06/10/2008

WVU establishes Dr. Anthony DiBartolomeo professorship  

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University School of Medicine has established the Anthony G. DiBartolomeo Professorship of Medicine to honor the contributions of the late physician, who died in 2004 after a long career as a WVU medical faculty member, administrator, teacher, clinician and researcher.

The dedicationof the $500,000 professorship, which is open to the public, is scheduled for June 12, 3:30 p.m., in the Health Sciences Auditorium.

Dr. DiBartolomeo joined the faculty in 1976, holding a number of leadership posts including associate dean for clinical affairs, chief of the section of rheumatology and coordinator of the WVU School of Medicine’s programs in graduate medical education. He also served in Vietnam as an Army physician. While at WVU he won many awards including being recognized as outstanding teacher and clinician of the year.

In an interview in 2004, Dr. DiBartolomeo talked about the pleasures of practicing in Morgantown.  “Living and working in a small town is a real privilege, especially a small town with the surrounding natural beauty that Morgantown has,” he said. “So we feel lucky to be here and I think we act like that.”

In that same interview, he recalled being asked why he chose to return to WVU after completing his fellowship training elsewhere.  He said it was because of his professors, who encouraged him during tough times in medical school when he was tempted to quit.

“They went out of their way,” he said. “So I came back because I felt like I owed this place something. I felt that I owed WVU something as well because I got a very good medical education. As good as anybody that I’ve worked with in other institutions.”

After his death in 2004, former medical students, patients and colleagues shared thoughts about learning and working with him. They commented on his warm, friendly demeanor and patience in answering even seemingly insignificant questions.

“When I walked among our hallways and would suddenly see Tony come walking around the corner, it was like seeing the captain of a great ship,” wrote Don Fidler, M.D., a psychiatrist at WVU. “Tony always had a proud, comforting smile that always signaled that the ship was fine.”

“His tenure here made life better for tens of thousands of patients, and thousands of West Virginia doctors benefited from his teaching,” James Brick, M.D., interim dean of the School of Medicine, said. “He was a highly respected physician, and many people throughout Morgantown had great affection for him.”

An endowed professorship is a position, funded by income from donor gifts, created to honor extraordinary academic achievement and to recruit and retain distinguished faculty members. Recruitment of a faculty member to fill the DiBartolomeo professorship will take place in the future.                                                

- WVU -


08-097
For more information:
Andrea Brunais, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087
brunaisa@wvuh.com
ab: 06-06-08

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