Dr. Biancaniello is the only pediatric cardiologist on the editorial board of P&T. Recently, I asked him the obvious question: what made you decide to become a pediatric cardiologist?
“As a second year medical student, I was fascinated by a presentation done by a pediatric cardiologist and pathologist correlating the physiology and pathology of ventricular septal defects,” he said. “I decided then to study congenital heart disease.”
I then asked what some would say is the next most obvious question: what is the most unusual experience you have had with a patient?
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Answer: “I once treated a fetus for a rhythm problem through the mother, and it successfully preserved the pregnancy. I recently received an e-mail from the family telling me the boy had graduated from high school and had a football scholarship for college. Very rewarding.”
Dr. Biancaniello is currently the chief of pediatric cardiology and has served as the Associate Dean for Medical Affairs in the School of Medicine at the University at Stony Brook in New York since 1996 (he has been at Stony Brook since 1980). His initial responsibility was to prepare the faculty practice for managed care by leading a major clinical resource management project. This project resulted in the medical center’s achieving the lowest length of stay for all hospitals in the greater metropolitan New York area while reducing the use of resources so that, among University Health-Care Consortium Hospitals, its cost per discharge is one of the lowest. It is estimated that the project saved between $15 and $20 million.
“While clinical resource management was initially driven by the economics,” he explains, “I became really enthusiastic about it when it became clear that we could improve care by reducing variation. I had made the observation, years before, that after the first few hours after a pediatric catheterization, there were really no unusual happenings that required kids to need to remain overnight. I began doing day catheterizations long before it became fashionable, even in adults. So it was natural to take a critical look at a lot of the routine things we did and to decide whether the yield justified the practice.”
Dr. Biancaniello was named Medical Director of Stony Brook University Hospital in 1994 and has been in the dean’s office since 1993, when he was asked to lead the aforementioned clinical resource management program.
Dr. Biancaniello was born in Corona, New York, and received his bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. He received his M.D. degree from New York Medical College and completed a pedi-atric residency at the North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York. He then completed a fellowship at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1980, he joined Stony Brook as an assistant professor of pediatrics. He founded and organized the division for the department of pediatrics, which involved developing the teaching, clinical, and research programs for the School of Medicine.
During the course of his tenure at Stony Brook, Dr. Biancaniello has received some prestigious honors, including the Man of the Year in Medicine in 1988 for arranging heart surgeries for children abroad and an award from the Long Island Region’s chapter of the American Heart Association (AHA), presented by Bill Cosby.
“It was mostly for my volunteer work for the American Heart Association,” he says modestly.
He was appointed to the chapter’s board of directors from 1985 to 1996, during which time he served as vice president for two years and president for two years. Not surprisingly, he was an AHA instructor in advanced cardiac life support for 10 years. Dr. Biancaniello is also a member of eight other professional societies and organizations.
In addition to his duties as the chief of pediatric cardiology, Dr. Biancaniello has served as an active attending physician since 1980 and as a consultant to St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson, New York, and to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital in Patchogue, New York, for that same period of time. Since the early 1980s, he has also assumed the role of consultant to six other hospitals and to the Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York. generic cialis in uk
He has written two books and many articles and letters to the editor that have appeared in more than a dozen peer-reviewed journals and in The New York Times. He is an invited reviewer for three journals in addition to P&T (American Journal of Cardiology, Southern Medical Journal, and Pediatric Transplantation) and serves as an expert reviewer for the Department of Health’s Office of Professional Medical Conduct.
Dr. Biancaniello and his wife Pat have five children, ranging in age from 10 to 28 (“a yours, mine, and ours family”), all of whom like to ski together. He and Pat also enjoy ballet, the opera, and golf.
He was appointed to the editorial board of P&T in January 2002, after having served as a reviewer for the journal.