Stony Brook Heart Surgeon Honored by Hispanic Counseling CenterDr. Harold Fernandez cited as “a wonderful example of the American Dream”
STONY BROOK, N.Y., February 25, 2013 – Stony Brook Heart Surgeon Harold A. Fernandez, M.D., has been honored by the Hispanic Counseling Center of Hempstead, NY., for his inspirational success story as an undocumented immigrant who came to America, attended Harvard and became a cardiothoracic surgeon. Dr. Fernandez, Co-Director of the Stony Brook University Heart Institute, Professor of Surgery and Deputy Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, received the award at the center’s gala, held Feb. 1 at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, NY.
Dr. Fernandez received the award “because his story is a wonderful example of the American Dream,” said Marcos Martorano, LCSW, Acting Executive Director, Hispanic Counseling Center. “He is an inspiration and a role model for all immigrants, especially those from Latin America who struggle to overcome so many obstacles.”
Dr. Fernandez, who joined the Stony Brook Heart Institute in 2012, has received national publicity for his journey as an undocumented immigrant who has risen to the height of his profession. He came to the United States at age 13 from Colombia and within 10 years received his bachelor of science degree in molecular biology from Princeton University. He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, followed by a residency in general surgery and a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at NYU Medical Center.
He has published a memoir entitled “Undocumented: My Journey to Princeton and Harvard and Life as a Heart Surgeon,” and has been featured in national media stories, including the New York Times.
“I am honored and humbled to be the recipient of this prestigious award,” Dr. Fernandez said. “The Hispanic Counseling Center occupies a special place in my heart because for many years it has been a beacon of hope for the entire Hispanic community. …