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Events

New England Federation Honors Prominent Physician Dr. Nicholas Madias

BOSTON – The Federation of Hellenic-American Societies of New England  at its festive Gala on the eve of the Boston’s parade honored with its ‘Freedom’ Award the prominent professor and physician Dr. Nicholas Madias for his exemplary values, outstanding achievements, and commitment to the medical community in Greece, especially to medical students and young physicians.

Dr. Madias was introduced by Dr. Vasilios Zannis and Dr. Haralambos Gavras and the award was presented to Dr. Madias on behalf of the Federation by the Minister of Justice of Greece Konstantinos Tsiaras, who was one of the Grand Marshals at the parade.

In accepting the Award Dr. Madias said:

“Many thanks to the Federation of Hellenic-American Societies of New England for bestowing upon me this award. Its very name, Freedom Award, makes it doubly coveted. I accept it with gratitude and great pride and I will always cherish it.

“The name Freedom makes me reflect on the concept of freedom; it should be an unalienated, fundamental, human right, yet very commonly, people have to sacrifice and struggle to gain it or preserve it. We Greeks often in our history had to engage in struggle and sacrifice for our freedom. This evening and tomorrow we celebrate the epic uprising of 1821 to free ourselves from the Ottoman occupation. Our thoughts are with the heroic Ukrainian people who right now fight to preserve their freedom that is being threatened by a barbaric invasion.

Dr. Nicholas Madias expresses his heartfelt thanks to the Federation of the Hellenic American Societies of New England for the honor bestowed upon him. (Photo TNH/Theodore Kalmoukos)

“I should thank those who contributed importantly to my life’s journey – my parents and brother, my teachers and mentors, my colleagues, trainees, and patients, and most importantly, my wife, Ourania, and my two children and their families for their love, continues support, and inspiration.

“As proud and grateful as I am for this award, on reflection I find that there is a measure of redundancy to it. I say this respectfully. This is because my work in its own right is very rewarding. I cannot overstate how deeply rewarding it is to care for the sick, to educate, mentor, mint the physicians of tomorrow, to chase a research idea, and on occasion to experience the thrill of discovery. “And it is very rewarding to collaborate with the magnificent program of Professor Zannis that brings medical students from Crete to Boston or accepts medical graduates from Greece to our department – in both cases to help expand their horizons and help them chart their future in medicine. I recently heard from Dr. Elias Spanakis. Dr. Spanakis joined us from Heraklion, Crete after graduating from the University of Crete Medical School in 2008. He completed his residency in internal medicine with us and in 2011 on the strength of his qualifications he was accepted as an endocrinology fellow at the renowned Johns Hopkins University. He completed his fellowship in 2014 and today, he is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland and an active researcher in the field of diabetes. He is one of many! And it has been most rewarding to accept Greek academics in our program  for their sabbatical, to engage in research with Greek colleagues, and organize and participate in conferences and congresses in Greece that promote the continuing education of our Greek colleagues. So, what on the surface appear as  activities that only contribute  to the lives of others in actual fact are also a source of major satisfaction for me. Indeed, throughout my professional life I have felt as a recipient of a perpetual award. I am very grateful that my work setting has allowed me to live such a blessed and rewarding life.

“And I will close by remarking that we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Federation for their work and commitment to promote Hellenic culture. I consider the Federation the connective tissue between our communities that engages us toward the common goal of promoting our culture and spirit. I applaud  the Federation’s programs for our youth that promise – and I am sure they will succeed – to help our youth become good citizens and simultaneously shareholders of our cultural heritage. I know that later in the program the Federation will recognize this year’s recipients of academic scholarships. This is  a wonderful program, and I want to congratulate the recipients and wish them continued progress and success. I will end by saying that we all should join in an effort to promote our language. For there is no tool that better preserves a culture than the promotion of its language. Our national poet, Dionysios Solomos, had remarked that freedom and language occupy center stage in his mind. We are talking about the Greek language – that singularly precious gift that our ‘Πρόγονοι’ made to the entire world.”

The honoree, Dr. Nicholas Madias, addressing the gathering at the Federation’s Gala on Saturday evening April 30th at the Newton Marriot Hotel. (Photo TNH/Theodore Kalmoukos)

Dr. Madias was born in Vathi, Samos, his father being from Kardamyla, Chios and his mother from Samos. He ranked first in the Panhellenic Entrance Examinations of the Athens University School of Medicine and was the recipient of an academic scholarship from the State Foundation of Scholarships throughout his medical studies. An early indication of his creativity, he authored a text titled General Biology during the 5th year of his medical studies, which became the reference text for at least 10 years for students of medical and physico-mathematical studies.

Dr. Madias continued his training in internal medicine at the Waltham-Weston Medical Center and  St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston and completed  clinical and research fellowship in nephrology at Tufts Medical Center, the principal teaching hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine.

He Joined the medical staff of the Division of Nephrology at Tufts Medical Center, became Director of its Hypertension Clinic and Director of Research, and eventually  Chief of the Division of Nephrology, a position he held for 17 years. He is Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine since 1988 and is the holder of the Maurice S. Segal, MD Chair in Medicine since 2004. He served as Executive Academic Dean and Dean ad Interim of Tufts University School of Medicine and Chairman of the Department of Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center for 11 years and is currently serving as Academic Dean of Tufts University School of Medicine at  St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center.

Dr. Madias’ research contributions include investigating the physiology and pathophysiology of acid-base and electrolytes, the pathophysiology and treatment  of hypertensive disorders, and treatments that delay progression of chronic kidney disease. His research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, and various foundations.

He served as an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association and more than 250  publications, including original papers, reviews, chapters in texts, and books. His publications have a high impact factor and have been referenced by 17,000 other researchers.

He is an internationally renowned clinician and educator in nephrology and has cared for thousands of patients, including many Greek patients. He taught scores of medical students and residents in internal medicine and trained more than 75 fellows in nephrology, many of whom have attained positions of academic prominence worldwide, including Greece.

He is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the Distinguished Faculty Award and several Citations of Excellence in Teaching from Tufts University School of Medicine and has honorary doctorates from the medical schools of the Universities of Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, and Ioannina. Dr. Madias served as visiting professor and invited lecturer at numerous universities of the United States and abroad.

He maintains a close bond with the Greek medical community and participates regularly as invited speaker at the scientific meetings of the Hellenic Society of Nephrology and the Hellenic Society of Hypertension. He cofounded and coedited for more than 20 years the Nephrology Forum in Kidney International, the official journal of the International Society of Nephrology.

In 2019, he was elected corresponding member of the Academy of Athens.

Outside his field, Dr. Madias served as a member of the Archdiocesan Council of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, is a member of Leadership 100 and of the Board of Trustees of Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology.

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