NEW YORK – The Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), the New York-based, number one hospital in the United States for orthopedics, held its Tribute Dinner on June 6 and honored Andreas Dracopoulos, Co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF). He was recognized with the HSS Tribute Dinner Award for his outstanding leadership and transformative philanthropic efforts.
At the Tribute Dinner, HSS celebrates and recognizes the outstanding achievements of distinguished individuals in the business, medical, and sports communities. Leaders in business, sports, entertainment, medicine, and philanthropy attend the event each year.
The event took place at the American Museum of Natural History on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and was attended by about 500 guests, including famous athletes who were injured during their careers and were treated by the hospital.
In his remarks, Dr. Thomas Sculco, Surgeon-in-Chief Emeritus at HSS, after thanking Dracopoulos and the SNF for the establishment of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Complex Joint Reconstruction Center – the best internationally for such issues – noted that it is “crucial to the mission of HSS.”
He said that, “Andreas deeply believes that all people should enjoy access to medical care, education, and freedom,” adding that “he is truly a citizen of the world and we are all so fortunate that he leads in so many important areas for the future of our planet.”
Dr. Sculco continued: “Andreas introduced me to a poem written 100 years ago by a Greek poet named Constantine Cavafy. It is called Ithaca and refers to the 10 year journey of Odysseus to his home Ithaca after the Trojan War. The poem emphasizes all that is learned in experiences and adventures in life and how these experiences are vital to our being. It is not the destination, but the journey. Andreas is on an incredible life journey and has brought hope and benefit to millions.”
“We at HSS thank him for including us in his journey. A heartfelt efharisto to Andreas and the Niarchos Foundation,” Dr. Sculco concluded.
In his speech, Dracopoulos, thanked the leadership of the hospital for the great honor and stated that “health at large has been a priority of ours, health, access to quality health has to be a ‘given’ for all human beings all around the world, health is a core element and prerequisite for our own humanity to exist and excel with decency and respect for every human being.”
“We have been honored to, among others, having partnered here in New York with hundreds of grantees, across the spectrum, with the New York Public Library, Lincoln Center, Rockefeller University, Columbia University, with many arts, education, social welfare organizations, and our current focus, on a global scale is health,” Dracopoulos continued. “Our global Health Initiative, a number of projects in Greece and elsewhere, is a package worth $700 million covering physical infrastructure (including building three new hospitals in Greece, collaborating with hospitals in Jordan, Spain, the U.S., etc.), running educational and training programs, providing support to Rockefeller University for comprehensive research on global infectious diseases, and committing to collaborating with field experts like the Child Mind Institute and Columbia University in New York in trying to empower the field of mental health experts in every possible way (official details will be announced very soon).”
“If COVID did one good thing it is that it took the stigma off mental health,” Dracopoulos said. “Mental health issues have touched every family and we should seriously start dealing with our mental health at large in a profoundly serious way.”
He also noted that the SNF Nostos Festival will be held in Athens June 23-24 this year and the SNF will be elaborating on the Health Initiative in more detail.
“Again to our great partner, the HSS, thank you for the honor this evening, thank you for all you do in providing the highest quality patient care, and for your commitment and compassion for all patients,” Dracopoulos said.
“Let’s not forget that behind every successful organization it’s all about the people involved, thank you, stay human,” he concluded.
Actress, producer and talk show host Drew Barrymore gave the welcoming remarks at the event which also honored Dr. David W. Altchek, Co-Chief Emeritus, HSS Sports Medicine Institute; Attending Orthopedic Surgeon at HSS; and Professor of Surgery, Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He was presented with the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to HSS and the field of sports medicine.
A special performance by eight-time Grammy Award-winner Gladys Knight rounded out the evening.