Dr. Thomas Pirosko is an emergency medicine physician at Washington Health System, where he serves as director of the emergency department at WHS Greene and assistant medical director of the Washington Hospital Emergency Department.

A graduate of Peters Township High School, Pirosko earned a bachelor of science degree from Carnegie Mellon University and graduated from the New England College of Osteopathic Medicine as a doctor of osteopathy.

Pirosko completed his residency at Washington Hospital, and began working as an attending physician in the emergency department in 2008.

He and his wife, Melissa, a real estate investor, have four daughters, Lexi, 15, Addie, 13, Mandy, 11, and Avery, 7.

When wearing masks were advised by the Centers for Disease Control as a way to slow the spread of novel coronavirus, Pirosko and his wife and daughters sprang into action, turning their dining room table into a sewing room.

They helped a family friend and her mother, a retired seamstress, make masks for hospitals.

Pirosko said his daughters wanted to help out any way they could.

Pirosko enjoys traveling with his wife and children.

A self-described sports fanatic, he enjoys bicycling, hiking and golf. He also loves coaching and watching his daughters play sports.

Pirosko co-founded and runs the TC Open Charitable Foundation, a children’s charity, which he started with a childhood best friend in 1996. To date they have raised over $1.2 million for various children’s charities, including Semper Fi Kid’s Camp, Make-A-Wish Foundation and many more. If interested, visit www.tcopen.org.

The family welcomed a puppy, Remi, a Portuguese water dog, in March.

Pirosko began taking guitar lessons a couple years ago, a new challenge he embraces.

Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever received, and who gave it to you?

A. I feel like over the years I have received so much great advice from numerous coaches, teachers and friends that it is hard to just pick one. If I had to pick, it would be the advice that my father gave me to “set your goals high.” He said that in order to achieve something you must work extremely hard for it, learn from your failures and never give up. You must try to surpass what your expectations are in order to achieve your final goal. This has helped in my athletic, professional and personal life. Thank you, Dad!

Q. What was your first job? What did you like or dislike about it?

A. My first job was as a lifeguard at Rose Garden pool when I was a teenager. What was not to like about that job? I loved spending time outside in sun, working with kids and hanging out with my friends. The pay wasn’t the best, but the benefits definitely exceeded it.

Q. What do you want to do when you retire?

A. When I retire, I want to do whatever I want. I wish for my health and that of my family’s health. I would like to travel more with my wife. I hope to have more time for philanthropic work. Eventually, I would like to have a house on the beach and enjoy watching the sunsets with a cocktail and my wife. However, with four daughters I am not sure that I will ever have time to retire.

Q. Do you prefer watching movies at home or at the theater?

A. I prefer watching movies in my movie room at home. I enjoy this more than a movie theater because I get to stop and restart the movie whenever I want. I also enjoy my reclining leather chair that I can lie on with a blanket and bowl of popcorn. Lastly, I won’t have to wear a mask at home and get to spend more time with my family.

Q. What’s something you’re looking forward to when we can get back to “normal?”

A. I am looking forward to being able to socialize with my friends and family. I feel fortunate now to be able to go to work in the emergency department and be with my work friends; however, I miss the rest of my friends. I can’t wait for nice spring and summer nights to have friends over for bonfires and get-togethers. I also really miss watching my kids play sports and watching them grow in that arena. Being part of a team is very important and right now this has been taken away from them. There are truly so many things that I miss from the “old normal,” but I am looking forward to the new experiences that the “new normal” will bring for us.

Q. What do you want people to know about COVID-19?

A. I want people to know that COVID-19 is a very real and serious infection that mainly affects our older population and patients with comorbidities, such as diabetes, chronic lung disease and those that are immunosuppressed. I think we should continue to listen to and follow the recommendations of our experts in the health-care field. We need to make decisions about moving forward to the new normal with facts and not opinions. I want people to understand that we have made our hospitals and emergency departments extremely safe for patients to seek medical care.

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