Edward Heinle loved practicing internal medicine in a small town in Beaver County, but in the 1970s urged several community hospitals to consolidate their resources into The Medical Center of Beaver County, now part of the Heritage Valley Health System.
Dr. Heinle died Saturday at his home in Beaver, Pa. He was 82. The cause of death was multiple myeloma, said his daughter, Anne Ingros of Beaver.
“He pushed to build the Medical Center of Beaver County because he saw a need in the community and felt it should be met,” said Ms. Ingros.
Dr. Heinle, who specialized in oncology and hematology, also was instrumental in establishing oncology clinics in Beaver County, and pushed for creation of a hospice program in the region, said Ms. Ingros.
He served as president of the medical center and chairman of its department of medicine. He also was the founding director of the Beaver County Red Cross Blood Program.
“He had so much impact on the community in such a positive way,” she said.
Dr. Heinle, the son of a dentist, was born in Natrona Heights, and earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh before enrolling in Pitt’s medical school from which he graduated in 1958.
While completing his internship, he met his future wife, Marie Cicone, who was working in a laboratory at the university.
They married in 1959 and from 1961 to 1962 Dr. Heinle served a tour of duty in Germany for the U.S. Army Medical Corps. After returning to Pitt, Dr. Heinle completed his residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in hematology and was offered a position on the medical school faculty.
Instead, he opted to join a private medical practice in Beaver with Thomas McCreary, who at the time was looking for a partner, said Ms. Ingros.
“His heart was just drawn to the impact of community medicine rather than academics,” she said. “My dad’s patients remember him for his compassion and he could utilize that gift more in the community.”
Though her mother was torn about leaving the city, “They fell in love with the little bedroom community of Beaver, and he gave his heart and soul to it,” said Ms. Ingros.
She recalled being awakened many times in the middle of the night by the sound of the garage door going up when her father was on call and left the house to attend to patients.
“He took time with them. And he would bring home a bag of potatoes or an apple pie as payment. Even if his hours were long, we learned so much from him.”
Three of his sons also became doctors.
In addition to his wife and daughter, survivors include another daughter, Patricia Hoover of Beaver; four sons, Edward Heinle of Danville, Montour County, Michael Heinle of Cranberry, Glenn Heinle of Silver Springs, Md., and Robert Heinle of Wilmington, Del.; a brother, Norbert Heinle of Cochranton, Pa.; and 25 grandchildren.
Friends will be received from 6-8 p.m. Thursday and 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Friday at the Noll Funeral Home, Beaver. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Beaver.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Angel Fund at Saints Peter and Paul Church or to the Beaver Memorial Library.
Joyce Gannon: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1580.