LVH–Pocono’s Chief of Staff, Vincent Francescangeli, MD, Receives National Recognition for Being a Health Care Hero
BY JESSICA BLASCO
Recently named the Pocono Record’s Health Care Hero for December, Vincent Francescangeli, MD, the longtime chief of staff at Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Pocono, was chosen as the winner of the Health Care Hero nationwide competition. This honor caps off an impressive career, as Francescangeli retired on Dec. 31 after four decades in medicine.
Inspired by family
In addition to working at Lehigh Valley Physician Group and LVPG Internal Medicine in East Stroudsburg, Francescangeli, known to patients and colleagues as “Dr. Frances,” is board certified in internal medicine. “Being a physician is a privilege and an honor,” says Francescangeli, who decided to become a doctor as a young man while helping his parents look after his grandparents. “As they got older, they lived with us for a period of time, and they became debilitated. We had to provide care for them. It was at that point I set my sights on medical school.”
After his father passed away from mesothelioma in 1990, Francescangeli took a greater interest in end-of-life care and became a board-certified hospice and palliative care medical director at LVH–Pocono. “I’ve learned so much from my hospice experience. Showing patients and their families that you still care means so much in the last moments of their life,” Francescangeli says.
Interest becomes passion
As a firm believer that patients nearing the end of their life still deserve the best possible care, the Monroe County Hospice* House holds a very special place in Francescangeli’s heart. “When you walk in the door, you know there is something special about this place. It’s quiet like a church; it’s an almost therapeutic environment,” he says. However, he believes what really sets apart Hospice House is the people who work there. “We do everything we can to take care of these patients. Little things like doing their hair, allowing them to sleep more and just showing that we haven’t given up on them can make a huge impact,” Francescangeli says.
Whether it’s wearing fun socks to bring a smile to a patient’s face or stopping by their bedside after hours, Francescangeli’s positive disposition and commitment to his patients leave a profound impact on the Pocono community as he enters retirement.
Passion becomes legacy
“I’ve had a very blessed career,” Francescangeli says. “I’ve been surrounded by dedicated partners and great physicians. I’ve had great opportunities.”
Stepping into Francescangeli’s role as the Medical Director for Hospice and Palliative Medicine is Christopher Bierman, MD, who hopes to continue to develop the hospice program. “My plan is to meet the local physicians and advanced practice providers and introduce myself and familiarize them with the things we can do for their patients. My goal is to continue to grow this great program and help as many people as we can,” he says.
As Francescangeli settles into retirement, he looks forward to what Bierman will do with his beloved hospice. “He will be good for hospice. He’s young and has the opportunity to bring a lot of new thoughts and ideas to the table,” Francescangeli says.
Bierman knows it will be a lot to live up to the legacy that Francescangeli has created. “It is incredible all the work he has done for hospice while also having his plate so full of his other responsibilities,” Bierman says. “I have big shoes to fill, and I look forward to doing my best!”
*Located in the heart of the Poconos is the Monroe County Hospice House, where our caring and seasoned clinical colleagues are dedicated to helping you or your loved one on the final passage of life. The Monroe County Hospice House provides another option for end-of-life care and pain management in a peaceful and tranquil environment when it is no longer feasible to manage symptoms at home. Nurses and physicians provide comfort and care 24/7 and continue providing physical, social, spiritual and emotional support to your loved one during the last stages of life.
To learn more about the Monroe County Hospice House, please visit LVHN.org/HospiceHouse.