Kathleen Ann Caizzi M.D. (70), died on 3/21/20 at the Whitesburg, Kentucky Appalachian Regional Hospital, after a long illness. She was born June 29, 1948 in Providence, R.I., to Frank and Margaret Vaccaro Caizzi. Both parents are deceased. She is survived by her brother Frank C. Caizzi, her nephew David Caizzi, her niece Carolyn Caizzi and niece/godchild Debra (Caizzi)Messenger, Mary Wood her godchild and her daughter Willow, grandniece Lucy Messenger, grandnephews Alex and Michael Caizzi and Harry Messenger, and her life partner of 54 years John Pellegrini M.D., FACS.
She grew up in Bristol R.I. where she was a member of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel School and Catholic Church. She graduated Bristol High School 1966. She received a B.S. at Northeastern University in Boston in 1970, an M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1974, her postgraduate specialty training in Internal Medicine at Rhode Island Hospital/Brown University, and Fellowship training at Montefiore Hospital/NYC in Intensive Care Medicine.
Kathi came to Kentucky in 1978, where after working briefly in Jenkins, she came to Whitesburg, Ky., as the Medical Director of MCHC, a primary care clinic. She joined Dr. Pellegrini in private practice in 1982, with a medical staff appointment at Whitesburg Appalachian Hospital, where over 40 years she served as Chief of Medicine and Chief of Staff for nearly half of those years. She served on Appalachian Regional Healthcare's Board of Directors and was Credentialing Consultant to ARH CEO'S for more than 20 years before resigning 12/31/19, because of failing health. During the period 1983-2009, she also treated patients in clinic at Norton Community Hospital, Norton, Va. Kathi was a founding member and sponsor of Letcher County Cares, a not for profit company caring for victims of domestic violence. She was one of six physicians who assisted WARH in building a medical office building at a time of financial stress for the ARH hospital group. She served on the Letcher County Board of Education for several years. Kathi treated thousands of patients in Southeastern Kentucky and Southwestern Virginia over her 40 years in this region with legendary skill and kindness. Her patients truly loved her.
Kathi enjoyed traveling and visited every continent except Antarctica. She also liked gardening, swimming, cooking, and entertaining her friends. Her dinners were memorable with family, friends and medical pals. Please send no gifts or flowers. If you wish to make a gift in her name, she favored St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tn. 38105 or online at www.stjude.org/donation or to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, 141 State St., Bristol, R.I. 02809.
I submit this brief history of this remarkable woman who touched the lives of many. John Pellegrini M.D., FACS, retired surgeon at Whitesburg ARH and Norton Community Hospital.
Condolences may be sent to Dr. John Pellegrini, 60 Vermillion Ave., Whitesburg, KY, 41858.
Kathleen was cremated in KY. Later this summer, there will be a Memorial Mass at OLMC, a graveside service at the family gravesite in Bristol and a family celebration of life.
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