Honoring TCOM’s past and future
By Alex Branch
On the day that Frank Filipetto, DO, was honored for his service to medical education, his daughter took a first step toward her own career in medicine.
Dr. Filipetto was recognized as the first holder of the Carl E. Everett Associate Professor of Family Medicine on Saturday, July 16, during the UNT Health Science Center White Coat Ceremony.
Then he and his wife, Dr. Janet Lieto, also a UNTHC faculty member, cloaked their oldest daughter, Francesca, in a white coat as a first-year medical student at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine.
“We are certainly proud — and a bit emotional,” said Dr. Filipetto, Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in TCOM.
Francesca was among 230 first-year medical students who received white coats during the rite of passage ceremony meant to symbolize the professional obligations students are undertaking on their journeys to become physicians. Students in the School of Health Professions and College of Pharmacy will receive their white coats in a ceremony on Aug. 13.
That Dr. Filipetto and Francesca shared the day is fitting. In 2011, when Dr. Filipetto and his wife were both offered positions at UNTHSC, they promised Francesca not to uproot her and her younger sister, Gianna, against her wishes from New Jersey, where she was born and raised.
After all, Francesca was about to begin her senior year in high school.
“We took a visit to Fort Worth and she saw something she liked in the community,” Dr. Filipetto said. “We got home and soon she told us she was ready to move to Texas. It was her decision.”
The endowed Carl E. Everett Associate Professor of Family Medicine was established to honor the service and philanthropic support of Dr. Carl E. Everett, one of the three founders of TCOM.
As Associate Dean, Dr. Filipetto provides leadership to ensure that the highest quality of education is delivered to medical students. He has received close to $10 million in grant funding primarily focused on undergraduate and post graduate primary care education.
“Dr. Filipetto has exemplified academic leadership,” said Don N. Peska, DO. Dean of TCOM. “He has provided genuine mentorship to our students and faculty and raised the esteem to which the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine is held in the community.”
Dr. Filipetto is thankful to the Health Science Center and the Everett family for the professorship and said, “The Everett legacy lives on within the thousands of TCOM graduates and students who every day are creating solutions for a healthier community.”