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CARTERVILLE — Raj Nayar sees a big problem, and he hopes to help find a solution.

As a physician, he said he’s seen patients struggle to get insurance, to make it to appointments and even to afford being treated in the first place and he can’t stand it.

“It really breaks your heart,” he said.

So he and a dedicated group of physicians, the Innov8 Doctor’s Group, as well as members of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, started working hard last year to find a way to connect the patients with people at the top of the medical food chain, those who can actually make a difference.

Out of this came First Annual Healthcare Summit: Our Rural and Urban America, set for this Saturday. Nayar said there will be A-list political and medical leaders, including U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, as well as state Sen. Dale Fowler, R-Harrisburg, and even Dr. David Barbe, who was made national president of the American Medical Association in 2017.

During Saturday’s free noon luncheon at the Carterville Community Center, Nayar said attendees can expect to have an honest and open dialogue with these leaders about how the medical system could better serve patients.

“The idea is to fix some of the health care gaps in general,” he said.

While there are some big picture goals on the table for the summit, Nayar said he hoped there would be some tangible help given to attendees in need. He said the Innov8 Group helps with free patient care, free webinars and free bill negotiation, and these resources will be available at the event.

Nayar said it’s time for physicians and medical leaders to stop “saying its someone else's problem.”

“We can do better,” he said, and he hopes Saturday's event is a start.

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isaac.smith@thesouthern.com

618-351-5823

On Twitter: @ismithreports

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