NEW YORK – The Hellenic Medical Society of New York (HMSNY) held its 82 Annual Scholarship Gala on December 8 at the JW Marriott Essex House in Manhattan. This year’s honorees were Distinguished Physician Dr. Spiros Frangos, Distinguished Hellene Dr. Peter Diamandis, and Distinguished Colleague Dr. Andreas Cosmatos. Co-chaired by Dr. Eugenia Gianos, Dr. Jason Kofinas and his wife Dr. Antonia Fthenakis Kofinas, the event featured the theme “Focus on the Future.”
Dr. Frangos spoke to The National Herald about his award: “For me, this is a very meaningful. It is a great honor that the New Yorkers I grew up with have given me this award tonight. I think Greek doctors are some of the best in the country, which makes my reward even more significant.”
Dr. Cosmatos also spoke with TNH and said he was moved by the award for himself and his colleagues. “Tonight our society honors Dr. Diamandis, who is one of the smartest people. His speech last night [at the Scientific Symposium and Scholarship Award Ceremony] is a source of inspiration for me. I have been with the society for many years and I will continue to be the treasurer of the society for this year as well.”
Tula Diamandis, mother of one of honoree Peter Diamandis, told TNH, “He has been honored many times since his school years. Whenever he is honored, I am very proud and I thank God for giving me this son.”
The evening began with the invocation by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios who also said a few words about the importance of the science of medicine. He urged physicians in the room to continue their healing work which coincides with the healing work of Jesus Christ.
HMSNY President Dr. George Liakeas then spoke, keeping the mood light with his medical-themed jokes and noting that this is the last year of his presidency. He also pointed out that Dr. Frangos was one of their own, a New York native and graduate of the Cathedral School which he attended with Dr. Liakeas’ future wife, Nicole.
“Bellevue Hospital, is literally a safety net for the most vulnerable. The homeless, the poor, the illegal immigrants. We do not turn our back on anyone and I’m very proud to be part of that. To my colleagues from NYU, I want to say that I consider it a privilege to work with each of you,” Dr. Frangos said in his acceptance speech. He also thanked his parents, his wife and their two daughters whom he referred to as the “greatest award” of his life. For young people who want to pursue a career in medicine, he offered advice, “work hard, but remember that our profession is a privilege rather than a job. Always be humble and always offer understanding and comfort to your patients. Above all, stay balanced.”
Dr. Diamandis, also moved by the award, congratulated his fellow honorees and thanked his parents for the healthy upbringing they provided. “Above all, my parents wanted me to become a doctor while I was keen on becoming an astronaut,” he said, noting how a professor seeing his heart was not into the medical profession, asked him to not ever practice medicine if he completed his medical degree. In the end, his passion for space won out, but he still completed his medical degree and kept his promise to not ever practice medicine, though his recent endeavors are related to the field of health.
Following the awards presentation the food and fun continued with traditional and modern music and at least during the Greek music portion of the program, everyone danced. The festivities continued until midnight.
Dr. Spiros Frangos, Dr. Peter Diamandis, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Dr. Andreas Cosmatos, and Hellenic Medical Society of New York outgoing President Dr. George Liakeas. Photo by TNH/Kostas Bej
Among those present, Dr. Dimitris Zouzias, dermatologist, told TNH, “The most important thing for me is the scholarships that our society gives to young people. I am very proud of the progress and rise of the new generation of Greek scientists. They are the future.”
The long list of distinguished guests includes Consul General of Greece in New York Konstantinos Koutras and his wife Popita Pavli, Consul of Greece Lana Zochiou, Atlantic Bank President Nancy Papaioannou, Dr. Florentia Christodoulidou, Dr. George Kofinas with his wife Dr. Miranda Kofinas, Dr. Michael Zervos, Dr. Markos Koutsos, Dr. Panagiotis Manolas, Dr. Joanna Roufos, George Zapantis, Hellenic Film Society founder James Demetro, and TNH Publisher-Editor Antonis H. Diamataris and his wife Litsa.
Each year, Gus Lampropoulos and his wife Maria Markou donate works of art to be auctioned at the event. This year, they donated two paintings, one by Greek artist Michail Papakalodoukas, and one by Lambropoulos himself which Dr. Anastasios Manesis and his wife Katherine Korgialas bought. The proceeds from the auction go directly to the HMSNY to support the society’s work.
Dr. George Kofinas, Dr. Miranda Kofinas, and their son Dr. Jason Kofinas, one of the co-chairs of the event. Photo by TNH/Kostas Bej
Distinguished Hellene Dr. Peter Diamandis with his award. Photo by TNH/Kostas Bej
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