Meet the Doctors
St. Anthony’s Medical Clinic is privileged to have many seasoned, thoughtful doctors who care deeply for our patients. Today, we’d like to introduce you to two of them!
Dr. Brooks Crawford: Ophthalmology
Dr. Brooks Crawford retired from private practice six years ago and brought all of the equipment from one of his exam rooms to St. Anthony’s, supplying us with the expensive ophthalmology equipment needed for examination. He comes to the Clinic every week to treat and inspect the eyes of patients. Throughout his career, he would never turn someone away for lack of funds. “A lot of doctors don’t take care of Medical patients because they pay so little,” Dr. Crawford explains. “I did, but it would cost more to send the bill out than what I would get, so I just saw them for free.”
This practice and moral commitment come from watching his father and other doctors to do the same. Dr. Crawford also credits his father for his work ethic.
“He put himself through medical school by driving a horse-drawn milk truck,” Dr. Crawford recalls. “He had to get up really early in the morning — 4 or 5 o’clock — because if he didn’t get a fast horse, he wouldn’t get to school on time.”
Dr. Crawford is deeply appreciative of the Medical Clinic’s wonderful nurses. Though he is in the process of learning Spanish for the first time, he is grateful to rely on our nurses who “translate beautifully” and “have been fabulous, always anticipating the needs of anyone who comes in.”
Dr. Mario Rizzo: Podiatry
Dr. Mario Rizzo started volunteering at the St. Anthony’s Medical Clinic when he graduated from podiatry school in 1979, and he is still here today. Thanks to a donor-funded expansion, Dr. Rizzo was given a salaried position three years after starting to volunteer. He focuses on patients’ feet. Many of our guests do not have comfortable, safe places to sit or lie down, so they are forced to spend much of their time standing and walking through the city to access services.
“The most common thing I see is heel pain because the plantar fascia gets stretched out,” says Dr. Rizzo. “People are on their feet a lot and they don’t have good shoes, but we can treat them with taping, orthotics, injections, or medications.”
Every doctor on staff makes a difference not only in their medical care, but in how they treat our guests — with warmth, dignity, and unconditional respect.
“It’s been an amazing experience working with the other doctors who come here,” says Dr. Rizzo. “They have a passion for this kind of work and they love the patients. Not all are religious, but all of us want to try to help people out. We have shared values.”
Dr. Rizzo was raised Catholic and his work does come from a place of faith. He was drawn to St. Anthony’s as a Catholic organization.
“We were raised to have empathy for the poor and to help out the poor, so it was part of my core,” says Dr. Rizzo. “It was a way for me to live my faith in reality.”
Working in a Clinic like ours has had a profound effect on Dr. Rizzo. “Every once in a while, you can see Christ in the patients,” he said. “They have such a big heart. They’re really loving, and a lot of that comes out in their well wishes for you.”