NEW YORK – The Hellenic Medical Society of New York (HMSNY) presented its Scientific Symposium & Scholarship Awards at Lenox Hill Hospital Einhorn Auditorium in Manhattan on Friday, December 1. Dr. George Kofinas, Founder and Medical Director of the Kofinas Fertility Group, was the keynote speaker at the symposium and spoke about the role of genetics in reproductive and regenerative medicine. The event was well-attended by HMSNY members and interested members of the community.
Dr. Kofinas is Chief of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, considered among the best in the world. He has also been listed among New York Magazine’s Best Doctors for the last two decades. As the compassionate leader of Kofinas Fertility Group and a distinguished authority on fertility medicine, Dr. Kofinas has used his depth of knowledge and sharp intuition to help thousands of couples start families of their own.
As a teacher, obstetrician, gynecologist, and as a leader in reproductive and regenerative medicine for three decades, Dr. Kofinas has helped many couples at his state-of-the-art fertility centers, offering them the opportunity to have children even at the age of forty and fifty.
During his informative presentation, Dr. Kofinas referred to genetic tests and biopsies, which enable them to fertilize healthy ova with healthy sperm and to check for thalassemia and other diseases.
The audience’s questions were related to the moral part, with the role of faith in the couple’s decision to opt for artificial insemination and in taboos about the role of sex in a failed pregnancy or the inability of the couple to have a child.
Dr. Kofinas also referred to the progress in recent years with freezing eggs and sperm, stressing that it provides solutions to people who get married at an older age and who could not normally have a child. He also added that they are working to reduce the cost of freezing and maintaining ova and sperm.
Following the presentation, HMSNY paid tribute to Dr. Ioannis Zervoudakis, and Dr. Anthony Vasilas- former HMSNY president, who recently passed away. Dr. Alice Zervoudakis spoke about her father’s life and works, while HMSNY president, Dr. George Liakeas spoke about for the life and work of Dr. Anthony Vasilas.
The moving tributes were followed by the scholarship ceremony for the promising future of the medical field and the community with twenty-four high school students, medical school students, and researchers awarded for their achievements.
Dr. Sotirios Stergiopoulos and Dr. Lorraine Chrisomalis-Valasiadis of the Scholarship Committee said they were impressed by the achievements and interests of the candidates and noted that the scholarship was upgraded and encouraged the younger generation of Greeks to devote themselves to greater research and medical science and to become involved with HMSNY.
The scholarships are from the donations of executives and members, as well as the HMSNY Scholarship Fund and amounted to $55,000.
Scholarships were awarded to Theodore Karanikolas, Raphael Kirou, Nina Veru, George Danias, Eleni Efstathiadis, Katrina Bantis, Konstantinos Damiris, Dimitra Pouli, Maria Figetakis, Constance Maglaras, Kathy Rodogiannis, Antonios Dimopoulos, Alexander Duke, Kellie Gergoudis, Christoforos Koumas , Christos Mouzakitis, Vassiliki Papagermanos, Maria Pliakas, Alexis Tchakonas, Andromachi Trivellas, Sophia Zigouras, Michael Sideris, and Christopher George Xanthos.
The honorees spoke about their visions for the future and expressed their gratitude to their parents and the Hellenic Medical Society.
Dr. Sotirios Stergiopoulos and son, Georgios. Photo: Argyris Argitakos