Dr. Krishna Kumar with Amrita Hospital, Kochi has been granted the prestigious Sitaram Jaipuria Foundation Award for Excellence in Medicine and Healthcare. As an internationally renowned cardiologist, Dr. Kumar heads the Department of Paediatric Cardiology and is also a professor with Amrita School of Medicine.
He announced that the entire prize money of ₹50 lakhs ($60,000) would be donated to the Amrita Heart Care Foundation, which funds heart surgery for needy children at the Paediatric Heart Centre of Amrita Hospital. The foundation is a non-profit public charitable trust supported by private and corporate donors.
“I consider this award as a recognition for the paediatric heart team at Amrita Hospital, Kochi. I am incredibly fortunate to represent exceptionally talented and dedicated colleagues who work in harmony with the singular purpose of delivering the very best outcomes to every single child. This award is dedicated to them,” said Dr. Kumar.
The annual awards recognize and felicitate distinguished medical professionals for their outstanding accomplishments in the medical and healthcare space and their pursuit of excellence in medical leadership for the benefit of society at large.
“There are others that I am deeply indebted to, as well. Firstly, none of what has been accomplished would have been possible without Amma, Mata Amritanandamayi, whose visionary foresight enabled establishment of the Amrita Institute as an icon of advanced healthcare that is also accessible and affordable,” added Dr. Kumar.
“I am indebted to my mentors, of whom there have been many in this journey. However, the one that I always remember is the late Prof. Raj Tandon, my role model as a professional and as a person. I am also full of gratitude to my family without whom my life’s journey would lose all its lustre and meaning.”
A communication addressed to Dr. Kumar from the Secretariat of the Sitaram Jaipuria Foundation said that the Jury and Governing Council is conferring the award in recognition of his remarkable contribution to medicine and healthcare in India in conjunction with compassionate and selfless service to society.
Dr. Kumar helped build the foundations in India of the relatively new speciality of paediatric cardiology by developing a world-class program amidst resource constraints. He has enabled a culture of cohesive multidisciplinary teamwork, and the training programs at Amrita Hospital have contributed to a substantial proportion of the workforce of paediatric cardiac professionals in the country.
Additionally, a platform has been created for contextual research that has helped address key challenges pertinent to low-resource environments and provided the material for widespread education through teaching courses, workshops, etc. Through sustained advocacy, Dr. Kumar has engaged the Government of India and selected philanthropic organisations in the mission of providing accessible and affordable care to children with heart disease.
The Paediatric Cardiac program was founded at Amrita Hospital in 1998, recognising the pressing need for quality care for children with heart disease at an affordable cost. It is perhaps the first and most comprehensive model in India of a dedicated and cohesive team focused in this area.
The program is now recognised as one of the leading paediatric heart programs in the country and is a preferred destination for patients from across India, as well as other countries in South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.