Connective Issues - Winter 2020

t Dr. Nicholas Kouchoukos flanked by Dr. Alan Braverman (left) and John Antes, president of Missouri Baptist Medical Center.

In the past three years, I have represented The Marfan Foundation at school nurse conferences in my state of Indiana. I have found the experience to be both fun and inspirational. When speaking with the conference attendees, it is encouraging to hear about those who either have heard of Marfan syndrome or have had children in their school or district with a connective tissue condition. School nurses are on the front lines in schools with our children. They can be a wonderful resource to not only advocate for our children, but also to potentially see and help diagnose a child (and family). These reasons alone make it worth our time to volunteer as representatives. By utilizing the opportunities available to us, such as school nurse conferences, we can spread awareness and strive to provide better care and support for those in our community. – Emily Chu, School Nurse Champion with Volunteers for Victory VOLUNTEERS FOR VICTORY

Dr. Nicholas Kouchoukos, a renowned cardiothoracic surgeon who has been a long-time champion for the Marfan and related conditions community, retired in 2019 after a 50 year distinguished career. Dr. Kouchoukos, who received the first St. Louis Heartworks Hero with a Heart Award, was honored in December by Missouri Baptist Medical Center, where he most recently performed thoracic and cardiovascular surgery. Speakers recognized Dr. Kouchoukos’ tremendous impact on the field of cardiac and aortic surgery, including his pioneering work in the development of many of the techniques currently used for complex aortic surgery. To further honor Dr. Kouchoukos, John Antes, president of Missouri Baptist Medical Center, made a $10,000 donation to The Marfan Foundation on behalf of the hospital. Dr. Kouchoukos asked Dr. Alan Braverman, a member of the Foundation’s Professional Advisory Board and Board of Directors, to accept the donation at the event. This donation adds to Dr. Kouchoukos’ legacy to the Marfan and related conditions community. Its impact will include a specially named scholarship to the Foundation’s Annual Conference. The Marfan Foundation is grateful to Missouri Baptist Medical Center for their support and especially to Dr. Kouchoukos for all he has done for our community. ADDING TO THE LEGACY OF DR. NICHOLAS KOUCHOUKOS

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