Leone F. Mattioli, first clinician in Kansas to use telemedicine, dies at 81

February 14, 2013

By KUMC News

Leone F. Mattioli, M.D., 1932–2013
Leone F. Mattioli, M.D., professor emeritus of pediatrics and the first clinician in Kansas to use telemedicine to deliver care, died Feb. 10 in Johnson County. He was 81.

An expert in the diagnosis and management of cardiac disease in infants and children, Dr. Mattioli first used a telemedicine application in 1991, when Robert Cox, M.D., a pediatrician in Hays, asked for a consultation. The technology allowed Mattioli to evaluate newborns with heart murmurs and other conditions without having to put them in an ambulance to Kansas City. Today, KU specialists conduct up to 5,000 visits each year with patients and their families across Kansas and around the world.

In addition to pediatric cardiology and telemedicine, Dr. Mattioli took a special interest in medical education. He won numerous awards for teaching and mentoring, including the Student Voice Award (1997), the Kemper Award for Teaching Excellence (1998), the Cheng Cho, M.D., Ph.D., Award for Excellence in Pediatrics (2006) and the Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award, also known as "the Jayhawk" (2008).

Dr. Mattioli is remembered as a lifelong learner. At grand rounds and other presentations, he took copious notes and was usually the first person to ask questions or provide comments. He was also an inspired collaborator in clinical and basic science research, bringing to the wet lab a continuous series of questions concerning cardiac physiology. Acknowledging his devotion, the Department of Pediatrics established the Leone F. Mattioli, M.D., Pediatric Research and Scholarship Award in 2009.

"Dr. Mattioli was an exemplary teacher, scholar and physician who inspired generations of students and colleagues by virtue of his great curiosity, kindness, sense of humor and love for children and his fellow man," says Chet Johnson, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics.

Born in Foligno, Italy, in 1932, Dr. Mattioli earned his M.D. at the University of Perugia in 1956. After completing his residency, he moved to the United States in 1960 to continue his training, which culminated in a fellowship in pediatric cardiology at Harvard Medical School. He joined the KU's Department of Pediatrics in 1968, where he remained for his entire academic career, reaching the rank of professor in 1978 and professor emeritus in 2011.

Last modified: Apr 23, 2013