Dr. Fazio: Highly respected and recommended by many
Paul and Joy Scala heard a lot about Victor Fazio, MD, long before they met Cleveland Clinic’s chief colorectal surgeon in 2007. That year, Mrs. Scala learned she had colon cancer. “After the diagnosis, we started asking everyone we talked to, ‘Who’s the best surgeon to go to for this problem?’” recalls Mr. Scala. “So many people recommended Dr. Fazio to us. His name kept coming up.”
Dr. Fazio has pioneered numerous surgical techniques that have changed the course of colorectal surgery globally. He became Chairman of the Digestive Disease Institute
in January 2008 after 33 years as head of the Department of Colorectal Surgery. During his tenure as department chief, he maintained the international preeminence of the colorectal surgery program, expanding from four surgeons to 18.
Dr. Fazio, who holds the Rupert B. Turnbull, MD, Chair in Colorectal Surgery, specializes in colon-sparing surgeries. “We are extremely grateful for all his help and all he did,” Mr. Scala says. “We were prepared for much worse. He kept assuring us it would turn out better.”
Dr. Fazio was correct in his prognosis. “Joy is doing great,” says Mr. Scala. The couple’s gratitude for Mrs. Scala’s successful surgery prompted them to become supporters of the institute.
“The entire Scala family is a tremendous example of community leadership. I cannot thank Joy and Paul enough for their generous support of the Department of Colorectal Surgery,” says Dr. Fazio, who applied the Scalas’ gift in support of Cleveland Clinic’s enterostomal therapy (ET) nursing program. Enterostomal therapy nurses are specially trained to help both adult and pediatric patients by offering preoperative counseling and stoma siting prior to ostomy surgery; caring for patients after surgery; and providing education to patients about post-discharge needs and self stoma care.
“ET nurses are an integral part of the experience of a colorectal surgery patient, and because Cleveland Clinic founded the ET nursing field, I find it important to continue to build the program to ensure we are home to the most skilled ET nursing staff in the country,” Dr. Fazio says. “Many thanks to Paul and Joy for providing us with the resources.”
Building a Bright Future
Mr. Scala and his brother Chris are vice presidents of Kenmore Construction Co. Inc., the family business they own with three other siblings, including their sister Margaret Coletta, who serves as secretary of the company. The Scala family’s relationship with Cleveland Clinic began in 1970, when then 14-year-old Mike had kidney problems. “We got into the Clinic, and they saved his life,” says Bill Scala, President of Kenmore Construction.
Mike Scala, company treasurer, is doing well, says Bill Scala, who says that their father, William Scala, deeply appreciated Cleveland Clinic for saving his son’s life. When William Scala died in January 1985, the family began donating to the urology department, now known as the Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute. “It’s near and dear to us,” Bill says. “We did it on our own. We just decided it was something the family wanted to do.”
The Scalas see their donations as a way of giving back. As overseers of a business that started in 1956, they know how to reroute an interstate or rebuild a bridge. But fixing a health problem is another story. “We fix sewers and build roads, but there are things we can’t fix,” Paul Scala says. “We want to help someone who can.”
To make a gift supporting the Digestive Disease Institute, the Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute or any area of Cleveland Clinic, visit iSupport, our secure online giving site, or call Institutional Relations and Development at 216.444.1245 or toll-free at 800.223.2273, ext. 41245.