Dr. Tony Nigliazzo will become the newest physician on the staff of Adams Health Network, starting in July, AHN President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Nordwick announced.
Nigliazzo, 37, is a general surgeon who is in the final stages of his residency in general surgery at the Michigan State University School of Medicine.
The announcement that Dr. Nigliazzo will join the local medical staff culminates a long search by AHN officials that centered on obtaining another general surgeon. Nordwick said the news is "especially welcome" given the recent retirement of longtime physician Dr. H.S. Lee. Nordwick said he believes Nigliazzo will be “a good fit” for Adams County and the surrounding area.
Prior to attending medical school, Nigliazzo was a firefighter-paramedic with the Edmond Fire Department, a suburb of Oklahoma City, from January of 1993 to June of 1999. He was on a responding emergency vehicle on April 19, 1995, the day Timothy McVeigh was responsible for the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Nigliazzo received an Oklahoma City Public Service Recognition Award for his efforts on that tragic day.
Nigliazzo graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations, and in 1999 became a special agent with the United States Secret Service in the Oklahoma City field office. He held that position until 2004 when he started medical school at the University of Oklahoma, graduating in 2007.
“My wife and I are tremendously excited about coming to Adams County,” Nigliazzo said in a news release. “I interviewed in a lot of places and given the fact that I started my medical career a little later than most in my class, I wanted to be able to move there (Adams County) and spend the next 20 or so years of my life not only doing surgery but to become an active part of the community.”
Nigliazzo, who initially started his connection with former AHN executive director Marvin L. Baird, said. “Marvin and I really hit it off. He was a straight shooter and I liked that. I’ve continued that relationship with Tom and the one thing I’m really excited about is that when I was in Decatur, I had the same type of feeling that I had when I was growing up. That’s exactly what I was looking for.”
Nigliazzo’s office will be located in the new physician’s office building opposite Decatur Family Medicine. The physician said he had met with Dr. Lee earlier this summer and has a deep regret he won’t be able to work with him.
“I was really looking forward to being with Dr. Lee as there was so much I could have learned from him. There will certainly be some big shoes to fill with him being gone, but on the same token I can hopefully expand some of the surgical offerings at Adams County with minimal invasive cases and those done by laparoscopy,” he said.
He said his meetings with Dr. Lee and current surgeon Dr. Richard Spady, along with the facilities at the hospital and community, were also among the reasons he is coming to Decatur.
“If you look at the staff, you can tell there’s not much turnover and that the people like the hospital. That was important to me. Also, my wife and I stopped and talked to people in the community and schools. We were overwhelmed by their openness and positive image they projected of the community,” he said.
Nigliazzo outlined his theory on surgery as “treating people like I would like my family to be treated.” He said enjoys general surgery as opposed to specializing in one area so he can be exposed to a variety of cases.
Nigliazzo and his wife, Allison, have four children: Lauren 13; Abigail 9; Jacob 4; and Jackson 2. They will relocate to the Adams County area upon completion of his general surgery residency at MSU.