“It takes a village.'
That’s a statement that Ellis Frazier, MD, a family physician at Adena Family Practice – Piketon, truly takes to heart. But he’s not content to sit back and let others do all the hard work.
Frazier has been serving Adena patients in Piketon for 10 years. In addition to his work, he began quietly volunteering at a food pantry in Pike County a couple of years ago.
“I saw some people on fixed budgets who were coming in every week. It really showed me a need,” he says. “Families are in need of food and also items like diapers, toilet paper, and toothpaste—especially at the end of the month when their resources have started to run out.”
Although Frazier can’t be on-site as much as he would like, he’s been instrumental in keeping the pantry stocked with non-perishable foods by serving as a collection point and encouraging his co-workers and even his patients at Adena to donate. “I have one patient who is an extreme couponer,” he says. “She got me 50 huge bags of toiletries.”
Frazier’s service mindset is nothing new. He went to medical school at the University of Kentucky as part of the National Health Service Corps, which provides student loans that physicians can “repay” after medical school by working in underserved communities. Frazier fulfilled part of his obligation in Nebraska before moving back to Ohio, where he had completed his family practice residency at Grant Medical Center in Columbus.
Frazier is also a lifetime board member of the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved, and an active member of the Ross County AIDS Task Force to promote HIV education and reduce the stigma associated with the disease.
“I like to help out the underdog,” Frazier says. “I think it’s important to stand up and say, ‘This is what I see on behalf of my patients.’”