John Chappel
- 08/29/2016

~~John Chappel, 63, of East Hampton, New York passed away on August 29, 2016 suddenly and unexpectedly of a cerebral aneurysm with his loving wife by his side.

The son of predeceased Al and Mary Elizabeth Chappel, John was born in Manhattan, NY on January 22, 1953 where he lived until moving to New Jersey. He was a practicing physical therapist for over forty years. He received a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy and Master of Arts in Pathokinesiology from New York University. During his years of clinical practice in the NY/NJ metro area he positively impacted countless lives of infants, children, adolescents and adults through his boundless compassion and skillful care.

John co-founded and co-directed Pediatric Therapeutics in Chatham, NJ, a private practice dedicated to holistic, multidisciplinary pediatric therapy for children and their families. John was co-founder and a Board member of the NJ State Chapter of Infant Mental Health.

Most recently, he was appointed the Director of Synactive Pediatric Curriculum of Kinnections in Sacramento, CA. John believed this educational program represented an historic and unprecedented landmark in the training of caregivers who use their hands, minds and hearts to provide the best therapeutic interventions for those in need. He was an honored member elect of the Medical Council of Feeding Matters in Scottsdale, AZ. In April 2015, the National Association of Neonatal Therapists (NANT) honored John’s commitment and tireless work in the area of neonatal therapy practice by awarding him an inaugural “Pioneer of Neonatal Therapy Award.”

John has been recognized as an expert in teaching and applying individualized synactive manual therapy interventions across pediatric populations including newborn intensive care, oncology, neurological disorders, respiratory, cardiac, gastrointestinal and oral feeding dysfunction, autistic spectrum disorders, palliative and end of life care giving. John was a sought after and world renowned national and international expert and educator who presented at the most prestigious medical conferences related to the care of newborns and their families. He also taught clinical workshops in Newborn Intensive Care Units at over 100 hospitals in the US and abroad. He was a mentor, instructor, student, and witness to modern neonatal therapy practice.

A lover of the outdoors, John was a birdwatcher, gardener, camper, hiker, boating enthusiast, body surfer, amateur chef and cocktail mixologist, and a music and film buff. His love of the beach and the water was realized in his love for East Hampton, NY where he and his wife visited in all seasons since the early 1970’s, as a second home owner for 20 years, and full time resident since 2012. John is survived by his wife, Dr. Christine Ganitsch, to whom he was married for thirty-five years. John and Chris were clearly one another’s best friends as well as professional colleagues and their marriage was admired by their friends around the world.

John will long be remembered for his brilliant mind, deep compassion for others, boundless generosity, genuine concern for all human beings, and of course, his bigger than life, fun loving personality.

In lieu of flowers, donations in John’s name may be made to the following organizations. He was directly involved in each of them and they remain steadfast in their work to carry on his passion for providing the highest quality care for infants and their families:

NIDCAP Federation International, Inc. 6300 Creedmoor Rd, Suite 170-127, Raleigh, NC 27612 or online at The NFI or NIDCAP Federation International is a nonprofit organization that strives to create a supportive gentle environment for fragile infants who require intensive care. The NFI mentors caregivers and changes hospital systems while improving the future for newborns and their families. John was an early adopter and dedicated NIDCAP professional and member for thirty years.

BBN Foundation (Breaking Bad News) 358 5th Ave. Suite 401, New York, NY 10001 or online at This organization, developed by a neonatologist and pediatrician, is designed to teach the unique skills needed to effectively and compassionately communicate bad news to patients’ families.

Feeding Matters 7650 E. Redfield Rd #C4, Scottsdale, AZ 85260 or online at This organization supports over one million infants and children nationwide suffering from feeding disorders. It is working to establish the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Advocacy and Early Intervention Model (AIM) in order to create a catalyst for systemic change thereby shifting policy and practice for this population.

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