UT Neonatology’s Dr. Dhanireddy Returns from Special Assignment in India

Dr. Ramasubbareddy Dhanireddy, who leads the UT Neonatology clinical practices of University Clinical Health at Regional One Health Newborn Center and the Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, is firmly established as one of the most accomplished and respected neonatal doctors in Memphis and across the United States. Now, his influence and leadership in saving the lives of newborns in distress is being felt across the world in India.

Dr. Dhanireddy has just returned from a special assignment as a visiting professor in the department of pediatrics at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences in Sevagram, India. The Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram is India’s first rural medical college. Kasturba Hospital has the distinction of being the only hospital in the country which was started by the Father of the Nation himself. In the photo above Dr. Dhanireddy is in the center in blue shirt and khaki pants with members of the neonatology team at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences in Sevagram, India.

At the invitation of Dr. SP Kalantri the Medical Superintendent of the affiliated Kasturba Hospital, the medical director and the dean, Dr. Dhanireddy spent a week making bedside rounds, giving lectures, grand rounds and working one-on-one with the entire team dedicated to the neonatal and pediatrics departments.

“While there are excellent medical professionals at this facility, there are several things that we take for granted here that are not present there, mostly cultural,” said Dr. Dhanireddy. “I was able to share considerably about such issues as multidiscipline sharing, measurement, process improvement and similar issues.”

Dr. Dhanireddy has been heralded for his work and leadership on such issues as temperature control for newborns and treatment of infections. Lectures and sharing of personal experiences and data on these subjects had an immediate impact.

“It was gratifying to me that a day after a lecture on the importance of temperature regulation in the neonatal ward, I joined in rounds and found that some of my suggestions had already been implemented,” explained Dr. Dhanireddy.

The invitation stands for Dr. Dhanireddy to return every three to four months to continue his education and mentoring. He is still working on how to proceed with the relationship given the 30 to 35 hour journey required. Even without visits, there are still opportunities for collaborative research in quality improvement and clinical research.

The department of pediatrics at Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences and Kasturba Hospital cares for 40,000 outpatients and 8,000 inpatients each year.  Approximately 4,300 babies are delivered annually. The department has a 60-bed ward, a 25-bed Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and a 10-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) supervised by a trained pediatric intensivist, and five pediatricians. The accredited residency has 10 residents.

“I am passionate about improving the survival rate of newborns, and as world citizens we need to use the knowledge and experience we gain at leading institutions like those in Memphis to improve the global survival rates,” said Dr. Dhanireddy. “In the end, this is about the children.”