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April 21, 2014

Local physician to host Patient Appreciation Day and Health Fair

— A local physician is gearing up for an event aimed at giving back.

Dr. Bhagabat C. Sahu, who has had a urology practice on West Market Street in Athens for nearly 32 years, will hold Patient Appreciation Day and Health Fair, along with Klaus Medenbach, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, April 26 at Lincoln-Bridgeforth Park.

“I’ve done this for 32 years and my patients have trust in our practice,” Sahu said. “I wanted to give back something to the community. I appreciate their trust in us.”

Sahu has worked, lived and raised a family in Athens during his past three decades in North Alabama. He is married to wife, Puspa. The couple has three children, Joya, Priya and Padma.

Finding Athens

The doctor can recall the first time he visited Athens after graduating from the Presbyterian Hospital at Columbia University in New York City. He remembers the impact the Limestone County community had on his life.

“It was a big decision for me to come to a small town,” he said, adding the people in Athens were extremely nice and had great Southern hospitality.

“But it was more than that,” he said.

When he first visited Athens-Limestone Hospital he drove U.S. 72 from Huntsville to Market Street. As he was leaving to go back, he took Market Street and ended up near where tennis courts are currently located at Big Spring Memorial Park.

“Instead of making a right turn on Clinton Street, I went straight,” Sahu said. “I was just near where the park is now and I got out of the car wondering where to go to get back to U.S. 72.”

It was dusky dark and a young girl saw Sahu, got out of her car and said, “Sir, how can I help you?”

He told her he was trying to get back to U.S. 72 East towards Huntsville. She said, “No problem. Just follow me and I will drop you there on U.S. 72.”

That resonated with Sahu because by then, in New York, his car had been broken into three times and he had heard gunshots in the neighborhood. He knew it was not the place to raise his children.

“I said I’m going to a crime-free area in a good place where they will have a good education,” Sahu said.

He found what he was looking for in Athens. “All three kids had the best education,” he said. “They all went to Athens High and then went on to Ivy League schools and became physicians.”

Sahu said he wishes he knew the girl that made a change and a “big turn” in his life.

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