MedicAlert® launches Scholarship Fund in memory of Dr Harish Rajpal
Last Wednesday evening the Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy officially launched a scholarship fund that will provide financial support to those working on harm prevention initiatives.
The ‘Harish Rajpal MedicAlert® Scholarship’ has been conceived by the MedicAlert® Foundation in partnership with the family of Dr Harish Rajpal, as a living tribute to the memory of Dr Rajpal.
Some 70 people attended the launch of the Scholarship Fund at Expressions Whirinaki in Upper Hutt. Guests included members of Rajpal family, representatives of the health community in Wellington, the Indian Embassy, local dignitaries, and MedicAlert® members, staff and board members.
Dr Harish Rajpal who died earlier this year was a leading visionary in healthcare in New Zealand. He was involved in the establishment of the first Medical Centre in New Zealand, in Upper Hutt, and was instrumental in establishing MedicAlert® Foundation as it is known today in New Zealand from 1970. He was the Foundation’s first Medical Director and its longest-serving volunteer. A humble unassuming man, Dr Rajpal won the respect of the community, the medical profession and all those who were privileged to have contact with him. He won international acclaim when his lifetime service to the Foundation was recognised by being awarded the prestigious MedicAlert® International Marion Collins Award in 2013.
MedicAlert® Foundation chief executive Murray Lord said, “Harrish made a lifetime commitment to the Foundation to protect and save lives. It is in this spirit that the Harrish Rajpal MedicAlert® Scholarship has been established and will come to life.”
It is intended that scholarships will be awarded to outstanding candidates undertaking projects that make a tangible contribution to preventing avoidable harm. Avoidable harm is estimated to cost more than $700 million in New Zealand each year. Preventing avoidable harm not only saves money but also prevents people from becoming dependent and enables limited resources in the health sector to be deployed more productively. More importantly, it prevents unnecessary suffering and saves lives.
MedicAlert® and the Rajpal family have seeded the scholarship fund, and a Givealittle page has been created to provide a means for supporters to contribute to and grow the fund, see: givealittle.co.nz/cause/scholarship-fund.
The Foundation anticipates announcing the first scholarship recipient within 12 months.
MedicAlert® is a non-profit registered charity which has been operating in New Zealand since 1962.
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