Tej Reddy | Vicente Ferrer Foundation
A public servant of boundless energy, Dr. Srilekha Reddy Palle does it all. In addition to a Doctorate in physical therapy, Srilekha holds a Masters in Business Administration with a focus on Healthcare Administration. She serves her community both as the Rehabilitation Director at a major healthcare system in Metropolitan DC area and as the owner of V Care Home Healthcare Services: a company dedicated to assisting the elderly with companionship, meal preparation, housekeeping, errands, and transportation.
A member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, past Vice President of the South Asian Public Health Association and Political Advocacy Director for the Women’s Wing at the American Hindu Coalition, Srilekha is both a leader in medicine and in the Indian-American community. She is passionate about healthcare, education, and women’s issues and works to empower women through policy change and entrepreneurship. Since September of 2018, she has been a dedicated supporter and a volunteer with the Vicente Ferrer Foundation.
Srilekha knows what it means to grow up in rural India. Before she married and moved to the United States, Srilekha grew up in Bethemcherla in the Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh: less than 90 miles from VFF’s headquarters in India. She first heard about VFF at a USA-India Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad: an encounter that she now describes as “destiny.”
“When I heard that the Vicente Ferrer Foundation USA was working in Anantapur my eyes totally lit up,” she says. She asked her father–still living in India–if he knew anything about the Rural Development Trust (RDT), VFF’s partner in India. To her surprise, he knew the organization well and encouraged her to collaborate with it.
Srilekha is the kind of person who is always ready to help. She already had field experience in humanitarian aid from volunteering in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. When she heard about the Prescription for Hope program at VFF’s Annual Gala, she signed up without a second thought.
Prescription for Hope is an expertise exchange program in which healthcare professionals from around the world travel to VFF’s hospitals in India to share their wealth of knowledge with local providers. Srilekha traveled to VFF’s headquarters in Anantapur and spent a week shadowing doctors and physical therapists in VFF’s hospitals and screening camps. She offered her expertise and recommendations, especially regarding acute rehabilitation: the intermediate step for recovering patients between hospital and home.
Both prior to and after her trip to India, Srilekha has collaborated with VFF to supply VFF’s hospitals with physical therapy equipment. Physical therapy is a key stage in the recovery process that is often overlooked in the Indian healthcare system. It can help patients reduce pain, improve mobility, recover from and prevent future injuries. While in Anantapur, Srilekha remarked, “low-income people can’t afford home therapy because it is very expensive. Their treatment options are limited and often minimal. The risks are high, without proper care, patients can get pressure sores and mortality in patients with pressure ulcers is very high.” Srilekha’s contribution has helped make physical therapy more accessible and affordable to thousands of patients recovering from injuries, strokes, or surgeries.