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Captain Francis A.

(Frank) Zampiello, MD, USPHS, 75, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, formerly of East Haven
Published 12/15/2011 12:00 AM Updated 12/15/2011 01:33 PM

Captain Francis A. (Frank) Zampiello, MD, USPHS, former East Haven resident and 1954 East Haven High School graduate and valedictorian, died on Dec. 1 in his Philadelphia home at age 75 on what would have been his father's 100th birthday. He was the husband and life partner of John Shirley. Dr. Zampiello was born in New Haven on Oct. 4, 1936, son of Albert M. Zampiello and Rose DelCorte Zampiello. He earned his pre-med degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1958 and an MD degree from the University of Maryland in 1962. After many years of private practice on Thompson Avenue in East Haven, he joined the Public Health Service in 1978 and served until 2002. In the Public Health Service, Dr. Zampiello was medical director of two clinics: first, as the only healthcare provider in what was then the small Cape Cod fishing village of Provincetown, and then for Boriken Health Center, serving a large urban Hispanic community in New York City’s Spanish Harlem. A tireless advocate for healthcare improvement nationwide, Dr. Zampiello spent his entire professional life trying to make sure that as many people as possible could access the best care possible. Dr. Zampiello was a huge fan of Eartha Kitt, beginning with the time he saw her in “New Faces of 1952.” He never missed an opportunity to attend her concerts and, in 1979, became Ms. Kitt’s friend after throwing her a party in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Then, on spotting Dr. Zampiello in the audience during future performances, she would often purr, “Hello, Doc-turrrrr,” from the stage, in her inimitable fashion. She also would shamelessly flirt with him, which embarrassed but delighted him. It is hard for any friend or colleague to remember a single time that Dr. Zampiello raised his voice above its calm, reassuring tone. And all his friends loved his quiet but witty ways. Once during a game of Trivial Pursuit, he was quizzed, “What is panophobia?” he came from his kitchen brandishing a baguette, declaring, “Well, one thing I’m sure of: panophobia is not a fear of bread.” His love of food and cooking is reflected in his collection of hundreds of cookbooks and in the amazing meals he often cooked for his

family, friends and colleagues. Dr. Zampiello and his life partner, John Shirley, were world travelers and visited every continent except Antarctica (getting as close as Ushuaia, Argentina.) These travels included Moscow, Beijing, Dubai, Bombay, the Galapagos, the Serengeti and the Great Barrier Reef. Dr. Zampiello visited nearly every place one can think of, making friends all over the world. He sunned on St. Barth in the early seventies, long before it became a tourist destination. Venice and St. Barth were his two most favorite places on earth. Dr. Zampiello studied directly with W. Edwards Deming, Stephen Covey, and Donald Berwick, using their quality strategies in his role as a key leader in initiating the HRSA Health Disparities Collaborative in 2001 and as co-director of the U.S. Organ Donation and Transplantation Breakthrough Collaborative beginning in 2003. Under his codirectorship, the ODTBC dramatically streamlined the identification of potential organ donors, the coordination of organ matches, and the efficient delivery of donor organs to those needing transplants. To date, this work has resulted in an additional 4,000 organ transplants annually across the US. Dr. Zampiello's friends and colleagues found it appropriate that in 2010 he benefited from those efforts when he needed a liver transplant himself. He received a liver transplant at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in September 2010 when his liver went into organ failure due to an auto immune liver disease. Among his many professional accomplishments, Dr. Zampiello advised international organ donation initiatives in Canada and Australia since 2006 and was President of Quality Reality Checks (a healthcare consulting group) from 2002 until his death. In 2010, he published an astute piece about why healthcare for all is so urgent and necessary, “Health Reform and You – Let’s Just Talk the Facts: My Story and Why You Need to Hear (Really Hear) It”. Dr. Zampiello and his life partner of 30 years, John Shirley, were married in Provincetown in September 2009. They have residences in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Gulfport, Florida. In addition to his husband, Dr. Zampiello is survived his brother, Albert Zampiello of Boxboro, Massachusetts, his sister, Terry O’Connor of Branford, his brother-in-law, Joe Vitale of Branford, and by their families. A celebratory ceremony is being planned for some time after the first of the New Year, so that his friends throughout the country will be able to come together to honor and celebrate his life. In lieu of flowers, Dr. Zampiello asked that donations be sent to the Gift of Life Family House/The Transplant Foundation of Philadelphia, or to the Human Rights Campaign Memorial Gifts in Washington, D.C. His life partner and family believe the best way to honor Frank is to continue his lifelong efforts to make the world a better place by working to assure access to excellent healthcare for everyone at an affordable price and to assure that all people are treated fairly, no matter who they love, their skin color or what they choose to believe.