Earlier last year, CAP solicited nominations for the organization’s first-ever Community Hero Award to highlight the work of a CAP member whose charitable service merits special recognition. The award includes a $5,000 grant for the charitable organization affiliated with the physician’s work. One runner-up will receive the Community Leadership Award, which includes a $1,000 grant for the recipient’s associated charity.
“The response was impressive, and each nomination was well worthy of consideration,” said CAP CEO Sarah E. Scher, JD. “Our selection committee had a very difficult task of selecting the awardees, and we’re proud to announce them.”
COMMUNITY HERO AWARDEE
Paula R. Dhanda, MD
CAP Member Since 1990
Paula R. Dhanda, MD, FACOG, FACS, is well known for her many years of service to the women of Lake County as well as internationally, through her nonprofit organization, Worldwide Healing Hands, a registered non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Dr. Dhanda has successfully dedicated her life to improving the health of her local and global community.
As a young girl growing up in Bombay, India, she witnessed extreme poverty first hand and watched her surgeon father serving the city's large indigent population. In 1990, she decided to follow in her father’s footsteps and moved to Lake County where there was a physician shortage. There, she established a state-of-the-art obstetric program and introduced many new technologies to the area, including minimally invasive surgery.
Dr. Dhanda began her international initiative in 2009 when she was invited by a fellow surgeon to participate in a medical mission in Chad, Africa. In response to the tragic need that she witnessed during her time there, she created Worldwide Healing Hands.
She has subsequently led medical teams on missions all over the world, including Haiti, Nepal, Uganda, and Cambodia. Dr. Dhanda created clean birth kits and produced a film called "Helping Babies Breathe" which is distributed widely to teach neonatal resuscitation to physicians, midwives, and traditional birth attendants. Participants in her classes are also given resuscitation equipment, and her teams have trained over 200 doctors, midwives, and nurses.
For more information about Worldwide Healing Hands, please visit https://worldwidehealinghands.org/
COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP AWARDEE
Gudata S. Hinika, MD
CAP Member Since 2001
La Cañada Flintridge, California
Dr. Gudata Hinika is the Chief of Trauma, General, and Critical Care Surgery at California Hospital Medical Center, the busiest private trauma center in Los Angeles. Throughout his career, Dr. Hinika has dedicated his life to alleviating adverse health conditions in underserved communities. His commitment extends far beyond hospital walls locally and globally.
Dr. Hinika is the Founder and CEO of Ethiopia Health Aid (EHA), a 501(c)3 organization with a mission to build healthy, self‐reliant communities in rural Ethiopia through education, health, and action. He founded the organization in 2007 after seeing hundreds of people in Oromia die from easily preventable diseases or conditions that could be treated with proper equipment and training. He and his wife Wubitu started the process of building a hospital in the town of Negele Arsi, and the hospital opened in July 2017.
Getting the facility built was only the first step; the hospital still needed specialists and training for its staff. Dr. Hinika started organizing missions to Negele Arsi in 2011. At first, that involved taking people almost 200 kilometers outside of Negele Arsi by bus to other treatment facilities. The hospital now has a full-time staff and more ambulances are in place, so visiting doctors do not have to take those steps.
EHA takes volunteers to Oromia about twice a year to perform medical services. The Negele Arsi Hospital is also setting up a health college to train 200 nurses and medical workers.
For more information about Ethiopia Health Aid, please visit http://ethiopiahealthaid.org/
Congratulations, Dr. Dhanda and Dr. Hinika!