Remembering Walter F. Pizzi, M.D
1932 – 2021
The Emergency Medical Services community mourns the loss of one of the pioneers of pre-hospital care in New York City with the passing of Dr. Walter Pizzi.
In the 1960’s, Walter F. Pizzi, MD, FACS, a trauma surgeon, was initially motivated to improve the delivery of emergency care while doing a 7-year surgical residency at Bellevue Hospital. Dr. Pizzi saw firsthand that pre-hospital care was non-existent and correcting it in NYC, with a population of eight million, could save thousands of lives.
In the 1970’s, Dr. Pizzi, along with other concerned physicians, nurses and health care advocates, founded The Regional Emergency Medical Services Council of NYC, which was unanimously designated by State Law in 1976 to coordinate all emergency medical services in NYC. Dr. Pizzi served as its chairman for 32 years and today’s EMS system is a testament to Dr. Pizzi’s solid leadership and steadfast vision.
Dr. Pizzi’s work continues through the Walter F. Pizzi Emergency Medical Services Scholarship fund. A scholarship program that promotes higher level EMS education by providing funding assistance to EMT’s seeking to advance their credentialing to the Paramedic level.
He was predeceased by : his parents, Francis Pizzi and Edith Pizzi; his wife Lillian; his daughter Laura; his granddaughter Chloe; and his sister Mary Jean.
He is survived by : his sons, Walter and William; his daughter Elizabeth; his son-in-law Drew; and his siblings, Francis and Carol.