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Geetha Jayaram honored with Rotary Foundation Global Alumni Service to Humanity Award

6/12/2015, 11 a.m.
Geetha Jayaram, M.D., an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and ...
Geetha Jayaram, M.D. (Courtesy Photo)

— Geetha Jayaram, M.D., an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, is the 2014–15 recipient of the Rotary Foundation Global Alumni Service to Humanity Award. She will be honored for her work over the past two decades for service to those in Baltimore who are poor and mentally ill, and for establishing a network of mental health clinics for women and children in her native India. She will accepted this award at the Rotary International Convention in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on June 8, 2015.

As a way of giving back to her country of origin, in 1997, Jayaram founded the Maanasi Clinic in Mugalur, Karnataka, India. The clinic’s name means “sound mind,” provides mental health services to indigent women and children in rural southern India. Since then, she has been involved in the clinic’s development, raising funds to supply it with medications, and training health care staff members and case workers. The clinic also has become a gateway to primary care, affording patients access to comprehensive health services.

The Maanasi Clinic has reached 206 villages and a population of up to two million households, with outreach provided to those unable to travel to the clinic. The clinic has a caseload of 1,600 patients. Jayaram has helped produce teaching videos about the clinic for the World Health Organization’s website and Medibiz TV, a health care channel that broadcasts in 130 countries.

Jayaram has been involved with Rotary almost her entire life. She is a past Rotaractor and a recipient of a 2005–06 Rotary Grant for University Teachers. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Howard West in Ellicott City, Maryland, U.S.A. She also teaches at St. John’s Medical College in Bangalore, India, and is a clinical professor at Cooper Medical School.

The Global Alumni Service to Humanity Award was created to honor an outstanding individual whose career and activities illustrate the impact of Rotary’s programs on the individual’s service to humanity. The award not only celebrates the individual’s extraordinary achievements, but it also exemplifies the Rotary ideal of “service above self.”

“I am honored, humbled, and grateful for the award. It inspires me to do more,” said Dr. Jayaram.

Information about the program is accessible at www.ProjectMaanasi.org and www.HowardWestRotary.org.