This Sunday, November 22, 2020, Dharma Vijaya was very pleased to present a talk by Dr. Sarath Gunatilake, a world-renowned practicing physician, professor and researcher. Currently an occupational and family medicine physician at CSU Long Beach, he has also served as the medical director of Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk for nine years. He has been a consultant to many international health organizations including the World Bank, USAID, UNICEF, WHO, and others across thirteen countries.
His expertise extends over a wide variety of areas including international public health, occupational and environmental medicine, health planning, human resource management, family health and nutrition, and quality assurance in health care. He was co-principal investigator of Bioterrorism via a grant in curriculum development from CSULB. In addition he was a consultant on a panel assessing damage to the health care sector during the tsunami in Sri Lanka.
He is well known for his many publications, guest lectures and consultation services in occupational mental health, disaster management and international health, on local, national and international levels. He has been widely recognized and awarded for his vast work, including Excellence in Public Health Practice by the Southern California Public Health association (2007), by the government of Sri Lanka for services rendered to the Sri Lankan health care sector (2011), and in 2013 was appointed special advisor to the special projects ministry dealing with Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown origin. In fact, in 2014 CSU awarded him “Research Accomplishment of the Year” for his research that resulted in identification of the main contributing factors for CKS, which has affected many agricultural national across three continents. Subsequently, in 2015 the American Public Health Association’s Occupation Health and safety Section awarded him its International awarded for this research. This special award recognizes the individual who has contributed most to the health and safety of workers outside the U.S. And more recently, in 2019 he received the Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
His other research interests include chronic kidney disease, Mental Health, Meditation and Neuroplasticity, on which he has given multiple presentations.