I first fell in love with the pizza and the Nic-o-bolis. Then I fell in love with how the amazing Joan Caggiano made me feel; It seemed she was always there when I came into Nicola’s. I marveled as she made her rounds, moving from booth to booth, checking in and catching up with her friends. One of Joan’s greatest gifts was how she made everyone feel so special, like we were all part of her family.
Once I got to know Joan, I started seeing her influence all around town. Joan’s strong desire to promote the welfare of others made her one of Rehoboth Beach’s great philanthropists, and her generosity advanced so many important organizations here at the beach. Joan and her family also worked to ensure that great healthcare would always be available close to home. The Caggianos started giving to Beebe in 1985, and their belief in and support of Beebe continue to this day.
It’s been a year since “Mama Nicola” left us, and we will always miss her dearly. I remember visiting with Joan in the hospital, bringing her flowers and asking if there was anything I could do. Joan would say to me, “David, everyone at Beebe treats me so good – I feel like I am part of their family,” and I would reply, “Joan, that’s because you are.” Joan’s son, Nick Jr., told me recently, “The way everyone cared for Mom was absolutely first class. All of the doctors and nurses were unbelievable – a No. 1!” Everyone at Beebe Healthcare is a family, and we all work together to provide excellent care for families.
Beebe’s care of the Caggiano family continued this past fall when Nick Sr. decided to address some problems he was having with his hips and knees. Nick said, “My friends recommended so many doctors. They encouraged me to meet doctors from Salisbury, Md., to Paoli, Pa., and everywhere in between. But after all of my searching, I decided the best care was right here at home. I finally decided to have my knee and hip replaced by the excellent orthopaedic team at Beebe Healthcare.”
Beebe Healthcare has been a recipient of the Healthgrades Orthopaedic Surgery Excellence Award for 11 years in a row (2007-17), and is the only such recipient in Delaware and on the Delmarva Peninsula.
“These Healthgrades ratings, based on patient outcomes that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have collected, are a credit to everyone involved in caring for orthopaedic patients at Beebe Healthcare,” said Jeffrey M. Fried, FACHE, president and CEO of Beebe Healthcare. “They reflect the quality of the orthopaedic care that we provide, and the commitment to our patients by our board members, our physicians, our clinical staff, and all of our employees. Most importantly, these ratings demonstrate to the communities we serve that Beebe is among the very best of all hospitals across the country and that outstanding orthopaedic care is truly close to their homes.”
After Nick’s knee and hip replacement procedures, I visited with him in the hospital and also at his home. On one visit, Nick said to me, “I knew Beebe’s care was exceptional from our family’s experience last year. The care I have just received by the orthopaedic team was absolutely superior, and I’m serious about that. My family and I would like to make a gift in appreciation for everything everyone did for Joan, and also for the incredible care they have just given to me.”
The Beebe Medical Foundation thanks Nick, Nick Jr., Camille and everyone at Nicola Pizza. Thank you for making such a wonderful gift to name an operating room in memory of your matriarch, Joan. Your family’s generosity is a beautiful tribute to Joan and will support the award-winning orthopaedic team at Beebe Healthcare as we make plans for the Next Generation of Care in Sussex County.
As a community-based, not-for-profit healthcare system, Beebe Healthcare depends on the generous support of individuals, corporations, businesses, and private foundations. All gifts to Beebe Healthcare, large or small, are tax-deductible and are channeled through Beebe Medical Foundation. Please consider making a gift today and sharing your story with our community. To make your proud personal donation or to learn more about Celebrate Excellent Care, go to www.beebemedicalfoundation.org/cec or contact the Beebe Medical Foundation at 302-644-2900 or [email protected].
PHOTO CAPTION: Outside Nicola Pizza on Rehoboth Avenue, with “Mama Nicola” Joan Caggiano looking over everyone from above are Nick Caggiano and his son Nick Jr. presenting a check to Judy Aliquo, Beebe Medical Foundation president; and Dr. Wilson C. Choy, orthopaedic surgeon and Beebe Healthcare Board of Directors member. Shown (l-r) are Aliquo, Nick Jr. and Nick Caggiano, and Choy. SUBMITTED PHOTO