Dr Daniel Mascarenhas has contributed to the betterment of cardiac patients purely out of his concern to do good for those in need.
Dr. Daniel Neville Mascarenhas, MD. FACC, Clinical Professor of Medicine (Drexel University College of Medicine) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a renowned Cardiologist and the first Goan-Indian, among 40,000 cardiologists in the USA, who has been awarded the Prestigious International Service Award 2021 from the American College of Cardiology. This is in recognition for his relentless and continuous dedication to the international community and service to cardiac care, especially in the underdeveloped world.
Dr. Mascarenhas has been in the United States since 1985, after having completed his fellowship in Cardiology at the King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital, a 1500 bed University Hospital, in Mumbai.
During his tenure at KEM he was exposed to the reality and challenges of practicing medicine when patients lacked basic medical infrastructure for cardiology services. As a cardiology fellow in 1984, his job description included placing catheters in a cidex solution on Sunday evening and cleaning them on Monday morning for use in patients. Catheters were used until they deteriorated.
In 1989, as a cardiology fellow at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester Massachusetts, he then did back to back advanced fellowship in Nuclear Cardiology and interventional Cardiology under the mentorship of Dr. David Spodick, a legendary clinical cardiologist and researcher.
During this period, Dr. Mascarenhas collected coronary catheters and temporary pacing catheters (used and time expired) from the Cardiac Catheter Lab at the hospital. In 1992, he came up with the idea of bringing these devices back to his alma mater, KEM Hospital and G.S. Medical College, in Mumbai, India, for reuse for needy patients.
In 1994, as a cardiologist in private practice, he further expanded his efforts and began to collect unused catheters and balloons and delivered these to Dubrava University Hospital in Zagreb, Croatia, in addition to his alma mater.
In 2002, he began collecting pacemakers, stents and peripheral catheters which were subsequently brought and reused in KEM Hospital, Sion University Hospitals, and Holy Family Hospital in Mumbai.
In 2005, Dr. Mascarenhas embarked on extending cardiac care in his beloved Goa. He started the P F das Neves Mascarenhas Cardiac Diagnostic Clinic under the aegis of the Goa America Heart Foundation.
As these efforts gained momentum, he started collecting reused defibrillators which were very costly to acquire and implant in India. In order to streamline distribution of these devices among the indigent population of Mumbai, he started a pacemaker/device bank in 2006 at the Holy Family Hospital in Mumbai, India. The device bank was able to document the use and distribution of these devices in order to effectively deliver them where they were most needed.
In 2010, Dr. Mascarenhas presented his preliminary findings at the AHA with subsequent publication in the American Journal of Cardiology in 2011 and with a news report on the same article in the British Medical Journal. These scholarly reports were the basis for subsequent publications on the reuse of devices.
In 2012, this experience on the reuse of defibrillators was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and his work was accompanied by an editorial on the subject in the same journal. After this publication, this work was highlighted by the Times of India, Mumbai and simultaneously picked up by Agency France Presse (AFP) and BBC.
This intense experience and labour of love culminated in him being named the ‘50 top Indian Americans’ by Silicon India News.
In May 2014, Dr. Mascarenhas was interviewed by NPR news regarding his experience with re-use and reimplantation of devices. In July 2015, he was interviewed on Philly Fox News for his experience with reusing and re-implanting them in the indigent population.
Dr. Mascarenhas was recognized by the Pennsylvania Medical Society in November 2018 for his efforts with the International Voluntary Service Award, the second highest achievement awarded by the PA Medical Society.
Most recently, he was interviewed by Vice News in July 2019 in recognition of his work at home and abroad.
Unlike many, Dr. Mascarenhas has contributed to the betterment of cardiac patients not for financial, scientific or professional advancement but purely out of his concern to do good for those in need. He used ingenuity and his “where there is a will” attitude to initiate a pioneering approach to provide expensive life-saving cardiac help to people who could not afford them