally, diabetes and heart disease have been the main topics of focus at the health fairs, but over the last five years we’ve really broadened the discussion to cover other prevalent health related subjects. The fairs have been extremely successful. We’ve come to expect about 100–200 attendees every year!” NBIAA Health Fairs are run entirely by volunteers, with substantial support from NCMA and Medtronic.
Dr. Punatar obtained his medical doctorate at Miraj Medical College in Miraj India and completed his residency and fellowship training in cardiovascular disease from Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn, NY. He has been a valued member of NCMA’s team of expert cardiologists for more than 23 years.
Dr. Adelina Stateva and GAP Community
Northern California Medical Associates’ podiatrist Adelina Stateva, DPM, demonstrates the spirit of volunteerism in her involvement with GAP Community, a non-profit philanthropic organization with global outreach. Dr. Stateva first traveled with GAP to Kayamandi, South Africa in 2007. The area is tragically known to be one of the rape capitals of the world, and its communities are deeply affected by violence, poverty, and HIV. Dr. Stateva taught leadership training classes and worked closely with fellow GAP volunteers to fund a housing project renovation for HIV sufferers in Kayamandi.
Dr. Stateva explains, “There really are few experiences in my life that have been more inspiring than the work I have done in South Africa with GAP Community. The active learning style we use is designed to give children the confidence and insight necessary to overcome limiting beliefs and difficult circumstances that prevent them from achieving their goals and dreams.
“For the South Africa trip in 2007 we collectively raised a healthy surplus that we wanted to share with the local community in Kayamandi. We found a home for people living with HIV that lacked ample space and facilities. The occupants had to share tiny rooms, and the single bathroom was outdoors a ways away from the main housing building. Using the restroom at night meant risking being attacked or raped. “The residents are now living in a much safer environment while they recover from illnesses, and the facility we built can accommodate many more people than it could before.”
Dr. Stateva was born and raised in Bulgaria, and in 2002 she graduated from Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine. Shortly thereafter she began residency at Palo Alto, VA where she also taught at Stanford University and continued residency at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia. She joined NCMA in March 2014.