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Indian American Donates $30 Mn to Healthcare System

An Indian American entrepreneur in Ohio has donated $30 million to University Hospitals (UH), a major not-for-profit hospital chain.//

Monte Ahuja, who had turned his graduate thesis into a global automotive business called Transtar Industries, made the gift on behalf of himself, his wife Usha and their family, in support of UH's $1.2 billion five-year strategic plan called Vision 2010.

In recognition of the Ahuja family's extraordinary generosity, the largest single donation in UH's 140-year history, UH will name a planned 200-bed hospital in Beachwood, a suburb in the Ohio capital Cleveland, The Ahuja Medical Center, a UH press release stated.

"Monte and Usha have generously supported University Hospitals with their time and talents for many years," UH president and chief executive Thomas F. Zenty III stated in the release.

Zenty had made the historic announcement Tuesday to more than 700 community leaders, UH physicians, leaders, donors and board members at a special holiday celebration.

"Through this gift, Monte and Usha are demonstrating not only their dedication to University Hospitals, but to the economic vitality of this region and to maintaining the highest calibre healthcare for the people of Northeast Ohio," he said.

UH is the second largest healthcare system in northeastern Ohio and has 150 locations, encompassing a network of hospitals, outpatient centres and primary care physicians.

"In many ways, my life is an example of the great American dream. I consider myself very fortunate to be so successful in business and to have such a wonderful family, and I want to give back to the community," said Ahuja, whose gift came 11 months after UH announced its Vision 2010 plan.

"I can think of no better investment than University Hospitals' Vision 2010. The vision is more than buildings; it is promise to the people of Northeast Ohio - and beyond - that UH is here to se rve them for generations to come," he was quoted as saying in the release.

Ahuja is also vice-chairperson of the UH Board of Directors and led the board task force that developed Vision 2010.

Ahuja was born and raised in India where he earned a BS in mechanical engineering before emigrating to the United States in 1969.

He earned an MS in mechanical engineering at The Ohio State University in 1970 and an MBA at Cleveland State University.

He then established a small distribution company that eventually grew into a global success. Today this business, known as Transtar Industries Inc., is the leading worldwide distributor of quality transmission parts to the motor vehicle repair industry.

The company - with 35 locations in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico - has annual revenues of more than $250 million.

Though last year, another company called Linsalata Capital Partners acquired a majority stake of Transtar, Ahuja retained a share of the company and his role as chairman and CEO.

According to the UH press release, the planned Ahuja Medical Center will feature a comprehensive array of inpatient and outpatient services ranging from high-tech minimally invasive surgery to leading-edge diagnostics and procedures.

UH has already hired a renowned architect who is working with UH leaders and other health care experts to design a revolutionary complex that would provide a unique healing environment and is conducive to providing the highest quality of care.

"The Ahuja Medical Center is one of the most exciting construction projects being undertaken in healthcare today - not just in Ohio, but nationally," the release quoted Chris Connor, chairman of the University Hospitals Board of Directors, as saying.

"Its impact on healthcare in this region and nationally will be profound."

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