Patients and Family
After his family, the hospital and his patients became the center of Dr. Teresi’s life. One of his medical innovations came to be informally known as “The Patients’ Club.” It was an association of his patients that, in effect, became a forerunner to medical insurance. Charles Teresi’s grandnephew, Francis H. Allenza, compared it to what we know now as a modern Health Management Organization. “Patients would pay the Doctor pre-determined payments as insurance for medical coverage.” As the receptionist at the hospital from 1958 until 1960, Mrs. Robert (Patricia) Allen remembers, “His patients adored Dr. Teresi.” Quite often, Dr. Teresi would take care of whole neighborhoods of families. Mrs. Allen recalled how generous the Doctor was with his family, staff, and patients. Many times when cash was low, patients would bring fresh breads, flowers, and foods to Dr. Teresi and he would accept those gifts as payment for his services. The hospital’s staff included several members of Dr. Teresi’s family.
Over the three decades that Teresi managed the hospital, four family members worked with him at the hospital. His younger sister Caroline was the first to join him at the hospital in 1928, serving as the bookkeeper after graduating from the University of Rochester. Dr. Teresi’s nephew, Francis J. Allenza, would become a key element in the hospital’s success by serving as the chief administrator. Patricia Allen remembers Francis as an excellent administrator and recalls, “The hospital could not have run without Mr. Allenza. He kept the administrative and business affairs running smoothly.” Francis’ sister, Theresa Allen served for many years as the hospital’s bookkeeper. Harold Teresi was the hospital’s attorney and he served on the board of 179 Lake Avenue, Inc. The hospital’s thirty-four year service to Rochester embodied the strong bond of love and support shared by the Teresi family. The virtue of loyalty and commitment that embodied Charles’ family relationships would be reflected in the Doctor’s dedication to his career and devotion to his patients.