Continuing on the Cutting Edge
by Cate Murway
"No one ever attains very eminent success by simply doing what is required of him; it is the amount and excellence of what is over and above the required that determines the greatness of ultimate distinction."
Charles Kendall Adams (1835 -1902) served as the 2nd president of Cornell University.
The discipline of pathology is very fortunate to be located at the confluence of many fields in medicine and biomedical research that together are very rapidly revolutionizing how diseases are diagnosed and state-of-the-art patient care is delivered.
David Joseph Chichilitti, BHS ’75/Mercer County Community College ‘85, the adjunct instructor for the Master of Pathologists' Assistant program of Professional Studies in the Health Sciences at Drexel University College of Medicine in the Hahnemann University Hospital exhibits a sense of urgency about training the next generation of outstanding practicing pathologists who will become the academic leaders that recreate that discipline. This will always drive his work.
Dave’s BHS yearbook quote was quite prophetic: “What we learn, we learn by doing.”
What an academic match!
Lois A. Tyburski, M.S. in Biological Sciences from Fordham University, seems totally focused on making her environment -and thus the school - a better place, building the future one student at a time. She has shown her heart and has worked with the students on a one-on-one level, encouraging the potential and uniqueness of each that has led to their success.
This career-focused field trip, expounding its up-to-the-minute technologies, was launched 3 years ago and is a welcome addition to the rigorous instructional VJM Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology and AP Biology programs. These opportunities are directed earmarks of Dave Chichilitti with the affiliates of Tenet Healthcare Corporation and the cooperative agreement with Mrs. Lois Tyburski, who has taught at Villa Joseph Marie for the last 16 years.
The competent and highly motivated students are provided with a variety of resources to enrich the curriculum beyond just textbooks and lab manuals, allowing them to interact with “real” scientists and see even more prospects that exist in science. Thanks to the intense programs, the student can accrue the conceptual framework, factual knowledge, and analytical skills necessary to deal critically with the rapidly changing science of biology.
Drexel has a history of integrating the latest technological advances into the learning process.
The facilitated, focused, hands-on learning experiences incorporated trace analysis sessions including blood splatters patterns and fingerprint impression data [each individual’s fingerprints are unique], firearms and tool mark identification.
Teaching microscopes have multiple heads for students and teachers to simultaneously view the same biological specimen on the slide. The Honor students were able to witness first hand, in a real life working laboratory /hospital situation, the organ and body systems that they learned about in the classroom. This enhanced their learning, and learning with others who share your interests is always a great joy. The real world applications address student interest for careers in biology and medical fields, exposing the students to innovative and cutting-edge research experiences, and the appreciation that collaboration is necessary and that science is not a solitary process.
“Mr. Dave Chichilitti is a consummate professional. His enthusiasm for what he does and his willingness to share his time and talents with the students interested in medical, nursing or other healthcare professions is unparalleled.
A visit to Drexel / Hahnemann is a prized treasure that the students in Villa Joseph Marie’s Advanced Biology classes look forward to each year. He makes it an amazing experience!”
Villa Joseph Marie, the premier college preparatory educational experience in Holland, PA is the only school with a program such as this.
The students visited the pathology lab, autopsy suite, forensics lab, and the gross anatomy and embalming room.
“I plan on majoring in biology, to pursue a medical career.
I really enjoyed this field trip because I learned a lot of new information, such as seeing the actual size of different organs and what different diseases and cancers can do to them.
This trip has helped expand the choices in my life, by seeing several different career options in the medical field that I can aim for.” Rose Moustafa Daraz, VJM ‘10
“Thank you so much for allowing me to go on this week's Anatomy field trip! I had such a great time and learned a lot about Forensic Science and the Human Anatomy. It reaffirmed for me why I want to go into the medical field.” Victoria Ettorre, VJM ‘10
“Growing up I always knew that I wanted to major in a science related field. I explored my options and have decided to attend La Salle University for Nursing especially since I have received a full academic scholarship. Going to Hahnemann Hospital has been one of the best and most interesting experiences I have partaken in. Being able to shadow for the day reassured me that science is what I love. I am so appreciative that an opportunity like this was given to me because it gave me a chance to learn hands on and preview what my career will be like in the future.”
Drew Quiñones, VJM ’10, track & field athlete
“I will be attending Cornell University and I hope to become a research scientist in the biomedical field, particularly in genetics. Most Americans do not know anything about the techniques used to detect cancer or inflammatory cells.
The trip to Hahnemann showed a wide variety of career paths that a researcher can take. Although I do not plan on becoming a surgeon or physician, I know I want to help find a cure for the various medical conditions that were discussed during the trip."
Ruth-Anne Hoehn Langan, VJM ’10, track & field athlete
“They are interested. I encourage them to touch. This is what it’s all about. These students are on vacation. They’ve come in on their day off.”
Kudos to Tenet and Drexel! Without them, Dave Chichilitti wouldn’t be able to offer this workshop that supports the academic mission of the departments.
In the past few decades, forensic science has evolved rapidly from an applied science using basic analytical tools to a cutting edge discipline employing sophisticated laboratory and computer methods to obtain information from and conclusively identify ownership of evidential material.
"This experience provided me with the opportunity to explore the field of forensics. I now know that this is the career I want to pursue.” Ashley R. Cochran, VJM ‘11
The pathologists trust Dave to give them the correct specimens for diagnostic and prognostic procedures. Hahnemann University Hospital and the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine are two path- breaking medical schools founded on progressive principles.
Dave is known for his insightful teaching to medical students, residents, fellow pathologists and clinicians; for his relentless pursuit of the accurate diagnosis for each patient; and most importantly, for his kindness and ability to be a true friend to all who have the privilege of knowing him.
“We want to encourage people to go into the medical field. It was always such a secretive field but now there is more exposure with ‘CSI’ and ‘Dr.G’”.
In his meticulous work and in his heartfelt presentations, Dave sends a note of inspiration to his students and others in school to follow their dreams and escape any confining mindsets.
Dave shared, “There is a shortage of histologic technicians and family physicians. Hospitals are hiring more physican assistants now since doctors are shying away from general medicine and have chosen to specialize.”
His parents, Sylvia [Costantini] and the late Borough Traffic Safety manager, David Chichilitti always stressed the importance of education. Through high school, he had worked shift work at the Borough water plant and then occasionally [literally] gave a “helping hand” to Louis Galzerano, Sr. moving caskets. Lou offered to sponsor Dave and he began his funeral director apprenticeship at the Galzerano Funeral home.
Dave began a new career as an autopsy technician at the Elkins Park Hospital and chose to continue his training as a pathologist assistant under the renowned late director of pathology, Dr. Aristotle A. Christou. He also had the opportunity to work along with the late nationally respected Honorable Halbert E. Fillinger, Jr., MD, Coroner of Montgomery County and assistant criminalistics professor at Temple University.
Dave’s formal training was always OJT.
He has proudly kept the outstanding unparalleled pictorial presentation of forensic pathology, “Atlas of Legal Medicine” presented to him by Dr. Christou.
“After I became a funeral director, I couldn’t deal with the sadness. I don’t have patient contact; I deal with the specimens. We work as a team, the residents and myself.”
He decides what speciman goes in the microtome, a sectioning device with steel blades used to prepare sections tissues for light microscopy histology.
A careful and systematic approach to examination of gross specimen is essential for accurate interpretation of the microscopic features.
“It is a lot of stress. You have to stay focused.”
Dave is the former Board President of the Bristol Borough School District and a School Board current member. He has also managed the Italian Mutual Aid 5th Ward Pool and still acts as the recording secretary.
His wife, Laura [Guerriero], BHS ’67, dubbed “Mag” in her yearbook, works in the registration and billing office in the St. Mary Hospital Emergency Room.
His children are baseball athlete David J. Chichilitti, BHS ’99, a Junior High Special Education teacher, and EMT Alexa Chichilitti BHS ’05 who was a softball/field hockey athlete. Granddaughter, Emma Grace Chichilitti is the newest addition.
His father’s twin brother, his Uncle Jonathan lives in NJ and his Aunt Esther still resides on Dorrance Street in the Chichilitti family home.
His only brother, Joseph Michael, BHS ‘83 owns “Chic's Plumbing & Heating”.
“Bristol has pride. We live in a safe and clean town. If I can’t see the clock, I don’t feel comfortable.” Most of the Chichilitti relatives worked in the Joseph R. Grundy Mills.
He and his partner, Mariano Maldonado own “MD”, Medical Embalmer and Diener [German for "helper”] Autopsy Service. They are also the embalmers for two medical schools for the patients who have chosen to will their bodies to science, benefiting medical teaching and research.
Dave’s intense work ethic is apparent as he performs with an assiduity incomparable to others in his field, being in a strategic position to assist an educational bridge to research. He is committed to a life of service, to being a lifelong learner, and performing as an empowered citizen.
His diligence goes above and beyond what is expected. He doesn’t consider his work labor as he is filled with compassion to work to save lives.
Thank you, David Chichilitti for working tirelessly every day to make a difference.
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November 17, 2010
Chichilitti named Neshaminy coach
By: KAREN SANGILLO Bucks County Courier Times
One of the premiere coaching openings in the area has been filled.
Dave Chichilitti was hired as the new softball coach at Neshaminy on Tuesday.
"I haven't met with the team yet," said Chichilitti, who teaches special education at Bristol. "I'm planning to do that on Monday.
"I can't wait to get started. This is a terrific opportunity, just ideal. I know they're returning a great team and expectations are high, as they should be."
The Redskins were the 2010 Suburban One League National Conference co-champions with Pennsbury and won a coin toss for the top seed in the District One Class AAAA tournament, where they were upset in the second round by Owen J. Roberts and ended the year 16-4.
"I know they were disappointed with the way the season ended last year, and I'm hoping to use that to fuel us to get to where we want to be," Chichilitti said. "Neshaminy has a great tradition in softball, and I want to do things my own way, but, at the same time, I respect the traditions there and I want to continue them.
"I met with Tom Magdelinskas (Neshaminy athletic director) and the principal, Dr. (Rob) McGee, and they both seemed very supportive, so I think I made the right decision to accept the job."
This is his first varsity head coaching position.
Chichilitti comes to the Redskins from Bristol, where he was the junior varsity coach under head coach Mike Lalli for six years. He posted a record of 50-4-9 with the JV team.
"Mike Lalli taught me a lot," said Chichilitti, who lives in Bristol with wife, Lauren, and their 2-year-old daughter, Emma. "I'm very grateful to him, and also to Bristol's athletic director, Greg Pinelli, and to the Bristol superintendent, Dr. Broadus Davis, for supporting me.
"It was a really hard decision to leave my coaching job at Bristol. I went to Bristol. I'm Bristol through and through. But I've wanted to be a head coach for a long time, and this great situation came up, and they really encouraged me to pursue it, and I truly appreciate that."
Chichilitti walked onto the baseball team at Penn State Berks before transferring to Temple, where he got his undergraduate degree. He has a master's degree from Holy Family University.
He replaces Kathleen Houser, who resigned after nine seasons to focus on sons Kyler, 2, and Jack, 4 months.
Magdelinskas is pleased with the hire.
"He came across as extremely professional and knowledgeable about the game," Magdelinskas said. "We're excited to have him on board."