Visitors streamed into the open house all afternoon for Dr. Jesse Frank’s 25th anniversary as a physician in Morrow County last Saturday.
Wendy Roterer, a patient of Dr. Frank’s for many years recalled the time about 15 years ago when he dropped everything and came to her home to treat her severe burns. She was badly burned after she fell with a boiling pot of soup that had splashed all over her face. She said he came right away to her home and saved her from scarring because of the lotion and treatment he gave her so quickly after the accident.
“Kind and caring, those are the main words I have to describe Dr. Frank,” Roterer said. “He really cares about his patients.”
Another patient, William Replogle brought some photos he had recently taken to share with Dr. Frank. He said Dr. Frank is very personal in knowing peoples’ interests. Photography is a hobby that they both share.
“He’s really up-to-date on health matters and lots of other things,” Replogle added. “That is kind of amazing out here in no man’s land.”
Dr. Frank came to his medical practice by an unconventional route. After graduation from Whetstone High School in Columbus, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering from Ohio Institute of Technology. He worked as a computer specialist in Kansas City, Missouri from 1976-1979. He returned to Ohio to work for Timken Roller Bearing in 1980.
While at Timken he lived in the area and joined the EMT-A Marengo squad #3. He received EMT training from Olen Jackson who was teaching the course, and decided to start a career in medicine. He credits that experience with EMT training to the beginning of his direction into medicine.
From 1980-1984 he took pre-med courses in biological science and chemistry at The Ohio State University to meet requirements for medical school. He attended Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Athens and graduated in 1988 as Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. He served his internship at O’Bleness Hospital in Athens in 1988 and completed it in June, 1989.
Dr. Frank came to Morrow County Hospital and the Marengo area in February 1989. He gives a special note of appreciation to the Bennington area developers: Emmett Adkins Jr., Jack Fishburn and Al Scarry. They worked on recruiting him as a doctor as well as building the excellent building the practice is still in today.
Ground breaking for the building took place Feb. 23, 1989 and the Family Medicine Center opened July 17, 1989 with an Open House July 22, 1989. His wife Mollea Frank was the original office manager and Linda Potts the first nurse.
Dr. Frank became Medical Director of Hospice of Morrow County in 1991 and he names his work at hospice as his “passion.” He acknowledges that working with end of life issues and situations can be difficult. He says it is his faith and the faith of his hospice patients that helps in difficult times. Dr. Frank also expressed appreciation for the work of Hospice nurses who carry so much of the hands on, day-to-day care of hospice patients.
He added that palliative medicine has made for better treatment at the end of life. He said that studies have shown that hospice and palliative medicine results in longer and better quality of life for patients.
Dr. Frank said that the Affordable Care Act is looking at new situations in which palliative care can be used. American Medical Assoc. doctors are also working on better coverage for hospice patients.
“The sooner we get people into hospice care, the better job we can do,” Dr. Frank said.
Dr. Frank expressed great satisfaction in having medical students do their clinical rotations at his practice in Marengo. He has been affiliated with The Ohio State University College of Medicine preceptor program for students from 1992 to present. He also has had medical students from Ohio University since 2007.
Dr. Frank has been affiliated with Morrow County Hospital (MCH) since 1989. He now serves MCH as consulting staff for Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He also is consulting staff for Hospice and Palliative Medicine for Knox County Hospital since Aug. 2012. For Doctors Hospital in Columbus he has served as courtesy staff since 1989.
On Nov. 5, 2000, Dr. Frank became one of 1,000 physicians in the United States who is Board Certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He became an EPEC Trainer (Educating Physicians in End-of-Life Care) in April 2003. He received the Preceptor All-Star Award from O.S.U. for 2007-2008.
Dr. Frank’s greatest concern for patients in his private practice is with problems of overweight and obesity. The problems that accompany overweight such as diabetes and heart disease continue to increase over the years in his practice as well as in Morrow County and in Ohio. He pointed to several new, extra wide bariatric chairs in his consulting rooms that are now needed for some patients.
Dr. Frank’s and his wife Mollea’s son, Caleb Bell, reminisced about their years in Marengo where he went to elementary school and later graduated from Highland High School. Caleb now practices law in Columbus.
“He has been so much a part of the fabric of the community,” Caleb said of Dr. Frank. “He is both caring and committed to the health of this community.”