PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Easterseals is celebrating its 15th year of “Passage to India,” a cultural event held in August that highlights the Asian-Indian community in Central Illinois.
One physician honored this year is Dr. Brinda Mehta.
Mehta is the kind of physician that knows all her patients and their families on a first-name basis.
“I want to see the child not as ‘patient xyz.’ I want to see the child as a whole, with their parent and family,” Mehta said.
She and her husband moved to America from India 10 years ago.
“We’re both on work visas, so sometimes it can be quite difficult to get physician jobs in our sub-specialties, so it was like trying to align the stars,” Mehta said.
Those stars aligned for her four years ago when she began her job at OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois in the St. Jude Midwest Affiliate Clinic. She is a practicing pediatric hematologist-oncologist, meaning she treats blood and cancer disorders in young patients.
“Children are so resilient,” Mehta said. “It makes me motivated and makes me also be more resilient like the children are.”
She said she gets to be a child at heart when working with children.
“On a lighter note, they are really cute and fun to be with,” Mehta said.
As a parent herself, Mehta said she knows how caring for a child can impact a whole family.
She said in her own family, they work to cherish two cultures.
“[We] bring our Indian sentiments and values and mix them up with American cultures and values,” she said.
Mehta said Peoria is a great fit for her family, not only for its strong healthcare community but also its strong Asian-Indian community.
“Again, I feel like the stars aligned very nicely for me to be here at the right place at the right time with the right group of people to be able to care for these patients and families.”