Local Doc Honored for AIDS Work

Local Doc Honored for AIDS Work Burlington County’s HIV/AIDs Coordinator Dr. Amitabha Das, a former World Health Organization researcher, received the 2005 Teddy DePrince Community Commitment Award this month for his exceptional work in addressing the needs of HIV patients and educating the public on prevention.

Dr. Das, an eight-year employee of the Burlington County Health Department, received the surprise award by leaders in the field at an HIV conference held in Cherry Hill on December 7th by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) and the Garden State Infectious Disease Associates.

“Dr. Das brings a wealth of experience and passion to his work to save lives, counsel patients, and educate people of all ages and walks of life about preventing HIV. He has great compassion and a tireless spirit in the fight against AIDS,” said Robert Gogats, County Public Health Coordinator.

Dr. Das works with doctors, hospitals, other facilities and the State on testing and case management, as well as visits to schools and homes of the sick.

Under his leadership, more people are being tested for HIV and those that are positive are receiving more comprehensive care and support.

“I was utterly surprised to receive the award at the conference and be congratulated by so many dignitaries and well-known people in the HIV field, including Elaine DePrince, author of Cry Bloody Murder,” Dr. Das said. DePrince of Cherry Hill, wrote the book in 1997 with her son, Teddy, after losing two of her sons to AIDS. The boys suffered from hemophilia and Elaine and Teddy fought for the NJ Hemophilia Justice Act which passed in 1996.

Dr. Das came to America in 1997 after working on a world renowned study in his native India, called the Songachi Project, to reduce the rapid spread of sexually transmitted diseases. He also formed a charitable organization there, called HEAL, where he and his wife worked with poor children and mothers to improve their medical care and nutrition. Dr. Das received public recognition in 1995 when he fought for, and won, a hospital to accept a 16-year-old burn victim left on a pavement in Calcutta who had been refused by several other facilities.

His wife, Dr. Deepti Das, currently is the County Health Department’s coordinator of the Women, Infants and Children Program. They live in Mount Laurel with their two daughters, Abornita and Drishti.

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Author: Press Release-Burlington County


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