A leader and innovator in the field of podiatric medicine. A dedicated teacher and mentor to physicians in training. A loving family man. An esteemed colleague.
Those were some of the ways family and friends Monday described Dr. Renato Giorgini, who died April 17 of complications from liver cancer at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip. He was 71.
One of his daughters, Dr. Tara Giorgini, an orthopedic surgeon who resides in Rome, Italy, said her father was "extremely generous" to his family, and "dedicated" to his students, colleagues and patients.
He lived in West Islip with his wife of nearly 50 years, Florence Giorgini, whom he met when both attended college in Pennsylvania. "We married in 1965 -- Aug. 28. We just didn't make 50 years," she said.
At the time of his death, Giorgini was chief of podiatry and program director of podiatry residency at Good Samaritan Hospital.
Lauded for his excellence in teaching, Giorgini was also a professor at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine in Manhattan, where he joined the faculty in 1971, said the college's dean and vice president for academic affairs, Dr. Michael Trepal. Giorgini was chairman of the college's department of surgery from 1972 to 1983, and also served as residency director. "He really was involved with the podiatric surgical education of four decades of students," Trepal said.
Dr. Gino Giorgini, a retired gastroenterologist who is now medical director for care and utilization at Good Samaritan Hospital, cited his cousin's "standout qualities" in teaching, adding, "he trained podiatrists all over the place." He added his cousin was also "well-respected for his development and maintaining the accreditation of the podiatric program" at Good Samaritan.
Several of Renato Giorgini's former students wrote tributes to him posted to the Podiatry Medicine website, podiatrym.com.
Dr. Philip Wrotslavsky of San Diego wrote: "Dr. Giorgini as you know was a leader in the podiatric world. He was an innovator, a teacher, and a mentor to many. He told me many times, 'If you want to learn, I'll teach it to you.' "
Giorgini was born in Copiague. He graduated from Copiague High School in 1960. He earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Villanova University in 1964; and a medical degree in 1968 from what is now known as the Temple University College of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia.
He returned to New York in 1970 and set up his practice on South Wellwood Avenue in Lindenhurst in a building owned by his brother, Arthur, a lawyer. "His brother was upstairs and gave Rennie the room downstairs," his wife recalled. Giorgini's brother died last year.
Giorgini later moved to a different office on the same street, where "he practiced until the last," his wife said.
He lectured widely in the United States and abroad, and had professional certifications from the American Podiatric Medical Association and the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, his daughter said.
Other immediate survivors include another daughter, Tanya L. Giorgini of Manhattan; a son-in-law, Dr. Michele Calderaro, Dr. Tara Giorgini's husband; a sister-in-law, Ada Giorgini of Amityville; and two grandchildren.
A funeral was held April 20 at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Bay Shore; burial followed at Amityville Cemetery in Amityville.