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Sharvari and Sujatha’s Story: South Asian Heart Center

Sharvari and Sujatha

Sharvari and Sujatha were recognized as Distinguished Volunteer Fundraiser Honorees at the Association of Fundraising Professionals Silicon Valley Chapter’s 2016 Silicon Valley Philanthropy Day event. This recognition celebrates their dedication and significant efforts to help improve the health and well-being of our community members.

Sharvari has been involved in the research that the South Asian Heart Center at El Camino Hospital staff and physicians were leading since 2002. The studies concerned the twin issues of diabetes and heart attacks as observed among South Asian men and women under the age of 40. After her own diabetes diagnosis, she closely followed these ongoing efforts and joined the Center’s volunteer program.

In 2015, Sharvari was invited to participate as Co-Chair for the 2016 Scarlet Night Gala, the South Asian Heart Center’s annual benefit dedicated to saving lives through the prevention of heart attacks and diabetes that disproportionately affect people of South Asian descent. Having worked for many years in gala planning, she brought her extensive experience and a personal touch to the event.

Sharvari continues to volunteer with the Center. She is passionate about raising diabetes awareness among South Asian families.

Sujatha recalls her father’s passing at 60 years old as a trying and uncertain time in her life. He had early onset diabetes as well as heart disease. As Sujatha continued to care for and think about her family, she was inspired to participate in initial efforts for the South Asian Heart Center’s inception at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View. Being diagnosed with diabetes herself at an early age, she wanted to get involved with community outreach, to share her story with others and help encourage families to get their essential screenings and check-ups.

After being involved with the Center for several years, Sujatha became Chair of the first two Scarlet Night Galas. At the 2016 Decade Celebration, she not only returned to co-chair the event but to help coordinate event logistics, raise donations, and create a fun and engaging environment for the rest of the team.

“Volunteering in my community, especially for such a personal cause, provides me with a greater sense of meaning and belonging,” Sujatha said about her continuing work at the South Asian Heart Center. While her time at the Center provides an anchor for her philanthropic activities, she also believes that her personal and emotional well-being are enhanced by being involved.