Tracey Chang And Kevin Covais

Kevin Covais With Santa And Children

Idol Kevin Covais And Santa Claus

The Friedman Diabetes Institute at Beth Israel Medical Center does EVERYTHING for their patients. They provide C.A.R.E. Clinical care of patients; increased public Awareness of diabetes; Research into causes and mechanisms of diabetes; and Education of patients, the general public and health professionals about diabetes.But, most of all, they provide LOVE. The holiday party for the pediatric patients with diabetes was filled with warmth unlike we've ever seen at the type of superficial holiday gatherings we're accustomed to. Dr. Leonid Poretsky, the Director of the Institute, and Dr. Gabriella Grinstein, the Pediatric Endocrinologist, put on an absolutely perfect soiree.The host was American Idol finalist Kevin Covais, who virtually mesmerized the children with the story of his own personal battle with diabetes and his sing-along holiday songs. One little boy, who was definitely less than two years old, stood transfixed on Covais, never moving, except once to retrieve his pacifier. Then he went right back to standing at attention in the front row. The other children, about 40 of them, sat Indian-style on the floor, asking hilarious questions about Simon Cowell and various American Idol contestants, which Covais fielded like a pro. Covais also patiently signed autographs for everyone, and posed happily for countless photo-ops. Amazingly, the Diabetes Institute's staff was set up to print out photos for the children on the spot- just like Macy's. The Chairman of Beth Israel's Pediatric Department, Dr. Edward Conway, appeared as Santa Claus, and distributed gifts to all the children. They deserved gifts. This was the most well behaved group of kids ever. Keeping them entertained is the key. Delicious diabetes-friendly food was aplenty, and everything was labeled with carb counts. These children, even little ones, obviously have more knowledge of healthy eating than most adults we know. The "Education" element of "C.A.R.E." seems to be working quite well.... The sugar-free icing on the cake was when newly crowned Miss New York USA 2009, Tracey Chang, walked in - just as Covais and the children were finishing up a rousing rendition of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Another round of photo-ops ensued....She's gorgeous. One teenaged boy refused to be in a group shot with Tracey and all the children. When asked why, he said, "I want some one-on-one time with her." When his wish was granted, he posed and giggled as his father and other photographers snapped away. What a wild party! And I was home by 6:30PM.
Photos By: James Edstrom