Street outside NE hospital dedicated to late doctor

Dr. Angelo DiBello Place is named after a doctor who worked at Nazareth Hospital for 63 years.

Sign of love: The intersection of Fairfield Street and Hospital Driveway will now be known as “Dr. Angelo DiBello Place.” Family and friends gathered on Saturday for the street dedication, which took place outside of Nazareth Hospital, where DiBello was a practicing doctor for decades. JOHN COLE / TIMES PHOTO

On Saturday, family, friends and colleagues of the late Dr. Angelo DiBello congregated at the intersection of Fairfield Street and Hospital Driveway, which will now be known as “Dr. Angelo DiBello Place.”

The street dedication took place right outside of Nazareth Hospital, which is where DiBello was a practicing doctor for decades.

Angelo DiBello was born and raised in Northeast Philadelphia and attended Frankford High School. DiBello served in World War II then later went on to get his bachelor’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania and completed medical school at Hahnemann University.

After DiBello completed medical school, he chose to pursue his career in the very area he grew up in, Northeast Philadelphia. DiBello took his talents to Nazareth Hospital for his residency and became an integral part of the Nazareth family for the next six decades.

Nazareth Hospital meant a lot to DiBello, says his wife, Matilda.

“He’s been with Nazareth Hospital for 63 years,” Matilda said. “I said this may not be his second home, it could be his first because he spent a lot of hours walking those halls and seeing his patients.”

Nancy Cherone, Nazareth Hospital’s executive director, shared the same sentiment with Mrs. DiBello about her husband’s dedication to their hospital.

“Dr. Angelo DiBello was a vital part of the Northeast Philadelphia community and Nazareth Hospital family for more than 60 years,” she said. “We at Nazareth Hospital are touched by the community’s passionate desire to honor Dr. DiBello by renaming Hospital Drive and Fairfield Street in his memory.”

DiBello passed away at the age of 89 on March 28, and it did not take long for the community to make an effort to honor him. Rose Martino, a former patient of DiBello, put the plan into motion shortly after his death.

“He was a wonderful doctor to everybody in Northeast Philadelphia, and when I saw that they were dedicating streets in the city, I thought that’d be a great idea.”

Martino went on to pitch the idea at local civic association meetings and got the whole community behind this effort.

“I believe everybody wanted something to do to say thank you to him and to honor him,” she said. “It’s a community event, 100 percent supported by the entire Northeast Philadelphia community.”

City Council Majority Leader Bobby Henon, who represents the area, said he was approached with the idea shortly after DiBello’s passing and put it forward to his colleagues quickly.

“We started the process immediately, it’s taken a long time,” said Henon, adding with a chuckle, “but in the world of city government it wasn’t that long.”

Councilman Al Taubenberger, an at-large member, was present to make the official resolution on behalf of the city of Philadelphia to honor Dr. DiBello Place. Taubenberger thought the career of Dr. DiBello was well worth the recognition.

“You know what’s kind of special?” Taubenberger said. “I’ll tell you this, you can be a doctor of many, many things, but when you bring young people into the world, you’re the doctor that makes that happen, that’s a special calling.”

Matilda DiBello was impressed with the turnout for the street dedication, and understands how many people’s lives her husband touched.

“It’s quite a tribute to him, but he was the greatest doctor. He loved his patients, he worked 24–7, always answered their calls, always saw them,” Mrs. DiBello said, “If they were in the hospital, he would visit every day, seven days a week, regardless if it was a holiday or whatever.”

Henon lauded the turnout as well and showed appreciation for DiBello’s dedication to the community.

“He could’ve went anywhere, he was a brilliant, brilliant diagnostic doctor who chose Northeast Philadelphia to practice and raise his family,” he said.

Serving countless families in Northeast Philadelphia certainly warrants the recognition for DiBello.

“I think the patients are having a difficult time finding a doctor who is as dedicated, and he was the greatest diagnostician also,” Mrs. DiBello said. “He could diagnose your case and he was wonderful.” ••