Featured Testimonial About Creighton University
I take the Bhatias’ love for Creighton very seriously. They have done so much for patient care, for education and for mentorship at Creighton.
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By Micah Mertes
A Creighton couple’s gift will continue their transformative legacy and bring a new leader to one of the School of Medicine’s most prestigious departments.
Professors emeriti Shashi and Subhash Bhatia, both MD, have established the Shashi and Subhash Bhatia, Bhatia Family Endowed Chair in the Department of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine.
Creighton’s 46th endowed chair will help guide the continued growth and innovation of a department in which the Bhatias have mentored hundreds of medical students, residents and fellows in the mission of improving the human condition.
On March 15, Rajesh Tampi, MD, was installed as the inaugural Bhatia Family Endowed Chair. Tampi comes to Creighton from the Cleveland Clinic, where he served as the chief of geriatric psychiatry and the chair of psychiatry at Cleveland Clinic Akron General.
Throughout his career, Tampi has been a leader in the field, producing outstanding work in clinical practice, training and research in geriatric psychiatry. He was president of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry and is a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry.
“I take the Bhatias’ love for Creighton very seriously,” Tampi said. “They have done so much for patient care, for education and for mentorship at Creighton.”
As the first holder of the chair bearing the Bhatias’ name, Tampi said, he carries forward the legacy of a couple who helped shape and shepherd Creighton’s Department of Psychiatry for more than 40 years.
“This has always been a strong, innovative department with some of the top teachers in the medical school,” said Robert “Bo” Dunlay, MD’81, Dean of the School of Medicine. “But even in the history of this terrific department, the Bhatias stand out as exceptional human beings.”
Dunlay said Tampi is a perfect fit for Creighton. “He’s someone who truly understands the University’s mission and who will maintain this department’s status as a national leader.”
Tampi said his career of 20-plus years stands on four pillars:
1. Bringing world-class clinical care to the patient’s doorstep.
2. Developing the next set of leaders in psychiatry.
3. Improving scholarship and research in the field.
4. “And last but not least, I want to be a good citizen who improves the lives of his community and helps people have healthier and more fulfilling lives.”
Tampi also said that justice, equity, diversity and inclusion are themes that run through everything he’s done and will do at Creighton.
Like Tampi, Subhash and Shashi Bhatia are from India. When they came to Omaha in 1974, there were few Indian families in the city. But the Bhatias said they never felt like outsiders at Creighton.
When Subhash landed at Eppley Airfield to start his Creighton residency, he had $8 in his pocket and nowhere to stay for the night. But Beverly Mead, MD — Creighton psychiatry’s chair at the time — was waiting for him. He took Subhash to a Ramada Inn, paid for his room and had a faculty member pick him up for work the following morning.
Nearly 50 years later, the Bhatias see that moment as the first in a long line of kindnesses that defined their Creighton experience. Their gift to establish this endowed chair, they said, is their way of paying back that kindness. And paying it forward.
“We have been so blessed, and it’s not just about hard work,” Subhash said. “It’s about the people who have changed our lives. This gift is our way of showing our gratitude.”
Shashi added, “You can never forget the places and people who have gotten you where you are. Coming to Creighton was the best thing that ever happened to us.”
About Rajesh Tampi
Tampi, MD, MBBS, DFAPA, MS, comes to Creighton from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, where he served as the chief of geriatric psychiatry and the chair of psychiatry at Cleveland Clinic Akron. He is a graduate of the University of Kerala Medical College in India, completing his psychiatry training in England and his psychiatry residency in Vermont, followed by a geriatric psychiatry fellowship at Yale University.
Throughout his career, Tampi has been a leader in the field, producing outstanding work in clinical practice, training and research in geriatric psychiatry. His clinical and research interests include psychiatric disorders in later life; neurodegenerative disorders; ethical and legal issues in geriatric psychiatry; and integrated geriatric psychiatric care.
Tampi was president of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry and a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He has published more than 180 peer-reviewed articles in national and international journals and is an editor of 10 books in psychiatry. He is the editor-in-chief of the World Journal of Psychiatry and serves on the editorial boards of national and international journals in psychiatry. He is a reviewer for more than 50 journals, including the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, the American Journal of Psychiatry, and the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementias.
Tampi has been recognized for outstanding teaching, clinical work and leadership, having received the Jack Weinberg Award for Geriatric Psychiatry and the George Tarjan Award from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the APA Foundation.
About the Bhatias
Subhash and Shashi came to Omaha from Chandigarh, India, where they both graduated from Panjab University. Subhash and Shashi each completed residencies and fellowships at Creighton’s School of Medicine and joined Creighton’s faculty in 1977 and 1979, respectively.
Shashi is a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Psychiatry and Child Psychiatry; a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association; a Life Fellow of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; a Fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists; and a Fellow of the Indian Association of Psychiatry. She is involved in the Vital Signs Mentoring Program for medical students, and she mentors University faculty. She is engaged with the Nebraska Psychiatric Society and the Nebraska Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
From 1991 to 2017, Subhash served as chief of mental health and behavioral services at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System. He has volunteered at the student-run Magis Clinic, which provides free services to homeless and uninsured patients in Omaha. He edited the book Substance and Non-Substance Related Addiction Disorders: Diagnosis and Treatment. He has authored or co-authored multiple peer-reviewed scientific papers and presented at national and international conferences. His contributions have garnered recognition from experts around the world. Subhash is associated with numerous societies and academies, and his academic career is decorated with awards and funding. He is a member of the National Academy of Medical Sciences, a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Emeritus Fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists and Over Seas Life Fellow of the Indian Psychiatric Society. He is also the Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology with subspecialty certifications from the Board in Geriatric, Addiction and Forensic Psychiatry.