CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta helps raise funds for Houston's underserved

By Rachel McNeill - Anchor

HOUSTON - For the last decade, CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta has been on the front lines of nearly every disaster around the world.

This week, he spoke to a sellout crowd for the 15th anniversary of St. Luke's Episcopal Health Charities, which has given $88 million in grant money to serve millions of people in our area.

Dr. Gupta told Local 2, "Doing a lot of work around the world involving hospitals and involving organizations that are trying to help other people, I feel like that's become a more poignant part of my life. When I was asked to do this, I thought it was a great opportunity."

Executive Director Dr. Patricia Gail Bray said Gupta was the natural choice for keynote speaker.

She explained, "He has this beautiful ability to blend medicine with public health, and a lot of the work that we do is that blending. We go to the community, to the people who are affected, and we say to them, 'What do you think that we need to do?'"

Gupta, a practicing neurosurgeon, academician, author and father of three, is probably most respected for his humanitarian work, rolling up his sleeves in the trenches.

He told Local 2, "I think 2003 Iraq was still probably the thing that was most seared in my memory. Haiti as well. Even though it was a natural disaster, because of the scale of what happened there, you land in Port-au-Prince and you come to realize 200,000 people died there in a day. I'd never seen anything like that."

What's on Gupta's bucket list?

He said, "A more recent thing on my bucket list, I haven't talked about it yet, but is possibly going to the International Space Station. There's real science going on there with what's happened with NASA, as you know living here in Texas, has changed the way we that we look at scientific research especially with regard to space but also even some of the experiments that are going on here on Earth. So what's happening at the International Space Station now with the way that they grow food, the way that they plan for longer missions, it is fascinating stuff and I've been doing a lot of work with some of the researchers here and I'd love to go see it for myself. That's my pitch! So we'll see if they bite."

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