By Stephanie Nikolopoulos
In an intimate award gala at the 3 West Club on March 29, the officers and directors of the Association of the Greek American Professional Women (AGAPW) honored and awarded Dr. Miranda Kofinas as Greek American Woman of the Year.
Penelope Tsilas, the 2012 Woman of the Year winner, served as Emcee. Tsilas then invited Nancy Papaioannou, president of Atlantic Bank and chairman of the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce, to introduce Dr. Kofinas. Recalling how she first met Kofinas, Papaioannou said, “it was the first time I met with an outstanding doctor who became one of my best friends.”
Originally from Kiato, Greece, Kofinas graduated from Athens Medical School before moving with her husband to New York, where she trained in pediatrics at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital.
She then completed a two-year fellowship in neonatology at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, which led to her work caring for sick and premature newborns. Since retiring, Kofinas became involved in philanthropic work and currently serves as the president of the Archdiocesan Cathedral Philoptochos Society in New York.
AGAPW then turned its focus on the younger generation of emerging Greek-American talent. The founder and president of the not-for-profit corporation, Dr. Olga Alexakos, awarded an Excellence Tuition Scholarship of $3000 to Marina Elizabeth Grabda. “This scholarship will help me so much in my medical career,” said Grabda, who is currently studying nursing at New York University.
Alexakos revealed that the Syracuse, NY native seeks to go on to study “discrepancies in the Greek healthcare system in addressing mental healthcare.”
The event coincided with National Women’s History Month in the United States, and the accomplishments of the women awardedas well as those who provided entertainment – soprano Nikoleta Rallis and actress Anna Tsoukala – indicated the high level of achievement made by Greek women in this country. There is always room for improvement, though, and Tsilas noted, “Certainly we also know we still have a long way to go.”