October 22nd is a date to mark on your calendar. PAOI Women’s Board Southern California is celebrating their annual fundraising event with “What a Night”, a musical tribute to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.
The honorees this year will be Dr. Michael and Mrs. Susan Giokaris Patzakis.
Both Michael and Susan were born to Greek immigrant families: Susan, the fourth of five children was born in Lima, Ohio; Michael, the last of seven children, in Campbell, Ohio. Both graduated from Ohio State University where they met, married, where Susan received her degree in nursing and Michael his B.A. and M.D. degrees. Both have been active in community affairs.
Besides raising four accomplished children, Susan has remained involved in community affairs. She served on the Board of the USC Medical Faculty Wives. 1991 to 2012 and on the Board of the Loren L. Zachary Opera Society for National Vocal Competition. She also served both St. Anthony and St. Sophia parishes. As a member of St. Sophia since 1989, Susan served on the committees for its choir Christmas receptions, on celebrations for Father Adams’ Retirement and Father Bakas’ 10th Anniversary Celebration, Debutante Balls and Mothers’ Day Luncheons. She co-chaired the 50th Anniversary Celebration for St. Sophia which raised nearly half a million dollars for the Saint Sophia Building Fund, and many, many other events. As one of the founding members of PAOI, Susan was President for two years and has opened her home to various fund-raising events, which have helped to collect over 10,000 books.
As for Michael, he has a host of achievements, awards and honors. Here are just a few: In 1974 he published his landmark paper on the treatment of open fractures, which revolutionized the treatment of open fractures. This not only avoided amputation of legs and arms but saved countless lives. His protocols for treating open fractures, osteomyelitis and orthopaedic infections are followed all over the world. Over 20 distinguished orthopaedic organizations have bestowed honors upon him, including honorary degrees from the Universities of Athens and Thessaly, Larissa. The rector of the University of Athens stated, “By conferring this honorary degree the University asserts the significance and impact of your work in the community of scientists and wishes to honor you as a distinguish scientist in your field, and for your outstanding work which has bestowed praise and credit on orthopaedics”.
He was designated a “Diversity Champion“ by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery “for opening the doors for women and minorities in Orthopaedics”. The State of California awarded him the Medal Of Merit for “Exceptional devotion to duty, dedicated loyalty to his command, and outstanding creative leadership while treating injured civilians under hostile gunfire”, during the Watts riots in Los Angeles in 1965.
He became Chairman of the USC Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in 1991 and served until 2012, his 21 years being the longest tenure of any prior USC chairman. He continues on the USC faculty as Emeritus Professor. He has been a leader, Examiner, President, Instructor, faculty lecturer and guest speaker at numerous societies, medical schools, and hospitals. He has authored over 175 scientific papers and book chapters.
With charm and warmth, both Susan and Michael touch everyone with their faith, generosity, love of family and honorable values. They stand out as an example to us all.
This important event will take place at the Cicada Restaurant and Club in downtown Los Angeles. “It’s a lovely old-fashioned supper club which used to host big bands – a perfect setting for a performance of The Jersey Boys,” said Chairman Stefanie Duncan. “We have even arranged for them to sing “My Eyes Adore You” especially for Susan.
To purchase tickets and for more information, telephone Pana Gelt at 626-293-7588.
Email the author: Mavis Manus