"It is a huge victory for citizens of USA, physicians and as Indian Americans" an elated president of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) Ravi Jahagirdar said on Monday.
The upper house of US Congress confirmed 37-year-old Murthy's nomination by 51 votes to 43 more than year after President Barack Obama had nominated him to this top administration post on public health issues in November 2013 which saw a strong opposition from the powerful pro-gun lobby National Rifle Association (NRA).
He said for the past several months AAPI leadership had taken it as a challenge to seek justice denied for over a year to a doctor with impeccable credentials.
Jahagirdar said AAPI members got active from the grass roots level all the way to the top leadership. They not only called their local Senators, sent letters and emails, but the entire AAPI Executive Committee was on the Capitol Hill repeatedly in the past several months educating
Senators of the need to appoint a "top doc" to lead the nation, and to confirm the nomination of Murthy, he said.

They argued that Dr Murthy's nomination held in limbo for more than a year was "totally unacceptable" and that justice thus delayed was justice denied to this US born doctor of Indian origin, he said.
"Our role was educational and advocacy. During the Ebola crisis you could see that the health department had no direction and was a sorry spectacle." Jahagirdar said.
Even on Monday, the day of voting, AAPI ran television ads urging Indian Americans to call their Senators to support Murthy. The appointment only reaffirmed the old American adage "you cannot keep a good man down"! he said.

Senator Dianne Feinstein said the Senate put public health over special interests by voting to confirm Vivek Murthy to be the next surgeon general.
"The United States faces serious public health challenges and we need a top doctor on the job to help address them," she said.
"It is another historic Day for Indian Americans right after the confirmation of US Ambassador to India, Richard Verma. It was a Herculean effort and it was well worth it. People from all walks of life joined hands in reaching US Senators all over the country to convince them, that how important this appointment is for all of us," said Sampat Shivani, national president of the Indian American Forum for Political Education.
The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) welcomed the Senate confirmation of Murthy. "Today is a proud day for Hindu Americans and a great day for all Americans who will be served by an accomplished doctor whose career is defined by service," said Aseem Shukla, a pediatric urologist at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and a member of HAF's board of directors.
HAF had mobilized its network of supporters to call Senators, meet with their staff, and write letters on Murthy's behalf and took a strict stand against the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) which had opposed the nomination.

Meanwhile a number of lawmakers congratulated Murthy on his confirmation. "This confirmation comes at a critical time for our nation as we work to address various public health concerns, including the Ebola epidemic abroad. It's a testament to both his own distinguished career and the great strides made by the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community," said Congresswoman Judy Chu, chair of the Congressional caucus on Asian Pacific Americans.
Hawaii Senator Mazie K Hirono said she was impressed by Murthy's work. "These are the kinds of innovative ideas that will keep Americans healthier, longer. We need a Surgeon General who will roll up his sleeves and take action. I am confident Murthy is that Surgeon General," she said.
Congressman Mike Honda, said the Senate's confirmation of Murthy is great news for the nation and for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
"His qualifications were never in question— the only delay was because one faction of the Republican Party chose to play politics with America's health. Murthy's confirmation strengthens the AAPI community's voice and presence, and marks a positive step toward addressing the need for greater diversity in all levels of government," he said.
"Murthy is an eminently qualified physician that has won the support of our nation's preeminent health and physicians groups and shown strong public health leadership at home and abroad," said Congresswoman Barbara Lee.
"For more than 20 years, Murthy has worked to improve public health through education, research, and by providing care. I am confident that his education and experience will enable him to provide strong leadership as the nation's doctor," said Congresswoman Doris O Matsui.

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