On behalf of St. Helena Hospital, Clear Lake, I would like to recognize Dr. Paula Dhanda for her service to our community and to women and children in need all over the world. On Feb. 23, she was celebrated as an “Unsung Hero of Compassion” in a ceremony of gratitude honoring 52 extraordinary volunteers from around the world. Dr. Dhanda received a personal thank you and blessing from His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, for her work in creating and leading Worldwide Healing Hands. Through this organization, she and her team of volunteers focused on averting preventable tragedies during pregnancy and childbirth for women and to raising awareness of the great need for medical care.
It has been a great honor working with Dr. Dhanda. Her passion and commitment are boundless, as is her creativity in finding ways to reach out and bring care to communities in need. Her dedication started early in life, accompanying her father, a surgeon, as he served the indigent in Bombay, India, and surrounding rural communities. His example inspired her to become a doctor, in turn, specializing in obstetrics and gynecological care, and eventually to leave her successful Beverly Hills medical practice in search of greater opportunities to serve. Seeing a shortage of physicians providing women’s care and limited health services for the indigent population, she moved to Lake County in 1990 to join St. Helena Hospital, Clear Lake. Since 2005, she has held medical directorship positions including Medical Director of Surgery/OB and Chief of Staff at St. Helena Hospital, Clear Lake.
Wherever she has served, whether here at home in Lake County or in Chad, Haiti or Nepal, Dr. Dhanda has brought hope and quality medical care to women and their newborns. Dr. Dhanda and her team provide education and support to mothers and local medical staff, perform corrective surgeries for childbirth injuries, teach life saving preventive care techniques, manage high-risk births and provide a full range of women’s health care for every kind of situation, from high-tech delivery suites to earthquake-ravaged hospitals to isolated field clinics. The positive impact on individual women and children, families, and communities is incalculable.
I, for one, am grateful that this everyday hero has chosen to call our community home.
Vice President of St. Helena Hospital, Clear Lake
Published in the Lake County Record Bee