TEANECK, N.J. — What continues to shake Teaneck physician Ernani Sadural on almost every mission trip he takes is that the underserved people he helps aren't all that different from some of his neighbors.
The board-certified general obstetrician-gynecologist launched his organization — Life Is Great (LIG) Global — following the catastrophic 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
The organization has since brought medical care to thousands of underserved people.
But after the mission trips to Kenya, the Philippines, Sudan, Uganda and Honduras, Sadural wants to bring LIG Global back home.
“No country or state or community is immune to these issues,” said Sadural, also the president and co-founder of Contemporary Women’s Care, a division of Regional Women's Health.
“We have people living in our own communities who are really hurting and could use help.”
The physician and his wife, Dr. Sarah Timmapuri, were named “Humanitarians of the Year” in 2012 by The Waves of Health nonprofit organization.
Sadural is passionate about helping communities in his new role as director of global health for the RWJ Barnabas Health System.
He heard about a community of coal miners in Western Virginia through an organization called "The Health Wagon," run by nurses who bring health care to Central Appalachia.
While in Montana, LIG Global helped Blackfeet Tribal Health clinic with strategic planning.
Many of Health Wagon's patients, however, were part of a large population of locals who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but can’t afford premiums under Obamacare.
“It’s no different than people in other communities around the world who are unfortunately left to wait until a condition deteriorates (to receive medical attention),” said Sadural, who primarily works at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston and Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville.
“It’s a population that has to make do until they really get sick.”
Next on Sadural’s agenda is to establish clinics to offer preventative care and a better wellness culture in global communities.
And then, in New Jersey.