ASTORIA – The Hellenic Medical Society of New York (HMSNY) held its 85th Annual Scholarship Celebration on December 11 at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria.
In the presence of a large crowd, the organizers took all the necessary measures, as the use of a mask and a negative COVID test were required to attend the event and a kiosk was set up outside the event for a free test, in addition to the required proof of vaccination certificate.
The event took honored three doctors: Dr. George N. Coritsidis, Professor of Medicine-New York Medical College Program and Director of Nephrology-Critical Care Westchester Medical Center as this year’s Distinguished Physician; Dr. Apostolos Tassiopoulos, Professor and Chief-Division of Vascular Surgery Interim Chairman, Department of Surgery Stony Brook University Medical Center, as Distinguished Surgeon; and Dr. Peter Michalos, Associate Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians &Surgeons Chairman of the Hamptons Health Society, as Distinguished Colleague.
Among those present were many distinguished members of the HMSNY, including past president Dr. George Liakeas, as well as the Consul General of Greece in New York Konstantinos Koutras, his wife Popita Pavli, businessman and philanthropist Michael Psaros who introduced his “brother” Dr. Michalos.
The event was organized by HMSNY 2nd Vice President Dr. Lorraine Chrisomalis-Valasiadis and HMSNY Secretary Dr. Helen Gouzoulis-Koutsos, who after welcoming the attendees, then both pointed out the achievements and distinctions of the event’s honorees.
HMSNY President Dr. Panagiotis Manolas then took the podium thanking everyone, and noting that the work of the HMSNY is a product of a collective effort led by Dr. Chrysomalis-Valasiadis and Dr. Gouzoulis-Koutsos. Speaking to The National Herald, he pointed out that all the events that take place are for the scholars as they are the “future.”
“We are one of the few organizations that give 100% of our income to young people. This must be done because not only do some of them not have the financial means to study but they are our future. They are the doctors who in a few years will make a difference,” he told TNH.
Among the honorees, the first to speak was Dr. Coritsidis, who received the Distinguished Physician award and after thanking his family said that he does not feel distinguished and important. “What doctors do does not make us distinguished. Do you know who is distinguished? A father fighting for his children day and night. There are many remarkable and distinguished people out there and no one knows them.”
Dr. Tassiopoulos then accepted the the Distinguished Surgeon award and said: “Thank you for the honor given to me by the HMSNY. This recognition gives us strength and energy to continue the promotion of Greek doctors.”
Finally, the Distinguished Colleague award was presented to Dr. Michalos, who speaking to TNH said how happy he is to be among such great doctors: “I am just happy for the honor… Thank you all and together we will continue this work for the young doctors.”