Cleft Team Pays Tribute to Physician Legacy with Naming
Following his tragic passing in 2018 from a malignant sarcoma, countless supporters stepped up to sustain the legacy of hope and compassion for others shown by the late Dr. Randy Capone.
“We are so appreciative of all the donors who contributed to allow us to reach our goal,” Dr. Antonie Kline, Medical Director of the Cleft Lip and Palate Team and Director of Clinical Genetics, said. “It is particularly impactful for me because Randy was such a dedicated, enthusiastic participant in all aspects of the team, and this is a perfect tribute to his efforts. Not only was he an excellent and skilled surgeon, but he also had an instant and long-lasting rapport with families. We literally would not be where we are today without him.”
The completion of the campaign to rename the program came to fruition thanks to many patients and families, community members, and Cleft Lip and Palate team members.
“When we were given a chance to honor his legacy, I couldn't wait to be involved and I knew my own kids would want to join in,” Stephanie Boblooch, MSW, LMSW, Cleft Lip and Palate Clinical Program Manager and Social Worker, said. “My two girls, Alma and Clara, feel a strong connection to this work. They wanted to be a part of the fundraising efforts by selling their homemade clay jewelry. They called their 'business' Rainbows for Smiles and raised more than $1,300 selling pins of rainbows and hearts. It was wonderful as their mother to listen to them tell others what the money would be going toward.”
Dr. Capone left a mark on many, especially his young patients. Through a unique combination of compassion, intelligence, and gifted surgical skill, he gave the gift of smiles to his patients. Truly living out GBMC’s vision, he cared for and nurtured them and their families as much as he cared for his own two sons, Enzo and Leo.
According to his long-time friend, John Iovieno, "I have never heard anyone say anything negative about Randy. The one consistent thing I heard our friends comment on, especially during his bout with cancer and since his passing, was his smile. Almost everyone I spoke to talked about Randy’s neverending smile that greeted you every time."
The Randolph B. Capone Cleft Lip and Palate Program gives children the chance to enjoy normal, happy, and healthy lives. Dr. Capone was the team’s co-director and guiding light. Today, the program boasts a team of craniofacial experts who provide the best coordinated acute medical/surgical management and long-term follow-up care possible for babies and families.
Members of the multidisciplinary team—including those from Genetics, Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, Speech Pathology, and more—offer clinics 12 times a year to follow patients on a regular basis.
Approximately 50 percent of the program's patients are on financial medical assistance and ensuring access to care and supplies is a priority. Philanthropy supports these and other needs for patients and families, including supplies to assist with infant feeding, social opportunities (when it is safe to do so) for families to connect through their shared experience, and transportation and meal expenses for families in need.
And because of a robust community, that legacy of great care will continue under a great name.