Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Angelo S. Runco July 29, 1926 - May 21, 2015 Pediatrician Became a Part of Families

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Angelo S. Runco July 29, 1926 - May 21, 2015 Pediatrician Became a Part of Families

Article excerpt

Some doctors make headlines.

Angelo S. Runco preferred making house calls. He continued doing so, even after it become a thing of the past in medicine, his family recalled.

A pediatrician and native of Larimer, Dr. Runco died Thursday at his Highland Park home. He was 88 and left behind a large primary and extended family, as well as generations of patients whose life stories became part of his own.

A graduate of Peabody High School, his career in medicine spanned more than six decades. It started in the days of Jonas Salk as Dr. Runco and other young residents at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh were involved in field testing the renowned researcher's polio vaccine, and that career continued until 2013, when Dr. Runco saw his final patients at age 86, two years before he died, his family said.

Pediatrics was a relatively new specialty at the time, and Dr. Runco took great care both in the clinical aspects of his work and in the human side, his family said. He remembered faces and stories of patients he would sometimes see in Pittsburgh or during out-of- town vacations even after they had grown. The son of Italian parents, he would speak in Italian when needed to mothers of the children he treated.

"He connected with people. He really internalized it. It was like a calling to him," said one of his sons, Thomas, who lives in Providence, R.I.

"He was like part of their families," said a daughter, Carol Emmons, of Bainbridge, Ohio.

Material provided by the family included a brief appreciation by colleague Dr. Alan Lantzy, a neonatologist at West Penn Hospital. "Ange Runco was a pediatrician's pediatrician," Dr. Lantzy recalled. "He was the gold standard when it came to community pediatrics."

Dr. Runco received his medical training at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He graduated in 1950.

From there, he entered his residency at Children's and was chief resident in 1953 and 1954, his family said. He and other residents went to city schools in support of the polio vaccine tests. "Salk paid us $30 a session to draw control blood from kids in the city when they were testing the vaccine," he told "Bridges," a Physician Alumni Association publication affiliated with Children's Hospital. …

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