02 Nov 2013 AFA’s Illuminations New York Honors Vardalos, Penzias
As a member of the board of the American Fertility Association, it is my great pleasure to be attending the organization’s twice-annual Illuminations benefit event at the Yale Club of New York on November 4. The AFA’s Illuminations events honor individuals who have made extraordinary contributions in the areas of fertility treatment, research, fertility law, adoption and community awareness. (The AFA’s Los Angeles Illuminations event is scheduled for April 2014, and I am honored to serve on the host committee.)
Honorees at the upcoming New York Illuminations are Nia Vardalos, recipient of the 2013 Carol Berger Adoption Advocacy Award, and Dr. Alan S. Penzias, M.D. recipient of the Joyce M. Vargyas MD Visionary Award. No doubt it is due in part to these two outstanding honorees that Illuminations New York is entirely sold out!
Vardalos is an actress, author and adoption advocate perhaps best known as the writer and star of the Academy Award-nominated film, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. But it is her more recent work as author of the book Instant Mom that has caught fire on social media and made her a star among adoptive parents, intended parents, and people struggling with infertility. Her book is a moving and honest account of innumerable failed fertility treatments, the gradual acceptance of forming a family via adoption, and finally of foster adoption of an older child. Read more about it here in this New York Times blog post by @KJDellAntonia.
(See the AFA’s Pinterest board on Instant Mom: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/148407750193861957/.)
Dr. Penzias has practiced for more than 15 years as a reproductive endocrinologist and serves as surgical director of the Surgery Center of Waltham, a division of Boston IVF. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his medical degree from SUNY – Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY. He completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital/Harvard Medical School and his fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Yale University School of Medicine. He is director of the Fellowship Program in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Penzias is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Fertility Association and is a member of the Executive Counsel of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies.
In addition to enjoying the festivity and honoring two outstanding leaders in the fertility field, the AFA board will meet to discuss its mission for the coming year. I’ll report more on the work of the board in an upcoming post, in particular an exciting new effort to provide support and resources for members of the U.S. armed services—just in time for Veteran’s Day.
Visit IFLG on Facebook to view photos of the event.