“When it comes to illnesses, make a habit of two things – to help, or at least not to harm.”1 Hippocrates
Dr. Rany Condos is a legendary doctor from New York, who has helped everyone. The Hellenic Medical Society of New York presented Dr. Condos with the 2022 Dr. Mary Kalopothakes Distinguished Female Physician Award on March 31, 2022, evening at 60 Plaza Street East, Brooklyn, NY. The event was viewed virtually, including a talk by Dr. Condos.
The program included: Introduction, Stella Lymberis, MD, Chair, Assistant Clinical Professor, Director, Quality Initiatives, Department of Radiation Oncology; Scientific program, main conference, “Tuberculosis, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, and COVID-19” by Rany Condos, MD, Professor of Clinical Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, NYU School of Medicine; Presentation by Dr. Rany Condos by Eugenia Gianos, MD, FACC, FAHA, FASE, FNLA, Professor of Cardiology, Zucker School of Medicine, Director, Cardiovascular Prevention, Northwell Health Director, Women’s Heart Program, Lenox Hill Hospital; Closing remarks, Lorraine Chrisomalis-Valasiadis, MD, 2n/a Vice President of the Hellenic Medical Society of New York Assistant Clinical Professor in OB/GYN, Northwell Health.
The conference was aimed at a scientific audience. As a non-scientific writer, I have collected some simple facts. Tuberculosis, often referred to as TB, is an infectious disease that typically attacks the lungs and infects one-third of the world’s population, resulting in 9.2 million active cases per year. TB is usually spread between family members, close friends, and people who work or live together. Nearly 1.5 million people die each year from tuberculosis and related diseases.
Dr. Condos’ study shows that patients who inhale interferon through a nebulizer can reduce the transmissibility of their disease during the first weeks of treatment. Patients with cavitary pulmonary tuberculosis receiving antituberculosis drugs supplemented with nebulized interferon gamma have fewer bacilli in the lungs and less inflammation, which reduces the transmissibility of tuberculosis in the early phase of treatment.
Some people have persistent symptoms of COVID-19 or develop new health problems within weeks or months of contracting the virus. This can happen even if they initially had only mild symptoms or showed no signs of infection. This condition is sometimes referred to as “Long COVID” or “Long Haul COVID”. In the medical community, we speak of post-acute sequelae of COVID-19, or PASC. Some of the common long-term symptoms people experience after COVID-19 include fatigue and worsening of symptoms after physical or mental activities.
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The award given to Dr. Condos was in memory of Dr. Mary Kalopothakes. Dr. Maria Kalopothakis (1859-1941) was born in Athens. The daughter of Reverend Dr Michael and Martha Kalopothakis, she was the first female doctor in Greece. She became a prominent physician and pioneer in advocating for equal rights for women. Dr. Maria Kalopothakis was a humanitarian physician and believed that medicine was first and foremost a selfless profession. She also distinguished herself by her character, her education as well as her writings in the fields of hygiene, religious poetry and translation. In recognition of her contributions, Dr. Maria Kalopothakis has received medals and distinctions for her scientific work and her social commitment. Her contributions as a military surgeon were legendary, displaying unparalleled dedication, unwavering courage and heroism.2
Dr. Rany Condos is director of NYU’s Adult Cystic Fibrosis Program and Section of Advanced Lung Disease. She has over 25 years of experience caring for patients with advanced lung disease and is considered an expert in pulmonary medicine.
His area of expertise is lung-specific immune response and targeted immunotherapy for chronic lung diseases. As Director of the Advanced Lung Disease Program, she has experience in immunotherapy and in the care of complicated patients with fibrotic lung disease. She has experience in clinical trials, both multicenter and investigator-initiated. Dr. Condos was part of the TB Trial Consortium organized by the CDC to conduct clinical trials of new drugs and treatment regimens for the treatment and prevention of tuberculosis. Additionally, as an accredited adult care center for cystic fibrosis (CF), it is part of the CF registry database and has experience in patient recruitment and data entry.
She has successfully completed several investigator-initiated clinical trials of inhaled interferon gamma on infectious and fibrotic lung diseases, including an international collaboration with the University of Cape Town in South Africa. In addition, she is a co-investigator for the NTM bronchiectasis trials, both INSMED and institutional sponsored. In the area of pulmonary fibrosis, she has participated in industry-sponsored intervention trials for fibrotic lung disease as well as registry studies. Currently, Dr. Condos is leading an NIAID-supported interventional trial in collaboration with Humanetics in post-COVID fibrotic lung disease. Additionally, she is the Director of the Post-COVID and Adult Cystic Fibrosis Programs.
She organized and analyzes a robust post-COVID registry in collaboration with cardiology and radiology with a focus on defining and understanding the longitudinal cardiopulmonary consequences of post-COVID infection.3
Dr. Condos has two accomplished children, Dr. Vickie Condos and Steven, a student of both business and law. She has been my neighbor on Mattituck Long Island for many years. His parents, Eleni and the late Bill Condos are our friends with whom we spend time at Long Island Sound and at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Transfiguration of Christ in Mattituck. Dr. Condos and his family have always been generous to our rural church. His parents were devoted to their Greek regional society Syllogos Enosis Evritanon Amerikis ‘To Karpenisi.’
The Karpenesiotes have always been at the heart of the battle for freedom from ancient Greece to our modern era. Their hallmark is a tough, determined goal. Their miraculous icon of the Panagia Prousiotissa sustained their religious faith through the troubles of World War II and the Greek Civil War which destroyed their families and homes. They were reborn. The Evrytanon Karpenisiotes occupy an important place in traditional America.
Bill and his wife Eleni instilled in their daughter and grandchildren a love of the Greek Orthodox Church. This is the personal journey of this humble doctor. She has helped our family and many people many times selflessly. She is a Greek-American doctor who followed the philosophy of Hippocrates. We congratulate Dr. Rany Condos on this unique honor, the 2022 Dr. Mary Kalopothakes Honor from the Hellenic Medical Society of New York.