VCU trauma surgeon receives Immigrant Achievement Award
Tuesday, April 29, 2003
Recognized for his outstanding efforts as a surgeon and humanitarian,
Rao Ivatury, M.D., director of trauma and critical care surgery at the
VCU Medical Center has received the 2003 Washington Immigrant Achievement
Presented in Washington D.C. last month, the award is given annually
by the American Immigration Law Foundation (AILF) to honor outstanding
contributions by immigrants.
Ivatury's vast experience in treating victims of trauma and his most
recent efforts to save a victim of the sniper rampage last fall, attracted
national media attention, as well as the attention of the AILF award nominating
"We first learned about Dr. Ivatury, through an interview he did
with NPR during the sniper shootings. Everyone on the [awards] committee,
unanimously nominated him," said Rhiannon Jacobsen, a development
associate for AILF. "He represents many immigrants in the medical
field and is a tremendous role model for all citizens."
Ivatury was born in India and received his medical degree there from
Andhra Medical College in Visakhapatnam. He immigrated to America in 1975
and began a 20-year tour of duty honing his trauma skills in the Trauma
and Critical Care Unit at Fort Apache in New York's South Bronx, during
one of that area's most violent periods. His experience filled a book
- "The Textbook of Penetrating Trauma" - that has become the
bible for the management of penetrating injuries.
"It is a great honor to be recognized and to be in the company of
these accomplished individuals. There are many more immigrants who deserve
this award more than I." Ivatury said. "I appreciate what the
AILF does for immigrants in these roubled times and thank them for this
Other immigrant achievement honorees included, Flory Jagoda, a musician
and composer from Bosnia; Luis Reyes; a restaurateur from El Salvador;
and Roeland van der Marel, Ph.D., an astronomer from The Netherlands.
Previous winners include Placido Domingo, Sammy Sosa, Ismail Merchant,
and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
This year's winners were chosen from 20 nominees.
The AILF is a non-profit educational and charitable organization dedicated
to increasing public understanding of immigration law and policy, and
the values of immigration to American society.
This is the eighth year the AILF has presented the Washington Immigrant