ROTARIAN OF THE WEEK – Renuka Desai, Club Member since 2020
Renuka was previously a Rotarian at the Rotary Club of Cherry Hill, New Jersey from 2007 until 2019. In 2017, she relocated to LA to stay close to her two daughters which gave her the opportunity to meet fellow Rotarians at the Santa Monica Club and join the club after her 4th global grant project. She was born and raised in Mumbai, India and received her pediatric board exam in January 1974 in India.
She joined the pediatric residency program at Cook County Hospital in Chicago in 1974 and received Pediatric board certification in 1979. In 1976 she married and relocated to Cherry Hill. She worked as a pediatrician from 1980 until 2013. As she was approaching retirement, she started looking into many Rotary projects related to water and sanitation, as these are the main causes of childhood diseases in India. She found the Rotary Club in Mumbai and partnered with them to build toilets in close by villages.
She became an international partner for 4 global grants. They built 820 toilets to benefit close to 5000 people. Her first international humanitarian trip was in 2004. As a pediatrician, she accompanied a group of surgeons to check patients pre and post operations in Guaquile, Ecuador. In 2011 she went to India for thepolio eradication vaccine NID program.
She is a fellow of the Rotary water and sanitation action group, the international fellowship of Rotarian doctors, and a major donor of the Rotary Foundation. She is a member of the American Association of Physicians from India, and an honorary medical staff member at Virtua Health in New Jersey.