Physician proud of practicing medicine for the past 48 years

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2008 Healthcare Hero
Angelo Arena

"When Dr. Arena retires, I'm not sure what Hannibal will do," said Kathleen Collins, one of Arena's nominators. "He has always been here for us," she said. "If someone needed his help but didn't have the money, he treated them anyways with nothing expected in return. He's a rare breed indeed."

Arena has been Lenore Inch's doctor since 1963, four years after establishing his practice in Hannibal. "He has served our area well for all these years," she said. "He is sort of semi-retired, but still has office hours four days a week. He is loved and appreciated by many, many people," Inch noted. "I am 88 years old and think very highly of Dr. Arena."

For Arena, there's nothing like seeing his patients gain satisfaction from receiving positive results. "I believe my most significant accomplishment is practicing medicine for the past 48 years," he said.

Arena is a member of the Oswego County Medical Society, the New York State Medical Society, and the American Medical Association. He completed undergraduate studies at New York University in May of 1950. He attended the University of Rome Medical School, graduating in March 1956. He later went on to do an internship and general practice residency at Rochester General Hospital from 1956-1958. He started a general practice in Hannibal in December of 1959 and has been affiliated with A.L. Lee Memorial Hospital in Fulton since that time. He served on the Oswego Hospital courtesy staff from 1959-1971. His late wife, Elaine, passed away in August of 1993. The couple has two sons and two daughters.

Arena has gained the most enjoyment out of seeing patients and subsequent positive results of treatment. Arena has lived most of his life in Fulton. When he first started practicing, there were no physicians located in the Hannibal area. "I thought I'd try it and I've been here ever since," he said.

Arena said he enjoys the semi-rural environment of Central York. The keys to being a successful healthcare professional, says Arena, is to "try to be as careful as you can and when applicable, ask for consultation with other medical professionals."

While the type of health problems haven't changed over the years, Arena has seen dramatic progress in the form of medical technology and treatments available today. "Progress has been enormous, especially when it comes to dealing with heart disease and hypertension," he said.
"Most of the medicines that we have today were not available when I started."

He said the obesity epidemic has been steadily growing and represents a "terrible situation."
"It stays in families and, of course, we have the fast food problem," he said.

Arena is still maintaining a full practice at the age of 80. "There was a time when I was doing house calls, but that's in the past for the most part," he said.
(By Lou Sorendo)