2017 Hearts for Russ Honorees

Physician Award

Dr. Warren Zuckerman

Dr. Zuckerman is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Program for Pediatric Cardiomyopathy, Heart Failure and Transplantation at Columbia University Medical Center and the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York.  Columbia-Presbyterian is a world leader in heart and organ transplant surgery. 

A Brooklyn native, Dr. Zuckerman did his undergraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania and attended New York University Medical School.  His residency led him to a fellowship at Columbia in the Pediatric Interventional Cardiology program and eventually to doing what he loves—working with youth and using his skills to help them through heart transplantation. 

Dr. Zuckerman met Lauren Shields at Columbia pre-transplant and they bonded in more ways than one.  He has been there for Lauren as a doctor through her medical setbacks and triumphs, but also as a calming spirit, a jokester and commiserating New York Rangers fan.  However, it was Lauren in 2009 who inspired him to pursue the field of pediatric heart transplantation.  Theirs is a special story.  Dr.    Zuckerman is married with three young children and resides in Manhattan. 

Donor Family Award

James Mateiko

 Hearts for Russ Housman and LI TRIO recognize that without organ donation there are no transplants and, therefore, no lives saved.  It starts with people making a thoughtful, important choice.  In keeping with that spirit, Hearts for Russ Housman recognizes a donor family that has given the gift of live in the face of sorrow and personal tragedy, and persevered in order to do what they can to help our community.   

Today we honor James Mateiko, who has been involved in organ donation for over 12 years.  He is the LI TRIO Sports Committee Chair, past board member of National TRIO, Gifts of Life advocate and donor son.  His many activities, which have also included speeches, marathons and even triathlons, have been in memory of his mom, Theo, who passed in 2005.

Jim Mateiko, Sr. is a dedicated father and grandfather who gave the gifts of life through organ donation when his wife of 35 years, Theo, passed. He is an active snowbird who participates in LI TRIO activities when he flies up north. 

Recipient Award

Lauren Shields

17-year-old Lauren Shields is a resident of Stony Point in Rockland County, NY and a senior at Albertus Magnus High School, where she joined the Future Healthcare professionals club, is a member of the school newspaper and yearbook team and completed her CPR certificate training. Lauren plans to attend medical school and wants to become a cardiologist to help others just like her.

Lauren received a life-saving heart transplant in 2009 and her life was not only saved but transformed. Lauren is active in her school, and she is also an outspoken champion in the organ donation movement.  Most recently, in New York, she lobbied for a bill that Governor Cuomo signed into law that bears her name—Lauren's Law. The law makes it mandatory to answer the organ donor question on the DMV form when you register or renew your license. Since then, organ donation ranks have grown significantly in our state--more than 1 million additional people a year have become organ donors in New York State due to Lauren’s Law.  She can be found working the halls of Albany in almost every session and the legislators call to her by name.  Along with county government officials & LiveonNY, Lauren started a successful campaign at naturalization ceremonies to encourage new citizens to   become donors. Its success is now statewide.

Lauren also devotes her time to educating others on the importance of being a blood donor by speaking engagements in conjunction with the NY Blood Center and she also works with The American Heart Association in conjunction with their Go Red for Women Campaign. Lauren speaks at many local events but has also spoken at St. Patrick's Cathedral, the American Heart Association Heart Ball in NYC & CT, Columbia University's Student Leadership Summit, and her story has been featured on national news networks.

2018 Hearts for Russ Honorees

Physician Award

Dr. Lewis Tepermen

Dr. Teperman is Vice-Chair of Surgery and Director of Organ Transplantation at Northwell Health and Professor of Surgery and Medicine at The Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell Health. Dr. Teperman has a lifetime of achievement for improving outcomes for transplant recipients as well as important educational initiatives in the organ transplant community.

Recipient Award

Jeff Fenn

Multiple kidney recipient Jeff Fenn has dedicated his life post transplant to important causes such as Long Island TRIO. Jeff has led TRIO's School Education program since 2010 and his advocacy for organ donation registry has reached over 60,000 youth.

Donor Family Award

Christine & Myles Macchio

Christine Macchio will accept the Donor Family Award on behalf of her husband, Myles Macchio, who passed away suddenly in March, 2018. Myles was raised in Garden City and had a large circle of friends. His love of life and adventurous spirit was infectious. He met his soulmate Christine in high school and they were together for 35 years. Later they moved to Seaford Harbor, where once again, Myles’ love of life and kind spirit made him a fixture in the community. Myles was committed to helping others in need and although he is no longer here with us in the physical world, he continues to serve humanity as an organ donor.