Rev. Lou Knowles's
CMC Vellore Diary
Lou Knowles, President of the Vellore CMC
Foundation (formerly the Board) here in New York, is stationed from
September 2009 to June 2010 at Vellore. He will be helping create an
international development strategy and program for CMC. His presence
in Vellore will allow for in-depth reporting on many aspects of life
and work at CMC.
The CMC Director's
The Report of the Director of CMC, Dr. Suranjan
Bhattacharji, to the June meeting of the governing Council provides a fascinating overview of a dynamic
and rapidly growing institution engaged in a critical mission of
public service. Here are a few salient points:
Re-examining recent data, a reasonable estimate of outpatients
treated at the main hospital over the past year is 2 million,
representing a 25% increase in five years.
Physicians at 19 mission hospitals now have internet access to the
CMC Medical Library.
The Distance Education program over the past five years has trained
1,139 physicians from all over the country in Family Medicine.
The Development Office, started several years ago with the
assistance of American supporters, over the past two years has
accounted for one Crore Rupees in donations (about $220,000) from
Three named core-research Chairs have been established and a major
fund raising effort is planned to create several more.
The CMC Principal, Dr. George Mathew, was appointed Convener of the
Medical Council of India undergraduate education working group,
which has recommended extensive reform of medical education in
The list could be much longer if space allowed. God continues to
minister mightily to the people of India through CMC. Your support
allows the institution to remain faithful to its calling to serve
the “least of these” while it steadily grows in size and excellence.
India Today Rates CMC
India Today's annual rating of medical colleges has been published.
Once again, CMC retains its position as a top medical school in
India, second only to government-run AIIMS in New Delhi. See
CMC TO BUILD A
For the first time in its 110 year history, the Christian Medical
College is opening a second campus. On Saturday, April 24 several
hundred people gathered to celebrate this historic moment at a spot
on the old Bangalore-Chennai highway, a few kilometers south of the
town of Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh.
Click here for more
CMC Joins With
Government To Help The Poor
Easter Eve, April 3, late in the day, CMC received the distinguished
visitor, M. K. Stalin, Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. He came
to inaugurate a new program whereby poor people in the area around
Vellore can come to CMC for treatment of serious illnesses with
insurance coverage from the state government.
Click here for
College of Nursing Dean Visited
Dean Jayakaran (middle row, green sari) at gathering
of nursing alumnae in South Florida
Mrs. Rosaline Jayakaran, Dean of the CMC College of Nursing, visited nursing
alumnae and other CMC supporters during February. She met with groups in New
Jersey, Florida and Washington DC. Her message was one of thanks for the donors
who helped to make possible the new College of Nursing campus. She shared
photographs of the spacious new building, which provides private offices for
each member of the faculty as well as classrooms with the latest in audiovisual
On the drawing board is a new dormitory for undergraduate nursing
students. At the present time they are commuting from the old dorm on the
hospital campus to the new facility, about a kilometer away.
Dean Jayakaran explained that CMC’s nursing college is emerging as a
critical regional leadership facility for southern India and beyond. The World
Health Organization has vested CMC’s nursing faculty with responsibility for
training 90,000 Indian nurses in HIV/AIDS treatment protocols. CMC will be
accepting larger numbers of students and expecting them to stay to work for a
longer period following their graduation in order to meet a serious shortage of
It was a pleasure to have Dean Rosaline with us, if only for a short
time. We wish her well as she presides over this vital and dynamic institution.
Many nursing students come from humble backgrounds in rural villages.
They have worked hard to excel in their school work. A $600 annual scholarship
can give them the opportunity of a lifetime to attend CMC. A degree or diploma
from CMC opens the door to a lifetime career serving people. If you would like
to help change a young person’s life in such a positive way, please contact the
Foundation to arrange a scholarship gift.
CMC's Efforts in
CMC Vellore sent a medical team to the Indian state of Orissa
where religious conflict has displaced thousands of Christians, forcing them
into refugee camps. Read about the situation and CMC's efforts in our fall
newsletter, The Vellore Advocate online in our Newsletter Archive. Click here to
open the pdf file.
Today Ranks CMC One of the Best Medical College
Again in 2009, India Today ranked CMC one of the best medical colleges
in India, second only to the government medical college AIMS
in New Delhi. Read the article in India Today
CMC with Karolinska Institute
of Understanding was signed between the 107-year-old CMC, Vellore
and the 197-year-old Karolinska Institute of Stockholm, Sweden,
covering regular student-teacher exchange programs and joint
The MoU was
signed by Dr. George M. Chandy, CMC's Director and Dr. Carani B.
Sanjeevi, Scientific co-ordinator for Karolinska - India Initiative
and Head of Molecular Medicine, KI and an internationally known
authority on Diabetes, on Saturday June 30. Earlier in the day, Dr.
Sanjeevi addressed the Quality Circle with an excellent presentation
the fourth largest medical university in the world and its Nobel
Forum selects the nobel Prize winner in Medicine each year. The
partnership would benefit both institutions through academic
exchanges, cultural inter changes and co-operation in teaching,
training and research. KI has the technological backup and enormous
funding opportunities, while CMC has a wide variety of disease
profiles and large patient numbers. Karolinska has over 2000
researchers engaged in Ph. D., work alone at any given time.
Jayaprakash Muliyil, Principal, pointed out that the tie-up would
help both institutions share their resources for the common goal of
bringing relief to the diseased. Scientists across the nations
coming together with mutual trust and support for better health of
mankind. According to Dr. Sanjeevi, under the Indo-Swedish agreement
on co-operation in science and technology, enormous opportunities
for institutional level collaborations and funding of scientific
venture will be possible. It is agreed that the undertakings of CMC
and KI would comply with all recognised international laws,
regulations and guidelines in the relevant fields, such as UNESCO
Declaration on Ethics. The MoU is valid for a period of five years.
In the meantime Dr. C.B. Sanjeevi has been appointed as a visiting
was the first low income country to purchase national access
to the Cochrane library, considered to be one of the biggest
digital libraries in the world. The library provides
anyone in India complementary access to the single most
reliable source for evidence on the effects of healthcare
interventions. The free access to the library helps bring
evidence-based medicine to the forefront of medical practice
Begins Mission Workshops
its first Missions Workshop on April 20, 2008 in the Senate Hall. About 50
delegates from various mission bodies attended the workshop, which
addressed the practical problems encountered by mission hospitals in
India. Many of them are facing difficulty in remaining viable and
relevant and urgent steps are needed to restore and strengthen them.
At the outset the delegates were encouraged to voice their
expectations from the workshop. They unanimously agreed that they
were keen to get to know, interact, partner and network with one
another. Is Christian Medical mission relevant? Are the existing
mission hospitals relevant? How can we become relevant? These were
some of the issues discussed. According to Dr. Vinod Shah, co-ordinator
for Distance Education in CMC, unless mission hospitals become the
custodians of true caring they will become a forgotten entity.
Faculty from CMC, Christian Institute of Management, Christian
Medical Association of India, Evangelical Medical Fellowship of
India and others led the sessions.
The mission representatives appealed to CMC to look into the urgent
need for networking the Christian mission hospitals. We thank our
Lord and Saviour The Lord Jesus Christ for His abundant grace and
look forward to continue the good work that He has begun.
is first to receive the GurkulJyoti Award.
The GurukulJyoti Award for excellence in education is aimed at
promoting and nurturing excellence in education through identifying,
encouraging and honoring all the educational instituted that have
dedicated themselves to the lofty task of pursuing excellence.
The Christian Medical College, Vellore is honored to receive the
first award as the best medical college in India. The award
was presented to Director George Chandy by R. C. Lahoti, Former
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India in a ceremony in New
Delhi on February 25, 2007.
Lodgings for International Students
The Manis (r.) at the dedication
ceremony for the new student hostel.
Dr. Mani M. Mani, Alumnus of the Batch of 1955 served in CMC in the
Department of Plastic Surgery and later worked for several years in
the University of Kansas. Dr. Mani arranged a MOU between CMC
Vellore and the University of Kansas. While doing this, he saw a
need for accommodation for international students who come to do
electives in CMC. Dr. & Mrs. Mani and the Modayil family responded
to the need in true CMC fashion, by planning an International
Students Home and by donating the funds needed for the facility.
The construction of the Modale Mani International Students Home has
been completed and the facility was dedicated on 3rd February 2007
at 11.30 a.m.
This facility is now available for occupation. Priority will be for students from the University of Kansas.
Dr. Mani (r.) and Mrs. Rebecca Mani
cut the ribbon to open the new Modale House at CMC as Director
George Chandy waits inside to greet them.
The Madras Medical Mission instituted the ‘MMM Award for Excellence
in Healthcare’ as part of its Silver Jubilee Celebrations which has
been awarded to our institution.
We thank the Lord Almighty for this prestigious award which will be
a source of encouragement for all of us.
With warm regards,
(For more information about the award, follow this
link: MMM Award (pdf
The Corner Stone
for the new CON is Laid
February 3, 2007
was a typical bright and warm day in Vellore. Several hundred nurses,
professors of nursing, nursing students and their colleagues and friends from
the Christian Medical College assembled at 9:30 in the morning under a colorful
awning in a field a few hundred yards east of the main hospital campus. A
similar gathering had taken place in the same spot some three years earlier. At
that time, the occasion was the “turning of the sod” or groundbreaking as we
call it, for the new College of Nursing. This time, we re-assembled to lay the
cornerstone for that long-awaited development.
With a backdrop of coconut palms swaying in the breeze, the
audience listened to remarks by Dr. George Chandy; Dean Bharathy Jacob; the Rev.
Aruldhas, Chaplain; Mrs. Edwina Scudder-Youth, Vellore Board Chair; and yours
truly among others. The Rev. Graham Nichols, a frequent Vellore visitor from
Australia, led the dedication prayer.
The years between groundbreaking and cornerstone laying
have been filled with fundraising and negotiations with local public
authorities. Questions were raised about the density of CMC buildings on its
urban campus, and these issues affected discussions over further construction on
the newly acquired land. Now, Dr. George Chandy, Director of CMC and Dr.
Selvakumar, General Superintendent, are confident that the main obstacles have
been cleared away and construction will begin this year on the first phase of
the new campus. The first building constructed will be the educational building
containing classrooms, laboratories and offices. The chapel will be included in
the first phase.
It is good news that construction will begin soon.
However, further donations are needed to minimize the debt the College will
carry, and the more money that is raised, the sooner it is likely that the new
hostels for nursing students will be constructed as the second phase.
The above item is the last entry of
President Lou Knowles' Blog, written during his January visit to the Christian
Medical College. For the rest of his entries, follow
who India Today's Special Women's Issue picked as Smart & Sassy from
(Click on this thumbnail)
CMC Develops Its Own Smart Card
CMC's Computerized Hospital
Information Processing Service (CHIPS) has developed a
debit card (CHRIS card) for patients to use for health
care in the hospital.
Click here to
read about it.
'Woman of the Year' at Asian Achievers Awards 2006 in
the UK Goes to CMC Alumna
Dr. Usha Vaskar (Usha Menon) batch
of 1979-80, currently Senior Lecturer and Director of
the Gynaecological Cancer Research Unit in the UCL
Institute for Women's Health, UK, has received the award
of 'Woman of the Year' at the Asian Achievers Awards.
The award recognises Usha's contribution to medical
research and specifically her role during the last
decade in research in ovarian cancer screening.
CMC Expands Its Help to Children
George Chandy, Director of CMC, has signed a Memorandum
of Understanding between CMC and the Hope House, an
orphanage in Tamil Nadu. Under the agreement, CMC will
provide free health care to the children of the
orphanage and well as it staff. The Hope House
newsletter announcing the agreement is linked
CMC's Waste Management Project becomes
self-sustaining in 5 months. Read The Hindu's coverage
of the story.
Read testimony from a Canadian woman about the
exceptional care she received at CMC.
CMC's Student Selection
Injunction Petition against CMC Dismissed
The Sub-court Vellore
today dismissed after due hearing the applications filed
by the Bishop of Tirunelveli Diocese and three others
against CMC restraining them from implementing or
enforcing the resolution passed on 19th and 20th January
2006 with regard to the selection of candidates for the
MBBS Course from out of the Christian Community for the
academic year 2006 –2007 and any modification thereof.
As a result the exparte
injunction granted by the Sub-court Vellore on May 5,
2006 against CMC stands dissolved. The entrance
examination for admission to undergraduate courses for
the year 2006-2007 commenced and concluded on May 26,
We thank God for His faithfulness at this time of
anxiety. May His Name be glorified always.
A Message from the
Director of CMC
May 10, 2006
Committee for the Common Entrance Test for Private
Professional Colleges in Tamil Nadu has been set up to
ensure that Entrance Tests are conducted in a fair and
transparent manner as directed by the Hon’ble Supreme
Court of India. The Member Secretary of this Committee
has advised us to appear before the Committee to seek
permission for having our own admission procedure for
the academic year 2006-2007.
Please uphold the whole selection process in prayer.
With warm regards,
TELEMEDICINE PROGRAM IN FULL SWING
CMC's Telemedicine has started in
ernest. Communications have been established with several hospitals,
including Lady Willindon Hospital, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, and
Basil Mission Hospital, Gadag, Karnataka. The program has already
telecast a Seminar on Bird Flu and weekly meetings held by the six
surgery departments. CMC has just finished successful trial runs
with Amritha Institute of Medical Sciences, Cochin, and Narayana
So said David T. Hopper,
Consul General of the US Consulate in Chennai, India. Speaking at
the inauguration of the ASHA Education Building Extension at CMC,
Mr. Hopper noted that CMC has been receiving ASHA Grants through the
Vellore Christian Medical College Board (USA) since 1982. ASHA had
so far provided $8.7 million to the institution. The new addition to
the ASHA building was financed by CMC but the original ASHA
Building, erected in 1992, was paid for, in part, by an ASHA grant.
CMC Alumnus in the USA
Ajit Varki, CMC alumnus, MBBS batch of 1968 has been elected to the
Institute of Medicine (IOM), the arm of the National Academy of Sciences
that is both an honorific society and an advisory body on health and
health policy matters.
The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National
Academy of Sciences to honor professional achievement in the health
sciences and to serve as a national resource for independent analysis
and recommendations on issues related to medicine, biomedical sciences,
After his undergraduate education at the Christian Medical College in
Vellore, India, Ajit trained at the University of Nebraska, and
Washington University in St. Louis. He is board-certified in Internal
Medicine, Hematology, and Oncology. Dr. Ajit Varki is on the faculty of
the University of California San Diego (UCSD). He is Co-Director of the
Glycobiology Research and Training Center and Associate Dean for
Physician-Scientist Training at UCSD and is Executive Editor of the
textbook Essentials of Glycobiology. He serves as Coordinator for the
multidisciplinary UCSD Project for Explaining the Origins of Humans, and
is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the
American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of
American Physicians. Ajit has served as Chief Editor of the Journal of
Clinical Investigation, and is recipient of an NIH MERIT award, an
American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award, and the Karl Meyer Award
of the Society for Glycobiology. His research focuses on the biology of
sialic acids, with an emphasis on unique aspects of human evolution.
Students of the University of Kansas Get
the Opportunity to Spend Time at CMC
The University of Kansas School of Medicine has instituted a new
scholarship, The Robinson Scholarship, named for
Dr. David W Robinson MD, Professor of
Plastic Surgery at the University. The scholarship will allow students
from the schools of medicine, nursing and allied health to spend 4 to 8
weeks at CMC. Dr. Mani Mani, a CMC alumni and frequent contributor to
our website and e-newsletter, has written about the scholarship and its
first recipient, Chad Michael Yeager. Follow
this link to read
Dr. Abraham Verghese, best-selling
author of My Own Country and Director of the Center for Medical
Humanities and Ethics, University of Texas Health Science Center
at San Antonio, joined with the Christian Medical College to
hold a Clinical Ethics Conference in Vellore, India. Read
excerpts from his interview
about the conference in The
India Today Honors Two
Members of CMC's Staff
one of its special issue, focusing on the youth of the country, India
Today named Mrs. Mercy Jesudoss (pictured here) an Angel of Mercy for
her outstanding work with diabetics. A nurse, trained at CMC, and on
its staff, she was one of the first diabetes nurse educators from CMC,
In another of its special issue honoring
30 women in India whose achievements have stood out above the norm,
India Today has chosen Dr. Prema Dhanraj, the Head of the Plastic
Surgery Department at CMC, as one of the 30. Dr. Dhanraj's life is a
gleaming example of the ability to fight against adversity to make a
difference to others.
Click on the above image
to see each full page devoted to these women in India Today.
Paediatric Orhopaedic Society of North American holds first Indian
workshop at CMC
The prestigious POSNA (Paediatric
Orthopaedic Society of North America) body held the first ever workshop
in India along with the POSI (Paediatric Orthopaedic Society of India)
at CMC Vellore on 7th and 8th February 2006, under the Chairmanship of
Dr. VrishaMadhuri, Head Department of Orthopaedics and Dr. Sanjeev
Sabharwal, Head Department of Paediatric Orthopaedics, New Jersey
A total of 246 delegates participated in
the workshop. Dr.George Chandy, Director welcomed the gathering and Dr.
Jayaprakash Muliyil, Principal, felicitated the faculty at the
inauguration on the 7th February. Dr.M.V. Daniel former Head of
Orthopaedics Unit II and Department of Orthopaedics was the Chief guest.
A total of 9 national and international faculty participated. Workshop
highlighted aspects of paediatric trauma and infection including recent
advances in paediatric fracture fixation and common pitfalls in
management of paediatric trauma and infection.
Fourth CMC Winter Symposium
The fourth Winter Symposium will be held in Scudder Auditorium on December
15 and 16, 2005. This Symposium brings together basic and clinical
scientists, from India and other parts of the world, who use molecular tools
to investigate diseases of the digestive system. This year, the Symposium is
supported by the Indo/US Science & Technology Forum of the Department of
Science &Technology, Government of India. A stellar cast of speakers will
participate in this Symposium.stellar cast of speakers will participate in this Symposium. The speakers
· Prof. Michael Zasloff, Dean of Translational
Research at Georgetown University, Washington and founder of Magainin
· Elwyn Elias, Director of the Liver Unit at the
Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, UK and President of the British
Society of Gastroenterology this year.
· Premkumar Reddy, Director of the Fels Institute for
Cancer Research and Molecular Biology, Temple University School of Medicine,
Philadelphia, USA and founder of Onconova Therapeutics and Founder Editor of
· Henry Binder, Professor of Medicine, Section of
Digestive Diseases, Yale University School of Medicine, USA and formerly
Director, General Clinical Research Center, Yale University.
· Mary Estes, Professor of Molecular Virology and
Medicine, Baylor College School of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.
· David Brown, Director, Enteric, Respiratory &
Neurological Virus Laboratory, Health Protection Agency, Colindale, UK.
· V. Ganapathy, Regent's Professor and Chairman,
Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Medical College of Georgia,
· Arun Sanyal, Charles Caravati Professor of
Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA.
· Lopa Mishra, Distinguished Professor of Surgical
Sciences & Medicine, Lombardi Cancer Center & Georgetown University, USA.
· Ian Sanderson, Professor and Head, Department of
Gastroenterology, Queen Mary's & London University, London, UK.
· Kirti Shetty, Medical Director, Liver
Transplantation, Georgetown University, Washington, USA.
· Saul Karpen, Director, Texas Children Liver Center,
Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, USA.
· Jacob George, Head, Gastroenterology and Hepatology,
Westmead Hospital, Sydney, Australia.
· Satyajit Rath, National Institute of Immunology,
· Apurva Sarin, National Center for Biological
· T. Rajkumar, Scientific Director and Head,
Molecular Oncology, Cancer Institute, Adyar, Chennai.
· B.S. Ramakrishna, Professor of Gastroenterology,
· Priya Abraham, Professor of Virology, CMC, Vellore.
· Anna B Pulimood, Professor of Pathology, CMC,
· C.E. Eapen, Professor of Gastroenterology, CMC,
· Anup Ramachandran, Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry,
The sessions at the symposium will deal with the intestine
and the luminal flora, new insights into liver disease, advances in Viral
Hepatitis, understanding Cancers of the digestive tract and advances in
gastrointestinal immunity. All the lectures will discuss the basics of the
topic and highlight recent advances in molecular understanding of cellular
and microbial processes.
All those interested in attending individual lectures are
encouraged to do so. For registration for one or both days of the symposium,
please contact the Conference Secretariat. Transport is arranged from
Hospital to College and back approximately 5 times during the day in order
to accommodate people in the hospital campus who wish to attend lectures at
Conference Secretariat: Department of Gastrointestinal
Sciences, Christian Medical College, Vellore.
The Indian Government Funds It's
First Center for Adult
Stem Cell Research at CMC
APJ Abdul Karam Lays the Corner Stone
An Open Letter from Director George Chandy
1, 2005, was a very important day in the history of our institution as
we welcomed His Excellency Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam to CMC. He delivered the
first Dr. Ida S. Scudder Founder’s Day Oration and unveiled the plaque
for India’s first Centre for Stem Cell Research. The Government of
India has chosen CMC as the site for the centre and has approved 18
crores (equivalent to 3.9 million USD) for the first three years.
In his speech,
His Excellency reminded the country of the dedicated service rendered by Dr.
Ida S. Scudder, and praised CMC for continuing the good work. He commended
CMC for its excellent human resources, for employing over 5,500 and for
reaching out to over 4,000 out-patients and 2000 in-patients every day. His
Excellency called upon CMC to help develop a vaccine for HIV/AIDS. The
President said “An effective vaccine that can prevent this disease will be a
cost-effective tool for control of infectious diseases.” He also urged CMC
to concentrate on finding a solution for the treatment of mentally
challenged children, which, he said,” is not being looked at in an
The President of India called for collaborative action
among healthcare personnel, doctors, researchers, and pharmaceutical
companies in the private and public sectors to accomplish the mission of
preventing tuberculosis through research and development. “The combined
action of surveillance, detection and disciplined treatment has to work
together to ensure faster cure of existing cases,” he said.
The President of
India was with us from 12:30 p.m. to 1.40 p.m. He was welcomed by the
student representatives from Scudder School, Vidyalayam and Christian
Medical College. The function was attended by representatives of the staff,
students, retired staff, local dignitaries, and local government officials.
He was very keen to interact with the children from Vidyalayam & Ida Scudder
school and students from CMC. Andrew, a Physiotherapy student asked
President Abdul Kalam “Politics and science seldom go together. How do you
reconcile between the two?” for which he answered “You have to market them
to the political leaders. Politics and science co-exist.” About 260 million
people live below the poverty line and several solutions are being evolved
to the problem of poverty by scientists and technologists. Such technologies
are given as a document to the nation, he said.
The CMC community honored the President of India and conferred on him the
title “Fellow of CMC”. Dr. Cornelius Walter, Chairman, CMC Vellore
Association & Council read the citation and gave the medal to His Excellency
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. He was also presented an embroidered scroll with the
citation as well as a memento.
Aradhana, a child from
Vidyalayam asked “how did you make it from Rameswaram (his birth place) to
the Rashtrapathi Bhavan (President’s Palace in New Delhi). Going nostalgic,
he recalled the early tutorship he received from his teacher who took him
out and showed him how birds such as seagulls flew. The teacher also told
“Everyone should have a goal to fly in life.” Ida Scudder School student
John asked him “How the students could stand by truth under circumstances
leading to the murder of Manjunath and Dubey?” Dr. Kalam reminded the
students of the services rendered by Helen Keller who herself suffered from
disabilities. “Like Keller, you should not get discouraged, but ensure that
those who fight for Truth are protected. Do not allow the problem to defeat
you, but defeat the problem”, he said.
We had arranged a live telecast of
the entire function at many locations at the hospital campus, Vidyalayam &
Ida Scudder School. There was also a live telecast for the entire District
of Vellore using the local cable operator service which was viewed by
approximately 4 million people. The news about the President’s visit to CMC
has received extensive coverage in all the leading national and local
newspapers (both English and Vernacular) and has been telecast in electronic
media (Doordarshan, Sun News & NDTV news channel).
Mala Sen, a student of
Scudder School presented a portrait to the President. Rahul Gupta, Student
President gave His Excellency a collection of poems and questions sent in by
children of the schools in Vellore. The President shared some lighter
moments with the school kids who were seated in the front rows of the
Scudder Auditorium and the Choir, talking to them and posing for
I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the grand
success of this function. I thank our alumni, friends, well-wishers who
remembered us in their prayers for the success of this big event. Above all,
I thank God for His richest blessing upon the institution.
George M. Chandy
First 3-Tesla MRI in India is dedicated at CMC
The Christian Medical College, Vellore, has acquired the
first 3-Tesla MRI in India. November 18, 2005. Below is Dr. George Chandy's
letter about the inauguration.
I am happy to share with you the inaugural function of the 3-Tesla MRI
(Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scanner held on November 12, 2005. The function
was attended by the Minister for State-Railway, Mr. R. Velu, Vellore MLA
(Member of the Legislative Assembly, Tamil Nadu), Mr. C. Gnanasekaran,
Vellore District Collector, Mr. S. Gopalakrishnan, our administrators,
faculty, staff, students and visitors.
Union Defence Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee dedicated this Rs. 10-crore
diagnostic equipment to the nation, first of its kind in the country. After
unveiling the plaque, he described CMC as a medical institution that
symbolised the aspirations of the local population and offered noble service
to mankind. The minister said “the dedication of CMC founder Dr. Ida Scudder
was being exemplified in the best possible way”.
“It is simply mind boggling to understand the steady growth of the hospital,
which has been constantly introducing new facilities towards providing
better patient care. By doing this, CMC has set high standards in the field
of healthcare delivery system”, he said. He went on to say “private
initiative in healthcare, which had increased considerably, should be
Rekha Cherian, Head of the Department of Radiodiagnosis said that the
3-Tesla state-of-the-art MRI scanner would enable the department to perform
excellent studies of the whole body and not only of the brain and the
joints. 1-Tesla is equivalent to about 10,000 times the earth’s magnetic
field. Most of the systems in the country vary between 0.2 Tesla and 1.5
Tesla. She said the scanner will facilitate quick scanning without
compromising on quality. Brain images could be obtained within 10 seconds,
The enhanced capabilities of the 3 Tesla system produce outstanding images
of the structure of the human body, often achieved in very short times. In
addition, there are also techniques that allow chemical analysis of
substances in some areas (MR Spectroscopy), cardiac studies, analysis of
function, quantification of blood flow, depiction of blood vessels and
mapping of nerve fibres in the brain. While some of these techniques are
possible and available at lower magnetic field strengths, the high field
strength of this machine improves the information generated.
The 3 Tesla MRI system will help CMC significantly enhance the diagnostic
and research capabilities of the hospital.
I praise God for providing us this state-of-the-art technology through which
we can carry on our healing ministry for the welfare of our people and
nation. I thank all the staff and well-wishers for their untiring efforts to
make this event a success.
With warm regards,
George M. Chandy
Health Lead Focus
On November 11 and 12, CMC held a special conference to
prepare, enable and train the participants to be leaders par
excellence through their efficiency and effectiveness in healthcare.
For more details, follow
INAUGURATION OF THE ASHA EDUCATION BUILDING EXTENSION:
An Open Letter from Dr. George Chandy
November 17, 2005
ASHA Education Building Extension was inaugurated by the
Consul General David T. Hopper, Consulate of the United States of America,
Chennai on Tuesday, November 15, 2005. The Consul General graced the
occasion with his wife Mrs. Susan Woolley Hopper, a retired Foreign Service
Staff Officer and his 22-year old daughter, Ms. Ann Hopper, a 2005 graduate
of the University of Virginia. Mr. N. Ramesh, Senior Project Development
Specialist from United States Agency for International Development (USAID),
New Delhi was also present for this function.
his speech Mr. Hopper said, “As a teaching institution, CMC has become a
role model for the world. Balancing the choice of use of apt technology in
medicine, the institution has stood by the poor and needy as a pioneering
institution.” CMC is an excellent model in Indo-U.S. collaboration and is
making use of the facilities provided by USAID via. ASHA (American Schools
and Hospitals Abroad) in the areas of healthcare, education, and research,
he added. Further he said, “These are exciting times in Indo-U.S. relations”
since the U.S. and Indian Governments had established strong relations in
several sectors. Terming his visit to the CMC as “very exciting,” he praised
CMC for maintaining good ties with many leading institutions in the US.
Ramesh in his address appreciated CMC for maintaining its leadership role.
He pointed out that the USAID was in the process of funding a pneumatic
system. He briefed the audience about USAID’s assistance to various projects
in the areas of economic growth, disaster management and healthcare in
Initially, the ASHA Education Building was made possible
by the generosity of the American People through USAID/ASHA through the
Vellore Christian Medical College Board in U.S.A. and matching support from
Christian Medical College and "Friends of Vellore" in U.S.A. and other
countries around the world. This was inaugurated by the then Hon. Shri. M.L.
Fotedar, Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, on
June 26, 1992 in the presence of Mrs. Ernestine Heck, the then Consul
General, Consulate of the United States of America, Chennai.
The General Pathology department (the only laboratory in
ASHA building prior to expansion) has processed & reported on 261,184
biopsy/surgical specimens and 141,224 cytology specimens.
The lower floors also houses medical and nursing
libraries with lecture halls. The medical library has been computerized with
the help of USAID/ASHA funds. It also houses the ASHA Computer Lab to
benefit the faculty, postgraduate and undergraduate students. Each year, on
an average around 1500 students (medical, nursing, allied health sciences)
make use of the facilities available in this building. Regular lectures,
conferences, seminars, quality circle meetings,
continuing medical education & training programs, workshops, family medicine
course lectures, distance learning material preparation, personal contact
programs, HIV/AIDS training programs, etc. are held in this building. The
basement of this building is used by the Clinical Epidemiology Unit which
coordinates several national and international research programs.
Today, the present Extension consisting of 5 floors of
laboratories (Clinical Pathology, Clinical Biochemistry, Clinical
Microbiology (2 floors), and Clinical Virology) has been funded by the
institution for the purpose of having state-of-the-art infrastructure in
clinical laboratories and for teaching and training of health professionals
in this country and across the world. These laboratories and pharmacy will
be connected with the rest of the hospital with a Pneumatic System. This
will facilitate transport of samples and its results, prescriptions and its
dispensing faster within the hospital campus.
This 9 storey building houses 6 floors of clinical
laboratories which currently perform 51,99,592 laboratory tests per year.
Additionally, these laboratories run evaluation programs for the National
Drugs Controller of India prior to licensure of commercial assays. They
serve as reference laboratories for quality assurance & control for other
laboratories across the country and a few SAARC countries.
I thank God for His blessings as we continue to serve to
glorify His name.
With warm regards,
George M. Chandy
CMC Ventures into Telemedicine
An official Memorandum of Understanding between CMC and the Indian
Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was signed by Director, Dr.George
M. Chandy, in the presence of ISRO Chairman, Dr. Madhavan Nair on
Nov. 11, 2004 to launch the Telemedicine Project. Through this
project, CMC will be linked to five Mission Hospitals initially. The
peripheral centers chosen are for this purpose are Lady Wellington
Hospital, Manali, Makunda Christian Leprosy & General Hospital,
Assam, Basel Mission Hospital, Gadag, Duncan Hospital, Raxual, and
Jalna Mission Hospital, Maharashtra.
ISRO will provide the equipment and the
satellite link for telemedicine. The commercial rate of such a link is
one million US dollars per year and the cost of hardware provided is
over Rs. 75 lakhs. This cost is being waived
by ISRO so as to provide better healthcare in
remote areas and to promote medical education through the recently
deployed EDUSAT. CMC feels privileged to have this opportunity. The
utilization of this facility will be closely monitored by ISRO on a
monthly basis and once this project turns out to be successful, there is
scope for further expansion with possibilities to reach out to 30
hospitals in the North East initially, and later, to cover more parts of
Geographical distance to mission hospitals
will be transcended with this telemedicine link. This link will also be
a facility to beam Lectures, Interactive Clinics, CME, Quality circle
and other activities with the peripheral hospitals and other centers of
excellence in the country.
CMC Sends a
Team to Earthquake Area
earthquake in the Kashmir valley has also affected the Indian part of it
quite substantially and human suffering has not actually been reflected in
the media reports. CMC's team of 2 Orthopedic surgeons and an Anesthetist
is there in the thick of things trying to do the best for these people.
The 3 member team comprising of Dr.
V.T.K. Titus, Dr. James George, and
Dr. Kamal Kumar
reached Srinagar and have proceeded to Baramulla.
The World Health Organization recognizes the Department of Emergency
Medicine at CMC
World Health Organization (WHO) recently recognized the
Department of Emergency Medicine in the Christian Medical
College and Hospital in Vellore as the South Asian Regional
Training Center in Emergency Medicine. The first batch or 14
emergency medicine trainees have already started the 8-week
The first academic department
of Emergency Medicine to be established in India, the Department, under the
leadership of its Head, Dr. Suresh David (pictured here) just hosted the
seventh Nation Conference of Emergency Medicine (EMCON 2005) at CMC. It is
the first time the conference has been held in a small town. Over 600
delegates from India and abroad participated in the Conference.
A Major Collaboration for CMC
CMC has signed a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the
National University of Singapore (NUS). The MOU focuses on
collaborative research; student, clinical and academic exchanges; and
joint seminars. Here is what NUS has to say about CMC.
From National University of
Singapore's Press Release
National University of Singapore signs a Memorandum of
Understanding on Monday 28 June 2004 with the Christian
Medical College and Hospital (CMCH), Vellore , South
India . As an important component of the MOU involves
clinical activities, the National University Hospital
will sign a separate agreement with CMCH at the same
This is the first medical college in India to
collaborate with the NUS Faculty of Medicine. CMCH is
best known for its belief that to improve health, they
have to start at community level, offering affordable
CMC has scored a number of world firsts:
1948: First reconstructive surgery on leprosy patients
in the world
1996: First trans-septal carotid stenting procedure in
1996: First trans-jugular mitral valvuloplaty procedure
in the world
Why an MoU with a Medical College in India
The Faculty of Medicine in supporting the NUS
drive to become a world-class research university, sees
the need for strong and comprehensive relationships with
major medical institutions from around the world. This
will boost its educational, clinical and scientific
potential. NUS recognises the potential of an Indian
medical institution in this area.
This is one of India 's best medical
institutions and has been a pioneer and leader in
medical education, clinical services and research. In
particular, it has a unique and rigorous admission
system, and a world wide support through a strong and
supportive alumni network and “Friends of Vellore”.
The MOU is designed to achieve:
Undergraduate and post graduate student
Clinical and academic exchanges and joint
Signing the MOU on behalf of NUS will be Prof John
Wong , Dean, NUS Faculty of Medicine. And for CMCH, will
be Prof George Chandy, Director.
July 22nd, CMC Celebrated the Golden
Jubilee of the Community Health Department. For the event,
Director George Chandy wrote:
One of the major areas of
our work has been in Community
Development. Dr. Ida S. Scudder started
which have now become a model for the
developing world. Community Health work
was started in an organized fashion 50
years ago. This year, we celebrate the
Golden Jubilee of our work in the
It will be our privilege
to welcome the
Honorable Finance Minister, Shri P.
Chidambaram, Government of India,
on Saturday, July 23, 2005. He will be our Chief Guest for the
Community Health Golden Jubilee
and will inaugurate
the Dr. V. Benjamin Outpatient Block
in the CHAD
With warm regards,
George M. Chandy
New Resources for the Battle
against HIV and other Infectious Diseases
This past July, CMC celebrated the
opening of two important and closely-related new medical initiatives: The
Infectious Disease Training and Research Center (IDTRC) and the Prof.
Benjamin M. Pulimood Infection and Immunity Laboratory (BMPIIL). Dr. Dilip
Mathai and his colleagues in Medicine I are the initiators of this new
training and research capability. These physical facilities are the first of
their kind in South Asia. Read Dr. George Chandy's remarks about these new
facilities. Click here.
CMC teams with Norwegian university to help two Africa
On April 16, 2004, CMC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the
Haukeland University in Norway in a unique partnership to train healthcare
professionals in Ethiopia and Tanzania. The first project is designed to
train Ethiopian Surgeons in reconstructive and hand surgery.
CMC Wins Government Award
The Indian Government has awarded CMC India's best employer award, Sensitive
to the Cause of Social Security in the best progressive employer category.
Congratulations to CMC!
Christian Medical College is ranked among the best
hospitals in India.
In an issue (1/18/04) of THE WEEK, India's No. 1 Weekly News
Magazine, ranks Christian Medical College's Vellore hospital # 4 on the
nation's 10 best hospitals list.
World Diabetes Foundation Grant
The Department of Endocrinology, CMC, Vellore,
the SLR & TC, Karigiri and the CMAI have jointly received a
grant from the World Diabetes Foundation. With the rapid increase in the
prevalence of diabetes - almost 12% in Urban and 3% in the rural
areas, there is a need for action, especially in remote areas
where health care is not easily available. This project will
concentrate on 100 CMAI Hospitals working particularly from the
States with lower GDP, to train a team of Doctors, Nurse
Educators, Foot care - Podiatrists and Ortho-shoe makers - and
build up multiple integrated diabetes clinics. The Endocrinology
Department at CMC will train Doctors and Nurse Educators and SLR
& TC will train Podiatrists and Ortho-shoe makers.
In addition to CMC's Endocrinology Department
being the first medical college in India to receive a WDF grant,
Karigiri is the first leprosy
institution to receive a WDF Grant to transfer its expertise for
foot care from the leprosy affected to diabetes affected. Very a
few institutions across the world have received WDF Grants to
Tripartite Agreement with other International Medical Institutions
Dr. George Chandy announced a memorandum of understanding
with the University of California, San Diego and the National
University of Singapore. Clink here for
Report on Second Annual Winter Symposium at CMC - Dec.
18th & 19th
Established last year as a means to give
graduates, doctoral and postdoctoral fellows an opportunity to
listen to and interact with world renowned scientists in their
field, the Winter Symposium this year at CMC focused on
Nuerosciences and Psychiatry on December 18th and 19th, 2003.
For more information, follow this link:
Doctor Receives Prestigious US Award!
Dr.Dilip Mathai, Prof. & Head of
Medicine Unit I has been awarded the Fellowship of the Infectious
Diseases Society of America (FIDSA) in recognition of professional
excellence and outstanding contribution in the field of infectious
diseases. This is the first time an Indian outside of the U.S.
has been honored in this manner. The Board
congratulates him for his outstanding work!
College of Nursing Becomes a
Player on the Global Health Scene!
The World Health Organization
(WHO) has designated the College of Nursing at CMC a WHO
collaborating centre for nursing and midwifery development, the
first in India.
"A WHO collaborating centre is a national institution designated
by the Director-General of the World Health Organization to form
part of an international collaborative network carrying out
activities in support of WHO’s mandate for international health
work and its programme priorities."
Agency Ranks CMC Hospital H-1
The Investment Information & Credit Rating Agency
has given CMC it's highest ranking, H-1, which indicates the institution has resources
and processes consistent with those required for
delivering the highest quality of patient care.
Maintains Its Top Ranking in India Today
The 2003 India Today ranking of
the best medical colleges in India, again places the Christian
Medical College in the top 5 at # 2, second only to AIIMS in New