In a sold-out gala event in New York City on December 8-9, 2023, Ourania Preventza, MD, MBA, a cardiovascular surgeon and chief of UVA Department of Surgery’s Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, was honored with the Physician of the Year Award 2023 from the Hellenic Medical Society of N.Y. This society, founded in 1936, has a notable connection to the renowned physician Dr. George Papanicolaou, known for the “Pap test,” a method of cervical screening.
Dr. Preventza’s recognition holds historical significance as she is the first female physician to receive this honor from the society since its foundation and marked a moment of progress and inclusivity within the medical community. The event, attended by more than 500 people, including the Archbishop of Athens, Greece and the Consul General in N.Y., showcased the commitment of the society to unite physicians and healthcare professionals of Hellenic heritage.
The mission of the society, focused on supporting medical research, education, and public health initiatives, was underscored by the generous contribution of over $100,000 towards scholarships during the gala. Dr. Preventza, in her acceptance speech, expressed gratitude to her mentors, teachers, and family, emphasizing the importance of resilience, humility, and the pursuit of scholarship to inspire and guide the younger physicians present.