On the afternoon of February 5th, 2016, distinguished and honorary guests of the Polish American Medical Society gathered at the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago. The event was held in coordination with the 66th annual Polish American Medical Society ball, organized each year in Chicago. This year, the ball took place at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Chicago on Saturday, February 6th.
A few years ago, the medical society began a tradition, which has been very successful. Each year, the society grants several prominent Polish physicians and researchers honorary membership in the society. These impressive professionals are known for their work around the world, and have attained incredible achievement in their fields of study. Unfortunately, too often, many of us are unaware of these individuals’ accomplishments. As Polish Americans, we should be incredibly proud of these honorary members and share their stories with our Polish community in Chicago. Many of these special guests were present at the Consulate event.
The first honorary guest introduced was Professor Andrzej Jakubowiak. Dr. Jakubowiak is the only one this year who is representing our hometown of Chicago, although not long ago, he came to the University of Chicago Medicine from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Dr. Jakubowiak is a world-renowned expert on multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells in a patient’s bone marrow. He is now the director of the Myeloma Program at University of Chicago, which was recognized in 2014 by the Accelerator Award as the best program of its kind in North America. Dr. Jakubowiak is a proud graduate of the medical university in Poznan.
The second honorary guest present at the consulate was Professor Jerzy Krol. Dr. Krol is the chief of Neuroradiology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, one of the best centers for diagnostics and treatment of cancers in the world. Dr. Krol is a professor at Weil-Cornell University. He has achieved many awards throughout his career for his innovations in the field of neuroradiology. Last year, he also won the award “Outstanding Pole in New York.” Dr. Krol is a graduate of the medical university in Krakow.
The third honorary guest welcomed at the consulate was Professor Jaroslaw Maciejewski. Dr. Maciejewski is a world-renowned expert in hematologic oncology and blood disorders and the chief of Hematologic Oncology at the Cleveland Clinic. He finished his medical school studies in Berlin.
The fourth honorary guest was Professor Andrzej Matyja, the chief of general surgery and GI at Jagiellonian University in Krakow. He is also the president of Malopolskiej Izby Lekarskiej. He has also achieved many awards throughout his career, including ““Gloria Medicinae” and the “Gold Order of Merit.”
The fifth honorary guest this year was Professor Malgorzata Szczerbo-Trojanowska, an incredibly accomplished radiologist, and the chief of radiology at the Medical University in Lublin. Dr. Trojanowska is an honorary member of radiological associations in 9 countries, an award recipient from the European Radiological Society, as well as the American Association for Women Radiologists and the Radiological Society of North America.
Other special guests were also present at the event. Ashley Livesey and John Stubbington, two executives from Medicover Hospital in Poland, were also honored. The medical society in Chicago was able to help create a link between Medicover and the University of Chicago Medicine, which has resulted in cooperation between the two institutions.
The meeting was also attended by Deputy Foreign Minister Jan Dziedziczak, who especially congratulated the Polish American Medical Society on the 66th anniversary of its charity ball. His remarks focused on the importance of Chicago’s Polonia remaining involved with Polish affairs and causes, especially members from the medical community. As Polish Americans, we all have a responsibility to positively educate others about our history and heritage.
This Consulate event was followed by further welcome celebrations. On the evening of February 5th, 2016, the Polish American Medical Society held a welcome and networking event for distinguished guests who traveled to Chicago for the society’s 66th annual charity ball. The event was held at the Polish Museum of America. A goal for the event was to also provide an opportunity for Polish American medical, pre-medical and high school students to interact and engage with members of the society and visiting medical professionals.
All of this year’s honorary guests were present at the museum, and each presented a brief overview of their respected careers when accepting honorary membership to the Polish American Medical Society. In addition, the guest of honor of this year’s ball, Alex Storozynski, was also present. Alex Storozynski is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, award winning author, and the President and Executive Director of The Kosciuszko Foundation.