Comprehensive Prevention and Care Program Targets Clinical, Social and Cultural Needs of the South Asian Community in Central New Jersey

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.: With the goal of providing advanced care for those affected by diabetes – a disease that disproportionately impacts the South Asian community – Saint Peter’s University Hospital and the Shri Krishna Nidhi (SKN) Foundation joined together to establish the SKN South Asian Diabetes Center at Saint Peter’s in 2017. The Center will be the featured beneficiary at the SKN Foundation HOPE Gala scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 22 at 5:00 p.m. at The Imperia located at 1714 Easton Avenue in Somerset, NJ.

“Immigrants from South Asia are now experiencing a galloping epidemic of metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Provisions for community awareness, education, and access to health care to all – irrespective of medical insurance status – are essential to reduce risks and reverse complications,” said Nayan Kothari, MD, Chief Academic Officer, Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, and Program Director at Saint Peter’s University Hospital. “The partnership between the SKN Foundation and Saint Peter’s University Hospital offers early detection of diabetes and provides the most needed services to all the South Asian community, regardless of their ability to pay.”

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Saint Peter’s Healthcare System’s President and Chief Executive Officer Leslie D. Hirsch described the establishment of the SKN South Asian Diabetes Center as “a significant event in the fulfillment of Saint Peter’s mission.”

“Our South Asian population health initiative is in direct response to the regional concentration of South Asians in Middlesex County and the surrounding regions,” Hirsch said. “Serving the community for 112 years, we’re proud of our ability to live our mission of respect for the patient’s cultural background, spiritual needs and healthcare values through this Center.”

According to Hirsch, since the initial launch two years ago, the SKN South Asian Diabetes Center at Saint Peter’s has grown under the direction of Meena Murthy, MD, chief, Division of Endocrinology, Nutrition and Metabolism at Saint Peter’s, and Naveen Mehrotra, MD, pediatrician and founder of the SKN Foundation, to include a full-time program director, project coordinator, volunteer health providers, students and champions.

“The goal is to prevent the onset or at least identify diabetes at an early stage,” said Dr. Murthy. “Diabetes is a silent killer that causes premature disability and death. If undetected, it presents with significant costly complications already at the chronic stage.”

The Center, located in the Center for Ambulatory Resources (CARES) next door to Saint Peter’s in New Brunswick, features diabetes experts, educators and staff of South Asian origin to assure culturally appropriate care. The Center offers early screening with a focus on prevention and access to comprehensive consultation and management; specialized care for women; diabetes self-management education; nutritional guidance specific to South Asian diet; and South Asian support groups.

Special guests at the SKN HOPE Gala will include musical artist Avanti Nagral and American comedian Rajiv Satyal, with a special fashion show styled by Joy Mitra. Photo and interview opportunities will be available the day before the event, as well as the day of the event.

Tickets for the gala start at $175 and can be purchased at https://sknfoundation.org/secure-donation/hope-gala-2019/. To learn more about SKN Foundation and how you can help, visit https://sknfoundation.org/.