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A Note from Dr Christopher Lasrado on his illness

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Dear all,

I am overwhelmed by the Johnite response from across the world.When I first looked at my CT scan films in Chhatarpur town, I looked at them very objectively. My close colleagues were staunch and did not show their emotions. It was the rest of my staff and nursing students, with a few of the local community who had come to see me off the next day that broke my “mettle”. Truly I felt loved and it strengthened my resolve to come back to these dear people and continue to lead them.

The response from across the world seems just an extension of the response of my staff and students, and it moves me in my deepest being.In short, I feel loved.Thank you all, Johnites past and present. I assure you I will be back and continue from where I left off.For those who do not know, I walked out of the tertiary level into the secondary level of care in 1997, moved to North India in 1999. And in 2001, I moved to one of the hardest units of the Emmanuel Hospital Association groups. I have been in charge of that unit since 2003 and have been blessed in seeing it grow from strength to strength to reach its present position.

Last year we did 4,500 deliveries and over 20,000 inpatients. Though by training I am a surgeon, I have had to manage other specialities as well, such as MIs, hypertensive crises, strokes, pneumonia (adult/paediatric), and a wide range of infectious diseases endemic to the area. Malnutrition is a big problem in the area, as also various kinds of poisoning, with just me and the junior gynaecologist holding fort. We were fighting with our backs against the wall.To help us do battle is a bunch of four young doctors, who are learning on the job. The picture does not look as bleak as I have painted it to be. Our doctors are a real gung-ho bunch, and at the end of the day, they are on top of every problem.My going away has caused the patient numbers to dip (fortunately). But the load that we are handling is huge: 250 outpatients a day.In short, Chhatarpur needs help.I would be grateful if people would pitch in with short stints. We need specialists in paediatrics, internal medicine, obstetrics & gynaecology, as well as intensivists.Irwin told me about people wanting to contribute towards the expense of my treatment. EHA is paying for my entire treatment and I feel it would be good for their coffers to be refilled, as resources are sparse and the needs of various units plenty. If people do want to contribute, they could send in small amounts. It would go a long way to buffer the EHA bank account. Sanjiv and Praveen (Sparrow) will coordinate the entire thing.Thank you again, and God bless. Will get back to you after the surgery, I am sure.Yours, as ever,


to read about a typical day for Dr Lasrado please see the brief write up by Dr Binu Joy at the link below


He shall live because of Johnites

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On March 10th 2014 Sr Martina from batch 1995 put the request below on Face book and others help spread the word around on different sites and groups.

To all johnites. I am 95 batch.
I am working in a village where I have a patient with recurrent abortion for 5 times and now that she is diagnosed to have APLA positive and has conceived again, where she needs to be on Low molecular Weight Heparin through out, which costs her Rs. 60,000/ in total. the patient is very poor even struggling for daily food.
Any willing heart to help her even if its Rs. 500? will help her for two days injections.
If interested you can contact me on 07358113356 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Its only my small effort to help her.
Please do help her

Today September 7th 2014  sister's email reports.

Dear doctors,

This is with great joy and happiness and gratefulness I send this mail.The lady whom you have helped delivered safely on 05/09/2014 (teachers day) at 8.37pm to alive boy baby weight 2.900kg.Thanks a lot for the generous help. On behalf of the patient I thank each of you. May God bless you all.Please continue to support me in your prayers and good will.Thanking you

Sr. Dr. Martina



Dr Salim Yusuf is amongst ‘The Scientists who matter most

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Toronto: Indo-Canadian cardiologist Dr Salim Yusuf is amongst ‘The Scientists who matter most,” based on the list of scientists that Thomson Reuters released recently.

Of a total of 3,200 such scientists, 1,616 are from the United States, and 89 are from Canada, including Dr Yusuf, Director of McMaster University’s Population Health Research Institute in Hamilton, Ontario.

The Thomson Reuters list calls Dr Yusuf as “Canada’s most influential scientist, based on citations. They have chosen these scientists based on how widely their research papers and published works have been cited by other researchers. The more their works have been cited, the more influential they are deemed to be, according to Thomson Reuters.

“In recent years nine of his (Dr Yusuf’s) studies, which involve large-scale clinical trials across countries and population groups, have been among the research world’s top  0.1 percent,” Globe and Mail writes about Dr. Yusuf which’s based on what Thomson Reuters has written about him.

“Dr. Yusuf is well known as a pioneer in his field and his efforts this year earned him a ($100,000) Gairdner Award, generally regarded as Canada’s most prestigious prize in biomedical science.”

It has been noted that those who receive the Gairdner award go on to win the Nobel Prize.

In one of his ground breaking studies, Dr Yusuf calls India “the world’s diabetic capital, where people are less active in their leisure time than any other ethnic group in the world.” And contrary to their vegetarian pride, he said in an earlier interview with this writer, “Indians’ consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables is low compared to most countries.”

In one study of 20,000 heart attack patients in 89 hospitals across India, Dr Yusuf found that “poor patients had a higher death rate compared to the richer people. This was entirely because poor patients did not receive many of the life saving therapies as they couldn’t afford it.”

Dr Yusuf says he became a doctor because his father wanted him to be one and then he became a Rhode Scholar and landed at Oxford.  He has been at McMaster University since 1992.

Thomson Reuters has 30 Scientists from Saudi Arabia who matter the most but there’s no one from India.

The list has names of 157 German Scientists; 141 Chinese scientists, 94 from Japan; 52 from Italy. Sweden is at the tail end with 28 scientists.

(Ahit Jain can be contacted at  -  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )|-the-scientist-who-matters-most.htm


Paying Tribute to Director Father Lawrence

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A coffee table book put out on the day of his farewell, 1st September 2014 paying tribute to Father Lawrence when he  handed over charge the same day to the incoming director Dr Rev Father Paul Parathazam.The book has rare glimpses to the personal and official facets of the man... both on and off the St John's campus.

To read and enjoy please click on the link below the picture


Bangalore: St John's gets essentiality certificate from govt for intake hike of 150 seats

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From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network - Bangalore

Bangalore, Sep 1: St John’s Medical College and Hospital, the only Catholic healthcare institution started and run by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), New Delhi, to emerge as the premier medical college in the country has crossed the first major hurdle in realising its ambition of increasing its intake of 60 MBBS seats to 150 by getting the all-important Essentiality Certificate from the State Government.

The college will be able to admit more students from the coming academic year if it able to get the approval from the Medical Council of India (MCI) within the next three to six months.

This was announced by Fr (Dr) Lawrence D’Souza, who handed over charge as Director of the St John’s National Academy of Health Sciences upon completing his extended term of six years and five months, to his successor Fr (Dr) Paul Parathazham.

Foundation stones for 2 new projects

The CBCI President blessed the foundation stones for the new hospital expansion project comprising construction of two six-storeyed buildigs of 2.5 lakh sqft with 720 common wards and 120 private rooms and the new laundry block.

The function to bid farewell to Fr Lawrence D’Souza, who will be completing 66 years in November next, and welcome the new Director, held under the chairmanship of the CBCI President, His Eminence Basilios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos, Major Archbishop of Syro-Malankara Church, was preceded by a solemn mass with Cardinal Cleemis as the main celebrant at the St John’s Medical College Auditorium. Archbishop of Bangalore Dr Bernard Moras, Chairman of the Governing Council, Archbishop of Verapoly Archdiocse Dr Francis Kallarakal, Chairman of the Governing Board, the outgoing as well as the new Director, Associate Director Finance Fr Glen Mascarenhas, Assoiciate Director Fr Duming Dias and many other priests as the concelebrants at the Holy Eucharist.

Archbishop Dr Bernard Moras, in his homily during the mass, said St John’s institutions were known for adhering to the motto, "He shall live because of me," and said living life to its fullness and sacrificing in the service of others as Jesus Christ did were the hallmarks as well as the special ethos, care and love for the poor.

"Truly Committed Priest"

The CBCI President Cardinal Cleemis, in his farewell address to Fr Lawrence D’Souza lauded his contribution and service to the string of St John’s Institutions, which have grown to be a jewel in the crown of CBCI.

"A truly committed priest," described Cardinal Cleemis and said three of the most significant milestones in Fr Lawrence D’Souza’s stewardship were the successful hosting of the CBCI plenary session in the campus in 2012 and the year-long golden jubilee celebrations of the St John’s Medical College and the recently concluded silver jubilee celebrations of the nursing college.

"Fr Lawrence D’Souza has strived hard to enable the St John’s Medical College and Hospital and other institutions to grow in accordance with the motto in transparency and inclusive growth," said Cardinal Cleemis and wished him fruitful ministry in his future endeavours.

An emotional outgoing Fr Lawrence D’Souza, in his farewell address, said he was only an instrument and the entire credit for the achievements during his tenure of 6 years and 5 months should go to the team effort by all his associates, faculty, teaching and non-teaching staff as well as nurses and said he can only "sing the chorus of gratitude and praise for the blessings showered" on him.

"I don’t know what the future holds for me. But I know who holds my future," he said alluding to the blessings and graces of the almighty and said he was not interested in position or power but was always committed to the institution to discharge the responsibility thrust on him. "I may have been at times harsh and even rude. But all my decisions and actions were governed by the zeal to protect the interests of the institution and follow the motto, policies and vision," he said.

Going to Native Udupi Diocese

Adding a lighter tone and also answering many questions that might be lingering in all those who knew him, Fr Lawrence D’Souza said he did not know what will be his future. "I am not going back to Fr Muller’s Hospital in Mangalore, where he had served as Assistant Director and later as Director, nor to the Mangalore Diocese to which I belong," he said and disclosed that he would be returning to the newly formed Udupi Diocese, as his birthplace of Pangla near Udupi, was part of the new Diocese and that he would be free till May next year, when the new postings will be made.

He said he was happy that he was able to get the Essentiality Certificate from the State Government for increasing the intake to 150 seats without parting a single seat outside the prescribed admission norms before the completion of his term. The only "regret" he had was not doing much for improving the facilities and service in the hospital and hoped that his successor and his team would be able to devote more attention to the hospital and also in quickly getting the MCI approval to enable admissions from the ensuing academic year for the enhanced intake of 150 MBBS seats.

The new Director Fr Paul Parathazhan, who took charge of his new responsibility by symbolically accepting the plaque of the Academy from his predecessor, said the St John’s institutions have come a long way since its modest beginning. It is however time to pause and reflect on the values and ethos and reaffirm the commitment to follow the motto, he said.

"Miles to go, Promises to keep"

The college, hospital and other institutions in the words of poet Robert Frost, had "miles to go and promises to keep" to people, the unfortunate sick and all those languishing in the margins. It would be folly to grow complacent on the past glorious achievements and rest on laurels and even romanticise the past. "My primary responsibility is to continue to adhere to the core values and motto while ushering in change at all levels, especially improve the delivery of services and morale of the staff and the organisation while never losing site of the goal of achieving academic excellence. The rich legacy and visionary leadership of all the predecessors, especially the role model of Fr Lawrence D’Souza, must be continued, he said.

Fr Francis Kallarakal, Archbishop of Verapoly Diocese and St John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, said the St John’s institutions have earned name and fame due to its commitment and dedicated service of the poor and neglected sections of society.

Earlier, Cardinal Cleemis felicitated Fr Lawrence D’Souza and released a special volume, "St John’s bids adieu to a man with a vision…"compiled by Dr Pretesh Rohan Kiran of Community Health Department. A visual slide-show presented by Dr Tony Raj and narration by Dr Anil Abraham, with sectional tributes of love to the outgoing Director by Students union leaders Francis, Gerlin, Irene Machado, SrCelcy Mary, Dr Praveen Rodrigues and Dr K Sreenivasan were the other highlights of the function. Fr Pradeep Kumar Samad, Associate Director, explained the outline of the new porjects being undertaken by the Academy. Fr Glen Mascarenhas, Associate Director Finance, welcomed.

Fr Duming Dias, Associate Director, proposed a vote of thanks.Drs Arvind Kasthuri and Arpana Iyengar compered the entire programme.

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