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Tribute to Dr. Vani Manoharan

By Mahadev Desai


The Atlanta community will deeply miss Dr. Vani Manoharan, DNP, MSN, RN, who passed away peacefully, on August 6, at her home, surrounded by her family. There was an outpouring of touching condolence messages and tributes from her colleagues, friends, relatives and well-wishers at her dignified and well attended funeral in Stone Mountain, GA and thereafter.

Service of the poor and needy was ingrained in Vani from early childhood. Vani was born on July 15,1966, and raised near Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India. Vani's grandfather Mr. Kuppuswamy was a well-known philanthropist from Katpadi (near Vellore), known for his Sidda treatment for Paralysis patients. Vani’s family still treats Paralysis patients today. Vani's father, Shri K. Sivapatham (Late) and Mrs. Rajeswari owned a Rice mill in Katpadi and installed electrical pump-sets for irrigation wells around North Arcot district.

From early age, Vani decided she would either be a physician or a nurse, in order to tend to the sick and serve the less fortunate through her services. She was a passionate, diligent student with immense optimism, who dreamt high, and achieved her dreams despite enormous hurdles. She earned her master’s in Nursing from MGR University, India, specializing in medical surgery and worked at premium institutions like the Christian Medical College (CMC) Hospital in Vellore and Apollo Hospital in Chennai. She was also a professor at Saveetha Dental College.
She got married in 1993, and at the age of 38, came to Atlanta, GA, to fulfill her dream of a nursing career.

In 2005, Dr. Manoharan started working at Emory Healthcare’s Inpatient Clinical Research Unit and became part of the GCRCs Outpatient Clinical Research Unit staff in 2015 as a nurse clinician, as well as serving patients in the Winship Cancer Institute’s Infusion Center. She was promoted to Charge Nurse in 2020 and completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) at Grand Canyon University. Most recently, Vani served as Research Nurse Educator, and in the short amount of time in this role, she was instrumental in developing procedures to streamline inpatient research.
“Sometimes all it takes is one person to change the life of others. That person was Dr. Vani Manoharan. She was a pillar to all the people who knew her. She was passionate in her service to others, always putting others first. Dr. Manoharan was my role model; the GCRC has lost an irreplaceable contributor. Rest in peace. Gone too soon,” remarks Inez Efejuku, RN, Clinical Research Nurse, GCRC at Emory University Hospital.

Readers may like to know that GCRC will be honoring Dr. Vani in the Winship 5k Run/Walk on October 1,2022. Do either join team Vani’s Warriors or donate to the worthy cause. Winship Cancer Institute serves more than 17,000 patients each year and helps cancer patients throughout Georgia, the Southeast and beyond by working to prevent, treat, and cure cancer.

“Vani was the most caring and passionate nurses I met in my life. She was always eager to help others and was in forefront of many charitable activities organized by GAPI clinic, SAI Health Fairs, and Georgia Indian Nurses Association (GINA). She also volunteered at cultural programs and annual meetings of Atlanta community organizations. Whole GAPI clinic family is going to miss her dearly. She will be in our hearts forever.” Dr. Sreeni Gangasani, M.D. FACC; Director GAPI Volunteers Clinic.  

Vani was a GINA member since 2014. She was a very active member of GINA. She worked diligently to enroll many new members. GINA members participated in many SAI Health Fairs. Vani helped out with whatever duty she was requested to perform. She also served as the treasurer in 2017-2018 and 2020-2021. Because of her genial smile, sincere work and helpful presence in all functions, she was bestowed with the well-deserved GINA Nurse of the year award in 2018. During November and December, 2021, Vani worked tirelessly during GINA’s community charity work of helping the poor with food donations, and clothing in mid-town Atlanta. Dr. Vani was also in the frontline to collect, sort and send Covid relief materials and funds to various organizations in Gujarat, Kerala, Bangalore etc. which were helping the under privileged and out of jobs people.
She unfailingly volunteered in the Georgia Association of Physicians of Indian Heritage (GAPI) clinic, in Global Mall, Norcross, GA.,

Vani as a team member of GINA and GAPI organizations, rendered well-coordinated voluntary services at the SAI Health Fairs, attended on average by about 300 people with various healthcare issues. She also helped out at blood drives and health-related events.
The Founder/Dir. of SAI Health Fair Org., Dr. Sujata Reddy commented, “I am at a loss for words. Vani has been attending Sai Health Fairs since 2002. She was modest, of genial demeanor, courteous and kind hearted. I will dearly miss her reassuring presence.”

Vani played a significant role in Lilburn Tamil School. Lilburn Tamil School is one of several schools in GA that play outstanding role to preserve, nurture and promote Tamil culture and language in GA. The schools are accredited by GA Accreditation Commission as Educational Agencies with Special Purposes. Lilburn Tamil School’s current Vice Principal, Smt. Kavitha Kumaresan spoke highly of Dr. Vani’s memorable role in teaching Tamil language and culture. She also helped at various charity and cultural events organized by the school and also carried out duties of school’s Vice Prin.with aplomb.
Vani was a living embodiment of love, empathy and selfless service to all, irrespective of race, religion or faith. She was a loving daughter, wife and mother who bonded closely with her family. Her family will follow in her footsteps and continue with her mission. May her exemplary life guide and inspire many more to serve humanity.

Kind permission: : 

Inez Efejuku, RN, Clinical Research Nurse, GCRC at Emory University Hospital.

Mahadev Desai is an Atlanta based veteran avid reader and a prolific and versatile freelance writer, whose writings have appeared in print and on websites.