Dr. Minnie Bodhanwala
Dr. Bodhanwala (BDS, MHA, MBA, LLB, Phd) is a front-running dental surgeon, entrepreneur, advisor, mentor and philanthropist who hails from India. She is the CEO of Nowrosjee Wadia Maternity Hospital and Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children in Mumbai, and is the board member and director of several Wadia Group organizations, foundations and companies. She is also a much sought after voice in healthcare when it comes to innovation, corporate social responsibility and synergy mobilization. An overarching goal of achieving ‘the greatest possible good for the greatest possible pool’ adds powerful purpose and rare passion to her many ground-breaking endeavours.
At a time when more and more women are breaking down glass ceilings, debunking myths and undermining clicheys to notch up new chronicles of success, the stirring saga of Dr. Minnie Bodhanwala’s pathbreaking journey sparkles a little brighter. After all, Dr. Bodhanwala – a leading light in healthcare and in particular for children’s care – may also be defined as one of the silent architects of the oncoming (some will say it’s already upon us) woman’s era. It is a saga of indomitable will and unshakeable guts that has given healthcare the blessings of bold and timely new beginnings – be it for children’s wellness or for the underprivileged.
Dr. Minnie Bodhanwala’s odyssey begins in Bangalore where she was born, and moves onto Hyderabad where she was brought up. With a burning desire to make a meaningful difference to society, it was the young and starry eyed woman’s all-consuming ambition to become a cardiac surgeon. But destiny had other plans. When her MBBS results didn’t produce the requisite eligibilities, Minnie responded by producing a miracle: Shifting her focus and commitment to mastering the art of dentistry instead. Her distinction in General Surgery and Dental surgery – one that saw her make inroads in a (then) largely male-dominated bastion – was a symbol of her can-do spirit.
It is the same spirit that catapulted her from one professional milestone to the next, carving a distinctive career for herself as a leader in the domain, and winning 130 prestigious national and international awards (in the field of hospital and healthcare) along with way. A staunch evangelist of women’s empowerment (and the healing touch that can usher to not just patients, but society as a whole), her dual qualifications in dental surgery and business management lends her a unique grip over the healthcare terrain, and a rare understanding of both its contemporary bottlenecks and its oncoming horizons.
A MODERN ICON
Today, Dr. Bodhanwala – ranked 2nd among 25 legends of Healthcare Industry in India by Medicare Insight Magazine and featured in India Forbes March 2019 as a “Globally Recognized Indian Business Leaders” – is a much sought after mind and mentor for advancement and innovation in healthcare. A champion for the cause of democratizing healthcare by making it approachable by one and all, Dr. Minnie has been – for the last three decades – on a personal crusade analysing and expediting well-being for those with rare diseases, where treatment is a challenge both due to the lack of infrastructure and expertise, as well as forbidding levels of cost. She is also an advisor to UNDP, UNICEF and WHO.
Of her many achievements, however, perhaps nothing defines the sparkle and sensitivity of her persona better than her avatar as the CEO of two charitable semi-government heritage hospitals, Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children and Nowrosjee Wadia Maternity Hospital, Mumbai, the first mother & child concept serving the underprivileged of the society since 1926.
Under Bodhanwala’s stewardship, the charitable hospitals have travelled from strength to strength, adding several feathers to their caps. They hold the distinction of being the largest Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the country with 155 beds and more than 34 sub-specialities like cardiology, neurology, nephrology, thus providing comprehensive treatment to children. The teams have also recently begun a Human Milk Bank and a clinic for children suffering with Multiple disabilities and vision impairment. The list goes on. The IVF clinic initiated by the hospital is a ‘First of its kind’ milestone for a Public Trust hospital – and a heaven-sent for the economically afflicted. Finally, regular Charitable Camps are organized for underprivileged women and children.
That’s hardly all. Dr. Minnie’s relentless efforts have led to the creation of the dedicated Nodal Centre for Clubfoot Treatment in Maharashtra, as well as a dedicated clinic for Cancer, Malnutrition, HIV, TB, Epilepsy, Occupational Therapy and other ailments.
Dr. Bodhanwala is also the force behind the unique initiative – Little Hearts Marathon – which aims to spread awareness for prevention of cardiac diseases among children with cardiac diseases whose parents cannot afford the forbidding medical bills that often accompany the treatment.
A LEGACY OF TRANSFORMATION
Donning multiple hats day in day out calls for a special kind of passion and commitment. One that Minnie doesn’t just possess, but relishes. It’s not for the faint hearted, but if you are a young turk beginning out in healthcare with a similar dream of making your goal count, the soft spoken leader has some hard advice:
Bad times don’t last – but good people do. So take risks and do anything that you must to achieve your goals, but make sure it is not at the expense of your values. Staying true to your values may not always be easy – it can be heart-breaking to see others get to the finishing line before you do – but at the end of the day, it’s all that matters. There’s a world of good that you can do to make the world a better place – without sacrificing your soul.
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