After 35 years, it is with mixed emotions that I am announcing my retirement from practicing pediatrics effective September 1st. I have deeply appreciated the privilege to care for your children and many others over the years and the kindness, trust and confidence that has been shown to me. It has been a pleasure and honor and I am grateful.
As many of you know, I have been a physician and a scientist for my entire career including playing a role to develop the Hib vaccine given to all children to prevent the most common cause of spinal meningitis, in testing new whooping cough vaccines that were safer and what is now Prevnar vaccine, used to prevent pneumonia and meningitis in children and adults worldwide. This would not have been possible without your humanitarian kindness and trust many of you, parents of those babies, children and teenagers, gave me and my colleagues thereby helping children everywhere in the world have a change to receive these new vaccines that save lives and reduce suffering.
Just over a decade ago I began a quest to bring to a reality a vaccine to prevent ear infections in children. Many of you in my practice and Dr. Janet Casey’s practice at Legacy Pediatrics helped by allowing us to study what caused ear infections and how the child’s immunity system responded to ear infections. Using that knowledge I worked at the Rochester General Hospital Research Institute with a team of other scientists seeking to find the right ingredients to make a vaccine to prevent ear infections. Our work has produced that result and now we are ready to move towards a test of that vaccine.
Thus, the moment of opportunity is now and I must do my best to help all children by testing this vaccine to prevent ear infections. To take on this project requires more of my attention and so I must say good-bye to each of you, parents who trusted me with the care of your most precious possession, your children, and good-bye to the children who I have enjoyed so greatly to see grow and sometimes come back with their own children to care for as a second generation – the highest compliment I could have ever received.
I have peace of mind that such talented and caring doctors, Dr. Casey, Dr. Alice Taylor, our physician assistant, Kate Shand, and our wonderful nurses and staff at Legacy Pediatrics will be taking over the care of your children as I retire from pediatric practice. The transition will be smooth and seamless as all your records are right there at Legacy and many of you have received care at Legacy from them when I have not been in the office so you already know how excellent they are in caring for your children.
I will be continuing my asthma, allergy, immunology and infectious disease consultation practice.
Sincerely and with heartfelt thanks to you,
Michael E. Pichichero, MD