Dr. Hema Divakar has been committed to providing exceptional healthcare services to women for the past 30 years. Her efforts have included ground-breaking research that has been translated into tangible solutions, playing a pivotal role in shaping a nationwide shift that impacts women’s health. After completing her MD at Wadia Hospital in Mumbai in 1989, Dr. Divakar joined forces with her husband, Dr. G.V. Divakar, a respected ophthalmologist, to establish the Divakar’s Speciality Hospital in Bengaluru. The hospital was founded with the objective of providing a one-stop-shop for all women’s health-related needs. It caters to new-borns, girls, and women of all ages with a wide range of services. She also Chairs the FIGO Committee for Well Woman Health Care (international obgyn organisation considered as the global voice for women’s healthcare). Moreover, she is a National Convener for Health Sector Skill Council and a leader for FemTech and Digital Skill Transfer in India and Asia. Over the past 25 years, she has set new standards in healthcare and positively impacted countless women’s lives.
A TRUE CHANGEMAKER
Driven by her passion for healing, Dr. Divakar aspired to go beyond simply treating patients who came to her for medical assistance. To achieve a sustainable and lasting change in healthcare, she started the Asian Research and Training Institute for Skill Transfer (ARTIST), which serves as a platform to train frontline healthcare workers to provide well-researched and accurate information.
Under ARTIST, Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) specialists undergo training and upskilling through short and smart modules. Postgraduates, medical officers, staff nurses, health counsellors, health educators, and women also receive knowledge-based seminars and training to increase awareness. The program conducts skill transfer training across the country in various phases.
Dr. Divakar has brought together a team of expert healthcare professionals, leaders of professional organisations (both national and international), key opinion makers, researchers, academicians, and leading clinicians in practice. This unique blend of top resources works together under one umbrella to design and deliver these trainings. The program is a one-of-a-kind initiative that is making a positive impact throughout India.
In Bangalore, there is an institute called ARTIST Skill Gurukul, which focuses on enhancing the skills and competencies of obstetricians, gynaecologists, and healthcare providers in India. With Dr. Divakar at the helm, the specialists at ARTIST have conducted extensive surveys on the Knowledge, Attitudes & Practices (KAPs) of ObGyns throughout India. Their findings have identified significant gaps in KAPs, which they leverage to design training programs and modules to provide education where it is most needed.
Dr. Divakar is a highly respected figure both in India and abroad, occupying prominent positions. She was earlier the head of the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI). Under her leadership, the FOGSI adopted a four-pronged approach to tackle four different issues: ABCD – anaemia among adolescent and pregnant women; building contraceptive choices; cancer cervix; and diabetes.
Dr. Divakar played a lead role in conducting outreach services, including anaemia detection and treatment, de-worming, menstrual hygiene, and health awareness camps for 50,000 girls every year for the last ten years. Furthermore, she led an instrumental role in handling anaemia during pregnancy which included study and operative research on the use of intravenous iron sucrose. She has also pioneered a revised health scoring system for Indian women that takes into account post-partum depression. She has collaborated with many leading universities like Columbia University, IIM, and Indian College of O&G to pioneer new systems and methodologies for multiple causes.
Dr. Divakar’s exceptional work has been recognised on multiple occasions. In 2015, she received the FIGO Women Achievers Award for her remarkable contributions to the advancement of science and research in O&G, both internationally and domestically.
Her other prestigious awards include the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Governing Council of Diabetes in Pregnancy Study Group India, two separate Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Karnataka State Gynaecologists Association and the Bangalore Obgyn Society; and the Global Award for Music Therapy from Medscape India and the Social Entrepreneurship Award from USAID and MSD for Mothers. She has also been conferred with the ‘Icons of Healthcare’ Award in Singapore. She is dedicated to providing accessible healthcare for women and raising awareness through education initiatives aimed at patients, caregivers and medical practitioners. What sets her apart is her ability to work collaboratively with NGOs, institutes, medical associations, and corporates, welcoming anyone willing to join her mission. She has transformed healthcare into a generation-defining movement.