MINNEAPOLIS (April 19, 2011) – World renowned cardiologist Dr. Devi Shetty, founder and chairman of the Bangalore, India-based Narayana Hrudayalaya Group of Hospitals, receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Minnesota in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to public service.
Dr. Shetty was in Minneapolis to receive the honorary degree, the highest honor conferred by the university, at a Tuesday ceremony at the McNamara Alumni Center.
Shetty pioneered pediatric cardiac surgery in India, and developed a micro-insurance program in his home state of Karnataka which ensures access to care at his state-of-the-art health facility to more than three million citizens. In addition he was once Mother Teresa’s personal physician at her request.
He is currently working with the Indian Space Research Organization to provide telemedicine services to 65 cities across Africa, and oversees Narayana Hrudayalaya, a 1,500-bed multi-specialty hospital on the outskirts of Bangalore, India. The hospital performs the most pediatric heart surgeries in the world, and has the world’s largest pediatric cardiac surgery intensive care unit.
Shetty’s vision is to add 30,000 hospital beds across India in five years, and he has the backing of six separate state governments to do so.
Dr. Shetty is also a professor at Rajiv Gandhi University of Medical Sciences in Bangalore and holds an adjunct professor appointment at the University of Minnesota Medical School. The U of M Academic Health Center has been deeply engaged with Dr. Shetty and colleagues at Narayana Hrudayalaya for several years.
The Medical School and Narayana Hrudayalaya exchange cardiac experts to share expertise, and School of Public Health students in health care administration have completed internships at the India location. The School of Nursing is also developing a relationship to offer advanced practice training for Narayana Hrudayalaya nurses.
“Dr. Shetty is a true visionary and represents just the kind of ‘world citizen’ that the University of Minnesota seeks to recognize with an honorary degree,” said Frank B. Cerra, M.D., professor of surgery and former dean of the Medical School and senior vice president of the health sciences at the University of Minnesota. “Personally, I feel honored to know him and to have witnessed firsthand the incredible care he provides to a wide swath of Indian society, from the privileged to the poorest of the poor.”
The University of Minnesota Academic Health Center is driven to discover and educate to find new treatments and cures in the areas of diabetes, infectious disease, neurosciences, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
Comprised of the University of Minnesota’s six health professional schools and colleges as well as several health-related centers and institutes, the Academic Health Center is a leader in research and training new health professionals. Founded in 1851, the University is one of the oldest and largest land grant institutions in the country.