HSS Honored Renowned Sports Medicine Surgeon David W. Altchek, MD, and Philanthropist Andreas C. Dracopoulos at The 2022 Tribute Dinner
Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) hosted its 37th Tribute Dinner on June 6 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The event honored David W. Altchek, MD, co-chief emeritus of the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Andreas C. Dracopoulos, co-president of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), with the HSS Tribute Dinner Award.
Actress, producer, author, and talk show host Drew Barrymore hosted the gala, and guests were treated to a musical performance by seven-time Grammy Award-winner Gladys Knight. Legendary Baseball Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera presented the award to Dr. Altchek.
“We are privileged to honor Dr. Altchek for his outstanding contributions to HSS and to the field of sports medicine. He played a key role in the expansion of the Sports Medicine Institute to the West Side of Manhattan and in the opening of HSS Florida in West Palm Beach,” said Bryan T. Kelly, MD, surgeon-in-chief at HSS. “His name is synonymous with the finest sports medicine care in the nation for athletes at all levels, including elite professionals. His pioneering surgical techniques have raised the bar for patients at HSS and beyond.”
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation has been an extraordinary partner to HSS under the leadership of Andreas Dracopoulos for nearly two decades. “We commend and honor Andreas for his outstanding leadership and generous philanthropy,” said Louis A. Shapiro, president and CEO of HSS. “By establishing the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Complex Joint Reconstruction Center at HSS, the SNF continues to have a profound impact on our work to advance research and treatment for the most challenging orthopedic conditions worldwide.”
The Tribute Dinner raised $5.9 million in funds to support the HSS mission to provide the highest quality care to help people get back to what they need and love to do. Guests included leaders and luminaries in business, health care, sports, philanthropy, finance, the arts and government.
David W. Altchek, MD
Dr. David Altchek, a sports medicine surgeon, is co-chief emeritus of the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service at HSS. In addition to treating everyday athletes, he has played an important role in promoting the health and well-being of several professional sports teams and associations. He serves as medical director for the New York Mets and is a medical consultant for the National Basketball Association. He previously served as North American medical director for the Association of Tennis Professionals, which sponsors the men’s professional tennis tour. He is a former team physician for the U.S. Davis Cup tennis team.
Dr. Altchek is a professor of surgery in clinical orthopedics at Weill Cornell Medical College. He has written more than 100 articles and book chapters on conditions affecting the shoulder, elbow and knee.
He knew he wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon early on. At the tender age of 10, he went on Saturday morning rounds with his father, an orthopedic surgeon. When it was time for college, he attended Columbia University, where he would later receive the John Jay Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement, the highest honor bestowed on Columbia alumni.
He earned his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College, which awarded him the T. Campbell Thompson Prize for Excellence in Orthopedic Surgery. Dr. Altchek completed his residency at Hospital for Special Surgery, followed by a fellowship in Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery at HSS.
In 2003, the Association of American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons recognized Dr. Altchek with the Charles S. Neer Award, which honors outstanding clinical and basic science investigations contributing to the understanding, care or prevention of shoulder injuries.
Andreas C. Dracopoulos
Andreas C. Dracopoulos is Co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), a private, international philanthropic organization that has made more than 5,100 grants to fund nonprofit organizations and projects worldwide aiming to achieve a broad, lasting, and positive impact for society.
Andreas is a Trustee of The Rockefeller University, Johns Hopkins University (JHU), and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He is also an Honorary Trustee of the New York Public Library (NYPL).
He has provided long-standing personal support to many projects in the areas of education, arts and culture, and medicine. He provided the founding grant to establish the Dracopoulos iDeas Lab at CSIS and supported the creation of the Dracopoulos-Bloomberg Bioethics iDeas Lab at JHU’s Berman Institute of Bioethics, where he also endowed the directorship.
In 2021, Andreas was invested as Archon Grand Orator (Megas Rhetor) by Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and made an Honorary Battalion Chief by the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), the organization’s highest civilian honor. The Republic of France awarded Andreas the rank of the Officer of the Legion of Honor in 2016, while H.E. the President of the Hellenic Republic awarded Andreas the ranks of the Grand Cross of the Order of Honor and the Grand Commander of the Order of the Phoenix in 2018 and 2012, respectively. He has also been recognized by the New York Stem Cell Foundation, the FDNY Foundation, the Child Mind Institute, the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce, and the National Herald.
Andreas was born and raised in Athens, Greece, and graduated from Athens College. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from the Wharton School of Business. In June 2021, Andreas received an honorary degree, Doctor of Laws, from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. He lives in New York City.
HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the 13th consecutive year), No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2022-2023), and the best pediatric orthopedic hospital in NY, NJ and CT by U.S. News & World Report “Best Children’s Hospitals” list (2022-2023). In a survey of medical professionals in more than 20 countries by Newsweek, HSS is ranked world #1 in orthopedics for a third consecutive year (2023). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has the lowest complication and readmission rates in the nation for orthopedics, and among the lowest infection rates. HSS was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center five consecutive times. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State, as well as in Florida. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. The HSS Innovation Institute works to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices. The HSS Education Institute is a trusted leader in advancing musculoskeletal knowledge and research for physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, academic trainees, and consumers in more than 145 countries. The institution is collaborating with medical centers and other organizations to advance the quality and value of musculoskeletal care and to make world-class HSS care more widely accessible nationally and internationally. www.hss.edu.