Members of the Board of Directors of the Italian Heritage and Culture Committee-NY, Inc. (IHCC-NY) honored Dr. Antonio Giordano, Founder and Director of the Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO) on April 24, 2023, with its coveted Leonardo da Vinci award, awarded annually by the 47-year-old cultural organization. A special presentation dinner hailed Giordano for his professionalism and concern for the well-being of humanity, attended by Giordano’s son and colleagues at Il Gattopardo New York City. Consul General Fabrizio DiMichele attended and praised the noted doctor for his “…contributions to the world and humankind.”
In presenting the da Vinci award to Dr. Giordano, Comm. Joseph Sciame stated: “We are so honored that you have allowed us to honor you with our special recognition as you join a long line of prior recipients who have each richly deserved our award. This award is special in that for 2022 we hailed the theme of Italian and Italian American Nobel Prize Laureates, and you are certainly one that is most deserving, in that we hope someday to see your name among those great men and women so honored.” Members of the Board gathered with great applause about the good doctor, as there has always been great respect for this very special man of science.
Giordano was born in Naples, Italy, and attended the University of Naples ‘Luigi Vanvitelli’, later appointed as professor at Temple University, and is unique in that he has attained both a medical and doctorate degree. SHRO is a non-profit organization committed to funding excellence in basic genetic research to cure and diagnose cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and other chronic diseases, and most importantly to foster the training of young doctors in a spirit of professionalism and humanism.
In accepting the award, Giordano stated: “The role of the IHCC has proven invaluable in preserving the bedrock values of Italian culture, first and foremost family and faith, and in celebrating the many contributions of Italians to world civilization from Art and Architecture to Literature, Music, Medicine and the Sciences. The profound and lasting impact of the Italian diaspora on the countries of immigration is undeniable, including and especially America, where Italian culture is deeply woven into the fabric of modern American life. IHCC awardees exemplify these values and cultural accomplishments which have proven central to the advancement of American society as we know it. In my life, I have striven to promote these values, the values of IHCC, through the exchange of scientific knowledge between Italy and America. Through SHRO we have supported the education and training of some 400 bright young Italian scholars here in the US, many of whom, having acquired advanced skills afforded through American technology innovation in medical science, have returned to Italy to make ground-breaking contributions of their own to the practice of medical science in Italy. I am honored and humbled by this recognition, and I pledge to you that I will continue to devote my life and career to the eradication of cancer in our lifetimes.”
The IHCC, now in its 47th year, has selected themes over the years related to important Italian and Italian American personages. In some years, it salutes broad-based issues relative to the Italian American experience. For 2023, the theme selected is “The Joys of Learning Italian” in a positive and proactive effort to enhance the study, learning, and appreciation of the Italian language. Additional information will be forthcoming in preparation for the month of October 2023, when the wider community recognizes Italian Heritage and Culture Month, as declared by civic and elected leaders.