In Memoriam: Joseph Salipante, M.D.

For the second time in a month, the flags at Unity Hospital have been lowered to half-staff to honor the memory of an outstanding physician and leader. We are sad to report that Dr. Joseph Salipante passed away unexpectedly on June 28.

Dr. Salipante was a clinician and physician leader whose entire career was dedicated to promoting the best patient care. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Dr. Salipante was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society. After his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Georgetown University Hospital, he joined the medical staff at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester in 1977 as a primary care internist. In 1984 he became the Director of Ambulatory Services, and in 1990 he became the Vice President for Medical Affairs (VPMA) at St. Mary’s. His skill and performance in that latter role led to his appointment as VPMA for the newly created Unity Health System in 1997. Dr. Salipante was elected to Fellowship in the American College of Physicians in 1995 and was a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.  His many professional contributions were recognized by his peers when he was selected for the Unity Physician Recognition Award in 1999. In 2012, Dr. Salipante was appointed the Chief Quality Officer at Unity Hospital, a role in which he continued for Rochester Regional Health until his retirement in January 2015, whereupon he was appointed to the Unity Emeritus Staff.

Dr. Salipante was steadfastly focused on quality patient care. He was a role model internist, valued mentor, and an excellent teacher. As an institutional leader, he was a friend to all members of the medical staff,  to nurses, and to the entire health care team. He respected and nurtured the contributions of the entire team in providing the best possible care of patients. Through his tireless efforts and under his diligent oversight, the quality of care at St. Mary’s and Unity hospitals rose higher every year.  Dr. Salipante was a man of great integrity and commitment who loved this hospital, its people and our patients.

As one of our Unity Internal Medicine residents wrote in his evaluation of Dr. Salipante as a clinical preceptor: “Master clinician and excellent teacher. He demonstrated humbling clinical acumen, was kind and gently imparted priceless knowledge. Simply put, I will always look up to him in my life as a physician.”

A Book of Remembrance to be presented to his family will be available outside the Chapel on the first floor of Unity Hospital (near the Education Center); please stop by and share a story or comment about Dr. Salipante.  Calling hours are Friday, July 7 at Anthony Funeral Chapel at 2305 Monroe Avenue, Rochester 14618 from 1-3 p.m. and 6-8 p.m..  Funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Louis Church, 64 South Main Street, Pittsford 14534 on Saturday, July 8 at 9 a.m.

Unity Hospital and Rochester Regional Health mourn the loss of this fine physician and friend.