Recognizing excellence

DO named as program director for first ocular trauma fellowship, profession celebrates life of DO actor from ‘The Sopranos’

Craig Czyz, DO, was recently hired as the program director for the first ocular trauma fellowship in the U.S., to the AOA’s knowledge.


The DO profession is constantly making strides, thanks to the many wonderful DOs and osteopathic medical students who excel in their roles. Following are some of the recent professional recognitions and accomplishments the profession is currently celebrating.

DO named as program director for nation’s first ocular trauma fellowship

Craig Czyz, DO, was recently hired as the program director for the first ocular trauma fellowship in the U.S., to the AOA’s knowledge. Dr. Czyz, who recently spoke about the program at an American Academy of Ophthalmology national meeting, was responsible for creating and implementing this fellowship at the OhioHealth Grant Medical Center. The fellowship program is currently accepting applications for the 2023 fellow position. It is available to candidates who have completed residency and are board-eligible physicians.

Dr. Czyz received his DO degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2003 and his B.S. degree from Wake Forest University in 1996. He is currently a clinical professor of ophthalmology, chair of the department of ophthalmology and section chief of oculofacial plastic and reconstruction surgery at Ohio University/OhioHealth Doctors Hospital.

The fellowship is a one-year term, and will involve the evaluation and management of ophthalmic trauma and ocular emergency patients. Alongside expert subspecialty ophthalmologists, fellows will be involved throughout all aspects of patient care and treatment.

The life of actor Daniel P. Conte, DO, of New Jersey, is celebrated after his passing

Daniel P. Conte, DO, died on Nov. 8. Along with practicing as a family physician at KENDAN Medical Center in Garfield, Dr. Conte also had a successful acting career, with small roles in the movies “Death Collector,” “Raging Bull,” “Goodfellas,” “Casino,” “Witness to the Mob,” “This Thing of Ours” and “The Sopranos,” according to news reports and his obituary. Dr. Conte played Doc Santoro in three episodes of “The Sopranos.” Doc Santoro is a retired crime boss who tries to impede upon the territory of Phil Leotardo, played by his real-life friend Frank Vincent.

Dr. Conte was also a New Jersey State PBA Silver Honorary Membership Card recipient, a member of the Honor Legion of the Police Departments of the State of New Jersey, an attending staff member of St. Mary’s Hospital in Passaic and staff emeritus of Hackensack Medical Center. He was recognized on numerous occasions for his leadership in the medical profession.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations in Dr. Conte’s name instead be made to the Garfield Community Policing Trust Fund, which fosters positive and productive police-community relations. He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara Rose, and brother, Kenneth S. Conte, DO.

Texas mayor proclaims day for Houston DO

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner proclaimed Oct. 29, 2022, to be known as ‘Brigadier General Marco Coppola Day’ in Houston to celebrate Marco Coppola, DO, who has contributed over 37 years of military service and demonstrated exceptional commitment to the health of the Houston community.

“I am truly humbled by the honor and the recognition, especially in the presence of my family and the outstanding soldiers I’ve had the privilege to lead,” said Dr. Coppola.

Dr. Coppola is currently an emergency physician and chief of medical staff at The Colony ER Hospital, located in Denton County, and recently retired from military service. Most recently prior to retirement, Dr. Coppola was known for having commanded the 2nd Brigade of the State of Texas Guard, providing mission-ready military forces to assist state and local authorities in times of state emergencies.

NAOF annual meeting highlights the pipeline from medical student to established DO 

The National Association of Osteopathic Foundations (NAOF), a national network of osteopathic-supportive foundations and osteopathic association foundations, held its annual meeting Oct. 27-28.

The program focused on four topics: exploring priorities for college of osteopathic medicine admissions, Osteopathic Recognition (OR)/enhancing osteopathic principles and practices for postgraduates, engaging the early-career DO and connecting with the lifelong learner. Presenters included COM admissions teams, osteopathic program directors, state osteopathic association executive directors and national osteopathic leaders. Each segment included an opportunity for NAOF members to share insight on how they engage that part of a DO’s training/career.

The foundations in attendance included: American Osteopathic Foundation, Arizona Osteopathic Charities, Kansas Osteopathic Foundation, Maine Osteopathic Educational Foundation, Northwest Oklahoma Osteopathic Foundation, Ohio Osteopathic Association, Osteopathic Founders Foundation, Osteopathic Heritage Foundations, Osteopathic Medical Foundation of Michiana, Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Foundation and SOMA Foundation.

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