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Vattikuti Foundation CEO Honoured by KGMU with DSc Award on December 10

Lucknow December 10, 2023

Distinguished Urologist, robotic surgery evangelist, and CEO of the Vattikuti Foundation, Dr Mahendra Bhandari, has been conferred the degree of DSc (Honoris Causa) by King George’s Medical University (KGMU) in recognition of his exemplary contribution to the development of two premier medical institutions in India and his outstanding work in the fields of Urology, Kidney Transplant and Robotic Surgery.

Dr Bhandari served as the Director of Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, and as Vice Chancellor of King George’s Medical University, Lucknow, between 1997 and 2006

Uttar Pradesh Governor and KGMU Chancellor Anandi Ben Patel conferred the honour at the annual convocation of the prestigious KGMU held in Lucknow on December 10, 2023. Noted scientist Prof Abhay Karandikar who serves as secretary of the department of science and Technology, Government of India was also awarded the honorary degree. Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak, who is also the medical education minister was also present.

Dr Bhandari is respected for his stellar role in the field of urology, particularly known for his contributions to kidney transplantation, robotic surgery, and medical education. His professional trajectory represents a seamless blend of learning and teaching spanning over 50 years with a sharp focus on advancing the realms of Urology, Kidney Transplantation, Medical Education, and Healthcare Management. Dr Bhandari is the head of Director of Robotic Surgery Research & Education at the Vattikuti Urology Institute, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, Michigan since 2006 and is leading the robotic surgery evangelist Vattikuti Foundation as its CEO.

Contributed to UP’s first Kidney Transplant Program
"This singular honour is a humbling experience, evoking memories of my tenure as the Head of this prestigious institution. Looking back, my 18-year tenure at two iconic medical institutions in India has influenced my 'Leading from Within' leadership style. "This award, coming 18 years after I bid farewell to Lucknow to embark on a journey to reinvent myself in Michigan, is a reminder that I continue to be vividly present in the memories of colleagues from different generations. The institution itself serves as a testament to the unique and indelible Ganga-Jamuni culture of the State, a stark contrast to the transactional relationships prevalent worldwide," says Dr Mahendra Bhandari, Director, Robotic Surgery Research and Education, Vattikuti Urology Institute, Henry Ford Health System, Michigan.

Recalling his tenure at KGMU as the first Vice Chancellor, Dr Bhandari reminisced, “Soon after my appointment in 2003, I realized that KGMU was a formidable combination of exceptional teachers and learners; all they needed was the freedom to chase dreams. The then State government helped offer all the environmental and infrastructural support. "This accolade brings back memories of my groundbreaking contributions to Uttar Pradesh, where I initiated the State’s first Kidney Transplant Program, marking the beginning of cadaveric transplantation. It is gratifying to witness SGPGI’s enduring status as the foremost transplant program in India," added Dr Bhandari.

“This distinction serves as a catalyst, motivating me to continue exploring novel frontiers in Artificial Intelligence within healthcare. It also inspires me to kindle a fresh wave of enthusiasm among young medical practitioners, enabling them to embrace cutting-edge technologies such as robotics, thereby ensuring enhanced patient outcomes through unwavering dedication,” adds Dr Bhandari, who also serves as the CEO, Vattikuti Foundation, a robotic surgery evangelist.

He was invited to establish MedVarsity, India's pioneering virtual medical university at Apollo Hospitals, in collaboration with NIIT. In his role as the CEO of Vattikuti Foundation, Dr Bhandari started its India initiative to establish cost-effective robotic surgery from scratch. Now, India has a vibrant robotic program with nearly 200 installations performing 20,000 multispecialty robotic procedures annually. The Foundation has invested in training over 500 robotic surgeons with the help of over 100 global experts in robotic surgery.

Vattikuti Fellowships have been offered to over 50 high-achieving young surgeons, pairing them with top robotic surgeons for a year of intensive robotic surgery training and research.

Conferred with DR BC Roy award, Dr Bhandari is also the recipient of the civilian honour Padma Shri by the Government of India for distinguished contributions in medicine. Dr Mahendra Bhandari's name is featured in an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History in Washington. The "Many Voices, One Nation" exhibit beautifully chronicles the 500-year history of immigrants' invaluable contributions to the United States.

King George’s Medical University is the largest resident medical university in India, with research and training facilities serving over 5,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students and attending to over 5,000 patients in OPD.