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Dr T.S.Surendran is honoured with a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by nation’s prestigious medical body.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Strabismus and Peadiatric and Ophthalmology Society of India crowned one of its illustrious members Dr. T.S.Surendran, Director- Peadiatric Ophthalmology & Vice-Chairman, Sankara Nethralaya and President Strabismological Society of India with a “Lifetime achievement award”. The prestigious award was conferred at the Annual Conference of the Strabismus and Peadiatric and Ophthalmology Society of India held on 14th December 2014 at Pushkar, Rajasthan. It would be noteworthy to add here that Dr. T.S.Surendran was honoured as the “Best Doctor for year 2011-12” by the Dr. MGR Medical University.

The entire Sankara Nethralaya family heartily Congratulates and Salutes its esteemed Vice-Chairman on being conferred this great honour and wishes him many more accolades and recognitions in the years to come.

The Hindu

Rotary Club extends a generous gesture to the Corneal Services Department at Sankara Nerthralaya

Rotary Club

The 9th of December 2014 became a red letter day in the annals of Sankara Nethralaya’s history when Rotary International President Gary C K Huang and the first lady Madame Corinna visited the main campus of Sankara Nethralaya to dedicate the prestigious Rotary Global Grant to aid the phenomenal work being carried out at the Dr. G.Sitalakshmi Memorial Clinic for Ocular Surface Disorders. Dr. Geetha Krishnan Iyer, Senior Consultant at the Corneal Services Department gave a befitting start to the day’s function by quoting Martin Luther King’s illustrious lines on being a dedicated fighter for civil rights.

Speaking on the occasion Rtn. Satish Kumar, President Elect, Rotary Club of Guindy observed that the club’s Vision care initiatives have made a modest beginning with Sankara Nethralaya. He added that Sankara Nethralaya’s project on “Prevention and Management of Corneal Blindness due to Ocular Surface Disorders” synchronised perfectly with “Light up – Rotary” the central theme of the Rotary club which had assumed international significance.

Addressing the gathering Dr. Aloysius, Director of International Services, Rotary Club of Penang, who had flown all the way from Penang, Malaysia for the occasion observed that it was a wonderful event which would pave the way for restoring sight for those who had lost this wonderful faculty, he had a high word of praise for the community and relief services rendered by the Rotary Club of Guindy. Reading the Presidential message on behalf of Rotary President Woon Bee Kim, Rotary Club of Alor Star, Rtn. Jaganath Ramaswamy, quoted that they were honoured and thankful to be a part of the international project with Sankara Nethralaya to alleviate pain and suffering due to Ocular Surface Disorders.  Unveiling the Rotary Global Grant plaque in dedication to Dr. G.Sitalakshmi Memorial Clinic for Ocular Surface disorders, along with Dr.SS Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, the Chief Guest of the day, President, Rotary International, Gary CK Huang congratulated Rotary Club of Guindy for their remarkable achievement in mobilizing funds for the project and expressed his readiness to extend all support.

Showering praise on Dr. Geetha Iyer and Dr.Baskar Srinivasan’s contributions to the Cornea dept, Dr S.S Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya, observed that Dr.Prema Padmanabhan, Head of the Cornea department was the Guru to both of them. He gratefully recalled the unflinching support of Rtn.Srikanth’s services to the eye bank, followed by a documentary filmed featuring Rajnikanth highlighting the critical role of eye donation. Touching upon the Mobile Eye Surgical Unit Dr. Badrinath observed  that everyone must have a cherished dream and work ceaselessly towards it. Quoting Mahakavi Bharathiyar’s celebrated quote: இனியொரு விதிசெய்வோம் அதை எந்த நாளும் காப்போம், தனியொருவனுக் குணவிலை யெனில் ஜகத்தினை அழித்திடுவோம். Dr Badrinath made an emphatic remark that “every single human being shall have the right to eyesight”, to the thunderous applause of the audience. Rtn PT Prabhakaran, Director, Rotary International in his message venerated Dr.SS Badrinath as the “Father of Vision Care” and assured that they would work sincerely towards translating his passion to action. The highly absorbing function concluded with a profound vote of thanks by Rtn L Neelakantan, President, Rotary Club of Guindy.

MoU for MBA program jointly by TSNA and Hindustan University


The Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science (HITS) a well known and reputed engineering college enjoying the status of a University and The Sankara Nethralaya Academy (TSNA) an academic arm of the Sankara Nethralaya, a unit of the Medical Research Foundation signed a MoU for jointly conducting a 4 semester “MBA Hospital and Healthcare Management”.

The two collaborating institutions would pool in the expertise and experience in their respective areas to enhance the quality of the management program being offered and make it more beneficial to the students.

While The Sankara Nethralaya Academy would contribute its expertise by way of organizing hospital visits, presenting real case studies, internship programs and lending its vast infrastructure and facilities, Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science would consider, regulate and approve the syllabi and offer better exposure to the latest trends and practices in the industry which would pave way for better campus placements.

The MoU was signed between by Smt. Akila Ganesan, Registrar, The Sankara Nethralaya Academy and by Mr. Ashok Verghese, Director, Hindustan University, Chennai for academic collaboration in the august presence of Dr S S Badrinath, Founder, Sankara Nethralaya, Prof S Ramani, Principal, Mr A Mahalingam , Assistant Registrar,     Ms Sreedevi, Academic Officer, Mr G Senthil Kumar, Program Coordinator, The Sankara Nethralaya Academy and Prof. S. Ramachandran, Vice Chancellor, Dr Yamuna, HOD – Management Studies, Hindustan University, Dr Susan Marthandan, Director, Hindustan Arts & Science College and Dr. G. Srikanth, Director – National Institute of Management Studies.

Medical Errors – A Reality Check

19th Sri V. Venugopal Endowment Lecture

Sankara Nethralaya, true to its tradition, observed the 19th Sri. V.Venugopal Endowment lecture, paying rich tributes to one of its principal architects at the Sri VD Swami Auditorium on 29th November 2014.

The day’s proceedings started with the ceremonial lighting of the Kuthuvillaku by the family members of Sri V.Mohan Rao and the mellifluous rendition by Dr.S Meenakshi, Director – Academics.

While Dr. Shweta Agarwal, Senior Consultant, Corneal Services Department welcomed the gathering and the Chief Guest of the day, Dr Kavitha Kalaivani Natarajan, Senior Consultant, Pediatric Department paid glowing tributes to Sri. V. Venugopal, as a respected business leader of his times, and as a man who made a milestone mark being a prime pillar in the making of Sankara Nethralaya, both of whose lofty ideals synchronised to serve the community.

“Live Losier” meaning “Do no harm” – quoting the Hippocratic Oath that every Physician takes during initiation into Medical profession, Dr.N.Radhika, Senior Consultant, Corneal Services Department introduced the distinguished Chief Guest Dr Bala Ramachandran as a Pediatric Consultant & Head of the Department of Intensive Care & Emergency Medicine, Medical Director, Kanchi Kamakoti CHILDS Trust Hospital. Certified with Fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine from Children’s Medical Center, Dallas and American board of Pediatrics, USA, Dr Bala Ramachandran had special interests in Pediatric Intensive Care, General Pediatrics ,Neonatology while he passionately enjoyed photography and writing. He had to his credit several research papers, presentations and Book Chapters.

Showering encomiums on Sankara Nethralaya for its impeccable services and ideals, Dr Bala Ramachandran in his Presidential address on the critical topic – “Medical Errors – a reality in medicine today” started a torrential pour on the subject from defining medical errors to be errors in delivery of health care whether or not harm occurs, to extensively traverse on the types of errors that occurred in diagnosis, at surgery due to omission or commission, failure of medical equipments, errors due to medication that triggered adverse effect that may be preventable or non preventable.

Quoting landmark report “To err is human: Building a Safer Health System (2000)” by the Institute of Medicine and the Journal of American Medical Association, Dr Bala Ramachandran, put forth statistics that in the USA alone close to 400000 deaths last year occurred due to medical errors, most of which were preventable. While India lacked such data, medical errors were the third leading cause of death next only to Heart disease or cancer excluding accidents or crimes. He observed that Centre for Disease Control recorded 1 out of 25 hospitalised patients had Hospital acquired infections. Study by panels revealed a startling 5.2 million medical injuries reported in India.

He subtly remarked that while “Risk of harm from air travel was 1 in one million, Risk of harm from health care was 1 in 300”.

He pointed that errors occurred due to “Health care complexity, system and process design, lack of training and human factors”. In India, it was not uncommon to find over worked medical professionals or health care providers. While he admitted that human errors did occur, there was a dire need to change the conditions at work.

Encouraging participation at all levels, setting “safety standards” as administrative goal, Systematic safety processes, follow up of systems and protocols, recognising and learning from mistakes, mandatory reporting system, accountability, Incentives from Government for less error rates, continual training and professional development programs, Clinician and Pharmacists support, governmental support were few methodologies that may be put in place to prevent medical errors, he said.

After an in depth oration, Dr Bala Ramachandran keenly answered questions put forth by the enthusiastic audience.

The most interesting and absorbing day came to an end with a warm Vote of Thanks by Shri V.Govind thanking the Chief guest for his in-depth talk and Dr SS.Badrinath and Sankara Nethralaya for the continued love and high regard shown to his family members.

Ballet of Historic Epics fetch feast for eyes at Atlanta

Historic Epics

Sankara Nethralaya Ophthalmic Mission Trust (SN OM Trust), in an effort to raise funds for the India based non-profitable eye institute Sankara Netralaya, conducted a mesmerizing Dance Festival in Atlanta, on November 16th, 2014. This dance festival featured a garland of fascinating mini ballets in Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi styles and was presented by some of the most talented dancers from Atlanta. Atlanta’s famous Porter Sanford III Performing Arts & Community Center was the venue for this unique event.

The program consisted of 6 beautifully choreographed mini dance ballets. Dr. Ravi Sarma welcomed the donors and talked briefly about Sankara Nethralaya and the great eye care services provided by the same in India. Dr. Seshu Sarma introduced the Dance Ballet and welcomed the audience to the special invocation dance ballet “Swagatham”, beautifully choreographed by Bhavini Rajan of Samarpanam- School of Fine Arts. Sri Yellamraju, the MC for the evening, introduced the next dance ballet “Ganesha Pancharatnam”. Sri Maha Ganesha Pancharatnam was composed by Sri Adi Sankaracharya in the 8th Century. It is a sloka containing five passages on Lord Ganesha (Pancha) which are gems (Ratnam). Ganesha Pancharatnam was preceded by Mallari, an invocatory item, customarily performed when a deity is taken on a procession in the temples.  This Dance Ballet was Choreographed by Smt. Revathi Ramachandran and Smt. Chandrika Chandran and presented by the students of Natyanjali Academy of Dance.

The next dance ballet for the evening was Kumara Sambhavam. This is based on an epic, written by Kalidasa, a great Sanskrit poet. This epic talks about the birth of Kumara (Karthikeya, the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati), and his victory over the Demon Tarakasura. The casting for this dance ballet was exemplary. This ballet was choreographed by Smt. Revathy Komanduri of Sri Vani Dance Academy.

This was followed by the next item “Saptaswara Jhari”. Saptaswaras are the 7 notes. Jhari means, the flowing river. This ballet was written by Dr.Umaiyyunni and sung by Mastero Dr. Mangalampalli Balamurali Krishna. This dance ballet was choreographed by the illustrious Siddarth and Padmaja Kelam and was presented by the students of Kalaivani dance academy. The fifth item for the event was “Siva Panchakshari”. “Namah Sivaya” is a supreme mantra containing 5 holy syllables (panchaaksharas). This ballet invoked and offered salutations to the Perfect God Siva. The audience was spell bound after watching this item. This magnificent item was choreographed by Sri. Sheejith Krishna and was presented by Nritya Sankalpa Dance Academy under the guidance and training by Smt. Savitha Viswanathan.

The last item for the evening was “Sitarama Kalyanam”. The story of Rama and Sita teaches us the three fold Dharma (code of conduct) pertaining to the individual, the family and the society. The Kalyana Utsavam is a symbolic unification of Shiva and Shakti-the Male and Female principles of universe, for the welfare of the community. This colorful ballet was picture perfect. The songs, music and the choreography blended in very well and enthralled the audience. This ballet was choreographed by Smt. Sasikala Penumarthy and was presented by the students of Academy of Kuchipudi Dance. This was followed by the traditional mangalam.

It was a feast to the eyes of the houseful audience to see all performers on stage. A standing ovation with a few minutes of continued applause at the end of the show was a true reflection of the immense appreciation of the audience. Everyone present was in awe and a collective feeling of having witnessed a classic presentation pervaded in the performing arts center. Dr. Sarma thanked all the volunteers and the donors who made this event possible.

The core team of Atlanta branch of SN OM Trust includes Dr. Seshu Sarma (Vice President and trustee), Moorthy Rekapalli (trustee), Ashok Kumar (Member), Sundar Sundararaghavan (Member), Uma Narayan (Member), Raj Rengarajan (Member), Meher Lanka (Member), Krishnadas Pisharodi (Member), Madhu Iyer (Member), Ram Mallappa (Member) and Bob Nayar (Member).

The theme and format of the program was conceived and designed by Dr. Seshu Sarma. The production team of Nritya Kadambam which includes Padma Rallapalli, Lakshmi VedalaSmitha, Yellamraju, Ravi Penumarthi, Mahesh Kommajosyula, Namrata Satuluri, Kamal Satuluri, Malathi Tadavarthi, Raghavababu Tadavarthi and Ramakanth Rallapalli, has put together one of its kind show. The donor response for this event was amazing. For the first time in USA, OM Trust has collected more than 52,000 dollars worth of donation for this noble organization in a single event. This cultural event has set the bar high and the organizers and the audiences are looking forward to many more such great events year after year.

The Week- Nielsen survey declares Sankara Nethralaya as the “Best Hospital in Ophthalmology” for year 2014

Best Hospital in Ophthalmology

The highly prestigious “The Week-Nielsen” survey for rating the best hospitals in the country has declared Sankara Nethralaya as the “Best Hospital in Ophthalmology” once again. The survey was conducted on stringent quality measures by experts, covering 15 cities from September to October 2014. The parameters for selection were quality of patient care, reputation, infrastructure, innovation and environment. It would be noteworthy to mention here that The Week-Hansa research had declared Sankara Nethralaya as the “Best Hospital in Ophthalmology” applying the same parameters for years 2010, 2011, 2012. Now that we have proved ourselves as the best beyond doubt in the national arena, consistently for several years, it is time we geared up for international recognition in the years to come!

Healthcare Quality Management Program Launched by The Sankara Nethralaya Academy on 15.11.2014

Healthcare Quality Management Program

Mr B G Menon, Managing Director – ACME Consulting, Chennai inaugurating the session

The Program started with a warm welcome note and the need for Healthcare Quality in professional managers by Shri A. Mahalingam, Assistant Registrar of the Sankara Nethralaya Academy, he thanked the participants for the overwhelming response for the E – learning and Onsite programs and their confidence in the institution and wished them a wonderful and successful program.

Mr B G Menon,Managing Director – ACME Consulting, India’s largest Healthcare Quality Advisory Mr C S Ramakrishnan, COO of ACME Consulting, Prof S Ramani – Principal, TSNA and Mrs Shyamala Selvaraj, Deputy General Manager – Quality Management and faculty members also participated the program.

About the Program:
This is a first of its kind in the country Certificate Course dedicated to the area of Healthcare Quality, a key concern in Hospitals today. The spurt in medical errors, accidents and high profile cases of negligence has brought the entire healthcare sector under a cloud, negating the tremendous amount of good work actually being done.

This situation can be addressed only by professionalizing Hospital services and making quality as the very basis and crux in every aspect of the healthcare delivery, thereby ensuring Hospitals are safe and patient centric and the treatment provided is effective, producing the desired outcomes.

Realising this most critical need, The Sankara Nethralaya Academy, an academic wing of Sankara Nethralaya, the epitome of healthcare quality in the country, ACME Consulting, India’s largest Healthcare Quality Advisory and Association of Healthcare Providers of India (AHPI), the only countrywide association of Hospitals in the country have joined hands to develop this Certificate Course that will help all categories of hospital staff right from Doctors, Nurses and Administrators to Radiographers, Lab Technicians and other Support Staff to become active participants in the Quality Improvement of their respective Hospitals.

This Course will be conducted at the Sankara Netralaya campus every Saturday afternoon, between 3pm and 6pm over the next 12 weeks.

Around 40 Candidates for onsite and online course registered from reputed healthcare institution both domestic and international.

As part of the program schedule the first session on Introduction in Quality in Healthcare was conducted by Mr C S Ramakrishnan, COO of ACME Consulting, Chennai.

Many online candidates came in online and clarified their queries with the speaker

At the end of the session Mr A Mahalingam thanked the participants and the speaker for his excellent session and also announced that 2nd session on 22.11.2014 will be on Quality & Accreditation in Healthcare as per the planned schedule.

The Sankara Nethralaya Academy Conducted a session on Role of Information and Communications Technology in Healthcare On 15th November 2014

Information and Communications Technology in Healthcare

Mr.S. Sampath Kumar, CITO of Sankara Nethralaya delivering a lecture

The session started with a warm welcome note and the need for supervisory skills in professional managers by Shri A. Mahalingam, Assistant Registrar of the institution, he thanked the participants for the overwhelming response and confidence in the institution and wished them for a wonderful session.

The Sankara Nethralaya Academy organized a session on “ICT in Healthcare”, attended by Medical and Administrative personnel from various hospitals as part of its Weekend Course. The objective was to deliberate on typical questions raised in the context of deploying adequate technology in the modern healthcare delivery. Mr.S. Sampath Kumar, the Chief Information and Technology Officer, Sankara Nethralaya, conducted the session.

He emphasized that suitable technology adoption is a must and would ensure that medical care is affordable and at the same time there is no compromise in ensuring a quality delivery which results in the complete delight of the patient. Such technology adoption and implementation in terms of new state-of-the-art medical equipment is an integral part of medical delivery.

ICT technology enables storage and quick retrieval of patient data which is a prerequisite for effective treatment. It should go hand in hand with the fully integrated medical equipments, especially for larger healthcare institutions handling a huge number of patients; Sankara Nethralaya was among the early health care institutions to successfully automate the storage and retrieval of such critical patient data through the system of ‘Electronic Medical Records (EMR).

The session on ICT in Healthcare aims to share the experience of Sankara Nethralaya in continuously embracing and deploying modern technology as part of its strategy to achieve international standards in Quality Medical Delivery and ensure the highest level of patient satisfaction.  It addresses the challenges faced in the implementation of Electronic Medical Records, abbreviated as EMR and the solutions to the same and the challenge of maintaining a huge database of patients dating back to more than 30 years and retrieving the same when required, by implementing a user friendly storage/retrieval mechanism, a robust system which has stood the test of time and continues to serve its purpose long after its implementation, with ophthalmic institutions that may be facing similar issues in storing, retrieving and disseminating patient data.

Free Eye Screening Camp Conducted at The Sankara Nethralaya Academy, Vanagaram Campus on 16.11.2014.

Free Eye Screening Camp

Prof S Ramani – Principal, The SN Academy is addressing the Patients

The Sankara Nethralaya Academy (a unit of Medical Research Foundation, Chennai) is a forerunner and leader in the area of imparting healthcare and health management technology and draws its strength from its parent organizations, Sankara Nethralaya, the Medical Research Foundation and Vision Research Foundation, a State of the Art Research Facility. The Academy as part its social and community responsibility conducted a one day free eye screening camp on 16th November 2014 at its Vanagaram premises.

Free Eye Screening Camp

Mr A Mahalingam, Assistant Registrar of SN Academy welcomed the patients and their families for this unique camp and thanked the management of Sankara Nethraklaya for their kind approval of this initiative to help the local residents around the institution. Prof S. Ramani Principal, TSNA briefed about the academy and its objective to the community.

Mrs Anuja R Singh – Camp coordinator gave a detailed information on the Camp followed by Mr Chandrakumar – Senior Social worker from Jaslok Community Ophthalmic Centre (Unit of Sankara Nethralaya , Medical Research Foundation) who also gave detailed information to the patients.

As part the camp various tests including Blood sugar and Blood pressure were conducted to detect vision deficiency, cataract and so on.

The SN Academy conducted the camp primarily for the benefit of the poor people living around the neighbourhood who had eye disorders but were not able to screen or treat the same because of their backward economic status.

A total of 164 patients attended and benefited from  this camp and the Cataract identified patients were referred  Sankara Nethralaya`s Community wing Jaslok Community Ophthalmic Centre( Unit of Sankara Nethralaya , Medical Research Foundation) located at Greams Road for their cost free cataract surgery and further management.

The final year students of SN Academy’s Refraction & Dispensing Program –Optometry Teaching faculty and administrative teams participated and played an important role in making the camp a great success.

Sankara Nethralaya’s devout call to defy Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

With India emerging as the global leader in the number of diabetics with a staggering figure of over 65 million diabetics, it is little wonder that it is increasingly referred to as the Diabetic capital of the world. A dubious distinction indeed!

Diabetes, as a disorder, is causing a disturbing drift in the life of the productive group who fall between age group 40 to 50.

Sankara Nethralaya, with its mission to alleviate blindness, has been actively engaged in Diabetic research and prevention  projects for over a decade to study the prevalence of ailments such as the diabetic eye and to create awareness among the public on the risks it causes to vision, when it stealthily damages the most precious organ the “eye”.

This year, with the theme of “Save your vision; Take action; consider a complete eye examination including Retina”,   World Diabetes Day got to a vibrant start with a bustling crowd thronging the corridors of the 5th floor of Jagadguru Kanchi Sri Chandrasekarendra Netra Nilayam, from 9 am, on Nov 14 the venue of Sankara Nethralaya’s free diabetes and diabetic retinopathy screening and counselling camp.

The day’s program primarily dedicated to the cause of screening Diabetic Retinopathy for the public and creating awareness on the evils of the disease witnessed over 122 eager participants, who were subjected to a comprehensive eye check up.

The sessions included random sugar and BP check up, Vision and eye pressure assessments, fundus imaging, consultation and counselling with senior vitreo retinal surgeons Dr. Rajiv Raman and Dr G.Suganeswari.

The day also witnessed vibrant awareness creation activities like poster presentations, screening of video clips on Diabetes and eye disorders, risks, management and treatment to restore vision.

Following a nutritive lunch offered to the patients Dr. Rajiv Raman and Dr. G.Suganeswari delivered invigorating talks on the threat of eye ailments due to diabetes, severity of retinopathy and visual impairment, management of optimal levels of sugar, BP and lipids, therapeutic and surgical treatment methods to take care of Diabetic retinopathy and most importantly change of life style for a healthy living with diabetes.