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Kiran and Pallavi Patel
Kiran and Pallavi Patel Setting An Example

The couple shares an interest not just in community involvement but also arts, health care, education and charity. The list of activities, achievements, accomplishments and the resulting awards of Drs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel continues and will continue for a long time.

The two have now been married for over 30 years. They met in Zambia before moving to the United States.

“I am glad I came to America because I would not have been introduced to advanced technology in medicine and the opportunity to have a post-graduate medical education,” said Kiran, fondly known as Dr. K.

Kiran built Well Care HMO, Florida into a billion-dollar company, providing service to more than 450,000 members, employing more than 1,200 employees and operating in Florida, New York and Connecticut. The company grew to become Florida’s largest Medicaid provider.

When Well Care HMO was at its peak, Kiran sold it to a private New York acquisitions firm though he is still a minority board member today.

At present, he is chairman of a medical software company, Visionary Medical Systems, which will allow physicians to reduce paperwork and devote more time to their patients. The firm offers medical office software as well as HMO software. “I am looking at significantly improving quality and reducing costs for the health care industry,” he said.

“I am basically using my 25 years of experience in the health care industry to bring efficiency into the field.”

One of the biggest credits Kiran and Pallavi get as community leaders is taking the initiative to build the 26,000-square-foot India Cultural Center (ICC) in Tampa, which is home to most Indian-related festivities as well as several non-Indian related events.

Pallavi is currently president and chief executive officer of Tampa based Bay Area Primary Care, whose eight clinics specialize in infant and adolescent care.

Some months ago, Pallavi was picked as the 2004 Executive Woman of the Year by Tampa’s Network of Executive Women. The award recognized women whose lives demonstrate professional accomplishment, service to community and commitment to helping other women. “It was nice to be recognized and I was honored,” said Pallavi.

She also is chairing the Arts of India Exhibit set September 10-11 at the India Cultural Center in Tampa. “There is a lot of excitement for the event, which will feature vocal competition and hopefully one day spread throughout Florida,” she said. In the works is a Dr. Pallavi Patel Performing Arts Conservatory at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center in Tampa. The Patels contributed $5 million toward the $30 million project, which is under construction at present and will tentatively hold its grand opening on November 6.

The conservatory is just one example of the couple’s endless bouts of philanthropy. Some years ago, the couple established a modern 50-bed charity hospital in Gujarat that serves 100,000 villagers.

Kiran soon will be founding a university of global understanding at University of South Florida to enable an exchange and learning of ideas. “Basically, it will nurture the idea that the world is one,” he said.

The couple is working with University of South Florida on HIVAIDS research treatment in India. “There is a program in place where individuals can visit the U.S. to learn about the latest HIV treatment available here,” said Kiran. “We met Richard Gere at an American India Foundation banquet and he expressed his interest in partnering with us to promote HIV-AIDS research.”

Ask him about his main principles in life and Kiran has a very simple answer: hard work, honesty and giving back to others.

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