A medical emergency brought Naren and Vinita Gupta to PAMF. At just 48 years of age, Naren suffered a major heart attack. It was a shock to his entire family. Although there is a history of heart disease in the family, there was another risk factor involved as well—his South Asian ethnicity.
On average, South Asians suffer heart attacks 10 years earlier than other populations. “The care that Naren received from Drs. Jeffrey Croke and William Mullen was inspiring,” recalls Vinita Gupta. “We found them to be competent, compassionate and caring physicians.”
The Guptas’ interactions with caregivers across PAMF left such a positive impression that when Bob Jamplis, M.D., then PAMF CEO, asked Vinita to join the PAMF Community Board of Trustees, she agreed immediately.
As CEO of her own blossoming tech company, Quick Eagle Networks, Vinita knew that adding to her busy schedule could be difficult, but would be a worthwhile new experience. Her career has been defined by challenges, including being the first Indian woman to take a company public in the U.S.
“As an entrepreneur, I find PAMF innovative; challenging the status quo in healthcare to deliver higher levels of care for patients,” says Vinita. “I have a better appreciation of challenges in healthcare now, and I continue to be impressed by the commitment of the physicians and leadership to always do the right thing for every patient.”
The Guptas have been loyal donors and advocates for PAMF. Vinita sees her role with the organization as that of a conduit to the local community—she helps share the vision PAMF has for healthcare and brings feedback from the community to the board.
“I regularly hear from our community about how well people have been treated at PAMF,” adds Vinita. “Every day, PAMF doctors take care of patients and educate them on everything from obesity to teen issues to heart health for South Asians. It is very gratifying to be a part of this special organization.”
As a member of the board, Vinita also has a front row seat to some of the latest developments in healthcare. She recently heard Conrad M. Vial, M.D., describe how technology partnerships and big data analytics can be drivers of new cardiovascular treatments in the future, and found this vision particularly compelling.
“Dr. Vial is doing cutting edge work,” observes Vinita. “He is not only a leader and an expert in the field, but he is making a difference because his heart is in the right place and he always thinks of the well-being of patients.”
In 2015, Vinita accepted a position on the newly created Sutter Bay Area Regional Community Board. She says in that role she has been delighted to see that Sutter Health also values PAMF for its innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.
“So many of the physician leaders at Sutter Health and PAMF are women, and the boards have many women too,” says Vinita. “It is exciting and refreshing to know that these organizations only focus on people’s abilities, and that anyone who works hard can rise to the top.”
Reaching New Peaks
Naren’s health has bounced back and his heart disease is now well controlled. Recently, Vinita and Naren took their two daughters on a mountaineering trek in Tibet. The family successfully scaled one of the Himalayan peaks, reaching 15,300 feet.
“It was a tough climb for me, and I’m not the one with heart disease,” says Vinita. “But it was so fulfilling to reach these heights and to share the experience with my family.”