John Capelli



Golden Award to local doctor honors
international service, spirit of giving

It’s the selfless volunteerism that made Dr. A. John Capelli the perfect recipient of the 2010 Golden Award. He received the honor Thursday as recognition for exemplifying “the spirit of giving.”

Earlier this week, Capelli returned from an annual medical mission to Honduras where he provided service to hundreds. Closer to home, he has spent the past 27 years as a recognized physician leader. Capelli’s co-workers say he frequently volunteers his time and money to several charities and improvements within Aurora Medical Center. For example, he led community philanthropy efforts and personally donated toward the hospital’s purchase of a respirator for its neonatal unit.

Chris Olson, chief administrative officer at the medical center, knows Capelli has even anonymously donated money to several organizations to escape any possible limelight.

“He’s just one of those people in the community who has been a part of many initiatives,” she said. “I’m very excited we get to recognize him.”

Aside from what his colleagues call his “huge heart,” they say Capelli is the staff motivator and inspiration in the hospital.

“He is larger than life, very colorful, outgoing, energetic,” Olson, who has worked with Capelli for 10 years, said. “You probably would never know he is a physician. I say that because he is very down to earth. Yet he is a brilliant diagnostician.”

Capelli is also quick to recognize his staff’s efforts, said Debra Franckowiak, administrative director of support and hospitality services.

“He’s always doing things for other people,” she said. “It’s his mission.”

Capelli remains active in the community while serving on several boards and committees, participating in career days at schools, lecturing on anatomy at Bradford High School and acting as preceptor at Marquette University at UW-Madison.