Dr.Prem Reddy – cardiologist with a heart
Underlying the presentation was to prove a point that the American dream is still alive for immigrants. He founded the Desert Valley Hospital, Medical Group and Charitable Foundation.
He had a humble beginning. For the first 15 years of his life in his tiny home village, Nidiguntapalam in Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh, he didn’t know what electricity was. However, he belonged to the rural privileged. His Reddy family had provided the village heads for the past four generations. After he finished his high school, studying under a kerosene lamp, he was sent to study college in Vellore, Tamil Nadu.
Reddy studied at the Christian Medical School, fell in love with his fellow intern Venkamma Reddy and later married her. In 1976, Prem Reddy immigrated to the United States to undergo residency training in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease at the State University of New York in Brooklyn. Soon after the internship, they moved to the High Desert area in California in 1981 and started their medical practice.
Venkamma practices general medicine in Victorville, CA. Professional success followed Reddy. He became a fellow of American College of Cardiology and American College of Chest Physicians. In his more than 20 years’ practice, he performed over 5,000 cardiac procedures like coronary angiography and angioplasty.
He founded Desert Valley Medical Group, which later became PrimeCare International, Inc. with operations across the United States. At its peak, it served over 250,000 managed care patients and had annual revenues in excess of $500 million. During 1998-2000, he founded and served as chairman and CEO of a pharmacy managed care company, PrimeRX.Com, Inc (PrimeMed Pharmacy Services, Inc.), headquartered in Las Vegas, NV.
In recognition of his business skills, accounting giant Ernst and Young gave him the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ award. Similar prestigious awards followed by Inc. Magazine and Merrill Lynch Financial Company. Reddy got involved in lawsuits while selling his company, PrimeCare International. That did not deter him during that time from building a private hospital, Desert Valley Hospital in Victorville, CA, from ground up. The DVH is an 85-bed state-of-the-art acute care hospital employing close to 100 doctors. It has received unprecedented accreditation with commendation in its first year of operation for the high quality of services, Reddy added.
In 1989, Reddy established the Desert Valley Charitable Foundation, a 501c(3) not-for-profit organization, with an initial gift of $1 million. Since then, he has contributed over $5 million to the foundation. The Victor Valley College Foundation recently honored Reddy’s donation of $1 million by naming its allied health program as “Dr. Prem Reddy School of Allied Health and Nursing.” The College had previously felicitated him when they named their student health clinic the “Dr. Prem Reddy Student and Staff Health Center.” Diane Nourse, vice president of resource development and chairwoman of the Legacy Campaign for the College Foundation, said: “This $1 million is the largest private donation in the history of the College, this is truly an awesome gift. “That money would go specifically to support the nursing and allied health programs at the college. It will help the nursing department acquire more space and faculty to turn out more nurses to serve the community.
There are 900 students waiting to enter VVC’s registered nurses program, which graduates about 60 nurses a year. His active benefaction has benefited several students of nursing and physical therapy with annual scholarship grants. In addition to assisting these students to complete their health care education, Reddy has funded free health care camps and free vaccinations.
The prestigious Western University of Health Science in Pomona, CA, named its largest lecture hall the “Dr. Prem Reddy Lecture Hall” in honor of his many contributions to education in the health care field. Although Reddy has bestowed generously to several charities in India, he feels he has been “too engaged” in the US to start an organization in his home district, Nellore. He wants to do something for his home town, like starting a college or an university in Nellore district.
Reddy lives in Victorville, CA, along with his wife and three children – daughters Kavitha and Sunitha and son Ashok. You can visit Dr.Reddy’s website http://www.premreddy.com for more information.