ABOUT DR. FAZZARI
Born to Helen Quinti and Joseph Fazzari, Patrick Joseph Fazzari, M.D. was raised in the Belmont section of the Bronx. This close-knit, Italian American community and its culture left a lifelong imprint on his identity. He reminisced often about his happy childhood with loving family and friends, Our Lady of Mount Carmel church, and enticing neighborhood food shops. Patrick's devoted parents supported his independence as he explored his intellectual interests and the world beyond the neighborhood itself.
Upon graduating from Mount Saint Michael Academy, Patrick's spirituality led him to the novitiate of the Marist Brothers (MA) for two years and then to Marist College for two years. He ultimately changed course to focus on medicine, his true vocation, studying pre-med at Manhattan College (1963) and receiving his medical degree summa cum laude from Albany Medical College (1967). During his medical school years, he married Marcia C. Acconci who was his greatest cheerleader, by his side for every step of a medical career which spanned over 50 years.
Patrick began his training at the esteemed Children's Hospital of Philadelphia as a Wyeth Fellow followed by a residency in Pediatrics and a second in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (Montefiore Medical Center). He combined these two specialties to treat children with a range of physical disabilities, such as spinal cord injury and cerebral palsy. In the early '70s, he served as a Major in the U.S. Army, stationed at Fort Gordon in Augusta, GA and was recognized for his medical excellence, receiving the US Army Commendation Medal.
Returning to the northeast, Patrick established and developed the Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation departments at several hospital centers including Newington Children's Hospital (CT), Mt. Sinai Hospital (CT) and St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center (Manhattan).He also served as Associate Clinical Professor of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons. As chief of service, Patrick was very proud to lead his PM&R teams of doctors, therapists, and nurses; highly personalized patient care was always at the heart of his work.
In June of 2000, Patrick was named one of "The Best Doctors in New York" by New York Magazine. His profile described him as "an excellent diagnostician, who built a reputation as a medical detective, taking on difficult patients."
He invested time thoughtfully listening to his patients and advocating for those who were often misdiagnosed. He believed that while medicine was a science, the practice of medicine was an art.
Patrick's many dynamic interests included an encyclopedic love of automobiles, books, classic films, history, and all things Italian, especially food and opera. He adored the works of Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini. If he was not attending a performance at the Metropolitan Opera, he was listening to the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts or his own extensive collection of recordings. Patrick was thrilled to take his granddaughter Francesca to see her first opera, La Traviata, as well as to the symphony and ballet. He loved being her "silly" grandfather as well as a devoted father to his two daughters. After retirement, he focused on writing a series of short stories and a novel, Chapel of St. Dismas: A Faithful Man's Adventure to Self-Discovery, which he published on Amazon. His writing gave him a further sense of purpose and a chance to reflect on his personal history, his beloved practice of medicine and his unwavering faith.
Patrick Joseph Fazzari, M.D. passed away peacefully on December 13 in Washington, D.C. with his family by his side. He is survived by his daughters Andrea and Cynthia (husband Luke Wimer); granddaughter Francesca; and sister Helene Ninivaggi. A memorial mass was held in Patrick's honor on Wednesday, December 28, 2022 at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in Manhattan.