Featured Alumna: Elizabeth Kassapidis '81

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Dr. Elizabeth Kassapidis with her daughter Roxanne ’19 and Zoe ’20 at Alumnae Career Morning. Courtesy of Ms. Rachel Zurheide

Sacred Heart Greenwich alumna Dr. Elizabeth Tahmincioglu Kassapidis ’81 saves lives on a daily basis as a board certified emergency medicine physician. She currently works for the Yale New Haven Health System in the Bridgeport Hospital Emergency Department.

Dr. Kassapidis with her Sacred Heart classmates.
Courtesy of Dr. Elizabeth Kassapidis ’81

As a Sacred Heart student, Dr. Kassapidis discovered her passion for medicine and decided to pursue a career as a doctor. She volunteered regularly at Greenwich Hospital as a “candy striper,” and through this experience, received exposure to the hospital environment. Additionally, she helped deliver flowers to patients and worked in the hospital’s coffee shop. At the age of 16, Dr. Kassapidis also worked in a nurse’s aide program where she was able to experience patient care on a more professional level. She received the Sacred Heart community service award in 1981, and also the American Legion Youth of the Year award in the same year.
Additionally, during her time spent at Sacred Heart, Dr. Kassapidis took part in Sacred Heart’s annual pilgrimage to Lourdes, France. She also participated in musical theater programs at Sacred Heart, took voice lessons, and engaged in sports outside of school, such as skiing and running.
At Sacred Heart, her course schedule included Advanced Placement Biology, Advanced Placement English, Chemistry, and music. Additionally, Dr. Kassapidis and her Sacred Heart classmates took mandatory typing classes. In retrospect, Dr. Kassapidis recognizes the value of those mandatory typing classes, which continue to help her efficiently fill out patient charts and information everyday. 
Dr. Kassapidis dressed in her Army uniform.
Courtesy of Dr. Elizabeth Kassapidis ’81

After graduating from Sacred Heart, Dr. Kassapidis graduated from Manhattanville College with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. Then, Dr. Kassapidis attended medical school in Grenada, West Indies at St. George’s University School of Medicine. She then worked as a medical assistant in Greenwich, CT for one year before transferring to New York College of Osteopathic Medicine/New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury, NY.
After completing her residency at St Barnabas Hospital in Bronx, NY, Dr. Kassapidis fulfilled a military obligation at Fort Belvoir Virginia for 3 years, serving active duty as Assistant Chief of the Emergency Department at DeWitt Army Hospital. She also served at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Dr. Kassapidis trained with the 86th combat support hospital at Fort Campbell in Kentucky.
Dr. Kassapidis’ favorite professional memory is serving at the Presidential Inauguration of George W. Bush in 2001, as an Army Physician. In addition, she later received Army Achievement and Commendation Medals for her work in Emergency Medicine.
Working an average of two to four shifts a week, between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., Dr. Kassapidis has adapted to the night-shift lifestyle. She also teaches Yale Emergency Medicine Residents during these shifts. With two daughters attending Sacred Heart Greenwich, sophomore Roxanne and freshman Zoe, Dr. Kassapidis chooses to work the night-shift because it allows her to spend time with her family in the evenings. 
Through working in Emergency Rooms, Dr. Kassapidis enjoys the opportunity to experience a variety of medical cases.
“No matter how long you do this, you see so many different things. There are so many surprises on a daily basis. You never get bored,” Dr. Kassapidis said.
Dr. Elizabeth Kassapidis with her daughters Roxanne ’19 and Zoe ’20 at Alumnae Career Morning.
Courtesy of Ms. Rachel Zurheide

Dr. Kassapidis’ team sees about 20 through 30 patients nightly, while Bridgeport Hospital sees approximately 90,000 patients annually.
Dr. Kassapidis visited the Sacred Heart Upper School February 2 and spoke with students about her life and career at the annual Alumnae Career Morning. She encouraged students to find a balance in their own lives by focusing on school work as well as pursuing other interests and hobbies.
In addition, Dr. Kassapidis advises Sacred Heart students in the college process to “pick a school that offers similar ideals and goals as Sacred Heart,” and to shadow the professional fields in which they are interested. 
During the summer of 2016, Sacred Heart seniors Kelsey Donovan and Katie Danahy participated in the Sacred Heart Shadow Program, and shadowed Dr. Kassapidis.
“I admired Dr. Kassapidis’ ability to asses a wide range of situations that come into the Emergency Room each night, and she is able to address each one with a level of compassion and humanity that was unmatched,” Katie said.
-Katie McCabe, Staff Writer