NIAF News Releases



Contact:   Elissa Ruffino (NIAF) 202/939-3106 or

(WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 14, 2010) Dr. Thomas M. Scalea, physician-in-chief at the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, will be honored at the National Italian American Foundation’s (NIAF) 35th Anniversary Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. Scalea will receive the NIAF Special Achievement Award in Science and Medicine on October 23, 2010 at the Washington Hilton. The black-tie event begins with a 7 p.m. reception followed by dinner and an awards ceremony.

Giuliana DePandi Rancic, anchor and managing editor of E! News and star of the Style Network show “Giuliana & Bill,” will serve as the evening’s emcee. Danny DeVito, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor, will present honoree Aurelio De Laurentiis, Italian film producer and president of SSC Napoli soccer club, with the NIAF United States-Italy Friendship Award. DeVito is also a recipient of the Foundation’s 1993 Special Achievement Award in Arts and Entertainment.

Honorees joining Scalea include Dott. Fulvio Conti, CEO of ENEL S.p.A.; Tom Izzo, head coach of men’s basketball at Michigan State University; Christopher J. Nassetta, president & CEO of Hilton Worldwide; and Joe Uva, president and CEO of Univision Communications, Inc.

Dr. Scalea joined Shock Trauma in 1997. As Physician-in-Chief, he is responsible for all clinical care and medical administration. In addition, he is the Francis X. Kelly Professor of Trauma Surgery and Director of the School of Medicine’s Program in Trauma. Shock Trauma delivers more trauma care than any other institution in the United States. Under Dr. Scalea’s guidance, Shock Trauma has become a national and now international resource for injury care. After the earthquake in Sichuan in 2008, Dr. Scalea took the only non-Chinese team invited by the Chinese government to provide medical care to the earthquake victims. Dr. Scalea spearheaded Shock Trauma’s efforts after the earthquake in Haiti and his teams were present there from the end of January to July. Dr. Scalea is a prolific researcher contributing to more than 300 scholarly publications and serves on many editorial boards.

Scalea earned a bachelors of arts the University of Virginia and a doctor of medicine from the Medical College of Virginia. He fulfilled his residency in Syracuse and completed a trauma and critical care fellowship at the New York Medical College before becoming Director of Critical Care and Trauma at the King’s County Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he founded the Department of Emergency Medicine at King’s County Hospital and SUNY Brooklyn.

The NIAF gala is one of the premier annual events in the nation’s capital, attracting more than 3,000 guests from the United States and Italy. In keeping with our tradition of hosting the president, President Barack Obama has been invited to attend.

During NIAF’s convention weekend, the Foundation will host a conference, “Let’s Talk About It: A Spotlight on Women’s Health” on Friday, October 22, 2010 at the Washington Hilton.

Tickets to Saturday’s gala begin at $400 per person. Proceeds benefit NIAF’s educational programs. For tickets or sponsor information, contact Jerry Jones at 202/939-3102 or, or register online at

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage and culture of Americans of Italian descent.

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