Dr. Ashish Dalal: Central Florida Humanitarian
By Maria Sonnenberg, Space Coast Medicine & Active Living // October 16, 2014
ABOVE VIDEO: As it happens for most of the doctors and nurses who participate in these mission trips, Dr. Ashish Dalal found the experience life-altering. He found his patients extremely grateful for life’s little gifts, despite the poverty they faced.
‘Mission Work Is A Life Altering Experience’
CENTRAL FLORIDA, USA – A mentor can be life-changing. For a physician, a mentor can change lives. Dr. Ashish Dalal has the utmost admiration for one of his mentors, Dr. Kantilal Bhalani, founder of Doctors’ Goodwill Foundation.
“Dr. Bhalani is more than a friend, he is a guide,” said Dalal, who specializes in hematology and oncology at Space Coast Cancer Center.
Dalal first met Bhalani when he moved to Brevard County in 2002.
“At that time, he had just started the Foundation and he asked me to go to Africa on a medical mission,” said Dalal.
As it happens for most of the doctors and nurses who participate in these mission trips, Dalal found the experience life-altering.
He found his patients extremely grateful for life’s little gifts, despite the poverty they faced.
The interaction helped define a new perspective for Dalal.
“They are such nice people, but economically so poor,” said Dalal, referring to the residents of Tanzania and Kenya helped during that particular trip.
“If India is considered poverty-stricken, Africa is in 10 times worse shape.”
During the trip, Dalal averaged about 80 patients a day. Although he specializes in cancer treatment, he had to wear other medical hats during the mission.
“There was such a lack of resources that there was no way I could practice my specialty,” said Dalal.
FORMER DGF PRESIDENT
Dalal drew on his background in internal medicine to minister to the African patients, many of whom were suffering from severe nutritional disorders.
“They would start lining up at 7 a.m. with different problems,” said Dalal. “We did a lot to help them out with problems such as anemia and iron deficiency.”
Bhalani tapped Dalal to become president of the Doctors’ Goodwill Foundation, a position he held for several years.
Although he is no longer president, Dalal continues to be active with the organization, particularly in fundraising.
“I work on getting sponsorships for the Expo,” said Dalal.
“These help fund the Foundation’s medical scholarships and other efforts.”
Dalal graduated from the M.S. University Medical College of Baroda in Gujarat, India, where he also completed a rotating internship in medicine, surgery, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology.
He was a clinical research associate in the Department of Oncology at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York and completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in hematology and oncology at the Beth Israel Medical Center, also in New York.
With a young family, the Rockledge resident has been unable to join additional Foundation mission trips, but now that his children are six and nine years of age, he is looking forward to being a part of these critically important humanitarian efforts.
“I want to do more,” said Dalal.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN ALUMNI
ABOUT THE 2014 CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN AWARDS
The Central Florida Humanitarian Awards were created to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that dedicate their Time, Talent or Treasure to help people in need locally – and around the world.
This year, more than 30 deserving humanitarians will be honored during the Gala, which will be held Thursday, Nov. 6 at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place, with the festivities beginning at 6 p.m.
“Over the years, our editorial team has had the distinct honor and pleasure of identifying and featuring the many members of our community who give back so much and are dedicated to reaching out and helping others, here and throughout the world, in a multitude of ways,” said Maverick Multimedia Editor-In-Chief Dr. Jim Palermo.
“We remain firmly committed to identifying and telling those stories and providing a timely media platform to recognize Space Coast and Central Florida residents’ altruistic contributions on a regular basis in our magazines, as well as SpaceCoastDaily.com,” said Dr. Palermo.
This inspiring and compelling event is sponsored by M.H. Williams Construction, Brighthouse Networks, Health First, Brevard Physicians Network, Clear Choice Health Care, First Choice Medical Group, Knudson Brain & Spine Law Injury Office, Florida Pain Institute, Sangiv Patel, DDS, PA, Brevard Geriatrics, Space Coast Medicine & Active Living magazine and SpaceCoastDaily.com
BELOW MAP: The 2014 Central Florida Humanitarian Awards will take place Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014 at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place, located at 200 Rialto Place in Melbourne, Florida.